Faculty Council begins brainstorming for regents’ strategic vision

Regent Shoemaker discusses development of systemwide document, gathers input

Members of the CU Faculty Council last week were invited into an ongoing discussion about a new systemwide vision statement, which the Board of Regents hopes to vote on later this year.

Regent Linda Shoemaker chairs the board’s strategic planning committee, which first proposed the creation of a strategic vision. She attended the Jan. 26 Faculty Council meeting at 1800 Grant St., where she discussed the process and took notes during brainstorming with the council.

“We will be coming back to you throughout this process,” she told the council, which she called “an integral part” of the strategic vision development.

The discussion followed last month’s Board of Regents retreat, where regents discussed the matter with system and campus leadership. Shoemaker told the council that the vision statement will build on strategic plans already developed by the campuses without supplanting them.

“It’s a time where I and the other regents felt like it would be great to have a document that talks about, what are the common values of this University of Colorado system? Despite the fact that each campus is very distinctive and has a very important role within the system,” Shoemaker said.

“The only complaint I have about the existing mission and vision statements is, I think they’re a little generic. I would like what we come up with to be something special about Colorado and the University of Colorado system.”

Shoemaker said the state must be included in the statement “in a very big way.”

“We were one of the founding institutions for the state of Colorado and we share a culture with the state,” she said. “We graduate the most four-year students into Colorado. So there is a very close connection between the university and the values held by the state.”

Shoemaker also emphasized that the regents can’t come up with the vision independently of the campuses. “We need to build on what the campuses tell us.”

This month and next, the campuses will host what Shoemaker described as three-hour meetings where groups of faculty, staff and students – chosen by the respective chancellors – will discuss what they believe to be the core values across all CU campuses. They’ll also examine the differences.

During an informal brainstorm session, members of the Faculty Council mentioned a wide range of topics and themes: student empowerment, accessibility, intellectual integrity, public trust, global stewardship, community service, resiliency, endurance, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit – even kindness.

The winter meetings on the campuses will result in two-page summaries, which will form the basis for an early document. Stakeholder feedback will continue through the spring, with the regents aiming to vote on a final strategic vision at their July retreat.