Making Education Work for All: Strategic Planning Update

Sept. 7, 2021





Dear CU Denver Students, Faculty, and Staff,

It is with great pleasure that we provide an update on the tremendous progress our community has made in the strategic planning process and how we will transition from planning to action.

At the June University of Colorado Board of Regents meeting, we unveiled our ambitious 10-year strategic plan that includes five audacious goals:

  1. to become the nation's first equity-serving institution
  2. to be known as the "university for life"
  3. to be internationally known for our research and creative work impacting five of society's grand challenges 
  4. to build and sustain an "open innovation district" in downtown Denver 
  5. to be a people-centered best place to work 

Our plan has garnered immense support and positive feedback thus far from the Board and from internal and external constituencies. Now, as many of you heard at our recent Town Hall meeting, we are building on this momentum and shifting to the next phase: implementation.

We made significant progress over the summer to prepare us for this phase. Cabinet, deans, shared governance leaders, and several faculty and staff members from every school/college and major unit met to discuss next steps for our five goals. We are working right now to synthesize that input into roadmaps for each goal that will sequence our project priorities and detail what resources and investments will be required to realize our ambitions.

Next Steps

You will hear more about strategic planning implementation and how you can get involved at our inaugural Future Fest, an evolution of the annual State of the Campus that will take place Sept. 28 from 1 – 3 p.m. The new event invites our community to celebrate our new strategic direction, enjoy a showcase of our work and stories, and begin working toward our future as a Lynx community. An invitation will follow later this week. 

Following Future Fest, we will share the roadmaps for your feedback, just as we did in refining the strategic plan last spring. We will also be inviting you to express interest in the goals and projects that you are most interested in helping to move forward, and we will draw from these interested individuals for project teams and feedback as we begin to execute our roadmaps.

With a plan this bold, rest assured there will be ways for everyone to get involved – and in fact, that’s exactly what we need to become an institution that works for all.

As one example, Provost Constancio Nakuma will collaborate with our deans, faculty, and staff to activate one of our five goals: to be internationally known for our research​ and creative work. Look for an email later this week with more information on how to get engaged in an inclusive process to identify five of society's grand challenges to undertake as a research university.  

As we enter this next phase of the strategic plan, let’s remember that we are not starting from scratch. We are building on the incredible work, commitment, and creativity of so many people on this campus over the years and during the last year, including the strategic planning steering committee and vision teams. Thank you for everything you do.
To making education work for all, 

Michelle Marks 
Jennifer Sobanet  
Executive Vice Chancellor of Administration and Strategy