UPAC Members 06-07
Vision, Values, Mission, and Goals
Interim Progress Report - 2005
Progress Report Appendix - 2005
NCA Chapter 5
The University of Denver: Embracing the next Decade
The self-studies prepared for the NCA and the external reviews arranged
by the NCA have served the University of Denver well. Ten years ago they
precipitated a strategic planning process that culminated in a statement
of mission and goals that the Board of Trustees approved in 1992. Our
introductory section presented that statement of mission and goals and
Chapter 1 discussed them at length. That statement of purpose strongly
influenced our priorities and decision-making throughout the decade. Building
upon it, in 1993 and 1994 the Provost convened a Strategic Initiatives
Campaign that ultimately motivated approximately 170 faculty members to
propose 192 specific initiatives. Some of those attracted funding in our
capital campaign, individuals and groups of champions implemented many
other proposed initiatives even without extraordinary funding, and still
others have served us well as intellectual fodder for action across the
The purpose of this chapter is to review what we have learned about
ourselves in the process of the current self study and to consider how
we might build upon that enhanced self-understanding. We want to build
a great university. How far have we come? What might be some of the most
useful next steps?
1. Transformation and the Challenges of Managing Change
Transformation characterized the University during the decade of the
1990s. Among our achievements in the last decade that this study has detailed
- Significant enhancement of undergraduate education. Specifics include
the continuing evolution of our interdisciplinary Core Curriculum, curricular
innovation and technological enhancements, the development of five Living-Learning
Communities, the implementation of an extensive University Mentoring
Program, the development of Partners in Scholarship (PINS), the creation
of a Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement, and the adoption
of an Honor Code.
- Extension of graduate and professional education. Among the elements
are the development of an array of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary
programs that draw upon and combine the resources of liberal arts programs
and professional schools, substantial growth in the number of graduate
and professional students, the significant expansion of programs for
life-long learning, an initiation of distance education, and growth
in the volume of funded research and sponsored instruction.
- Creation of a significant number of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary
centers and institutes at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Most
of these establish connections not just across the University, but also
between the University and broader communities.
- Expansion of our educational focus beyond traditional undergraduate
and graduate education. Not only has there been significant growth in
stand-alone life-long learning programs, but there is increasing integration
of such programs with more traditional programs, especially at the graduate
and professional level. In addition we have added educational programs
from the nursery through high school.
- Use of technology to enhance education. Examples include wiring of
the entire campus with optic fiber, adoption of wireless network access
in many locations, provision of computers to all faculty, the introduction
of laptop requirements for incoming undergraduates and MBA students,
creation of the Center for Teaching and Learning and its program of
initiatives, dramatic transformations in the technology of library systems,
establishment of the Office for Educational Technology to support faculty
in creating customized courseware and developing on-line courses, and
wide-spread adoption by faculty of curriculum-supportive software. In
addition, the Extended Learning division of the University was recently
established to provide a centralized location to develop and administer
distance education offerings.
- Initiation of assessment and quality enhancement systems. The University
created the Office of Assessment, and all academic units have developed
assessment plans. The effort to feedback assessment to quality enhancement
has begun. In addition the Vice Chancellor of Financial Affairs has
introduced regularized benchmarking for administrative systems.
- Elevation of all intercollegiate sports to NCAA Division I status
in a spectacular new facility. That facility has simultaneously helped
to recruit excellent student-athletes, greatly expand club sports, individual
fitness training, and community connection.
- Undertaking the most impressive building campaign in the history
of the University. Major initiatives include the Leo Block Alumni Center,
the Olin Science Building, the Daniels College of Business, the Ritchie
Wellness Center, and the massive Sturm Hall refurbishment. The National
Cable Television Center and Museum has risen on land leased from the
University. Further, the University purchased a former Greek residence
and converted it into the new home of the Office of Internationalization.
The foundations were literally laid or plans were made for a new performing
arts facility, a new Women�s College building, a new College of Law,
and a new residence hall. Definitely not least, the University dramatically
reduced the backlog of deferred maintenance, and the campus appearance
- Initiation of and significant progress in a major computer system
conversion that will replace disparate data management systems with
an integrated one and thereby lay the foundation for significant changes
in both business and academic practice.
- Delivery of balanced budgets for 10 years. The implementation and
consolidation of a revenue-center management system that connects programmatic
authority with fiscal responsibility has provided the institutional
backbone of that accomplishment. It has also created large gain-share
balances for discretionary investment by academic units.
