Published: Feb. 19, 2014

When Rick George was named the sixth Athletic Director in University of Colorado history last summer, one of his first projects he wanted to complete was the development of the athletic department’s first-ever comprehensive strategic plan, similar to ones he put in place at several of his previous stops.

After nearly four months of input, analysis and planning meetings that involved a broad group of individuals representing athletic staff, current student-athletes, alumni, donors and university representatives, George unveiled the strategic plan Wednesday morning to members of the Board of Regents’ Intercollegiate Athletics Committee at its meeting in Colorado Springs, well ahead of his original April 1 target date for completion.

George worked closely with Dr. Jeffrey Luftig, Associate Vice Chancellor for Process Innovation and the Director of CU’s Office for Performance Improvement, who oversees one of the unique departments in all of college academia. Luftig is considered an expert authority in the development of strategic plans, their formulation and the creation of metrics to measure their progress.

"The enthusiasm of the team assembled and led by Rick George and Emily Canova (CU's Assistant Director for Leadership Development) has been incredible,” Luftig said. “While the Athletics Program team is not the first to execute this process on the CU-Boulder campus, they have certainly been the most focused group I have worked with; completing the first phase of the policy deployment process in the shortest period of time of any unit to date."

The period for the strategic plan technically covers the 2014-15 through 2016-17 academic/athletic years, though the themes in the vision and mission are in the process of being identified right now.

The overall elements of the plan are core values, the department’s vision and mission, and value proposition. All must be concise, precise and measurable, with targets that are both aspirational yet obtainable.