Published: Sept. 13, 2019

At its regular meeting on Thursday and Friday at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, the University of Colorado Board of Regents heard preliminary enrollment numbers for the four campuses; received an update on the CU system strategic plan, awarded four CU Boulder faculty members the appointment of distinguished professor, and more.

Enrollment update

The board heard an initial report on the preliminary enrollment estimates for this semester that enrollment is up an estimated 3.3 percent overall at CU Boulder, with strong enrollment growth in graduate programs, up 2.8 percent from last year. Other highlights include:

  • CU Boulder’s incoming freshman class for fall 2019 is very diverse, with 28 percent identifying as students of color, 49 percent women (an all-time high) and 16 percent first-generation scholars.

  • Colorado families are recognizing the value of a CU Boulder education and are benefitting from the affordability measures the university has put into place in recent years.

Final numbers will be released in late September once a census is conducted.

CU System strategic plan

President Mark Kennedy, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Todd Saliman and Dean and Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business Sharon Matusik presented to the board on the overall structure of the strategic planning process. The presentation included the broad themes of strategic planning, how the committees will be set up and what the overall timeline will be. Dean Matusik is one of the co-chairs for this system-wide effort. 

The plan is divided into the following strategic pillars and focus groups:

  • Affordably Educate

    • Graduation rates and retention

    • Diversity and access

    • Wellness and mental health

    • Innovation in academic offerings

  • Discovery and Impact

    • Scholarly/creative work and graduate programs

    • Healthcare

  • Fiscal Strength

    • Technology enablement and infrastructure

    • Expand collaborations and partnerships

    • Facilities and deferred maintenance

Members of the board broke into working groups with system vice presidents and campus chancellors for discussion of the planning approach. There was consensus among the groups to proceed with the strategic planning process as described in the presentation.

Distinguished professors

The board unanimously voted to award four CU Boulder faculty members the university’s highest faculty honor, appointment as distinguished professor. The CU Boulder honorees are:  

  • Professor Min Han, Ph.D., Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology

  • Professor David Korevaar, DMA, Piano, College of Music

  • Professor Carole Newlands, Ph.D., Classics

  • Professor Mark C. Serreze, Ph.D., Geography

Distinguished professors are honored for demonstrating exemplary performance in research or creative work, a record of excellence in classroom teaching and supervision of individual learning and outstanding service to the profession. Read more about the CU Boulder distinguished professors.

Academic program prioritization

Through Academic Program Review, mandated by the Board of Regents since 1980, campuses are tasked with internally reviewing all academic programs every seven years. In 2013, the board directed each of the campuses to develop its own academic prioritization rubric to provide insights into how effectively individual academic and administrative units contribute to the university’s mission to inform resource prioritization decisions. Since that time, CU Boulder has conducted this exercise annually and has coordinated the findings of academic prioritization with the work of the provost’s Academic Review and Planning Advisory Committee (ARPAC).

Academic prioritization at CU Boulder is based on the following metrics:

  1. Resource Efficiency 

  2. Degree Production

  3. Undergraduate Teaching Effectiveness

  4. Scholarly Accomplishments

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Assessment Katherine Eggert and Senior Vice Provost for Academic Resource Management Ann Schmiesing reported to the board on the metrics used at CU Boulder and provided examples of outcomes on the Boulder campus as a result of Academic Program Review and academic prioritization, a few of which include:

  • The School of Law LLM degree was discontinued and later relaunched with new focus and improved enrollment outcomes

  • A new major and minor were added to the ATLAS program and have exceeded enrollment projections

  • The department of Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts revised its undergraduate curriculum and has seen growing enrollments

For more detailed information, view the Academic Program Prioritization website.

In other Board news

  • Dorothy A. Horrell, PhD, chancellor of the CU Denver campus, announced her retirement on Thursday. Horrell has been chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver since January 2016. Horrell is a recognized leader in higher education, having served in numerous roles at a number of Colorado higher education institutions during her career. In her role as chancellor, she has been leading the university toward becoming a top asset of the city of Denver by prioritizing​ student success, scholarly excellence, community impact, inclusive excellence and financial sustainability. Horrell was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018. 

  • Vice President of Administration Kathy Nesbitt told the board that at the direction of President Kennedy, the system office has formed a committee to investigate improving the process for employees to enroll in courses at the various campuses using the Employee Tuition Assistance Benefit.

  • Vice President and University Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Regents Patrick O'Rourke reported that he is continuing to investigate whether it is common for peer universities to livestream board proceedings, and the best way for the CU system to implement it. This issue will be discussed at the October governance meeting, and a proposal will be brought before the board at the November meeting.

For more details or to see presentations from the meeting, visit the BoardDocs website.