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A look inside the President’s Cabinet

Eager to hear from the new president? Janine Davidson, Ph.D., shared her guiding principles and expectations at the Aug. 7 meeting.

By Dan Vaccaro

August 8, 2017

 President Janine Davidson's first Cabinet meeting. Janine Davidson, Ph.D., convened the first President’s Cabinet meeting of her tenure on Aug. 7, 2017. At the standing-room only session, she spoke about how she likes to work, answered questions from the audience and emphasized the importance of Cabinet as an opportunity for open communication.

“This is an important forum,” she said. “It allows me to hear what is happening in our community and what is on your mind, and as we go forward, more importantly, it is a place to raise the big issues and participate in a collaborative and diverse decision-making process.

“I want to make sure that everyone has a voice, and this is the place where we can do that.”

Davidson emphasized that Cabinet meetings are open to the entire MSU Denver community, and also noted that members are responsible for ensuring that essential updates reach their constituent groups.

What is she thinking?

For the first portion of the meeting, Davidson shared her guiding principles as president. The idea was to give people a sense of how her mind works and how she makes decisions. The list included:

  • Trust and transparency – Her role is to trust that leaders know their jobs and will get them done. “If we start with an ethos of trust, we will succeed,” she said.
  • Open communication – Her goal is to be transparent and open in all decision-making.
  • Inclusivity – Having many voices at the table is essential. “The evidence is irrefutable,” she said. “If you have a diverse group of people, you are going to make better decisions.”
  • Empowerment – People should be empowered and have authority to do their work well. “My job is to empower and enable you to be awesome,” she said.
  • Open mindedness – “I certainly don’t have all the answers,” she said. “If I did, I could do all your jobs. But I don’t. So, I need lots of ideas from you. I am open minded about new ways of doing things.”
  • Good time management/respect – Davidson said that we never feel like we have enough time, so it is important to respect others by being punctual for meetings and efficient in communications.
  • Balance – She emphasized the importance of work/life balance and taking vacation. “Tired, grumpy people are not fun to work with and don’t make good decisions. Let’s not be those people,” she said.

Listen to a podcast of the full meeting, in which you can hear Davidson share more on her expectations and respond to questions about inclusive excellence, shared governance, faculty compensation and much more.

And other updates

Don’t forget to complete the President’s Vision Survey before Aug. 31.

Student Convocation will take place on Aug. 17 at the P.E. Event Center starting at 5:30 p.m. All employees and their families are encouraged to attend.

 President Janine Davidson's first Cabinet meeting.Former Mexican President Vicente Fox will be on campus Aug. 30 for an event co-sponsored by MSU Denver, the College of Business and the Global Chamber. Check for more details in the Early Bird.

Save the date for the President’s Welcome Home breakfast, which will take place on Sept. 13 at the King Center. Davidson will share her vision with the community.

On Sept. 14, the MSU Denver Champions Program will host Davidson for a town hall event in the CAVEA. The Q&A will also be livestreamed.

Two open forums will be held on Sept. 18 to discuss the findings from the 2017 campus climate survey. The forums will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. A video of the event will also be posted online.

Enrollment is projected to be up between a half and one percentage point this fall, a solid showing. More details to come in the Early Bird.

Advancement had a record-breaking year, raising $7.1 million, the highest total in University history. More than 2,100 alums donated this year.

Information Technology Service reported that the initiative to replace phones is underway. The project should be completed by Dec. 1.

Full minutes  for the Aug. 7 Cabinet meeting will be available by the end of the week. 

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