- Significant enhancement of our regional reputation. Although we have
no survey measurement of our regional reputation, there is much reason
to believe that it has risen significantly: the volume and character
of press coverage, the attendance at and response to University fund-raising
events (like the Law School�s All Stars and GSIS Korbel dinners), the
disproportionate rise in applications from within the region, the extent
of University-community, two-way connections, and the ad hoc impressions
of DU faculty and staff in their external interactions.
- Capitalizing on new opportunities in undergraduate recruitment and
admission. As a result of many of the changes just described, particularly
the renewed emphasis on undergraduate education proposed in the 1992
Mission and Goals, the University is enjoying the luxury of abundant
undergraduate applications. The Fall 2000 first-year, first-time class
is the largest in almost 20 years. The Office of Admission declined
deposits and stopped admitting transfer students earlier than normal
this year out of concern for maintaining the quality and character of
the undergraduate experience. We anticipate this situation will continue
in the near future, allowing us to shape the entering class in ways
we have not been able to do in the past. We are using this experience
to plan for a sustainable undergraduate enrollment, with an understanding
of the changing demographics of high school graduates in the next decade.
Managing such change obviously poses great challenges. Across the last
decade we managed change with the help of several important decisions
and fortuitous developments. The traumatic economic challenges that began
early in the decade of the 1980s led to some of the most important decisions:
the introduction of new leadership in a new leadership system (notably
the Chancellor/Provost model) and the adoption of a new management model
The dedication and sacrifice of the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor
provided some of the most fortuitous developments, notably a capital campaign
that increased assets of the University by more than $240 million. The
Chancellor, the Board, and University supporters have rebuilt the foundation.
At the same time, the Chancellor and the Provost have consistently supported
the maintenance and strengthening of the community and its commitment
to the institutional mission. Strong and able leadership has guided the
institution throughout the decade.
We believe that the last decade has been an outstanding period for the
University, full of accomplishments of which we can be proud. We should
not deceive ourselves, however, into believing that we have addressed
all of the long-standing challenges to the institution or that new ones
have not arisen. In the course of our reflection, we have identified some
of the key challenges:
- Governing change is always a challenge, even under strong leadership.
Not all decisions of the last decade have been unquestioned, and many
community members have felt themselves to be observers (even when beneficiaries),
rather than participants in setting direction. Governance is an ongoing
issue, as it is in many or most universities. How do we maintain strong
direction and responsiveness to a rapidly changing environment and yet
also take advantage of collective wisdom and insight?
- Change in any organization may not always be consistent with institutional
mission and identity. Moreover, protecting continuity in values can
be as important as managing change. The creation or reinforcement of
solid business practices and an entrepreneurial environment are not
universally seen as consistent with traditional academic values and
mission. One recurring question is whether our new management models
and practices reinforce or challenge academic quality, one of our most
central values, and how they can be better made to reinforce it. This
challenge has many manifestations: How do we balance the academic and
entrepreneurial dimensions of the institution? Exactly what is our identity?
What is the character of a truly good education? How do we assess quality?
- People are at the heart of any institution and the University is
a community. Throughout our discussion, the importance of maintaining
and strengthening our community has been an ongoing theme. The deliberate
use of adjuncts changes the historic character and mix of the faculty.
How do we support adjuncts� role and integrate them into the community?
How do we increase the diversity of the community? How do we reach out
to broader communities and preserve our own? How do we realize the key
role of strategic human resource planning, including the potential of
well-managed staff development and the morale-building possibilities
of an overall compensation philosophy?
- Planning in the face of change, and with recognition of the need
for continuity, is a growing challenge for all educational institutions
and relates again to governance. We need planning in multiple arenas,
from physical and financial resources to academic priorities, and we
need to integrate these multiple arenas. How do we assure that we are,
in reality, a community of students, staff, and faculty united in pursuit
of a mission in which we (as much as possible) all believe, and also
take advantage of the continued dedication and leadership of the Board
of Trustees, the Chancellor, and the Provost? How are faculty brought
into the planning process in active ways? How do we maintain flexibility
of action, guided by key principles and values, at the same time that
we are systematic about monitoring our environment and our performance
and setting new goals for ourselves?
It is important to us that our direction be consistent with our mission.
