Faculty Council discusses online education, strategic planning with President Kennedy

Regent Smith also attended meeting at 1800 Grant St.

Faculty members are eager to provide input to university leadership as CU continues to pursue answers to questions about the future of online education across the system.

That was the message communicated to President Mark Kennedy by members of the Faculty Council during the governance group’s Sept. 26 meeting at 1800 Grant St.

Faculty Council Chair Joanne Addison said faculty are “frustrated we weren’t included from the start” when the university in August requested proposals from external firms to assess CU’s current online education capabilities and opportunities.

“I feel like we need to turn this ship together if we’re going to turn it,” she said.

“I think we all have a lot of questions,” Kennedy told the council. “We’re going to be asking a consultant, what should we expect in terms of digital consolidation in online education?”

The August request for proposals (RFP) seeks a consultant capable of gauging CU’s current online education capabilities, reviewing national and regional markets, assessing the competitive environment, and articulating successful operating structures.

As leadership nears a decision on a successful RFP, Faculty Council was invited to provide input; chairs of campus-based Faculty Assemblies are expected to provide names to leadership next week.

Kennedy also updated the council on progress on the university’s strategic plan, which receives an official kickoff today at CU South Denver. Faculty members are included on the working groups that will focus on key areas of the plan; invitations to take part in those groups were being extended to individuals last week. Along with strategic planning co-chairs Sharon Matusik, dean of the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder, and Todd Saliman, system vice president for finance and chief financial officer, Kennedy said he plans to provide updates at each Faculty Council meeting in the coming year.

Also at last week’s Faculty Council meeting, Regent Lesley Smith attended to discuss her interest in emphasizing sustainability across the system. Because next year is the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, she requested a panel discussion on sustainability. It’s set for the next University Affairs Committee meeting, 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 18 at 1800 Grant St.