In 2016, a small community of people will look at Metro State’s many accomplishments over the previous five years and know that they had a hand in shaping those successes.
More than 50 College and business leaders attended the Metro State Vision Conference on Aug. 16 to talk openly and honestly about the College’s weaknesses and strengths and develop a vision for a preferred future. The conference was Phase IV in the process of developing a five-year Strategic Plan.
At any given time during the merry-go-round, mega-meeting, a business leader was seated next to a staff member, a student next to a trustee, or a faculty member next to the president— and the combinations grew from there.
The strategy mitigated the tendency for a few people to dominate a meeting, according to Patrick Sanaghan, meeting co-facilitator and president of The Sanaghan Group.
“We’re doing these groups so we all have voices,” said Sanaghan, who facilitated the meeting with Naomi Nishi, director of program design and customization at Academic Impressions.
Each move to a new seat netted conversations about the five issues explained in concept papers, which served as a baseline for discussions on the following subjects: 1) resources, 2) external relationships, 3) institutional identity, 4) institutional climate, and 5) academic excellence.
For each round of mini meetings, participants used flip charts to document their perspective on these common themes. Some of the words that hung on the wall around the room included “fear free,” “demonstrated accountability,” “entrepreneurial,” “dynamic,” “first choice,” “transformational education” and “plugged in.”
One of the business leaders in attendance was Mike Dino, senior policy advisor with Patton Boggs, LLP. “It’s exciting to be a part of something that positions an important urban asset such as Metro on the cusp of greatness,” said Dino, who served as CEO of the Denver 2008 Democratic Convention Host Committee. “I thought the session was very productive as well as invigorating. It gives me a lot of hope for the future of Metro and all the people involved with the organization.”
President Stephen Jordan said, “This has been one of those transformational kinds of meetings…I can’t begin to thank all of you. I think this was a pretty fun day.”
Faculty Senate President Kamran Sahami, who co-chairs the Strategic Planning Committee with Associate Vice President of Communications and Advancement Cathy Lucas, said, “President Jordan’s willingness to trust the process and his constituencies shows great 21st century leadership.”
Sahami said the faculty and staff participation also showed “this confidence in a chief executive we saw reflected in both climate surveys (faculty and College). It was incredible to see such an engaged turnout of internal and external stakeholders in Metro’s future.”
From here, Sanaghan and Nishi will take the pages and pages of flip charts generated at the meeting and whittle the themes into a draft statement for the Goals Conference in mid-October.
At this conference, an internal-only group of more than 50 faculty and staff will come together to begin developing operational plans for the College’s future that will be implemented beginning in the spring. The Goals Conference represents the fifth phase of a six-phase process that began last summer.
Visit the Strategic Planning website for more information about the process.
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