Assuring that consistency requires both evaluation of our direction and
revisiting of our mission. After a decade of very rapid change and in
the face of another decade where transformation will be no less rapid,
the University viewed the need to prepare a self study for the North Central
Association as an occasion for taking stock. From the beginning of our
preparation for an external visiting team, we recognized that it should
be an occasion for looking at our history, but also for thinking about
In our efforts to address the challenges of change and the need for
forward-looking action, the NCA Steering Committee divided its own two
years of effort quite equally into looking at our history and performance,
and thinking about our future. In the first year the steering committee
began by scanning the environment for key forces that shape our prospects
(both challenges and opportunities) and considering the character of recent
University responses to that external context. We reviewed our history,
and we discussed our identity. In the second year, we focused heavily
on thinking about our future. We spent a great deal of time that year
discussing our character and how that character makes us similar to or
different from other institutions. We tried to identify appropriate directions
for goal-setting by the institution and its components.
That process of self-reflection and looking forward within the steering
committee set in motion and served as foundation for a broader institutional
conversation about our future, a conversation that rippled out to the
Deans Council, the Senior Staff (academic and administrative), and the
larger community. That conversation and the process it has initiated is
by no means complete. The rest of this chapter will convey the status
of it and our plans for it, beginning with a recapitulation of the discussions
within the steering committee and moving to a presentation of the plans
for foresight and change management at the University.
2. The Foundational Efforts of the NCA Process
As we began discussing the future of the University and a strategic
plan (a nomenclature and mindset that we are now replacing with foresight
and change management) in the Steering Committee, there were four important
questions that helped us focus our efforts. These are:
- Who are we and how do we differ from others? We need
to reappraise our mission and goals, taking into account how our identity
and purposes have evolved over the past decade.
- In what context do we operate? We need to take into
account current external and internal challenges: the changing nature
of knowledge and higher education, our competition, the needs of students
today, unresolved internal issues, and options for improving our resources
to support necessary change and maintain important current commitments.
- What should we look like in 5-10 years? We must tie
our most compelling identity themes and our strengths to external opportunities,
with a willingness to change where necessary. We need to develop a framework
of priority goals that will link academic programming to a few major
directional choices that will clearly define our academic quality and
- How should we achieve our goals? We need to identify
clear priorities and an action plan so that we can identify the necessary
resources needed to accomplish our goals with a unified sense of purpose.
Because the Steering Committee is composed of community members from
all academic units, many administrative ones and the Board of Trustees,
it was viewed as the appropriate body at that time to discuss planning
issues and the above four questions. These discussions, though perhaps
not what some would characterize as grass-roots level, were organic, candid
and often impassioned. Multiple viewpoints were expressed, honored and
integrated into draft documents. The following sections briefly review
the year-long process we undertook.
Knowing that a University-wide discussion with all constituents surrounding
a reexamination of our mission and goals would be necessary, the Steering
Committee elected not to begin with the question of the ongoing appropriateness
of our mission statement. Instead, that group chose to focus on identity
themes and planning goals that might inform a revised mission statement
for the next decade. Those themes and broad goals identified by this group
could be used as a basis for ongoing discussion of the mission statement
that would best serve us into the 21st century. Though this tactic may
be unconventional, it was intentional.
2.2 External and Internal Contexts
Early in the self study process, the Steering Committee drafted and
distributed two documents to all academic and administrative units on
campus. These documents, summarized here (full text in Appendix Intro.F),
deal with the challenges posed by the external higher education context
and DU�s internal evolution in response to those challenges. Though the
Steering Committee planning discussions more often focused on our internal
environment than the external challenges, these issues did remain salient
throughout our year-long discussion. Three major contextual issues-Changing
Perceptions of Value in Education, Increasing Cost and Threats to Student
Access, and Advancing Technology-shape the challenges the University of
Denver currently faces and will continue to face into the next century.
The first section of this chapter refers in a broad sense to DU�s responses
to the external challenges described here.
- Changing Perceptions of Value in Education. There is growing pressure
from the public and from governmental bodies to provide real and measurable
value for educational expenditures. There are, however, at least two
debates that surround definition and measurement of value, which are
often framed in terms of different definitions or understandings concerning
the quality of education. The first pits those who emphasize the long-term
value of general and liberal education against those (perhaps in the
ascendancy) who focus on the immediate value of more market-relevant
skills. The second debate is about the measurement of value. The more
traditional approach emphasizes the reputation of the institution: average
test scores of entering students, spending per student, and reputation
of faculty. The increasingly popular alternative emphasizes the value
added by the education that the institution provides, often in terms
of educating the whole person. The concern with defining value in education
has implications for DU. In general, what should be our primary indicators
of �quality� and �reputation,� and how can we improve them? What is
the best strategy for DU to ensure that we establish credibility in
the marketplace and increase our reputation?
