The Metro State community has taken great pleasure in celebrating the College’s 45th Anniversary through a number of recent events, and a presentation to the Board of Trustees (BOT) at their Dec. 1 meeting set yet another reason for the College to celebrate its past and future.
2010 Strategic Planning Committee Co-chairs Associate Vice President of Communications and Advancement Cathy Lucas and Faculty Senate President Kamran Sahami provided an update on how the College has progressed in the last five years on the road to preeminence based on the following four goals:
· Prepare students for success in their education, career and life
· Provide a high-quality education experience
· Engage, collaborate, and work with the community
· Enhance and promote diversity
A milestone reached, but not initially in the goals, was the addition of master’s programs. Lucas said it was categorized under “unexpected outcomes.”
The co-chairs indicated the College’s First Year Success Program (FYS) has grown to 700 students this fall and plans to serve 3,000 students by 2012 when the Student Success Building opens. Lucas said the pilot cohort of 400 FYS students achieved an 81 percent retention rate (fall to fall), with a follow-up pilot with 600 students achieving a 90 percent retention rate (fall to spring).
President Stephen Jordan was proud to say it was a “big audacious goal.”
The report also noted nearly 200 full-time tenured-tenure track faculty members have been added since 2004, with 49 being faculty of color. Lucas said the College increased by 3 percent to 4 percent the number of courses taught by tenured and tenure-track faculty, falling slightly short of the 5 percent to 6 percent goal from the 2005 Strategic Plan.
“Because of the collapsed state and national economy (the percentage goal) did not happen,” Lucas said.
Jordan added, “The growth in our student body outpaced our ability to bring faculty aboard. It really dampened our ability to have the impact we had hoped we were going to get,” said Jordan.
Other goals reached included the creation of the Center for Urban Connection, the purchase of the Center for Visual Art, and the creation of $110 million in construction projects, none of which are funded by taxpayer dollars. Faculty Trustee Hal Nees said it was important to include how the students have stepped up to fund capital construction projects.
The report also acknowledged how the work of the College has impacted diversity in the student population, with the total number of students of color increasing from 23.7 percent (5,016) in fall 2006 and to 28.4 percent (6,806) in fall 2010, representing a 35.7 percent gain.
An external accolade was being named an Emerging Hispanic Serving Institution by Excelencia in Education in February 2010, which reinforced the College’s success in the Latino student population. The outreach to the Latino community extended past campus, according to Jordan, who serves on the Board of Directors for the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver.
“We made opportunities available for their members who are subcontractors to meet with our contractors about projects so they would have the opportunity to be a player,” he said.
Additionally, Lucas said the Strategic Planning Committee would follow the advice of Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges consultant Tom Meredith, who had earlier provided a comprehensive evaluation of Jordan. He asked that the president focus on the execution of current initiatives, bring those to a conclusion, and then be selective on the new initiatives moving forward.
Moving forward, the BOT will receive a quarterly update on the 2010 Strategic Plan and participate in the Vision Conference in April. This will be a “great time for top-down input,” said Sahami, who added the planning process would also look at including projections for growth.
BOT Chair Robert Cohen said, “If we keep on track asking tough questions, we’ll end up with something useful to all of us.”
Review the “Metro State Strategic 2005 Plan Update in 2010” and the Metro State Strategic 2005 Plan Update in 2010: Executive Summary” at the College’s Strategic Planning website under “Background Information.”
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