As you know, one of our campus’ main strategic initiatives is to increase the retention of our students, particularly those transitioning from their first to second year. Through the hard, collaborative work of our faculty and staff we have increased our retention of first-year students from 84 percent in the fall of 2014 to 87 percent this year. Congratulations to our students and the campus community that has made this a reality. This is a great step on our journey to improve overall graduation rates - making sure our students achieve their goals in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Key to increasing retention of our students is creating a place that is inclusive and inspiring – not just for students, but for faculty and staff. This should be a place that we all enjoy coming to each day, where we feel we are making a difference in the lives of our students and where we have a positive impact on our community and the world.
Students will be more successful and return to a campus that is not only welcoming, but an engaging place to be, where it is clear the faculty and staff enjoy working there and feel a bond to their university community. One of the true joys of working in higher education is the feeling of connection to something larger and being at the forefront of addressing the humanitarian, social and technological challenges our world is facing. Feeling valued while cherishing being a part of something bigger, can make our experiences at CU Boulder life-changing.
Creating this connection takes daily effort from each of us. I am challenging everyone in our campus community to think every day about what we can each do to create an environment where those around us – faculty, staff and students – feel inspired, connected and welcome.
This conscious effort to connect and contribute will reward all of us with a community that we’re excited to be a part of everyday – where world-class innovation is paired with pride and respect. Join me in creating this community, and I invite you to share examples of people who are making CU Boulder a better place by emailing me at email@example.com. Let’s celebrate the positive impacts our faculty, staff and students are making on campus, and beyond.
Philip P. DiStefano,