- Increasing Cost of Higher Education and Threats to Student Access.
There is a growing fiscal crisis in higher education in the U.S. The
price of higher education has been rising faster than average income
and projections are for the gap to continue. Either the pool of students
who can afford higher education will shrink or universities must contain
and, some say, even reduce costs. Many families do seem willing to contribute
a larger portion of their disposable income to higher education and
the recent strong economy enables more of them to do just that. However,
we have seen many manifestations of the growing financial pressure,
including high student borrowing and debt load, a high percentage of
students who must work part-time to afford college, and upward pressure
on our discount rates. The cost issue has many consequences for DU that
we must consider. In general, how can we ensure competitive access to
the University into the 21st century and the financial health of the
institution, all the while continuing to improve the quality of the
- Advancing Technology. Computer-based, digital information and communication
technology are advancing at such rapid rates that they promise (or threaten)
to fundamentally reshape educational institutions with respect to management
systems, the character of scholarship and research, and the nature of
teaching and learning. New competitors in the form of for-profit and
corporate educational entities are also utilizing technology to expedite
the education and training of employees. The rapidly growing popularity
of web-based education helps meet the demand for �distributed education,�
shifted in time and space to meet the desires and needs of students
(see again the pressures of costs and the demand for value). These issues
have many implications for DU. In general, how do we use the new technology
to enhance the value of the education we deliver and meet the challenge
of old and new competition without bankrupting ourselves by making wrong
decisions about the direction or speed of change and without compromising
the integrity of our academic programs?
2.3 Identity and Vision
The Steering Committee discussions of the 1999-2000 academic year did
not focus explicitly on vision, per se, but on identity themes and University
characteristics that make us distinctive. These concepts were discussed
with an eye to the future and to what unifies us as an institution. A
real effort was made by members of the committee to move beyond historical
divisiveness and protection of �turf� to a view of the University as just
that - a unified institution of higher education that is more than the
sum of its parts. The committee reflected on the University�s strengths
and opportunities for growth and drafted numerous versions of the following
statement. This draft statement was sent to all faculty, staff and administrators
with a memo requesting feedback, either in person at one of three community
meetings or via the web site established for the self study process. Because
of subsequent events described in section 3 of this chapter, this statement
of identity will likely not remain in its current version. However, the
work of the Steering Committee needs to be recognized as laying the groundwork
for the Provost�s Planning Retreat described later in this chapter. Following
is the identity statement drafted by the Steering Committee:
Building on our successes in the past decade, we set goals that will
enhance our distinctive identity as the premier private university in
the Rocky Mountain West. Our location in the Rocky Mountain West gives
us a pioneering identity and imbues us with a real spirit of place.
We expect to transform ourselves and the world around us. Toward
this end, we value clear thinking and plain speaking. We are friendly
and open to new people and new ideas. We enjoy the outdoors and protect
nature's heritage. We innovate across traditional boundaries and give
everyone the chance to succeed. We embrace change and are willing to
question the status quo. We are spirited individuals who value our diverse
community because we understand the need for support from this community
and our obligation, in turn, to make it a stronger one.
As we pursue the following goals, we will build upon and even more
strongly articulate our identity:
- To foster an innovative relationship between liberal and professional
education and research;
- To reinforce the relationship between teacher, scholar, and student
through an emphasis on the university as a community of life-long learning
- To strengthen a culture of civic engagement within our University
and build upon that to further engage local, regional, national, and
3. Creating a Planning Framework for DU
As we looked at ourselves throughout the self-study process, a number
of questions were raised about the University�s approach to major decisions
about University direction. One set of questions focused on the roles
of various campus constituencies in decision-making. Another arose from
a perceived need for a more formalized ongoing planning structure and
Discussions about these questions emerged in Subcommittee meetings and
reports, in the Steering Committee, and also in ongoing leadership groups
on campus (in particular, the Faculty Senate, the Council of Deans, and
the Senior Staff). The self-study became the occasion for awareness of
how far we have come during the past decade and recognition of our desire
for a widely shared intentional future. We became more aware of how DU�s
long history of programmatic diversity has been central to our strength
even as it has created inevitable tensions. We saw the need for continued
shaping, for protection and further development of our resources, and
for understanding of what connects us - and we wrestled with questions
of how each of us appropriately fits into those processes.
