A glowing presidential evaluation and an update on the College's Strategic Planning process were two highlights of the Board of Trustees' (BOT) Dec. 1 meeting.
Tom Meredith, a consultant with the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), reported on the evaluation of President Stephen Jordan (“Metro State President receives high praise in evaluation”) that was contracted by the Board of Trustees in April 2010, as Jordan began his fifth year as president.
The prevalent theme expressed by 80-plus interviewees from within the College and the metro Denver community as well as higher education leaders, was one of pride in having Jordan represent Metro State, Meredith said. “They are pleased that he is the face of Metro State.”
Strategic planning outcomes
Another perspective on the College’s stellar successes over the last five years was delivered in a presentation by 2010 Strategic Planning Committee Co-chairs Associate Vice President of Communications and Advancement Cathy Lucas and Faculty Senate President Kamran Sahami.
They provided an executive summary of a 121-page report “Metro State Strategic 2005 Plan Update in 2010” detailing the outcomes of the Strategic Plan launched in 2005, and then revised in 2008, including the progress of the First Year Success Program, the addition of 200 full-time tenured-tenure track faculty and the increase in the number of students of color from 23.7 percent in fall 2006 to 28.4 percent in fall 2010. Read more about the presentation to the BOT in this same issue of This Week@Metro.)
Next steps for Governor's strategic planning process
Jordan also provided an update on the Higher Education Strategic Planning committee’s plan, “Degree Dividend,” released on Nov. 4. In response to a possibility that the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) may “adopt that strategic plan as the master plan for higher education,” Jordan has joined presidents at other four-year public institutions in Colorado in signing a letter to the CCHE saying “we believe that a master plan and a strategic plan are two different things.”
He further explained SB10-3 called for a master plan. “There are a whole series of things that were called for in the statute we do not believe are in the strategic plan.” He says he and other institutions want to encourage the CCHE to use the Degree Dividend plan as a first step in a process engaging CCHE in a true master-planning process, understanding that in doing so they would not meet the SB10-3’s Dec. 15 statutory deadline for the master plan.
Joint Budget Committee testimony
Jordan also reported that he, BOT Chair Robert Cohen and Vice President of Administration, Finance and Facilities Natalie Lutes testified at a hearing to the Joint Budget Committee on Nov. 30, where they learned that setting next year's budget is going to be a long process. “What we are hearing from the JBC is that the likelihood of any real decision with respect to higher education being made is low until literally as they get closer to the March 15 revenue projection,” Jordan explained.
Cohen added that during their testimony, “I think every other institution in the state was there to watch our presentation, which I think was an interesting silent statement, that either for good or bad, they were interested in what we had to say.”
To underscore how Metro State is continuing to fulfill its mission while growing other programs, such as the master’s degrees, Jordan reported the increase in retention rates over the last four to five years in a number of areas.
“I think anyone who would argue that this College has walked away from its mission would be hard pressed to fight these statistics,” Jordan said. “(These numbers) are a real credit to faculty and staff who have under very difficult financial conditions managed to achieve those kind of successes.”