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Chancellor's Communique

Moving from listening to action, 11-11-16


Dear colleagues,


The perspectives you shared during my listening tour earlier this year have helped chart the course of this university. At the Campus Forum in September, I outlined five priorities for CU Denver in the coming year; the highest among these is to elevate student success. I am writing today with an update on progress we’re making in this area, as well as other strategic efforts underway.

I’m pleased to share with you that Action Teams have been formed to take the next steps in moving forward the recommendations from this summer’s Working Groups. As you will recall, the four Working Groups focused on aspects of student recruiting and success, including: Undergraduate Academic Advising, K-12 Pipeline, Community College Pathways, and Strategic Use of Scholarships/Financial Aid. Their reports enumerated important recommendations—some policy-related and the majority more operational and process-related. The Action Teams will first concentrate on operational improvements and will move policy discussions to the appropriate decision-making group. The Cabinet and the deans have already begun considering some of the policy issues, including the preferred advising structure. 

The Action Team members have been selected through nominations from deans, Faculty Assembly, and other campus and student leaders. Selected members represent a combination of previous Working Group members and new participants from across campus. These teams will begin their work immediately and progress reports will be posted online

I would like to extend my appreciation to the following individuals who will lead the work of the action teams:

Advising: Chair Sarah Fields; Leadership Liaison Pam Jansma
K-12 pipeline: Chair Kelly Hupfeld; Leadership Liaison Rebecca Kantor
Community College pathways: Chair Margaret Wood; Leadership Liaison Raul Cardenas
Scholarships/Financial Aid: Chair Laura Argys; Leadership Liaisons Andrea Wagner and Brenda Allen

In addition, the Board of Regents has asked each of the CU campuses to refresh our existing strategic plans. This comes at a good time for CU Denver given the listening tour, the working groups, the formation of the action teams and other campus-wide initiatives. We are forming a steering committee including faculty, student, and staff representatives to guide this effort. More information on that will be coming shortly. 

I also want to take this opportunity to announce that Dr. Regina Kilkenny, who currently serves as the associate vice chancellor for academic resources and services for the Denver and Anschutz campuses, will assume a new position as chief of staff for the CU Denver Chancellor, effective December 1. Regina very ably coordinated the Working Groups and will continue that role with the Action Teams. Going forward, she will be assisting me and campus leadership in managing a variety of campus-wide initiatives, relationships, and priorities that are critical to the continued progress of CU Denver.  In addition to being one of CU Denver’s esteemed alums, Regina brings extensive knowledge and experience on both the Denver and Anschutz campuses, along with a proven track record as an effective team leader and problem-solver in the educational and governmental sectors.  Please join me in extending best wishes to Regina as she assumes these new responsibilities. Provost Nairn will be initiating a search for Regina’s replacement and will implement a transition plan soon.

This is an exciting and important time in the evolution of CU Denver. I thank each of you for what you do every day to help strengthen our position as one of Denver’s indisputable assets. I welcome your questions and comments.

Best, 

Dorothy Horrell
Chancellor

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