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Update: University Planning Task Force

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University of Denver

Meeting Held June 1, 2020

News  •
Internal  •

Scenario & Financial Solutions Task Force Update (Leslie Brunelli):

  • Met on June 12.
  • Additional meeting of subcommittee comprised of only DU staff in two weeks.
  • Now four weeks away from the end of the fiscal year. The budget is looking solid so far. Going into FY 21 is the concern.
  • We’ve used McKinsey’s framework to establish three different scenarios. Chancellor, interim provost, and Leslie Brunelli met with several governance and affinity groups (cabinet, deans, University Council, Staff Advisory Council, Faculty Senate, SOCA, FOCA, Women’s Coalition, DU Latina group, queer affinity groups).
  • The final announcement for the next steps will be made after the board meeting on June 5.

Fall Logistics Task Force Update (Corinne Lengsfeld):

  • Large group has met over six times with smaller committees meeting daily.
  • Sent information to parents and students on May 29, which had a positive impact.
  • We’re currently at 1515 deposited students for the fall quarter, with an initial target of 1400. We know there will be melt, but this is a good sign.

Fall Logistics Task Force: Classroom Modalities Update (Derigan Silver):

  • Group is working on a plan for fall enrollment.
  • Requirement that we have 45 square feet per student, which will reduce classroom capacities upwards of 33%.
  • Group working on training videos, signage, plexiglass – very consumer-oriented.
  • Will purchase software and hire consultants.
  • Plan to extend the class day and use all 7 days.
  • Getting creative (using Newman, Ritchie/Magness, setting up tents, etc.)
  • Creating a framework that individual units, chairs/directors can use to create a priority list of classes to offer in-person, hybrid, or online.
  • Focusing on course rather than faculty in organizing framework.
  • Group is prioritizing who will get on campus (several students have scholarship plans that don’t cover online courses).
  • Three buckets: In-person priority, hybrid, online.
  • Will be a rescheduling process in mid/late July once we’ve seen registration.

Digital & Online Strategy Task Force Update (Kate Willink/David Thomas):

  • Work developing method to carry on past this fall.
  • Examining best practices to ensure sustainable work and protect the value of DU degree.
  • Discovery process of current resources and how best to manage.
  • Asking where do we need to centralize resources?
  • Looking at student experience (bill pay, co-curricular resources, where to centralize).
  • Need to improve communication.
  • OTL survey for what faculty want/need in next AY.
  • Recognizing faculty are losing summer for research and scholarship.

Opportunity & Strategy Task Force Update (Jeremy Haefner):

  • Met on May 29.
  • Examining strengths of DU.
  • How DU is differentiated from competition?
  • Asked group to bring 3-5 categories for opportunities to next meeting (June 10).

Healthcare Task Force Update (Jeremy Haefner):

  • Talking to several providers about potential relationships:
    • Denver Health
    • National Jewish
    • Kaiser Permanente
    • Centura
  • Collaborating with smaller groups on campus looking at plan for testing and contact tracing.
  • Making good progress and moving quickly.
  • Goal to have plan by early July.

Faculty Senate Update (Sarah Pessin):

  • Senate voted to enable quick summer meetings to allow for quick responsiveness.
  • Extended pass/fail through summer quarter.
  • Sent report to chancellor outlining Faculty Senate input on cuts (prioritize highest wage-earners first, shield lowest-paid employees, budgetary cuts should be specific and strategic, temporary reductions should be preceded by cuts to upper administration).

Staff Advisory Council Update (Rufina Hernandez):

  • Thank leadership for transparency in process
  • Wish for this to be a shared burden


  • Next University Planning Steering Committee meeting scheduled for June 15.
  • Will send updates via email/TEAMS before next meeting.
  • Please send suggestions for agenda items to
  • Adjourned at 5:02 p.m.