Campus community brainstorms at strategic planning forum

Campus community brainstorms at strategic planning forum

Photo by Tom Hutton/UCCS

By Tom Hutton and Ron Fitz

With 12 new degree programs, a 22 percent enrollment increase, and six new or renovated state-of-the-art buildings, UCCS has accomplished most of the goals set in a 2007-2012 strategic plan, UCCS leaders said during an all-campus strategic planning effort last week.

Heralding the successes accomplished since a plan originally developed in 2005 and updated in 2007 was approved, Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak, Provost Peg Bacon, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Brian Burnett, and Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Martin Wood took turns Thursday establishing the need for a new UCCS strategic plan and encouraging faculty, staff and students to share their ideas and help shape the university’s future.

The brief introduction and review of the earlier plan’s successes proved the university community’s capacity to meet and often exceed its goals through dedication, perseverance and teamwork. Afterward, more than 400 faculty, staff and students took the opportunity to share their experiences, observations and insights as they visited more than a dozen stations lining the walls of Berger Hall.

Each station represented key academic and administrative areas of the university such as academics, business enterprises, facilities, partnerships, student success, sustainability and athletics. A station with a suggestion box marked “anything else” accepted ideas that couldn’t be clearly categorized.

Experts in the administrative areas staffed the stations to engage the participants and to present specific information. Faculty and staff asked questions and shared ideas about the past and future of UCCS. Participants wrote down and submitted ideas as part of the process to determine what campus units should be kept, discarded or created in the future. Thousands of index cards with handwritten suggestions filled tabletop boxes, and will be compiled and shared with the groups responsible for drafting new unit-level plans as well as a campus vision.

To set the mood for the index-card toting audience, Bacon contributed a Goethe quotation, appropriately amended by Shockley-Zalabak to address modern times.

“Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men,” she said, with “and women, too” added to the statement.

For Burnett, an architectural rendering that highlighted the 2007-2012 UCCS strategic plan illustrates why UCCS must embark on a new plan for its future.

“What was looking to the future is now done and is being used every day,” Burnett said, displaying an artist’s early conception of the Osborne Center for Science and Engineering, along with a photograph of the university’s largest and most expensive building, now reality.

The suggestions will become part of a strategic plan designed to guide UCCS through 2020. More all-campus updates will be presented as the process continues, with the goal of submission to the CU Board of Regents in early spring 2012.