Published: April 10, 2024

In January, the Buff Undergraduate Success (BUS) team received an updated charge (PDF) from Provost Russell Moore and Chief Operating Officer Patrick O’Rourke that retains the initiative’s purpose to increase retention and graduation rates, improve undergraduate students’ academic and social experiences, and support enrollment management strategy and curricular planning. The charge remains effective until June 30, 2025.

What’s new?

The updated charge focuses on underrepresented students and limits the current number of projects. It stresses BUS’s engagement in a cross-functional and cross-campus collaboration that results in improvements for all undergraduate students and particularly for underrepresented students from historically marginalized groups from their first day until graduation.

The updated charge also limits the number of BUS projects to six per semester and directs the BUS members to align its work with the provost’s and COO’s priority projects referenced in the transformation and financial resilience initiative.

What are 2 major accomplishments for BUS?

The BUS initiative has improved both retention and graduation rates.

Retention rates at all-time highs

The BUS team collaborated with the schools and colleges, undergraduate education, student affairs and student initiatives to achieve CU Boulder’s first-fall-to-second-fall retention rate for first-year, first-time students in the entering cohort of fall 2022: a record high of 89.1%. The fall-to-spring retention rate also hit an all-time high of 96.4% for the entering cohort of fall 2023.

Graduation rates show improvement

The combined efforts of BUS and its many campus partners have helped to improve CU Boulder’s six-year graduation rates. Entering first-year cohorts from 2005 to 2014 had a six-year graduation rate, on average, of 70%. In contrast, the entering first-year cohort of fall 2017 had a six-year graduation rate of 74.9%, also an all-time high.

What are the 6 projects identified for spring and summer?

  • Design a vision for wraparound student support that starts with first-year students and pays special attention to first-generation students, racially and ethnically minoritized students, students with high financial need, and students with disabilities
  • Formulate recommendations to improve math instruction and academic support
  • Undertake next steps in acquiring a new degree audit system
  • Align process for emergency funding distribution
  • Amplify CU Boulder student traditions, including benchmarking and identifying gaps in the student experience
  • Refine and sustain re-enrollment campaigns (repeating model for each semester)

Do you have questions or project ideas that support student success?

The BUS team looks forward to engaging with the campus community. Email the BUS team with your questions and suggestions, and visit the BUS website for more information.

 BUS membership aligns with new priorities

BUS leaders

  • Jessica Doty, chief wellness officer (new)
  • Katherine Eggert, vice chancellor and senior vice provost for academic planning and assessment
  • Amy Hutton, chief enrollment officer (new)
  • Daryl Maeda, dean and vice provost for undergraduate education (new)
  • Joe Thomas, associate vice chancellor for student affairs

BUS Leadership Implementation Team

  • Shelly Bacon, associate vice provost for advising and exploratory studies
  • Elizabeth McVeigh, assistant vice chancellor of enrollment business solutions (new)
  • Fabiola Mora, senior diversity, equity and inclusion consultant (new)
  • Erika Randall, associate dean for student success, Arts and Sciences (new)
  • Elizabeth Romero Fuerte, assistant vice provost and assistant vice chancellor for academic     technology and student success
  • Kristi Wold-McCormick, assistant vice provost and university registrar
  • Lory-Ann Varela, assistant vice provost for academic support and enrichment (new)

BUS liaisons and project support

  • Mark Kavanaugh, associate vice chancellor and chief of staff to the provost
  • Jennifer McDuffie, associate vice chancellor and chief of staff
  • Robert Stubbs, director of institutional research
  • Robin Swift, senior project manager

Past BUS team members—thank you for your service

  • Sonia DeLuca Fernández, senior vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Jon Leslie, vice chancellor of strategic communications and chief communications officer (BUS leader)
  • Ofelia Morales, former associate vice chancellor of enrollment management
  • Marin Stanek, vice chancellor for information technology and chief information officer (BUS leader)
  • Brad Weiner, former chief data officer