University of Colorado President Todd Saliman visited the CU Denver campus on February 22 and asked a simple question to start his listening sessions with students, faculty, and staff: when we go on tour awareness across the state, what should we brag about?
Turns out a metaphor was found just two blocks from a well-known play at the Buell Theater.
“I just took my son hamiltonsaid Chris Weible, professor at the School of Public Affairs. “And we heard the song where Hamilton says ‘I’m like my country, I’m young, scrappy and hungry. At CU Denver, we are like that. … We’re a young campus, so we don’t have those traditions that other people have, so we can create those traditions.
Weible sat down with a group of researchers who shared their successes and struggles with Saliman, who took notes and listened intently.
“We can do as much cutting-edge research here as anyone else,” said Mark Golkowski, associate dean for education and student success at the College of Engineering, Design and Computing. “We just need to be better known. The people who discover us appreciate us.
Saliman spent the day on campus for five sessions, meeting with groups that included strategic plan vision teams; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) representatives; researchers; faculty/faculty governance officials; and student leaders. Chancellor Michelle Marks hosted him for the day and participated in various sessions. CU Denver was the president’s third stop on a four-campus listening tour.
Saliman heard of the excitement of students, faculty and staff to be here during a period of transformation, which includes a new strategic plan, a refresh of the university’s brand, preparation for the 50and anniversary, attainment of settlement status serving Hispanics, and progressing to settlement status serving Asian Native American Pacific Islanders. The president also heard about the challenges facing the university, including the need to hire more faculty and staff of color, the difficulty of retaining top talent amid the “great resignation” and the desire to make recognize CU Denver’s name in the state and nation.
Saliman recognized these challenges and the imperative to continue to elevate the university. At the April 7 board meeting, university staff will share the results of the fall 2021 campus and workplace culture survey. While these results will help inform specific actions, “we don’t need these results to tell us that we still have work to do,” Saliman said. “…We can’t just salute what we’re doing now. We always have to improve. »
Holistically, Saliman said the university system wants to better describe the attributes that make each CU campus special and unique in Colorado. Especially in rural areas of the state, perceptions are skewed about the affordability of a degree.
“There are a lot of people who think we are more expensive than we are,” he said.
About 20 students joined Saliman for lunch at the Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center for an open session about what they love about CU Denver and what changes would improve their experience. Topics focused primarily on DEI, including improving gender equity, enthusiasm for CU Denver’s new HSI status, and support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals students ( DACA).
During a later session with the faculty, Saliman commented on how impressed he was with the students’ passion.
“It’s clear they are committed and very proud to be here.”