In short, the self-study process provided the opportunity to �look up�
from the intense efforts we have been involved in individually over the
past decade and begin to understand something about their combined effects.
We saw that the University is in very different circumstances than it
was ten years ago. Even so, we realized it retains many of the qualities
that have characterized it throughout its history. We are ambitious, irrepressible,
thoroughly committed to our students, our region, and our world. We believe
and know we can make a difference. We want to understand how to do that
together, how to collectively contribute to and take advantage of a vital
future in ways that fit us. We want to protect and interpret our heritage
in new circumstances, and we want to maintain and extend the gains we
The Provost began a new level of dialogue on these topics by inviting
an expanded group of over forty individuals to a two-day planning retreat
on August 14th and 15th, 2000. The members of the NCA Steering Committee,
the Council of Deans, the Provost�s Staff, the Senior Staff and the Chancellor
were invited (Appendix 5.A lists invitees, participants and contains the
The group was charged with using the work of the NCA process, then nearing
completion, to help shape a vision for the University�s future. The retreat
was co-facilitated by a consultant who is familiar with the University
and by a senior faculty member from the College of Education. After welcoming
the group and providing opening remarks, both the Provost and the Chancellor
assumed the roles of retreat participants along with the other members
of the group.
In his welcoming remarks, the Provost posed the following questions
as the context for the meeting:
- Can this group seize the opportunity to create a vision of DU that
builds upon the foundational work of the NCA self-study?
- Can we agree on a timeline and a way of bringing our vision, in the
form of a new or revised statement of mission and goals, to the Board
of Trustees by June, 2001?
- Can we improve the way we use planning for decision-making?
- Can we establish a more inclusive ongoing structure for planning at
Retreat participants had read draft NCA documents prior to arriving,
particularly the chapters on the University�s history and the University�s
future. The first facilitated- discussion used these documents as a foundation,
as participants were asked to describe what stood out as they thought
about the University�s longer history, its more recent history, and its
present situation. The second session moved into expression of participants�
visions of the University�s desired future. During the final session of
the first day, participants divided into nine small groups. Each group
developed a draft vision statement around one of nine thematic areas that
had emerged in the vision discussions: (1) the image and attractiveness
of the University; (2) the University as a caring community; (3) global
commitment and presence; (4) the importance of place (campus, city, state,
and region); (5) teaching and learning; (6) student development and talent
development; (7) research and scholarship; (8) technology and cyber education;
and (9) the University�s infrastructure.
During the evening of the first day, a small task force created a consolidated
draft vision statement from the work of the nine thematic groups. The
consolidated draft statement follows:
University of Denver Draft Vision Statement
Provost�s Planning Retreat
Rooted in the spirit of the Rocky Mountain West, DU will be known
for its boldness and innovation, its character and leadership, and its
dynamic community. These qualities will excite and attract students,
faculty, staff, employers, neighbors, and friends who will connect with
us with enthusiasm and pride.
DU will attract students for a lifetime of intellectual, social
and ethical growth. We will offer each student individualized opportunities
for membership in communities of learning that will include stimulating
student-centered classroom encounters, experiential learning, civic
engagement, and the use of cutting-edge educational technologies.
The experiences provided by a broad range of curricular and co-curricular
environments on campus and in the community will cultivate in students
reflective and critical judgment, the ability to negotiate differences,
and demonstrated personal integrity.
At DU, discovery and learning will be inseparable. Research and
scholarship will be integrative, multidisciplinary, and collaborative.
Partnerships within the University and beyond will enhance this inquiry
DU will prepare students to achieve distinction in an interdependent
world by attracting outstanding international students and scholars,
and by providing faculty and students with unmatched opportunities to
study, teach, and work abroad.
DU will be distinguished by day-to-day expressions of respect,
mutual support, and caring. Our shared ethical values and relationships
will be demonstrated through inclusiveness across our diverse communities.
Infrastructure and support functions will be of high quality, flexible,
and responsive and will be created in a professional manner to optimize
the University�s vision.
