By Published: Feb. 27, 2017

The College of Arts and Sciences will be embarking on a vital initiative this semester by undertaking a comprehensive strategic planning process. This is an important time for our college, with tremendous opportunities before us. Strategic planning will enable us to find ways to further strengthen our academic capacities, improve our academic quality, and position us for even greater successes.


Steven R. Leigh

About 10 years ago, our campus developed a comprehensive strategic plan, the Flagship 2030 Strategic Plan. That plan received national recognition for its ambition and boldness, and it has guided us well through the last decade. Importantly, Flagship 2030 has received continual attention from our campus, and this year, our campus has undertaken a significant updating. For example, the campus is placing strategic emphases on shaping tomorrow's leaders, being the top university for innovation, and seeking ways to help humanity. With these notions in mind, the college has a unique opportunity to pursue its own planning process to help guide us into the future. 

In addition to the recent evolution of Flagship 2030 at the campus level, the College of Arts and Sciences recently revised its core curriculum. Strategic planning in the college will help us make the most out of our new curriculum, helping us advance our overall academic mission, both in research and education. 

Several guiding strategic themes have already emerged as we begin this process. We have opportunities to lead nationally with our research prominence across a remarkable breadth of academic disciplines. Similarly, we need to take advantage of our collaborative abilities to break new paths in emerging interdisciplinary fields. Indeed, we have opportunities to define these new fields. We also have a significant international presence and expertise, providing pathways for the college to lead the campus, the CU system, state government and industry in forging international collaborations and increasing our global impact. 

In addition to examining ways in which we can accelerate our academic achievements, the process will address issues such as how we can deliver a top-quality education at undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels. We must be able to recruit the world's top students at all levels, contributing significantly to the state and nation by educating future generations of citizens. We need to support both research and educational missions through better infrastructure. We expect to undertake a broad and visionary renewal of buildings in the college to position us for the next 150 years of academic accomplishment. Finally, we should seek to enhance the ways in which we contribute directly to the artistic, economic, social and cultural vitality of our state and region. 

The effort represents a collaboration between the college and our college faculty governance body, the Arts and Sciences Council, which is composed of faculty from all of our academic units. The committee will be chaired by highly accomplished political scientist Dr. David Brown, chair of our Political Sciences Department, who will be joined by representatives from across the college, including faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students. I invite all those with ties to the College of Arts and Sciences to provide input for and engage with this important process so that we cast the broadest net possible for ideas from the tremendous talent pool on our campus and beyond, ultimately setting a firm foundation for attaining even loftier goals for our future.