The status of President Mark Kennedy’s strategic plan and the implementation of LinkedIn Learning were discussion highlights of the first official meeting of the academic year of the University of Colorado Staff Council (UCSC) on Sept. 19 at CU Denver.
Angelique Foster, assistant vice president of strategic initiatives, provided an overview of the President’s Strategic Plan process, which is currently in the first of four phases of development. During the past several weeks, the draft plan, titled “Leaning Into the Future,” has been shared with governance groups, including the CU Board of Regents.
The plan intends to align system administration, the four campuses and the regents as the university faces upcoming challenges, especially uncertain funding from the state and technological changes. The plan, now in the listening phase, contains three focus areas: affordably educate, which includes issues such as graduation and retention rates, diversity, and academic innovation; discovery and impact, which looks at creative work and health care; and fiscal strength, which encompasses technology, infrastructure and collaboration.
Foster said working groups, which will include university staff members, will be formed during the first week of October to help determine the scope of the focus areas and begin to define specific, measurable objectives.
UCSC members provided feedback on the draft plan, which they said is heavily focused on finances and doesn’t address diversity and inclusion except in the education area.
Foster said feedback from meetings with governance groups currently is being reviewed. She noted that the strategic focus areas are overarching and that working groups will be tasked with identifying long-term outcomes of the plan.
In the coming weeks, Foster said, campus assemblies will be scheduled to engage other stakeholders and gather feedback on the plan as it moves forward in the process.
Council also heard about the implementation of an upgrade to LinkedIn Learning (LIL), formerly Lynda.com. Annie Melzer, project coordinator, Employee Learning and Development, said the free learning environment will be available in late September to university faculty, staff and students. It features more than 14,000 courses, led by expert instructors and teaching skills that help with career development.
Melzer’s presentation noted that the “shelf life of many skills is now less than five years. And roughly 35 percent of core job skills will change by 2020.”
LinkedIn Learning can be connected to a LinkedIn account, enabling the two sites to “communicate” so that learning recommendations can be provided to the user based on individual learning paths or previously viewed content.
In other business at last week’s meeting, council:
- Discussed pathways that would allow UCSC to have a more defined role in administrative candidate searches, specifically a presidential search. Under the current process, staff member names are submitted to the members of the Board of Regents leading the search, but there is no guarantee that a person on the submitted list will be assigned to the search committee. In contrast, in a vice presidential search, a staff representative must be selected from a submitted list of names.
- Learned that administration officials are continuing to look toward a solution for discrepancies in the tuition benefit across the campuses.
- Will begin updating the UCSC website, which will highlight meetings, events and staff resources.