Published: Oct. 18, 2017

At the midpoint of the fall semester and Phase I of Academic Futures: Rethinking the university—the futures of learning and discovery, we wanted to share with you a little bit about the scope and substance of what we’ve seen and heard so far.

Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs Jeff Cox
Vice Provost and AVC for Faculty Affairs and Convener of the Academic Futures Campus Conversation Jeff Cox

Research & Innovation Office Grand Challenge Director of Strategic Projects Emily Cobabe-Ammann
RIO Director of Strategic Projects and Facilitator of the Academic Futures Campus Conversation Emily CoBabe-Ammann

First, we’d like to thank Chancellor Phil DiStefano, who gave a shout-out to the campus’s work in yesterday’s State of the Campus address when he pinpointed what is stake in the Academic Futures process:

CU Boulder’s core mission is to educate students and engage in cutting-edge scholarship and creative work, research and discovery. But how will our students learn five, 10 or 20 years from now? How will we teach them? And how will we discover new knowledge? We want to draw on the experiences of all of you—faculty, staff and students—in creating a future academic vision for our university.”

Drawing on those experiences is what the Academic Futures visioning process has been designed to do. It’s an extensive process. Since Sept. 11, we have convened six town halls, 38 departmental meetings and 12 themed discussions. Counting this week’s combined departmental and themed sessions, we have 28 departmental meetings scheduled for the remainder of the semester and approximately 35 themed discussions scheduled from the remainder of this week through Nov. 14.

To help you plan ahead and facilitate attendance, we will post the full list of the themed conversations through the end of that conversation cycle on the Events tab of the Academic Futures homepage by early Thursday.

You can also check the Academic Futures update in Thursday’s CU Boulder Today email editions to take you to the full schedule. Note that, as we move closer to the themed conversation dates, we will be more specific about the precise scope of topics and discussion formats.

For now, the numbers are impressive, but the results more so. As we engage in unit-based discussions (convened by Jeff) and campus-wide themed discussions (facilitated and captured by Emily), we are seeing growing turnouts, inspired ideas and increasing interest in the process of Academic Futures. We have also received nine white papers (please note: these are being prepared for use by screen-reader users according to the campus’s digital accessibility policy and should be posted in the next several days).

To get an idea of what is being said, we invite you to visit the What We’re Hearing page to see what your friends, colleagues, fellow students and co-workers are contributing to the process.

We invite you to join the conversation!

Jeff Cox,
Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs
Convener of the Academic Futures Campus Conversation

Emily CoBabe-Ammann,
Director of Strategic Projects for the Research & Innovation Office
Facilitator of the Academic Futures Campus Conversation