Published: Sept. 2, 2015 By

dean shay at podium

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, Dean Robert Shay invited members of the College of Music community to Grusin Music Hall for a State of the College convocation.

The future is bright for music at the University of Colorado Boulder. And today, students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members have a clear vision of what that future holds.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, Dean Robert Shay invited members of the College of Music community to Grusin Music Hall for a State of the College convocation. Amid performances by new faculty members and a spirited game of Henry Purcell trivia, Shay offered his reflections on his first year as dean, and a glimpse of the College of Music Strategic Plan.

"As you may know, I came here after spending time at a conservatory of music and a large research university,” Shay told attendees. “Our college embodies the best of both conservatory and university programs.”

With faculty who are active in both performance and scholarship, students who are committed to mastering their craft, and alumni who are putting their skills to use not just in the music field but in myriad other career paths, Shay said the state of the college is strong.

He said the addition of four new faculty—Jennifer Hayghe, Jeremy Reger, David Requiro and Harumi Rhodes—and the generous gifts of Michele and Michael Ritter, Paul Eklund and Eugene D. Eaton, Jr., position the college as a leader among institutes of music.

“They will enable the college to obtain new heights of excellence. I believe a very special future awaits us.”

With all this in mind, Shay gave the first public peek at the college’s strategic plan. Months in the making, the plan began with a position paper Shay wrote in January, and was then focused through student and alumni discussion and faculty and staff task forces. What emerged was a shared vision supported by five main pillars:

  • The College of Music Advantage. Building on our rich history and substantial record of achievement, the college will increasingly define itself by the unique advantage it offers to its students.
  • Realizing Music’s Interdisciplinary Potential. Leveraging the resources on our campus and in the region, the college will form meaningful partnerships with other CU-Boulder colleges and schools—as well as external organizations—to identify new, well-structured areas of inquiry for students and faculty.
  • A National and International Leader. Participating fully in the mission of the University of Colorado Boulder, the college will position itself as an influential leader, significantly advancing the conversation about the relevance and importance of music in the 21st century.
  • Building a Robust Network of Partners. Recognizing that alliances and collaborations strengthen the College of Music community and create additional opportunities for students and faculty, the college will develop mutually beneficial relationships with a wide range of local, regional, national and international partners.
  • Promoting Diversity. Appreciating that music knows no boundaries defined by race or ethnicity, socioeconomic standing or other factors, the college will expand the diversity of its student body and faculty, and work to attract more international students.

Dean Shay closed with a challenge to everyone in the audience: to make this vision a reality by the time the College of Music celebrates its centennial in 2020. “Think of what the college is capable of achieving. Ask how our excellence can evolve into something even better in the future.”

Shay noted that the plan will continue to be honed and refined, with the help of students, alumni, faculty, staff, members of the Music Advisory Board and community members. “Through hard work and commitment, abundant creativity and the belief that we can all make a difference, we will achieve our goals.”