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Engaging Ideas

About The Strategic Issues Program

From its inception over a decade ago, the overarching goal of the DU Strategic Issues Program (SIP) has been to encourage informed public discussion on topics that are important to citizens of Colorado and the nation. In so doing, we affirm the values of informed civil discourse, intellectual freedom, open communication and rigor that guide the University of Denver itself.

Over the years, the process used to encourage thoughtful public discourse on important topics has evolved. For the first ten years, the University convened groups of accomplished citizens, called Strategic Issues Panels, who conducted year-long, nonpartisan examinations of important public issues. After receiving information on the topic from experts, advocates, public officials and others, panel members used a consensus process to arrive at findings and recommendations which were widely distributed to the public, media and state and national officials.

Topics examined by Strategic Issues Panels have included Colorado's Economic Future (2005), Colorado's Water Future (2006) the Colorado Constitution (2007), Immigration Reform (2009), Colorado State Government (2011), Campaign Finance (2013), Higher Education (2014) and Legislative Accountability (2015). Copies of these reports are available by clicking the links at the right side of this page.

Building on this foundation, in 2016 the Strategic Issues Program developed the Engaging Ideas series. To expand the range of topics, the series embraces both public policy issues as well as a wide range of other subjects. Through video-recorded interviews with DU faculty and other experts, Engaging Ideas examines emerging trends, new findings and innovative thinking from the sciences, engineering, humanities, business, politics, law and other fields.

The interviews are intended to encourage individual reflection and to serve as a springboard for informed public discussion on a wide variety of topics. To this end, suggested readings and discussion questions accompany most interview videos. These resources are intended to facilitate discussions by civic organizations, service clubs, salons, book clubs and others wishing to explore a topic in greater depth.