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University Planning Advisory Council (UPAC)


Institutional Goals

June 21, 2001

Identifying institutional goals is essential to moving the University toward achieving its mission. Long-range goals are believed to be the most important areas of institutional focus to advance the mission and to help prioritize utilization of University resources.

The Board of Trustees endorsed the following Institutional Goals statement June 8, 2001. If you would like to print a copy of the Institutional Goals, please click the printer icon at top right.

We appreciate the time and effort of all who participated in crafting these statements. Comments and suggestions submitted by DU community members were invaluable.

Thank you.

Click for pdf format

These links will advance you down this page to each statement:

Learning l Scholarship l Campus Community l Public Good l Ethics l Enrollment

Ethnic Diversity l Globalization l Technology l Athletics l Sustainability

Institutional Goals
JUNE 2001

Goal: To create distinctive environments for effective teaching and learning by experimenting with and assessing methods and contexts that help students develop independent motivation to conduct inquiry, construct knowledge, develop sound judgment, and engage in self-reflection.

Rationale: The information age has radically altered the amount, accessibility, and packaging of information, creating new roles for faculty and staff in guiding and mentoring students. On a campus rich in possibilities for networking across disciplines and professional fields, students will encounter stimulating courses and experiences intentionally designed to enhance learning and develop competence. Students will take more responsibility for their own learning, will be able to collaborate more closely with faculty and each other, and will learn how to become life-long learners.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • useful assessment results to document and monitor student progress, program quality, and effectiveness of innovations
  • increased numbers of innovative courses and programs
  • simplified arrangements for joint and dual degrees and other forms of boundary crossing studies
  • more carefully developed and varied interdisciplinary courses, programs, and centers
  • increased student participation in all forms of experience-based learning, such as education abroad, internships, and civic engagement opportunities
  • additional support to faculty for the development of teaching

Goal: To reinforce a strong University-wide culture of scholarship and creativity that extends from the senior professor to the first-year student.

Rationale: The essence of a university is unfettered inquiry and creativity. Scholarship distinguishes a university from all other institutions. Enhanced scholarly and creative expectations will penetrate every classroom, laboratory, studio, office, and professional interaction between and among faculty, students, and staff. We will promote individual and collaborative research not only through added resources to fund the specialized work of faculty, but also to enhance undergraduate and graduate scholarship and creativity across the institution.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • increased efforts to attract and retain the highest quality researchers, scholars, and artists
  • increased productivity of books, articles, and creative artifacts, including collaborative efforts of students and faculty
  • increased internal and external funding for faculty research and development
  • enhancement of library and other research resources
  • increased participation in programs such as Partners in Scholarship
  • new programs of collaborative inquiry as appropriate to graduate and professional programs
  • greater faculty and staff professional visibility at national and international levels

Campus Community
Goal: To build an inclusive, cohesive, and dynamic campus community by renewing institutional commitments to shared governance, equitable compensation, appropriate employee recognition, and the enrichment of intellectual and social liferenewing institutional commitments to shared governance, equitable employee compensation, and the enrichment of intellectual and social life.

Rationale: Having renewed the physical campus through an ambitious building program, attention can now be turned to human resources and relationships. The key constituents of campus community—faculty, staff, students, administrators, trustees, and our University Park neighbors—must be understood as genuine stakeholders in the University's future. This will be accomplished by facilitating greater involvement of these groups in collaborative decision-making, enhancing rewards for distinguished job performance and citizenship, and enriching intellectual, cultural, and social life on campus. We seek to discover new ways to acknowledge, develop, and reward the people who enable the organization to flourish through their talents or dedication.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • equitable representation of key constituencies on University-wide policy-making and oversight committees
  • competitive employee compensation that equals or exceeds what peers receive
  • expanded efforts to recognize outstanding personnel
  • more wide-spread professional development opportunities
  • expanded programming such as colloquia, seminars, speaker series, performances, exhibits, workshops, and other activities
  • improved communication about campus events and activities both across and beyond campus
  • increased community and neighborhood participation in campus-wide academic, athletic, and cultural events

Public Good
Goal: To make significant contributions to the public good through community partnerships, timely research, and policy analysis.

