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DU Task Forces Begin Work

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Jeremy Haefner

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Dear DU Community,

As I have previously shared, there is much work to be done as we manage the financial impacts of the coronavirus on our University, and on every member of our community. The implications on the students we serve, and on their families, cannot be overstated.

As outlined in my April 29 update on finances and planning, I have created a network of five University-wide task forces, and an over-arching University Planning Steering Committee, to help us understand the complex landscape we are facing, and project likely future scenarios. With the combined expertise of our board members, senior leadership, faculty and staff, these groups will analyze our situation, collect data, and make the best recommendations possible. I have also created a Student Advisory Board so that graduate and undergraduate students can be consulted by each of the task forces as we tackle significant questions about the future of DU and their education.

I appreciate the number of people who volunteered to serve on these groups, and I’m also grateful for the many recommendations we received. I want to thank, in particular, the Staff Advisory Council as well as the Faculty Senate Executive Committee who worked closely with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for their thoughtfulness and thoroughness in this process. As with any undertaking of this kind, we can only include a manageable number of people on each task force. However, we will create opportunities to hear from all interested members of the community. And we will share our progress regularly on these dedicated web pages where you’ll find each task force, along with its charge, chairs and members. Periodic updates will be provided on these pages.

The task forces are:

Each task force is comprised of central- and unit-level representation, including faculty, staff and administrators. Diversity, including diversity of thought, was a guide for member selection, as was unique expertise, commitment to creative thinking, data-driven decision-making ability, and commitment to the University overall. We are working closely with the Undergraduate Student Government and Graduate Student Government to finalize the members of the Student Advisory Board, which will be in active conversation with all five of the task forces, including joining some of the planning meetings. The Steering Committee will oversee and knit together the entire body of work being produced by the task forces and has primary responsibility for keeping our community informed about our progress.

I will be frank with you: we are in uncharted waters, and the work of our task forces will be extremely important. I ask you to join me in putting your faith in their due diligence, their creativity, and their wisdom. And I also ask you to contribute your ideas so that you too can help determine our way forward.

As always, I will provide updates throughout and welcome your questions, suggestions, and concerns.