CU is moving forward along the Flagship 2030 plan and is discussing changes that will allow the university to reach its outlined goals.
On Tuesday morning, Chancellor DiStefano gave the 2012-13 State of the Campus Address in the UMC Aspen Rooms, telling of CU successes and where the school plans to improve in the coming years. DiStefano described the main goals: increasing support for students, more funding for the school through private means and fundraising and to keep improving and upholding CU’s reputation.
“[There are] three elements critical to the university and its success: enhancing the experience of all of our students, establishing a diversified funding model, and building and protecting our reputation,” DiStefano said.
This is not just a vision, but a combined vision of the community around the state for “their flagship university”, DiStefano said. Significant progress has been made since the program started in 2007, and highlights from the progress made so far will be released in the next few weeks on the Flagship 2030 website.
“But let there be no mistake,” DiStefano said. “We still have much work to do in building trust with diverse communities around the state, improving our campus climate to be more welcoming and inclusive and adding diversity to our faculty and graduate student ranks.”
To accomplish this, DiStefano detailed the increasing number of international students, preventing events such as 4/20 and expanding upon programs that freshman will get involved in as they mark their first days at CU.
Construction will also continue throughout campus as this program continues.
“When Flagship 2030 was launched, we had an ambitious goal to support the mission by investing in our facilities,” DiStefano said. This will continue as the program progresses, with the potential opportunity to upgrade athletic facilities across campus, which is a decision that will be made by the end of the year.
DiStefano explained how important it is to offer a sense of community to students, and to make students’ lives easier to seek help from different schools at CU.
“We are working on programs this year to remove barriers to their educational experience, an effort that I believe will not only enhance their education, but improve our reputation, allowing us to attract the best and brightest students in Colorado and the nation,” DiStefano said.
To accomplish this, DiStefano revealed his plan to reduce barriers students face when trying to get dual majors, as the minimum amount of credit hours needed is 145, despite the fact that a student may be able to satisfy the requirements for both degrees in 120 hours.
“That extra 25 hours constitutes an additional year of study, a significant logistical and financial barrier to our students,” DiStefano said.
The freshman class this year was also the most diverse yet in CU history, with 26 percent of Colorado residents representing a minority, DiStefano said. Diversity allows an opportunity to get to know students and faculty from different backgrounds, cultures and experiences, which makes it an important part of student life.
“[Their] life stories add to the lessons of the classroom and the workplace,” DiStefano said.
To enhance the freshman experience at CU, DiStefano discussed new programs that would get freshman more involved to make their first experience at CU a positive one.
Student Affairs piloted a program where 120 new freshmen spent their first Saturday on campus volunteering for community activities, which included environmental restoration, yard work for disabled and elderly citizens and sorting food at the local food bank, all of which DiStefano participated in and observed with the students.
Freshman Kimberly Chin, expressed her enjoyment with getting involved with community service with DiStefano that day.
“Volunteering at the Food Bank of the Rockies made me more aware of the face of hunger in America and how much impact a single individual can make,” Chin said.
This community service program will expand to more freshmen next year, with the goal of incorporating the entire freshman class in three to four years, DiStefano said.
DiStefano was also thankful that CU was not found on the Princeton review or Playboy’s top party school lists, a major step in his Flagship 2030 program.
“More students are choosing CU-Boulder for the right reasons: superior academics and the life-changing educational experience we offer,” DiStefano said.
Donald Williams, a 27-year-old history major, said that DiStefano’s outlined goals will increase these opportunities.
“From personal experience, the support for students at CU has been good,” Williams said. “CU’s reputation is good too, and so is our education opportunity.”
Tessa Malsam, a 21-year-old broadcast journalism major, said that she feels encouraged by the faculty and other students in her program of study.
“I don’t feel like a fish in the sea,” Malsam said. “Since I am involved with the journalism school, I feel that the faculty is really involved with students, and it is easy to get their attention.”
“By coming together [as a community], the state of our campus will remain strong,” DeStifano said.
For more information about Flagship 2030, visit the website.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Zachary Cook at Zachary.Cook@colorado.edu.