Rationale: In a world filled with problems aching for solution, the University must be an accessible and engaged partner. Our students also learn through engagement. We will distinguish ourselves as an institution that cooperates with public and private organizations through study, consultation, advice, and involvement in selected issues, such as educational practice, leadership, child and family welfare, human rights, and environmental policy. We will create mechanisms to support internal flexibility and collaboration in mobilizing our capabilities to address key societal issues and problems.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • expanded activity of centers and institutes
  • more partnerships with community agencies and organizations
  • expanded participation of faculty and staff in contracted service and consultation
  • increased volunteer efforts by students, staff, and faculty
  • increased recognition for our capabilities and achievements
  • enhanced reciprocal trust between DU and external institutions
  • more frequent forums, roundtables, and symposia on public policy issues and social problems
Goal: To cultivate ethical understanding and behavior through exploration of professional and social responsibility and principled decision making.

Rationale: A university is an institution of complex pedagogical, collegial, and fiduciary relationships. For a university to be healthy and functional, all of these relationships must be ethical at their core. We will continue to develop and implement curricula that explore professional ethics and social responsibility. We will provide on-campus opportunities for staff, faculty, and administrators further to enhance their familiarity with ethical practice through participation in review boards, appeal procedures, and decision-making councils. We will become a consultative resource on ethics known and valued by the greater community.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • more curricular offerings and forums that explicitly address the context, development, and application of ethical principles
  • workshops for students, faculty, staff, and administrators to explore ethical dilemmas in University decision making
  • continued implementation of an effective honor code, human subject review processes, and conflict resolution and appeal procedures
  • increased support for scholarship and teaching on ethical understanding and behavior
  • recognition of the University as a resource on professional ethics and social responsibility
Goal: To enhance the quality and enrich the composition of the student body through innovative recruitment and selection methods as well as dedicated commitment to increase engagement and persistence.

Rationale: The University is receiving unprecedented interest from students and for the first time in its recent history has dramatic new options for enlarging and shaping its pool of prospective students. We intend to attract, admit, and support students who display and are eager to cultivate genuine intellectual curiosity, creativity, civic consciousness, passion for learning, and commitment to high standards of excellence. We will honor and celebrate a broad range of student talents, abilities, and experiences, with special regard for resilience, determination, and the desire to be fully engaged with the University in the pursuit of knowledge.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • marked improvement in quality and general diversity of the student body at both undergraduate and graduate levels
  • improvement in use of predictive criteria and selection methods for admission, including those that more accurately and fully reflect an applicant's resilience, potential, and likely contributions
  • increased accessibility and affordability through regularly increasing availability and levels of student financial aid, especially for graduate and professional students
  • a better fit of students with what the University is best able to provide
  • improved retention and rates of completion
Ethnic Diversity
Goal: To increase substantially the presence of members of underrepresented domestic ethnic populations through active recruitment, financial support, meaningful inclusion, and consistent recognition.

Rationale: Throughout the University's long history, we have made only modest progress in attracting diverse students, staff, and faculty either in substantial numbers or in proportion to population. While the color of the University community has always been overwhelmingly white, the people of our region, nation, and globe are peoples of many colors. We seek to remedy this under-representation of ethnic minorities among us, with a special emphasis on increasing regional and domestic minorities. We seek the enormous educational enrichment that diverse experiences, perspectives, and ideas provide to us all. The educational outcome will be graduates who understand and value ethnic differences and are capable of developing effective relations with a wide range of people.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • increased outreach to prospective students, staff, and faculty
  • enhancement of the University as a welcoming and supportive community
  • greater commitment to understanding and valuing ethnic differences through expanded curricula, programs and services
  • financial incentives to reward units that substantially improve the diversity of their students, staff, and faculty
  • open searches for every available position, accompanied by proactive recruitment of domestic ethnic populations
Goal: To develop global perspectives and connections by substantially expanding student and faculty experiences abroad, educational partnerships, and other international linkages.

