In December 2018, CU Boulder launched the solution design phase of the Financial Futures initiative. During the course of the past 12 months, more than 300 faculty, staff and students have generated more than 500 ideas focused on improving CU Boulder’s financial resiliency and delivering on its mission as a tier-one public research institution. More than 220 staff and faculty have engaged as project owners, leads and sponsors in implementing approximately 150 projects selected based on their ability to strategically align CU Boulder’s resources with its mission.
“As students, faculty and staff prepare to close out another successful fall semester and look toward a new semester and a new year, Financial Futures is also at an inflection point,” said Carla Ho-a, vice chancellor and chief financial officer, as well as Financial Futures co-lead. “What began as an initiative is proving to be a robust, data-informed process by which the best ideas from all areas of the campus can be reviewed, prioritized and implemented.
In spring and summer 2020, we will focus on transitioning this process from the Financial Futures initiative to a more regular, ongoing manner of aligning our resources with our mission,” continued Ho-a.
In November, Financial Futures leadership hosted events for project owners, leads and sponsors to share feedback on their Financial Futures involvement and to identify opportunities to strengthen the current process.
Ann Schmiesing, executive vice provost for academic resource management and Financial Futures co-lead, was thrilled with the turnout. “More than 100 people attended to provide feedback. One of the main themes that emerged is how valuable those who have been involved in Financial Futures have found the initiative,” said Schmiesing. “Looking ahead, we have an opportunity to engage more faculty and staff in the process.”
Eric Klinger, associate faculty director of the Writing Center and a Financial Futures project owner, is impressed with the Financial Futures process. “It brings key stakeholders together to understand how solving financial issues can improve student outcomes and make our efforts as educators and administrators more productive and sustainable,” said Klinger.
“I appreciate the openness of the dialogue and the willingness to challenge old ways of thinking and address longstanding shortcomings of our current budgeting process,” he said.
Klinger’s project proposes to stabilize funding for the Writing Center by providing additional resources to be dedicated to improving services while also meeting increased student demand.
“A thriving writing center is a campus resource that cultivates students’ academic abilities and connections to the university environment,” said Klinger. “It has been refreshing to share details of my work and its outcomes candidly with administrators who care deeply about making CU Boulder a better value for students.”
Ho-a, Schmiesing and other members of Financial Futures leadership plan to host a transition-focused event in the spring. If you have ideas or feedback about Financial Futures, please let us know by providing your feedback on the Financial Futures website.