President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., kicked off the 2022 Fall Welcome Back event Tuesday by revisiting her five years leading Metropolitan State University of Denver.

“Five years ago, I said I had three priorities: ‘students, students, students,’” Davidson said. “MSU Denver’s student-focused passion is what drew me here and what motivates me still.” 

President Davidson headshot.

Davidson thanked hardworking faculty and staff members for supporting that shared mission and for driving dozens of successful programs and initiatives related to her initial five focus areas to: 

  • Strengthen student success 
  • Invest in people 
  • Address our shrinking resources 
  • Deliver on the promise 
  • Lead inclusively and with intention

Among the accomplishments and innovations, Davidson applauded strides in online learning; improving the transfer process; establishing the Classroom to Career Hub and Center for Multicultural Engagement and Inclusion; investments in compensation and infrastructure; creating new traditions of employee recognition; expanding professional-development opportunities; increasing fundraising and legislative outreach; securing more institutional grants; achieving Hispanic-Serving Institution status; becoming a leader in diversity and inclusion; and much more. 

Davidson also recognized the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected employees on many personal levels but also highlighted systemic inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement. 

“(Thanks to federal recovery funding), we are actually emerging in a stronger place because of the investing and strategizing we’ve done together,” Davidson said. “Covid threw us into a spin, but we’ve recovered, we’re stabilizing and we’re preparing to launch back on our course.” 

The University will focus on five key areas, outlined in more detail in the livestream recording below: 

  • People and processes 
  • Student servingness 
  • Infrastructure 
  • Resources 
  • Innovation and technology 

“If I can leave you with one takeaway today, it’s this: MSU Denver is the place to be,” Davidson said. “I am so proud of all we’ve done in our five years together, and I can’t wait to see what we do in the next five. This is truly a University primed to launch!” 

Honored educators 

The Fall Welcome Back event also included a celebration of the 2022 Teaching Excellence Award winners: 

  • Tenured faculty — Mark Koester, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics and Statistics  
  • Tenure-track faculty — Steve Krizman, Department of Journalism and Media Production 
  • Category II faculty — Claire Critchlow, Human Services and Counseling 
  • Affiliate faculty — Harry Chiang, Ph.D., Department of Psychological Sciences 


The inner workings of Workday 

George Middlemist, Ph.D., associate vice president of Administration and Finance, and Rebecca Reid, innovation-and-transformation analyst with Human Resources, presented a sneak peek into one of the University’s most exciting information-technology upgrades, the transition to Workday.  

This comprehensive human-resources and financial-management system will integrate Banner, Chrome River and People Admin, among others, into a single, inclusive HR and finance system. Check out the recording to learn more and watch for regular Early Bird articles. 

Share your feedback 

Fall Welcome Back attendees are invited to take a quick survey to share thoughts and ideas that will help improve future events. 

Get your new (blue!) MSU Denver swag 

Employees who missed the opportunity to snag MSU Denver’s newest swag can stop by the University Communications and Marketing office, located Jordan Student Success Building, room 430. Shirts will be available for pick up this week only during the following hours:  

  • Today; 9 a.m. -2:30 p.m.  
  • Thursday, noon-3:30 p.m.