Rationale: In an increasingly interconnected world, the University's students and faculty benefit greatly through understanding and interacting with other cultures and peoples. As an institution the University also benefits from the opportunity to extend its educational reach abroad. The University already ranks among the leading institutions in the country with respect to the percentage of international students, and through greatly enhanced support for its programs has built a wide range of international connections. International linkages of programs and community members will continue to develop.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • marked increase in the portion of the student body that participates in education and service abroad
  • significant increase in aspects of the curriculum that include international and comparative content
  • substantial growth in the numbers of students who study foreign languages and attain linguistic competence
  • enhanced connection of international alumni with the institution
  • enhancement of international linkages and development of selected University sites abroad
  • increased rankings on internationalization

Goal: To provide University programs and operations with appropriate and effective technologies that will measurably improve information access and management, student learning, scholarship, administration, and the institution's overall competitiveness.

Rationale: The University must be current in its technological infrastructure and sophisticated in its understanding of the advantages, limitations, and consequences of new technologies. This requires insight into how technology affects the rhythms and relationships of human life and an ability to choose wisely among technological alternatives. It carries an obligation to invest continuously in infrastructure, employee development, technical assistance, and support for targeted demonstration projects.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • more research to assess the effectiveness of technology in improving student learning
  • expanded availability of reliable technological systems for teaching and research
  • increased on-demand support from technically skilled personnel
  • informed extension of technologies to more varied types of learning
  • increased support for experimental initiatives
  • heightened satisfaction of faculty and staff with technologies designed to improve administrative activities
Goal: To elaborate and reinforce a model for Division I athletics within the University that integrates the interests of many stakeholders and effectively supports the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of the University's mission and goals.

Rationale: Now equipped with a magnificent new sports and wellness center, the University is in a position to make athletic events and recreational opportunities available to the campus and wider community in ways that spark unprecedented interest. The newly inaugurated Division I athletics program provides a challenge for developing nationally competitive scholar-athletes and an opportunity for defining a unique role for athletics within the University. An integrative model developed with broad input and strong support would produce many desirable results at this crucial stage in the development of the program.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • a clearer understanding of the relationship of athletics, recreation, and wellness within the campus community
  • creative, well-defined policies for athletics that support other University goals concerning learning, recruitment, campus community, and domestic ethnic minoritiest
  • fair and equitable guidelines for inclusive use of facilities
  • achievable targets for recruiting, retaining, and graduating high ability scholar-athletes
  • more focused understanding of how athletics contributes to the University through increased visibility, more effective recruitment, and enhancement of reputation
  • reduced tension between athletics and academics through better understanding and mutual support

Goal: To achieve financial, operational, human, and environmental resource sustainability by developing a robust and diverse resource base, improving management systems, attracting the highest quality personnel, and practicing responsible environmental stewardship.

Rationale: Building on ten years of budget surpluses and impressive capital development, the University now faces the challenge of expanding and stabilizing income sources, managing expenditures, reducing dependence on tuition, and increasing competitiveness in attracting and retaining the best students, faculty, and staff. Recognizing the increased complexity of University operations over the last decade, we have introduced rigorous quality evaluation and benchmarking procedures that support year-by-year improvements. We now seek to expand the involvement of the University community in planning, implementation, and accountability in support of academic priorities. We will also enhance our commitment to responsible environmental conservation and development.

Measures: Indicators of progress in reaching this goal could address such things as
  • setting ambitious targets to increase the University endowment and external funding from diverse sources
  • increased funding for new initiatives and planning goals
  • willingness to rethink budgetary structures as appropriate for promising new initiatives and experiments
  • fair and inclusive procedures for targeting expense reduction and reallocation
  • improved efforts to imagine creative ways to conserve resources and enhance the campus and neighborhood environment
  • continuous improvement of campus operations through assessment and benchmarking
  • hiring and retaining the highest quality personnel across the institution, making the University an attractive workplace of choice

Copyright � 2001 University of Denver 2199 S. University Blvd. Denver, Colorado 80208
(303) 871-2000 All rights reserved. Direct Edit � page last revised June 25, 2001 .