The foundation for CU’s strategic planning process, which will engage the university community over the next year, is being set. Pre-planning, listening and preparation for the effort have been underway since early July, when Mark Kennedy assumed his position as CU president.
“The University of Colorado has risen to the ranks of the nation’s top university systems due to its long track record of adapting to an ever-changing economic and social landscape,” Kennedy said. “Yet demand for bachelor’s and graduate degrees is expected to outpace supply as our world moves toward the fourth industrial revolution, a fusion of technologies that blurs the lines between the physical, biological and digital spheres, fundamentally changing how we live, work and relate.
“To be a leader in that change, we must focus our energies, efforts and resources,” he said. “The strategic plan will be the vehicle that allows us to do so.”
Kennedy appointed co-chairs to guide the effort, Sharon Matusik, dean of the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder, and Todd Saliman, system vice president for finance and chief financial officer. A steering committee comprises the four campus chancellors. The project manager will be Angelique Foster, assistant vice president of strategic initiatives.
The planning process has several objectives that emerged from the Board of Regents summer retreat: to address the challenges of the future; to be collaborative, with input from across the university community; to be data driven; and to be actionable and implementable. The effort also reviewed campus strategic plans for commonalities and alignment.
Initial conversations with regents, chancellors, shared governance groups and others are taking place, and more will happen in the coming weeks and months.
The goal is to develop a framework for the planning process to present to the Board of Regents at its meeting in mid-September. After further input and discussion, the process is expected to begin in earnest later in the fall.
Related, CU will engage external consulting firms in the coming weeks to address two areas that are expected to overlap with the strategic plan. The first will assess CU’s enterprise-wide technology landscape. It will look at the university’s major applications, data, infrastructure and processes and recommend opportunities to improve the university’s technology approach now and in the future. Technology enablement is expected to underpin and advance many elements of the strategic plan, both as it relates to student success and to university systems.
The second will deal with online education. It aims to gauge CU’s current capabilities, review national and regional markets, assess the competitive environment, and articulate successful operating structures.