Last Updated: Mar 28th, 2013 - 15:54:01
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Transitions Task Force seeks input on University structure

By Cliff Foster

First came the name change, now comes a campus-wide discussion to explore a new organization for an institution that has evolved from a college to a university.

The Transitions Task Force is preparing to hold meetings this week and next Monday with the MSU Denver community to solicit input on the future of the University’s structure.

The meetings, which are open to all, will be held:

  • Tuesday, Feb.12: 8-9 a.m. in SSB 440A and 11 a.m.-noon in SSB324
  • Wednesday, Feb. 13: 9-10 a.m. and 10-11 a.m. in SSB 440A and 3-4 p.m. in SSB324
  • Thursday Feb. 14: 11 a.m.-noon, noon-1 p.m., and 2-3 p.m. in SSB 324
  • Monday, Feb. 18: 4-5 p.m. in SSB 400.

President Stephen Jordan announced the task force during his Spring Update Jan. 30. "I think it is a really exciting opportunity to rethink who we are and how we deliver our product for the benefit of our students and our community," he said.

The new effort builds on the work of the 2009 Academic Structure Review Committee, which recommended establishing schools of education and the arts. It is also motivated by the post-name change discussions about possibly transitioning the University’s three schools to colleges.

Joan Foster, dean of the school of letters, arts and sciences and a task force member, says the question emerged about whether “we should do that shift or take this as an opportunity to look at the institution as a whole and decide whether or not it is best structured for the 21st century.”

The meetings with the campus community will provide background on the issue and solicit ideas about “what would be good policy and procedure for recommending and making changes, specifically what criteria would be used to determine what would be a school and what would be college,” she says.

“That’s got to be the first step…. Then we will want to explore how we want campus units to be organized,” she says. “We want that to be open, widely participatory, so it’s very transparent.”

Toward that end, the task force will develop a multi-faceted communication strategy to keep the campus informed about its progress.

Along with Foster, the members of the task force are:

  • Vicki Golich, chair, provost and vice president of academic and student affairs
  • Jennifer Capps, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology
  • Cindy Carlson, chair and professor of English, representing the Council of Chairs
  • Larry Collette, assistant professor of broadcasting, representing the Faculty Senate
  • Joice Gibson, lecturer, department of music, representing the Faculty Senate
  • Sandra Haynes, dean of the School of Professional Studies
  • Mike Kornelsen, chair and professor of music
  • Barbara McKenzie, assistant professor of special education
  • Ann Murphy, dean of the School of Business


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