The University of Colorado Board of Regents began the process of setting broad goals for the university at its mid-winter retreat late last week at President Bruce Benson’s ranch in Silverthorne.
Board Chairman Michael Carrigan said the aim is to coordinate larger, systemwide goals with campus strategic plans to better serve the people of Colorado and beyond.
The session was facilitated by Dr. Ellen Chaffee, a senior fellow with the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities.
“A system plan has to identify the things the system does best and help the people of Colorado have an integrated understanding of the university,” she said.
The board identified six broad areas as priorities: student success, diversity, advancing Colorado’s economy, reputation, advancing the health of Colorado and beyond, and fiscal stability. In the coming weeks and months, the board will work with university leadership and others to turn the priority areas into goals. The goals would complement the board’s already established mission statement and guiding principles.
Board members indicated they want to end up with a formal set of goals they adopt, which would be accompanied by metrics and timelines. Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathleen Bollard suggested the board consider using some of the many internal and external metrics now in place, such as the state’s performance contract with the university and metrics from campus strategic plans. Board members agreed, and asked the administration to inventory existing metrics.
The board will continue to refine the priority areas at its meetings in February and March, with an eye on turning them into actionable goals by the summer. Carrigan said the discussions, which will include the university community, will continue through the spring. The board hopes to have goals solidified by early summer.
“We believe this process will give us all a better sense of direction and will help us meet our mission to the people of Colorado,” Carrigan said.