Published: Oct. 26, 2017

Alumni Association Board

Intro by Emily CoBabe-Ammann

  • Intro on teaching and research visioning
  • Laying out of fall work
  • Role of Committee and Report

Q. What role can interested alumni play and how can we participate in this effort?

A.  Your voice is important – we have heard comments about better utilizing our alumni in almost every conversation.  You can participate in several ways, such as:

- Attend the thematic meetings – they are listed on the website (some of you already are).

- Visit the Academic Futures website and submit comments, ideas, and white papers where you want to add to the discussion.

- As business leaders, engage in areas that impact the success of our students, such as how to expand our research portfolio, how to identify and utilize more internship opportunities.

Q. As business leaders, we find that students do not always have the skills that we need them to have when they graduate.  How and where can we engage to help drive the outcomes needed for success?

A.  One good place to start is the Office of Industry Collaborations – this is a concierge service for industries who want to work with CU.  Once a relationship is established, OIC gathers input from potential employers on what they need to see, and then pass that information on to the campus departments and institutes for alignment.  We continue to hear that employers want students with a liberal arts foundation.  That said, we also know that in some cases the traditional approach does not always meet employers’ needs.

Q. What is the current level of focus on technology, especially as it relates to the changing landscape for jobs?

A.  We have heard from industry that they want students to be more than just adaptable. They want students who are intellectually flexible given that current jobs may go away and new jobs will appear.  In that case, it does not matter what jobs are created 10 years from now – if the students are intellectually flexible, curious, and have been able to build on a deep practice of hard work, they will be successful.

Comment: We want CU to remain a strong liberal arts institution.  We want to see that students don’t just graduate with skills that make them a good employee, but also a good citizen.  They need to be prepared for corporate culture and all that comes with that, including issues around diversity and harassment.  We want them to have cultural competence, and yet be empowered to create a new culture within their organizations.

Q. What is coming out of the conversations outside of the classroom from the student affairs side?

A. Academic advising and student affairs is showing up at many of the sessions.  One topic that is emerging is the need for a coordinated approach to student support and basing it on research-based practices.

Comment: As a business owner and recruiter, I am noticing that students do now have the skillsets to contribute up front, and we have to teach new hires many skills, especially cross-functional and interdisciplinary skills.

Q. One of the Colorado Creed bullet points is respecting the rights of others.  How are you blending this with the academics?

A.  Inclusive Excellence is a campus-level strategic initiative that has been underway for approximately 2 years. The focus is how to build inclusiveness into the culture, and coordinate and connect with other units around best practices. 

Q. With the changing demographics, there are studies that show in 10 to 15 years there will be a smaller student population, leading to more universities than there are students to fill them.  How will CU maintain their student population?

A. We recognize that we need to differentiate ourselves from other R1 universities, and the answer in part changes based on the unit level.  Some units currently turn away a significant number of applicants, so if there are fewer applicants, it is unlikely that they will be affected. Other units, however, have already started to raise this issue and are beginning those conversations.

Comment:  We are and extremely engaged group of alumni from all backgrounds and across the country.  We would like to help in any way we can.