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From Davidson’s Desk

President talks inclusive leadership, advisory councils and legislative messaging.

December 12, 2018

Janine DavidsonDear Roadrunners,

The fall semester is racing to a close. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. I know this is a busy time of year for all of us, so please don’t forget to take care of yourselves. Eat well. Get good rest. Walk away from your desk once in a while for some fresh air and deep breaths. And please know that I appreciate all you do for our students and our University.

In this month’s update, I wanted to talk a little more about Inclusive Leadership. I know the phrase is still nebulous for some of you, but essentially it refers to the ethos that characterizes the way we want to work at MSU Denver. In an inclusive leadership culture, every employee is a valuable member of the team and empowered to take ownership of their contributions to the University’s goals. This culture is grounded in a shared belief that a diversity of voices makes MSU Denver stronger and capable of better decision-making.

We’ve already made good strides in co-creating this type of culture on campus. In October, we held our second Inclusive Leadership Summit, which drew 150 people to discuss student retention. The event culminated in the creation of 14 new Transformational Sustainability Teams that will meet regularly throughout the coming year to research issues related to helping students meet their academic and degree-completion goals. Additionally, we have an Inclusive Leadership Integration Team that is putting together a toolkit of resources for all of us to use to ensure that we are continually working together with an inclusive mindset.

On a related note, we are looking for new leadership for three of the President’s Advisory Councils: Culture and Workplace; Academic Excellence and Student Success; and Built Environment and Infrastructure. Please nominate yourself or one of your colleagues!

In an effort to speak to state leaders with a unified voice, our Government Affairs team recently put together some excellent legislative messaging. We’ve been using it to train our Board of Trustees, Foundation Board and Community Cabinet with the goal of moving the needle on our funding at the Capitol. I was also recently asked to write a letter to Gov.-elect Jared Polis’ Transition Education Committee to share my thoughts on the core challenges facing higher education in Colorado. If you’d like to be a part of our advocacy efforts, please sign up for our MSU Denver Champions program.  

In my view, great leadership means recognizing when great work has been accomplished. With that in mind, I want to personally thank you for your hard work this semester and invite you to Fall 2018 Commencement on Dec. 14. We have so much to celebrate together. 

As always, thanks for reading. Happy Holidays to you and your families. And thanks for running with me.



Janine Davidson, Ph.D.


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