The CU Board of Regents last week received the first full academic year-end reporting look at progress toward meeting goals detailed in the system strategic plan. CU system Interim Chief Financial Officer Chad Marturano guided the board through the extensive assessment report at its summer retreat. The board had previously received mid-year reviews in November and February, with deep dives surrounding specific goals.
“This is the first year of having established goals and tracking progress toward them,” Marturano said.
He told the board the plan is fluid, with campuses and system adjusting goals as investments are made and, in some cases, as goals are reached. The report details baseline goal, progress toward goals and selected revisions.
“They all tie to what we have talked about over the past year,” Marturano said.
The regents reacted favorably toward the report, but some members said the progress report should be an ongoing topic of discussion and given the appropriate level of attention.
“We should take some time so we can be thoughtful and provide feedback. There’s enough detail and enough money spent on goals that we need to be thoughtful as a board,” said Regent Glen Gallegos.
“Are the goals high enough, are they aspirational?” Gallegos asked.
Regent Jack Kroll echoed the sentiment. “Are we really pushing ourselves, are we trying to run a mile in under four minutes or under eight?” he asked.
Gallegos also asked the administration and the board to place a sharper focus on diversity goals, which he said have not improved markedly in recent years.
“We don’t have a good track record with diversity; let’s have a plan,” Gallegos said.
CU President Todd Saliman agreed, saying that Colorado’s ranking of 45th nationally in state funding for higher education is not an excuse. And although investments are being made in the area, progress must be made.
“Where we are in terms of retention and graduation rates is not where we should be. That’s not acceptable,” Saliman said.
“We need to get results, that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “I would love nothing more than to overperform. It’s important for us to measure progress, but we want our real effort to go into achieving goals. We have to avoid paralysis-by-analysis.”