With the new academic year underway and recognizing that what we do at Leeds and how we manage our academic programs and our culture also affects the university as a whole, I write to give you an update and address some of the issues you may have been hearing and reading about.
Leeds faculty and staff are proud of the strides that have been made in recent years. On the one hand, student quality is up, diversity (as measured by the percentage of students of color) has risen, faculty members are now offering new, state-of-the-art curricula, and national recognition of the research carried out by Leeds faculty is growing. Student advising and career placement programs are showing positive results. And of special relevance campus-wide, Leeds now offers a business minor with nearly 900 students enrolled.
Still, we have much to do. High among these priorities is to strengthen our collegiality and assess the culture which is at the heart and soul of our academic community. Over the last several months, I received feedback along many dimensions. I am hearing that overall, the climate at Leeds falls short of where it needs to be, particularly if we are to become a top business school which we aspire to be. Our goal is to embrace fully the principles of inclusive excellence that are a core priority for this campus and for our school.
As the Dean of Leeds, I am committed to working with our faculty, staff and students to create and support an environment in which all can thrive. Last fall, we began to seek ways to create a more inclusive, diverse and open culture. This remains a high priority. More recently, a steering committee on culture comprised of faculty and staff was formed to develop actionable recommendations. Personally, I have begun increasing avenues for dialogue by expanding office hours and creating opportunities for faculty, staff and students to share their observations on how Leeds can improve. We will also engage outside professionals to identify ways in which we can improve our climate and build a more collegial and equitable culture. With regard to hiring, special attention will be given to issues of diversity and gender equity to assure that we inclusively engage applicants from all backgrounds as we look for the best talent to join Leeds.
Thank you for this opportunity to share these thoughts. I look forward to embracing this road ahead, yet I also know that other units on campus may face or have faced some of these same challenges. As you identify successful strategies, policies and approaches that hold promise, I hope you will share those with me as we join together to help CU Boulder become the very best.
Leeds School of Business