Preparing for what's next
We’re off and running, well into this new spring semester.
Some people would say we’re “settling back in” to our routines, but I’ve never
liked that term. To me, it just sounds passive and implies that our work
environment is stagnant and unchanged. And, that’s certainly not the way I’d
describe the days we spend at CU Denver and CU Anschutz. Around here, we’ve got
to stay on our toes and be prepared for whatever comes at us, so I’d prefer to
say that we’re moving forward and charging ahead.
New directions at CU Anschutz
At CU Anschutz our new Assistant Vice Chancellor for
Student Affairs Jan Gascoigne, PhD, is taking her knowledge of the campus and
the connections she made as an associate dean for student affairs and assistant
professor in the Colorado School of Public Health and is leading her Office of
Campus Student Services staff in new directions. Discussions with key
stakeholders, especially with our students, have led to an ongoing review of processes
and procedures and streamlined options are being considered.
CU Denver chancellor begins year two
On a much larger scale at CU Denver, 2016 brought us a new
chancellor who came in determined to listen and get to know us. Since
completing her listening tour, Dorothy Horrell, PhD, has kept us thinking and
about where we’re headed. It’s hard to believe it’s only been a
year! In that time, Chancellor Horrell, listened, outlined five
priorities for the university and set up working groups
that have become action groups.
Leadership from student affairs colleagues
Horrell’s highest priority is elevating
student success. So, it’s no surprise that our Division of
Student Affairs staff is well-represented in all of the action groups. I’m
proud to say that your colleagues are right in the middle of the conversations,
taking a leadership role in the collaborative effort the chancellor has set in
motion. By design, the groups’ members bridge the gaps between academic affairs
and student affairs and they’ve been tasked with going beyond discussion and
finding ways to put thoughts into positive actions for our students.
Our team members are thought leaders in this process,
helping to guide the university’s future by putting the student experience first.
I’ve been involved with the groups, I’ve seen them in action, and I’ve been
impressed with everyone who’s taken on the challenge to be part of the process.
When the call to action went out, they responded with an eagerness and
willingness that’s been cool to see.
We all have a voice
While your colleagues represent all of us at this new
table, they bring our thoughts and ideas along with them. That gives us all a
voice and makes each of us a contributor to the discussions and eventual actions.
In the end, the future direction of CU Denver won’t be decided from the top
down, it will be guided by all of us through this collaborative effort.
I think the takeaway for me from this past year is that
Chancellor Horrell said her focus is student success and she’s followed it up
with her actions. All we could ask is that our division be part of the
conversation and that has happened. I can feel the optimism, and I hope you
Each time I begin a new semester, I take time to reflect
back on our progress. And, I’m happy to report that no one is “settling” when
it comes to student affairs. With new leadership and new ideas at both CU
Denver and CU Anschutz, we’re beginning to see a lot more attention and support
for student affairs and that gives us all a reason to smile.
Together, we’ll keep moving forward and our students thank
you for that.
Raul Cardenas, PhD, Vice Chancellor, CU Denver | Anschutz Division of Student Affairs
Please contact Bonnie Hixson to schedule a time to meet