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CU Denver Strategic Priority 2:

Scholarly Excellence


Strategic Priorities - Scholarly Excellence
Advance scholarly excellence and innovation in teaching, research and creative work.

Driver: Rod Nairn, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs 

Selected Initiatives (updated January 11, 2018):​

  • CU Denver is attracting and retaining top talent. After national searches, two new deans were hired in 2017: Nan Ellin in CAP and Marty Dunn in CEAS.

  • To expand online academic offerings, impact, and accessibility, in fall 2017 two new positions were created and filled to lead academic and marketing aspects of digital education.

  • New degree offerings are meeting student demand and workforce needs: 
      • ​An MA and a PhD in health economics, as well as a BS in biochemistry, will be available in fall 2018.
      • ​A BS in human relations & family development and an MS in statistics were added fall 2017. 
      • ​A BA in public affairs was added in fall 2016.

  • In partnership with the CU Boulder and Colorado Springs campuses, CU Denver is developing a three-year, interdisciplinary, online degree program planned for a fall 2018 launch. A goal for the program is to ensure that students graduate with the intellectual flexibility that will prepare them for a variety of careers in business, government, education, and nonprofit work.​

  • In August 2017, former nursing dean Sarah Thompson began leading an effort to potentially expand health profession degree offerings in conjunction with CU Anschutz.

  • Numerous steps have been taken to stabilize enrollment in graduate programs. 
      • ​A new graduate student recruitment position was created and filled in fall 2017. 
      • ​Funding for graduate student stipends ($300,000) was included in the 2017-18 budget. 
      • ​The Graduate School has undertaken a number of new initiatives:
          • ​​​Recruitment at numerous campus, state, and national events in 2016-17.
          • ​​​Recruitment support for all graduate programs across both campuses.
          • ​​​Updated, brand-standardized flyers and marketing material for all graduate programs in fall 2016.
          • ​​​New prospect and applicant management protocols using Active Campaign beginning in fall 2016.
          • ​​​MARC U-STAR, a new mentoring program, started in 2017 to provide financial and academic support for undergraduate students who plan to undertake doctoral work in behavioral or biomedical sciences.

  • Additional funding was included in the 2017-18 budget to increase undergraduate research and creative work opportunities.

  • Diversified, more accessible programming from the Center for Faculty Development (CFD) has offered faculty the opportunity to expand and deepen their pedagogical expertise. 
      • ​Faculty participation during 2016-17 was up 125% from the previous year, including a 70% increase in participation by non-tenure track faculty. 
      • ​During that same period, participation in the faculty mentoring program increased by 70% and the CFD awarded $75,000 in teaching enhancement and faculty development grants.

  • Beginning in spring 2017, University Communications increased promotion of CU Denver research activities through various internal communications, including the CU Denver Today Researcher Spotlight series.

  • Thinq Studio—a digital pedagogy workshop, blog, and resource—launched in July 2017 to offer faculty tools for critical interventions in online education.

  • The Nobel at Noon lecture series was reinvigorated in fall 2016 and continued in fall 2017, with campus faculty describing the prize-winning research in a forum discussion format.

  • CU Denver’s first stand-alone Facilities Master Plan​ was approved by the regents in November 2017. Developed over 12 months with substantial input from faculty, students, and staff, it provides a 10-year physical development plan to accommodate future programmatic needs. It specifies a dedicated Engineering building as our top facilities priority, and includes plans for affordable student housing options, adaptable office spaces, and greater cohesion from Auraria to Speer. It also entails a $40 million investment in updating 30 instruction spaces in North Classroom Building. Fundraising and public-private partnerships are being explored to support this Plan.

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