FROM THE CHANCELLOR
Flagship 2030 is already moving us forward
A strategic plan update
Our strategic plan for the future, Flagship 2030, is ready for action after nearly two years, countless forums and meetings and input from all of our constituents. Notable and unique to the University of Colorado at Boulder is the breadth of input into the strategic plan from the university community and stakeholders across the state.
At a summit in September, nine action task forces presented plans for implementation of the plan’s eight core and 10 transformational initiatives to the Council of Deans and the Chancellor’s senior leadership team.
Task forces on faculty, research, graduate education, undergraduate education, enrollment, budget, facilities, staffing and operation, and outreach did yeoman’s work over six intense months to produce the action plans. Their reports are posted online on the Implementation website. Now the campus leadership will evaluate the cost and feasibility of the plans and prioritize the initiatives for implementation.
We are moving from dialogue to action as we transition into Phase II of the process, yet discussion will continue and I expect this to be an evolving plan.
I was heartened to hear from the task force reports that money is not always the answer to achieving the 18 initiatives but rather university partnerships or realignment can be effective in some cases. Still, about $1 million has been set aside in the current fiscal year budget to be used for some of the recommendations.
Some of the initiatives will be implemented on a short time frame and others on a longer timeline. Some will be carried out campuswide and others will be initially executed at the school and college level.
Soon you’ll see Flagship 2030 living and breathing in everything we do from events and programs to buildings and budgeting. Indeed we are already seeing some of the Flagship 2030 concepts in action. One initiative is to add 300 new tenure and tenure-track positions over 10 years. We have budgeted 92 of those new tenure-track positions in the last three years.
Another key initiative is fulfillment of our Residential Academic Programs (RAP) − our concept of residential colleges. Today, Oct. 28, we will re-dedicate Arnett Hall as a Residential Academic Program for honors students. Two weeks ago I welcomed new students and parents to the Chancellor’s Leadership Residential Academic Program at Williams Village. We have 11 RAPs now and the undergraduate education task force recommends RAPs to be made available to all freshmen by 2015.
You can see Flagship 2030 too in the build out of East Campus as part of the “university villages” initiative. A week ago we announced a $2 million gift from alums Jeannie and Jack Thompson to fund the Vaccine Development Laboratory in the new Biotechnology Building. Construction of the new building on the East Campus will likely begin next summer. It is a cornerstone of our Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology, spearheading scientific and medical advances. Our new Geosciences Building approved by the Board of Regents in March will bring scattered programs, currently dispersed in 16 different buildings, under one roof. Both of these key research areas along with the CU Energy Initiative embody the Flagship 2030 goals of building on our excellent interdisciplinary research.
You can see evidence of the “global crossroads” initiative all around campus. Last month the Center for Asian Studies hosted a conference that drew more than 200 scholars from Europe, Asia and the Americas. Just last week the School of Law signed an agreement with the University of Alberta for a dual degree program.
Flagship 2030’s “research diamond” concept is inherent in the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, which continues to conceive successful new centers supported by private partners and in the aforementioned Colorado Initiative on Molecular Biotechnology. Another example is the $485 million Mars orbiter that will be designed by a CU-led team and built at Lockheed Martin, adding $200 million to the Colorado economy.
Other initiatives may have a longer incubation such as the idea of year-round learning. The faculty task force recommended that we instead focus on expanding pre-collegiate bridge programs and K-12 teacher development opportunities in the summer.
We have said all along that Flagship 2030 was not a plan we published to just gather dust on a shelf, but instead a plan of action that we constantly rely on to prepare the university and its students for education and advancement over the next 20 years. It is at the heart of our fundraising and is a key to our re-accreditation in 2010.
The vision from CU-Boulder’s statutory mission states: “To lead in learning, research, teaching and service to benefit and enhance the quality of life for the people of Colorado.”
Flagship 2030 embodies that statutory vision and has one of its own: We “will become a leading model of the ‘new flagship university’ of the 21st century by redefining learning and discovery in a global context and setting new standards in education, research, scholarship and creative work that will benefit Colorado and the world.”
Flagship 2030 is now a plan in motion and it is already speeding us ahead. It articulates the challenges that a national comprehensive interdisciplinary research university like CU-Boulder is prepared to take on. The people of Colorado expect it of us and thanks to your support, we are responding.
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