When I delivered the state of the university address at the Denver Campus
back in October, I described our students’ success as the soul of our work. I set a goal then of developing a comprehensive and cohesive strategy to enhance student access, increase student enrollment, improve student satisfaction, and increase student retention and graduation rates.
Since then, I have met extensively with senior leadership and Division of Student Affairs staff on this goal. We are implementing a number changes designed to address student needs along the continuum of their time with us, beginning before they even enroll.
First, we have created a K-12 outreach position, to support and facilitate university partnerships on both campuses with K-12 schools and ensure that such partnerships lead to improved preparation, access and opportunity. Chris Dowen, who comes to us from the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education, will be our first director of K-12 outreach beginning March 11.
Next, to augment the work currently being accomplished by the Denver Campus undergraduate Admissions Office, we have retained the services of Royall & Company, a student recruitment marketing firm. Royall will help us compete more effectively in today’s increasingly challenging enrollment marketplace to reach, attract and engage the students we would most like to enroll. The approach includes a comprehensive framework of customized, one-to-one outreach initiatives to students and parents that extends throughout the application process.
To make it easier for students already enrolled with us to track their progress toward completing their degree requirements, we will improve the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) for both the Denver and Anschutz campuses. We have allocated resources for the Registrar’s Office to work with all schools and colleges and update the catalog to ensure that degree requirement information is kept current, consistent and easy to find for all audiences, including students, faculty and staff.
To enhance and support the student experience on both campuses, we are establishing a new Office of University Advancement and Student Engagement, which will include outreach, events, alumni relations and a new subdivision for parent and student engagement. This office will be led by Genia Larson as assistant vice chancellor. Genia will now report to the Division of Student Affairs, while she maintains a reporting relationship with the chancellor’s office. Joy French, director of alumni relations for the Anschutz Medical Campus, will continue to report to School of Medicine Dean Richard Krugman.
To improve the Division of Student Affairs in such capacities as fundraising, assessment and outcomes, research and program review, Dr. Samantha Moreno will transition into a new role as special assistant to Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Raul Cardenas. Dr. Khushnur Dadabhoy, formerly director of student life for the Denver Campus, will assume Moreno’s former role, as interim assistant vice chancellor for student life and dean of students for both campuses.
We anticipate that these changes will foster student success and degree completion, to which we are all deeply committed. As I said in October, it is the area of focus that connects everything else that we do.
On a final note, I was honored and humbled by your support last month, when CU System President Bruce Benson removed the word “interim” from my title and appointed me chancellor. I truly appreciate the opportunity to lead the University of Colorado Denver │ Anschutz Medical Campus at this critical juncture in its history and promise that I will do my best to help us meet our immense potential.