Strategic vision on horizon for Board of Regents

Leadership will engage faculty, staff, students in defining themes

The CU Board of Regents is proceeding with the development of a strategic vision, a new statement and document that would articulate the collective goals and qualities of the University of Colorado and its campuses.

Regent Linda Shoemaker, part of the board’s Strategic Planning Committee, presented an update on the strategic vision process to fellow board members at the Nov. 10 meeting at 1800 Grant St.

The effort will include the development of a systemwide vision statement meant to define CU’s future. A high-level document would further provide a statement of the university’s commitments and value to the state, and identify the key initiatives that set CU apart from other institutions.

“I see it as a pretty exciting fundraising document, for one thing, to show what the entire system looks like and how we interact and collaborate together,” Shoemaker said.

She emphasized that the vision is not a strategic plan, and it would not supplant strategic plans in place at the campuses.

“The most important thing about the strategic vision is, it needs to be agreed to by all of us – by all campuses, all of the Board of Regents and leadership,” Shoemaker said. “I see it as a helpful team-building exercise for the Board of Regents. … I think this is going to be exciting for the campuses and the regents.”

The committee will next develop a timeline for the vision process and suggested themes. Early next year, conversations will take place on the campuses. Shoemaker said chancellors will be asked to assemble groups of faculty, staff and students to engage in refining the vision themes.

After vision development in March, regents and stakeholders would provide review and final comment next spring and summer, with the board discussing and completing the vision at its July retreat.

In other business at the Nov. 10 meeting:

  • The board unanimously approved a resolution, introduced by Regent John Carson, stating that CU “endorses and affirms the principles of academic freedom,” and that faculty only can meet their responsibilities “when they have confidence that their work will be judged on its merits alone, and not on extrinsic considerations such as political, social, or religious views, or views concerning departmental or university operation or administration.”
  • Highlights of CU’s commitment to student financial aid were presented by Todd Saliman, vice president and chief financial officer. He noted a low student default rate – 3.4 percent for CU students, which is 8 percent lower than the state and national averages – and a 10.9 percent increase in institutional financial aid in the current fiscal year, illustrating “incredible improvements we’ve made in institutional aid over the past decade.”
  • Saliman also detailed Gov. John Hickenlooper’s proposed state budget for 2017-18, which recommends a $20.5 million increase for higher education.
  • An upcoming design and renovation of the Fifth Floor West in Building 500 at CU Anschutz received the board’s approval. The space now occupied by the University of Colorado Hospital’s Office of Information Technology will house CU Innovations, University Counsel and the CU Denver l Anschutz Medical Campus Graduate School dean’s office.
  • The board approved a new master’s degree in organizational leadership, a fully online professional degree at CU Boulder (read more in CU Boulder Today). Regents also approved proposals from CU Denver to split the master’s in applied mathematics into two degrees, and to split the bachelor’s in education and human development into two degrees.
  • A passing-of-the-gavel ceremony marked the end of Regent Kyle Hybl’s two years as chair and the beginning of Regent Irene Griego’s tenure in the role. The board also passed resolutions recognizing two board members concluding two six-year terms each: past chairs Steve Bosley and Michael Carrigan, who were named Regents Emeriti and Board Chairs Emeriti. The board’s January retreat and Feb. 16-17 meeting at CU Boulder will be the first to include newly elected members Heidi Ganahl and Jack Kroll.
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