4. Next Steps
Key tasks remain, including finalizing a vision statement and creating
a renewed statement of mission and long-range goals that bind us together
as a unique institution, even as we celebrate the diversity of our traditions
and the strengths of our separate programs. Following the Provost�s Planning
Retreat, Provost Zaranka, with the assistance of members of his core staff
and other individuals, has initiated the development of a planning approach
to accomplish these goals. The approach seeks to build on the work begun
in the NCA process and continued at the Planning Retreat - work focusing
on coherence, connection, and collaboration. The goal is to develop planning
as a dynamic, inclusive, ongoing and coordinated activity in the life
of the University.
The envisioned approach includes the formation of a University Planning
Advisory Council that will assist the Provost and the Chancellor in defining
and leading a planning process for the University. The Council is envisioned
as a leadership group, not an administrative layer. Its members will be
selected primarily for their wisdom and talents, their ability to look
to the future, and their knowledge and understanding of the University.
They will also be academically and demographically diverse and have affiliations
with other University leadership groups, such as the Board of Trustees,
the Council of Deans, the Faculty Senate, Senior Staff, the Staff Advisory
Council, and Student Government.
The Council will help the Provost and the Chancellor establish and continually
update the University�s planning framework. Its first specific assignment
will be the distillation of a statement of vision, values, mission and
long-range goals based on the work of the NCA self-study process, the
Provost�s Planning Retreat, and other information and opinions sought
and received from the University�s constituents. The Council will not
replace other planning groups, but will continually work to ensure broad
community involvement in the University�s planning efforts. In fact, one
of the first tasks of the Council will be to determine how it will link
itself to the University community and its constituents.
The Council will advise on the development of a planning process, including
the setting of annual goals and an integrated budget reflective of the
higher level plan. The Council will provide advice to the Provost and
Chancellor when major unforeseen opportunities arise which may not be
congruent with the University plan or when significant environmental changes
might threaten the University�s plan.
The Council will prepare and disseminate an annual report on the state
of the University, highlighting the accomplishments of the University
over the past year, updating the external context, remarking on the University�s
response to unplanned opportunities, and providing an analysis on how
well planning is working to achieve a desired future.
The Council will continually consider the way it works - its activities,
its role vis a vis other planning groups, its mechanisms for connection
with the community. It will be a vehicle to move the University forward,
and an impetus for the improved performance of other leadership and planning
bodies. Assessment of improvement in the process of planning for the University
will be part of its charge.
In summary, the Council will be a resource to the Provost and the Chancellor
by helping the various parts of the University connect and contribute
to the whole of the enterprise. It will be an experiment in �providing
shape� without over-controlling, in seeking coherence without eliminating
local initiative and distinction. It will take time to �get it right,�
and its success will be dependent upon giving it that time, providing
it with support from both the top and the bottom, and selecting its members
One of the key initial challenges in front of the Council will be development
of its specific agenda. Again, the work of the NCA process and Steering
Committee should prove helpful. This report has repeatedly listed the
challenges that the institution faces. The Steering Committee took one
additional step of value. It identified two categories of goals that it
believed would be likely to emerge in some form from subsequent discussion
at the University, both centrally and in individual academic units. It
labeled those planning goals (central to the academic mission) and infrastructure
The Steering Committee elaborated those goals via a set of serious discussions
of unit level self study reports and subcommittee findings. As with the
identity statement, there were numerous drafts and this final one was
distributed to campus community members for comment. It is worth noting
the congruence between the list of eight planning goals drafted by the
Steering Committee and the vision statement derived from the Provost�s
Planning Retreat. Attached to this chapter as Appendix 5.B is a chart
describing some possible action items that were proposed along with these
Following is the list of planning goals derived by the Steering Committee:
- We will aim to educate the whole student through close, personal
- We will build educational and research opportunities with special
attention to our location in Denver and the Rocky Mountain West.
- We will foster the innovative integration of liberal and professional
education and research.
- We will further reinforce the relationship between teacher, scholar,
and learner through an emphasis on the University as a community of
learning and discovery.
- We will embrace innovative and more effective approaches to teaching
and learning, including, where relevant, technologically-enabled instruction.
- We will educate a more diverse domestic and international student
body to meet the challenges of a global society.
- We will extend our ability to provide continuous, life-long education.
- We will reinforce and strengthen a culture of civic engagement within
our community and build upon that to further engage a wide range of
Following is the set of infrastructure and management goals derived
by the Steering Committee:
- We will significantly enlarge our endowment to further diversify
support for our academic programs beyond tuition.
