IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Q&A with Flagship 2030 task force chair Anne Heinz
As the University of Colorado at Boulder progresses with the Flagship 2030 Strategic Plan and positioning as one of the nation's leading public research universities, campus leaders will take the next step by reviewing the final reports presented in September by the nine task forces. Nearly one year after the Board of Regents formally adopted the strategic plan, the task force reports and recommendations will now be used to help develop the appropriate strategies for implementing the plan’s 18 initiatives. The reports can be viewed online at the Flagship 2030 Implementation website. Inside CU concludes this series with Anne Heinz, chair of the outreach and engagement task force.
The outreach and engagement task force focused on the core initiative ‘Serving Colorado, the Community and our Graduates’ and its charge to develop a coordinated, targeted and expanded plan for outreach, engagement and lifelong learning. Task force members reviewed over 70 summaries of interviews with community and opinion leaders in 16 Colorado communities. Members of the task force met with various constituent groups and reviewed programs at peer institutions.
As a result of its deliberations, the task force advocated a model of outreach and engagement that builds on the existing strength of its outreach programs, complements and extends CU-Boulder’s role and mission as Colorado’s flagship institution and fosters mutually beneficial relationships between the university and community groups. Recommendations for the role and participation of its faculty, staff and students are provided in the final report.
How do your duties as a task force chair fit in with your background and current position at CU?
The work of the task force complemented my role as dean of Continuing Education and Professional Studies. The mission of Continuing Education and Professional Studies is to provide quality, innovative, lifelong learning opportunities to a diverse student population by extending the educational resources of CU-Boulder. Our unit also provides administrative support and funding to the Outreach Committee that, in turn, supports and funds a wide array of outreach programs that highlight CU-Boulder’s faculty research, creative work and teaching.
What inspires and challenges you in creating and meeting your task force goals?
The enormous talent of our faculty, staff and students is our most precious resource. We have an obligation to serve our primary on-campus student population, but there are ways in which we can leverage our resources to serve external groups and the larger public good. The challenge is to do so in a way that doesn’t exhaust our resources or diminish our role as a comprehensive research university.
If you could envision anything for the future of higher education, what would be your greatest aspirations?
Higher education provides possibility – both the possibility and the opportunity to lead fuller, richer, meaningful lives. The chairs of the other task forces spoke to the varying purposes and constituents that we serve. Increasingly, without appropriate support, public higher education is threatened to become a private rather than a public good. We need to help our constituencies understand and appreciate the many ways our higher education institutions foster learning, growth, productivity and democracy in our society. The possibilities of higher education should be accessible to all those who have the interest and the ability, irrespective of the social or economic barriers that they face.
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