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From Davidson's Desk

President highlights exciting brand audit findings and celebrates MSU Denver's Hispanic-Serving Institution designation.

February 27, 2019

Janine DavidsonDear Roadrunners,

People have noticed the great work happening at Metropolitan State University of Denver. How do I know? Well, for one thing, business and community leaders tell me in almost every meeting I attend. But the evidence goes beyond the mere anecdotal.

Last year’s brand audit proved that the efforts being made to let the world know about our University’s excellent academics, stellar faculty and influence on the Colorado community have exceeded expectations. A key 2018 goal was to break the 80 percent threshold for community recognition. The University surpassed that goal, hitting 84 percent. This positions MSU Denver to meet and surpass its Strategic Plan goal of 85 percent recognition by 2020. Our amazing faculty and staff, who are focused every day on serving students and on innovating for student success, deserve the credit for our enhanced reputation. 

The audit gathered feedback from business leaders and external partners as well as our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Overall, 84 percent of external respondents rated MSU Denver as “good” to “excellent.” That’s an impressive number, and one that I am committed to growing even more in the coming year.

One clear takeaway from the research was that we are at an opportune moment in the University’s history to influence how the community sees us. And how people see us is critical – affecting our reputation, retention rates and even funding.  

There is a growing curiosity about MSU Denver, and it’s the right time to make sure our message is unified, loud and clear. With that in mind, our Strategy, Marketing and Communications team is in the process of putting together a refreshed brand platform that will allow us to speak with one bold voice to tell our story. That also means a new ad campaign to launch this summer.

As faculty and staff, you are on the front lines of sharing the University’s message. Every time you meet with a student, teach a class or interact with someone in the community, you have an opportunity to influence the way that person thinks and feels about MSU Denver. If we’re all singing from the same songbook, our message will be amplified.  

To make sure we have the training we need to share that unified message, we’ll be rolling out a brand-evangelist program this spring. This fun and engaging training will be a primer for our refreshed brand platform that will include highlights from the new ad campaign and messaging. It will also be an opportunity for you to share stories from your department, office or area that could wind up being featured in our ads as well as stories in RED and the Metropolitan Denver magazine. There’ll be more to come on this program in the Early Bird, so keep an eye out and sign up for the training.

Finally, as most of you have heard by now, MSU Denver was officially named a Hispanic-Serving Institution on Feb. 19. This federal designation is the result of more than 15 years of work by countless members of the University community and has the potential to open new funding sources that can be used to support all of our students. I am grateful to those who worked on this initiative and excited about how additional funds could affect our retention efforts.  

Thank you for all the work you do every day to embody the values of our University. Your extraordinary commitment is the reason that our reputation is continuing to grow in Denver, across Colorado and nationwide. Together, we can let those who don’t already know that an MSU Denver education is second to none.


Janine Davidson, Ph.D.


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