IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Q&A with Flagship 2030 task force chair Fred Pampel
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, nine task forces representing key components of the university have been formed in order to help develop strategies for implementing the 18 initiatives outlined in the plan. The task force reports will be submitted in the fall of 2008. Meet Fred Pampel, chair of the enrollment task force.
Among many things, the Flagship 2030 goals call for an increase in the graduate student population from the current 15 percent of total enrollment to 20 percent—a level common among other top research universities. This change also involves a greater emphasis on recruiting, master’s degrees and graduate student support. At the undergraduate level, the goals call for a modest rate of growth that ensures acceptance of a percentage of Colorado high school graduates that is consistent with the past. The enrollment task force is charged with developing a plan to implement these goals.
How do your duties as a task force chair fit in with your background and current position at CU?
I’m a professor of sociology with special interests in demography and social statistics. While serving previously as associate vice chancellor for research (2004-2006) and more recently as an associate in the graduate school, I used my research skills to examine data on enrollment levels, research funding and capacity for growth. I also gained some knowledge of the different needs and strengths of departments across campus. Given this background, working on the enrollment task force seemed a good fit. It also gave me the opportunity to work with and learn from Lou McClelland, the co-chair of our task force and director of institutional analysis.
What inspires and challenges you in creating and meeting your task force goals?
I see questions about the size of the undergraduate and graduate populations at CU-Boulder as crucial to the kind of university we want to have. It is inspiring to be part of a process to answer these questions and it is challenging to deal with the diverse views of faculty across campus. I hope the enrollment task force report can contribute to forging a consensus on our goals for the next decades.
If you could envision anything for the future of higher education, what would be your greatest aspirations?
I honestly don’t think in those terms—I tend to focus more on immediate issues and concrete tasks to get done. However, I am impressed by the group that developed the Flagship 2030 goals. These goals show a timely vision for CU-Boulder and higher education.
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