Board of Trustees votes yes on graduate program proposal
Posted: December 3, 2008
The Metropolitan State College of Denver Board of Trustees today voted to authorize President Stephen Jordan to continue the process of researching the feasibility of modifying statutory language to allow Metro State to offer master’s degree programs.
“This vote gives me the go-ahead to continue testing the water regarding legislative approval for us to offer master’s degrees,” Jordan said during a break. “We already have been meeting one-on-one with legislators and many of the other higher education and community leaders to gauge their support, and if, at any time, we decide it is not prudent to continue, the process will be stopped.”
The 7-to-1 vote came after a presentation by Jordan and a prolonged discussion of the proposal, in which every trustee went on record with their concerns and support for or against it. (Chair Adele Phelan did not vote as there was no tie.)
In his presentation, Jordan covered how graduate programs can support Metro State’s mission, benefit students and the community, and support the College’s Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) initiative. He went into some detail regarding potential master’s programs in teacher education, accounting and social work. The three departments had surveyed their students since the November board meeting, and Jordan’s presentation highlighted the students’ substantial support. It also listed the numerous government and professional organizations that have expressed their backing.
One major concern was why Jordan feels the College must proceed for this upcoming legislative session, rather than wait until the 2010 session. “Why the rush to judgment on such a major issue?” asked Trustee Mark Martinez.
Jordan answered that too often he has witnessed institutions that have an idea and are asked for more and more information until they’ve lost the opportunity. “I absolutely believe that now is the time to proceed. The timing is the right timing with the leadership we have in place,” he said. Jordan continually reiterated that at any time he could decide that it isn’t going to work and stop the process. “This will be a deliberative process with decisions and judgments every step of the way.”
To answer a question about whether this would diminish the College’s mission regarding undergraduates, Trustee Michelle Lucero said she believes it will add to the commitment to undergrads. “This is to complement, not overtake or replace, our bachelor’s programs,” she said.
About Metropolitan State College of Denver
With more than 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans. Starting in the fall of 2010, the College is offering master’s degrees in accounting and teacher education, with plans to offer a master’s in social work in fall 2011. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 67,500 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.