Published: April 9, 2021

Dear ENVD community,

As we embrace the new year and enter the halfway point of the spring semester, the Program in Environmental Design is building on its core values and strong foundation to develop the finest educational experience for students. With several initiatives underway, I want to update you on our main priorities for the remainder of the year. 

Strategic Planning 
Eight years ago, we embarked on a new era of Environmental Design by repositioning the Program back to our flagship campus to reinvigorate and redefine design education at CU Boulder. As we progress, we will undertake initiatives in strategic planning to continue the development of ENVD over the next five years. By the end of this year, we will answer the following key questions to establish a path for future growth and success.

  • Where do we want to be in the university?
  • What kind of graduate programs would we like to propose? 
  • How do we want to be perceived in five years? 

Learning Objectives 
In our efforts to ensure every student receives an education that prepares them for a career in the design profession, we will focus on the cohesive connection between courses and the integration of learning concepts and objectives.

  • We will revisit the ENVD learning curriculum to identify where gaps might exist so that we can reconnect the link between courses and learning objectives. 
  • As technology advances, external influences change and societal demands evolve, there is always room for improvement.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
As we have tuned in to different perspectives and faced difficult truths, we recognize the need for prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. In our efforts to align our actions with the overall university DEI initiative, we have established an internal committee to develop preliminary recommendations for ENVD.

Design Culture
The values of a community define that community. It defines the rules, written and unwritten, by which we all abide. ENVD will be reinforcing its values with the development of an explicit values message. The focus of this message will be that every member of the community is to be respected at all times and in all situations. There are no exceptions.

We will work to break down barriers within the design industry and a profession that has long been criticized for being an unwelcoming culture. While ENVD cannot change an entire profession, it can be a voice for change. We are committed to that voice.

COVID-19: Coping and Learning 
This past year has been like no other. It’s challenged us in new ways and we continue to adapt and innovate every single day. It’s taken all of us, working together, to overcome these uncertain times.

As plans for summer and fall are announced, we are hopeful for a more comprehensive on-campus experience for the fall semester. As you may have read in the Provost’s message on March 29, the fall 2021 semester will return to a more traditional in-person experience at CU Boulder, with a few continuing precautions. We will continue to update our students with our plans for the fall semester. 

Paul Chinowsky
ENVD Director