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 Tuesday, March 13, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


It's time to get involved in the Flagship 2030 process
Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson

Revised March 22 to reflect date changes for the open forum and availability of the draft report.

The Flagship 2030 process is entering what is perhaps its most important phase, one in which the entire university community has an opportunity to provide input on the ideas conceptualized and developed by the more than 150 individuals who have been actively engaged in the process thus far. Specifically, we are asking each of you to comment on the first draft of a report prepared by the Flagship 2030 Steering Committee. When the draft becomes available May 4, I strongly encourage you, along with others in your departments, administrative units and/or organizations, to provide input and feedback on this initial draft, so that it will accurately reflect the input from the broader university community. In addition, I encourage you to attend the all University Open Forum on Flagship 2030 to be held on May 3, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in UMC 235.

When you read the draft report, you will notice that it does not yet include recommended action items or an action plan. This was done deliberately, in order to give each of you an opportunity to provide your thoughts and input on the initial content, so that it can be incorporated in the plan before the development of the preliminary action plans. Once we receive this input, we will develop a first complete draft of the Steering Committee Report with a preliminary action plan. This first complete draft will be available for your review in early May.

The discussions to date have been quite lively, and a number of significant questions have emerged about the future of our university. These include questions such as:

  • Will CU-Boulder remain a largely residential campus, and what will "residential" mean in the year 2030?
  • Given the rate at which information is being created and disseminated globally, what is it that we should be "teaching" our students?
  • How do we best prepare students to be employed by and perhaps more importantly to "create" the "Google of the future" and other companies or industries that do not yet exist?
  • How do we organize ourselves within the university to work more effectively in an increasingly interdisciplinary environment, particularly in currently expanding areas such as renewable energy, bioscience, and nanotechnology?
  • In relation to that, how do we work out faculty promotion and tenure issues in a broader interdisciplinary environment?
  • How do we best create a more entrepreneurial, flexible environment for the campus, one that responds to new issues with policies, processes, and an infrastructure that supports that environment?
  • What are the kinds of partnerships we will need with our local communities?
  • How can we best create a campus community that supports our desire to continue to excel as Colorado's flagship university?
  • How will we be able to assure our financial sustainability?

As I have discussed the Flagship 2030 initiative, I am frequently asked "Why is the Flagship 2030 project so important?" The answer really lies in three areas: First, people support things they understand and feel passionately about and hence, we must ensure that we have a clear direction and message for the University of Colorado; second, the recent actions of the President and the Board of Regents has given us much more latitude in the determination of our future directions—we can determine what kind of university we want to be; and third, as we embark on a new capital campaign designed to raise needed funds for university programs, a clear vision of the importance and impact of our university must be developed to help guide the priorities of the state.

Thanks to the work of the many individuals involved in the Flagship 2030 process—the Steering Committee, led by Provost Phil DiStefano and Senior Vice Chancellor Ric Porreca; the Core Contributors, who represent all facets of the university and state; and the more recent efforts to interview 75 "thought leaders" from around the state and nation—our plan for the future is moving forward. I am very pleased with the participation and input of our current students, alumni, faculty, staff and others from across the state and nation who have been actively involved in the process. I am especially delighted that some of our faculty and staff are submitting essays and position papers through which they can share their ideas and expertise. If you cannot attend the Steering Committee meetings or the Open Forums, I encourage you to visit the website and provide us with your perspectives on the future of this great university.

I realize that it may be a stretch to imagine and plan for the year 2030, yet one thing is certain: If we do not try to anticipate the needs of the students who will attend our university in 2030, many of whom have not yet been born, we will not be able to retain our position as one of the finest public universities in the country. If we tap into the wisdom of our entire university community, if all of you participate in this process and share your thoughts, ideas and dreams, we can develop an action plan today that will help us to create the type of university we aspire to be tomorrow.

Visit the Flagship 2030 website to read and respond to the Steering Committee's draft report, to submit essays, questions or comments, and to participate in the electronic discussion boards.

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