From Davidson’s Desk
President talks student success, how C2 Hub will blend academic and technical skills in new monthly column.
October 29, 2018
With the fall semester in full swing, I thought it would be a good time to reach out with some updates. This is the first of what I expect will be a monthly column that complements my Rundown video series. My goal is to keep you in the loop on high-level initiatives and celebrate University successes.
I want to start by reiterating that my top priority is student success, which means I am intensely focused on student retention and graduation. In my Investiture speech last month, I talked about how universities need to continually adapt to better serve students and their real-life needs, and not try to cram a diverse set of students into a one-size-fits-all model. I cited a 2017 Gallup/Strada survey that reported how 85 percent of students said they went to college to “get a better job.” The Classroom to Career Hub is one way we can help today’s students reach that goal. But I want to be clear that I am not proposing that we abandon traditional education in the liberal arts and humanities. MSU Denver is not a trade school. What we do better than almost any other university is offer a learning model that blends the academic and the practical, the technical skills with human skills.
The C2 Hub expands what we’ve already been doing by attempting to connect students more directly with real-world learning and employment opportunities. The goal is still to cultivate well-rounded, critical thinkers who are also work-ready. My vision is that every student has access to these opportunities, so they graduate with the 21st-century skills required to advance as employees and citizens.
Meeting the needs of students also takes smart planning. This academic year, we’ll begin work on our 2025 strategic plan, which will take about 18 months to roll out. In the spirit of Inclusive Leadership, I’d like as many of you as possible to be involved in that process. Stay tuned for details in the Early Bird. We’ll also close out our 2020 plan and report on how we did in achieving the goals we set.
Last week, our Board of Trustees and Foundation Board had their annual joint retreat. In response to feedback from my initial listening tour and through the President’s Advisory Council on Built Environment and Infrastructure, we took a deep dive into the challenges of our aging buildings. I have heard you all loud and clear – we need to get the University into a better place in terms of repair and growth in order to best support our students.
In my keynote at the Investiture, I also said that together we have made MSU Denver the model urban university for opportunity, diversity, excellence and transformation. And I honestly believe that if we are all singing from the same songbook, we can build on what we’ve already done and make an even bigger impact on student retention, graduation and success.
Thanks for reading! And thanks for running with me.
Janine Davidson, Ph.D.