Published: Feb. 28, 2018

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

The most difficult question in any endeavor, particularly those that involve large organizations, is “what does success look like?” It is certainly true in the case of Academic Futures, and it is the immediate question facing the Academic Futures Committee.

In two weeks, the campus will hear from members of the committee at the chancellor’s Spring Town Hall. People will have a chance to ask questions of the committee and get a real sense of how the committee is assembling and thinking about the ideas put forward by the campus.

Down the road, the committee has a unique challenge: offering to the campus not simply a narrative that says, “Okay, here’s what we heard,” but also a fairly detailed sketch of what success might look like for many of the transformative ideas presented.

Eventually, that sketch will become a rich and robust picture, arising from our campus conversations and informed by our campus data, as well as educational research and models from our peers. It is a picture of what success is at CU Boulder—how it would affect the campus and its communities, how it transforms our campus culture and how it moves our educational and research missions forward.

Importantly, the committee’s work won’t give us a how roadmap for creating success—that’s for phase two of Academic Futures and begins next fall after the report is submitted to the provost, the senior vice chancellor and the chancellor. But the what the committee will put forward will give us a vision of detailed, transformative ideas and how they could work on our campus.

That’s a picture all of us would like to see!

Note to readers: In the weeks to come, "Notes from a great conversation" will feature short pieces by members of the Academic Futures Committee that will preview some of the ideas and issues the committee is considering and give a glimpse into how the committee is thinking about those ideas and issues.  

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