Staff members play vital role in CU’s future sustainability

Boulder Campus Staff Council reports on discussion with DiStefano
By Staff
Boulder Campus Staff Council members at a past Legislative Day at the Capitol.

Boulder Campus Staff Council members at a past Legislative Day at the Capitol.

On Jan. 8, Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Boulder Campus Staff Council discussed ways in which all staff can help our campus move forward in these uncertain times. The chancellor outlined three major areas: student success, financial stabilization and enhanced reputation. He provided details on the practical steps already put into place by the campus in order to meet specified goals for each of the three major areas:

Student success: Over a six-year period, CU wants to increase student graduation rates from 67 percent to 80 percent, which would be one of the world’s best graduation rates. This would enhance CU’s reputation and help justify student investment by providing graduates with greater opportunity. Working towards this goal, CU has upgraded academic advising, created an Esteemed Scholars Program to recruit top Colorado students, promoted high-quality internships, and increased access to top research facilities. Last fall’s Chancellor’s State of the Campus address mentions additional programs.

Financial stability: CU wants to obtain new funding sources from the private sector and further develop its traditional sources of funding from research, alumni, endowment and royalties. The chancellor noted that Colorado state funding is not a viable source for increased funding. Dr. DiStefano outlined the steps that CU has taken recently to build partnerships with companies, reorganize the CU foundation, and set additional goals for achieving financial stability. Also, he explained the role of process improvement that is helping campus staff do their jobs more efficiently by removing the headaches of unwanted bureaucracy. Each of these steps has a specific target goal that when reached, improves our financial stability.

Enhanced reputation: Chancellor DiStefano began discussion of this major area with the surprising revelation that CU Boulder has a better reputation outside our state than within it. So how should CU build on its local reputation? All staff could take some time to learn about our campus’s accomplishments and share this information with their families, friends, and legislative representatives (on non-work time using non-work resources). CU Advocates  is a great resource for the information about CU and events like CU Day at the Capitol. Let people know that you work here and why!

In addition to the three major areas identified by the chancellor, Boulder Staff Council has talked about a fourth area, employee engagement, that was expressed very well by Paul Chinowsky, Boulder Faculty Assembly Chair. Professor Chinowsky wrote about employee engagement from a faculty perspective; however, if CU is to achieve its goals for student success, financial stability and reputation, all employees need to work together to overcome obstacles. As Gallup and McKinsey studies of successful companies have demonstrated, employee engagement is crucial to an organization’s performance. Coincidentally, their results indicated that employee engagement also increases personal job satisfaction. A nice win-win situation for both CU and its staff!

In light of CU’s three major goal areas and also Paul Chinowsky’s call for employee engagement, Staff Council would like you to let us know what is working well within your department to achieve our campus goals, and to improve employee engagement. Also, let us know if there is a policy or process bottleneck that prevents your department from achieving the above goals. Staff Council would like to write articles highlighting the positives and would like to research the negatives to see if we can help fix them. Please send comments to

Click here for more about Staff Council and learn how you can participate in committee work.

- Submitted by Boulder Campus Staff Council