Shaping the New Flagship

In 2006, the University of Colorado at Boulder began a strategic planning process called Flagship 2030: Serving Colorado, Engaged in the World that is profoundly changing the face and future of the university. Hundreds of constituents joined in the planning process, bringing to the table a broad range of ideas, perspectives, and recommendations. Flagship 2030's long planning horizon—upwards of a quarter-century—was chosen deliberately to encourage creative thinking about the university's potential, moving the conversation beyond the immediate concerns of today. The resulting initiatives are ambitious and challenging—and they have captured the imagination of the university community and its stakeholders. Flagship 2030 has begun to position the university as a model for the new flagship university of the 21st century. Despite a difficult economic climate in recent years, CU-Boulder continues to make progress toward that goal.

As the university began preparations for the 2010 NCA re-accreditation process, it became clear that Flagship 2030 would necessarily frame the discussion about where the university is and where it is going. It also appears that this self-study process can have a reciprocal influence on Flagship 2030. In many ways, the strategic planning process formed the basis for the self-examination and contemplation of the university's future that would shape the self-study report.

In June 2008, a five-member planning board was formed to provide overall direction for the re-accreditation process. Co-chairs of the board are former Provost and now Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer Ric Porreca. Other members include Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Project Coordinator Mary Jo White, Director of Institutional Analysis Lou McClelland, and Consultant/Writer Pauline Hale. 

The Self Study Process

To assist with the self-study process, subject matter experts were identified, including Associate Vice Chancellor Steve McNally, assisting with the budget and finance area; Associate Vice Chancellor Mike Grant, in the assessment of student learning outcomes; Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean Anne Heinz, for engagement and service; and Associate Vice Chancellor Michael Warden, for self-study communications. Others were Vice Chancellor Sallye McKee, for diversity, equity and community engagement; Interim Vice Chancellor Russ Moore, for research; Director Erika Smith, for budget and finance; Interim Dean John Stevenson, for graduate education; and Interim Provost Stein Sture, for academic affairs.

Later in the year, a 70-member steering committee was named to help with the preparation of the self-study and participate in the NCA Higher Learning Commission site team's visit in February 2010. The steering committee provided information, read and critiqued drafts, and helped educate the rest of the campus about re-accreditation. The steering committee included the planning board members, subject matter experts, vice chancellors, academic affairs associate vice chancellors, Flagship 2030 task force chairs, deans, governance group representatives (students, staff, and faculty), University of Colorado Foundation vice president for development, and other campus leaders.

The Self Study report is organized according to the five criteria established by the NCA Higher Learning Commission. In each of the criteria chapters, core components are addressed with relevant evidence. The report contains multiple web links to sites that provide additional information on specific topics. The self-study report is supplemented by numerous reports, catalogs, and other materials which are posted on this website's virtual resource room.