- We will review the relationship between compensation and responsibility
within and across units in order to elaborate a philosophy and structure
of compensation in support of our mission.
- We will analyze procedures and criteria for hiring, developing, promoting,
tenuring, and assessing faculty, staff, and administration to ensure
congruence with our distinctiveness goals and our changing educational
- We will support the continued professional development of our faculty
to enhance the teacher-scholar model.
- We will provide professional development for faculty members interested
in extending their administrative capabilities.
- We will support the continued professional development of our staff
in order to integrate them more fully into the educational mission of
the University and to prepare them for changing and expanding job expectations
- We will continuously improve the way in which our physical plant
supports our educational activities.
- We will regularly upgrade our technology in support of our educational
mission and administrative needs.
- We will identify minimum levels of technical expertise for students,
faculty and staff and implement programs for these constituents to enhance
and maintain their skills.
- We will create a web-based portal that integrates and strengthens
our technologically-assisted educational offerings, our management,
administrative, and institutional research operations, and our prospective
and current student and alumni services.
- We will regularly review and update our long-term priorities and
institutionalize these priorities through ongoing academic and administrative
foresight and strategic planning, making assessment of quality fundamental
to the process.
- We will include appropriate participation, collaboration and communication
in our processes of decision-making and management.
- We will assess and appropriately adjust the balance between centralization
and decentralization in management and budgetary systems.
- We will review and appropriately adjust our academic organization
of knowledge into programs, departments and divisions and other administrative
structures in order to achieve our educational mission.
- We will work to break down structural barriers to cross-disciplinary
and even customized education, whether those barriers be institutional,
financial, or cultural.
The Introduction and Chapters 1 through 4 of this self-study Report
provide evidence to demonstrate that the University has met the General
Institutional Requirements and has satisfied the Criteria for Accreditation.
As discussed in Chapter 1 and parts of Chapter 3, the University of Denver
has clear and publicly stated purposes consistent with our mission and
appropriate to an institution of higher education. Though we face some
challenges with regard to our human resource organization and development
as described in Chapter 2, in general, Criterion 2 is satisfied, especially
with regard to the effective organization of our financial and physical
resources. Chapter 3 provides substantial evidence to support the University�s
demonstration of the accomplishment of our educational and other purposes.
In its consideration of a sustainable future, Chapter 4 describes the
University�s stable financial condition that contributes to the continuation
of our accomplishments and even strengthening of our educational effectiveness.
We have referenced Criterion 5 in Chapter 2 and in supporting materials,
documenting where we demonstrate integrity in our practices and relationships.
At this juncture, the University is poised to capitalize on the momentum
generated by the self study process and seriously evaluate our future
direction. As we have previously stated, the opportunity for self-reflection
and evaluation of our future afforded by this process was integral from
its inception. The Steering Committee spent a full academic year wrestling
with identity and planning issues. As a result of this and other discussion
around planning and the accreditation process, the Provost�s Planning
Retreat was held. Building on both the Steering Committee discussions
and the Planning Retreat, a proposal for a University-wide, participatory
planning process evolved.
By virtue of its locations and origins, and reinforced by the fact of
a modest endowment, the University of Denver has long struggled to define
itself in the constellation of institutions of higher education. We have
been subject to wide swings of fortune with those of the region and the
larger nation. In the last decade, the fortunes of both the region and
the University have dramatically improved. Moreover, the foundations of
both seem more diverse, richer and more solid than ever before. Throughout
this Report, we have discussed some key questions that remain for us to
consider. Can we take advantage of our particular configuration of academic
programs (for our size of institution) to create real synergies between
graduate/professional education and undergraduate education? Can we integrate
our emphasis on whole person development with a renewed focus on high
quality academic programs to achieve a truly distinguished and valuable
educational experience for students? Are we prepared for the very real
implications for our community and campus culture of our decisions about
increases in revenue coming from endowment or from growth in student populations?
The University of Denver is riding waves of change sweeping across higher
education. We seek to define ourselves and our desired response to that
change, rather than being passive in the face of it. As a learning community,
our challenge is to seize this opportunity to respond to the central question
that will define our future: our identity. Will the University greatly
enhance its endowment and financial stability and choose to become a more
traditional educational institution? Will it continue in its historic
direction of entrepreneurial, market-driven programming? Will it be intentional
about blending community connections with an intellectual depth of academic
programs to create a bold, new University of Denver educational model
that could make us a distinctly different and better institution?
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