In her opening comments at the Oct. 19 meeting of the Metropolitan State University of Denver President’s Cabinet, President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., focused on budget. 

“As fiscal-year 2025 budget planning shifts into high gear over the next few months, I want everyone in the MSU Denver community to be invested in the budget-and-planning process,” said Davidson. “These priorities are aligned with our 2030 Strategic Plan and the investments needed to ensure the future success of the institution. I hope this direction for evaluating your budget priorities helps you align your departmental budget proposals with our mission of preparing our students for Colorado’s modern workforce.” 

Davidson also gave a special thanks to the budget team, led by Jim Carpenter, chief financial officer, which has utilized Workday to revamp and modernize budget processes, making them more transparent and inclusive.

Davidson and senior leaders also shared updates on evolving projects and initiatives:

Homecoming highlights

Homecoming 2023: Running Through History was a great success and showcased the best of the Roadrunner Community. The University Advancement team counted 1,670 attendees across 13 events. While the festivities drew many current and former students, there was also an increase in employee participation, particularly at the tailgate and office-decorating contest. 

“In our eyes, it was the best Homecoming yet,” said Brandi Rideout, senior director of Alumni Engagement. 

The Assembly Athletic Center stands were also packed with nearly 500 fans during the week’s soccer games, and the Roadrunners 5K drew 210 participants (up from approximately 90 participants in 2022) and raised over $5,000 for the cross-country program.  

See more great Homecoming moments in this highlight reel. 


Operations update

Eboni Nash, diversity, equity and inclusion recruitment-program manager, visited the Cabinet meeting to provide a response to the recent Auraria Secure Campus Initiative that considers the physical and psychological challenges in student safety and to advocate for greater dialogue around implicit-bias training for employees. 

“Statistics show that, with increased campus safety (measures), there is also an increased obligation of affiliates to maintain that safety,” Nash said, adding that for some students even wearing a badge that identifies them can be a risk metric. 

Nash provided some contextual information on the Auraria Campus and MSU Denver student bodies, noting that many students have incomes that put them at or below Denver’s poverty line, have criminal backgrounds, receive government benefits or are balancing other challenges. Nash noted that locking buildings can increase bias, resulting in unsolicited questioning, a heightened sense of surveillance, potential for harmful malfunctions, barriers to access, further isolation and a decrease in psychological safety. Nash asked Cabinet members to consider comprehensive approaches to safety that actively engage students, employees and community members.  

Such psychological supports could include:

  • Positive messaging about the change, with a focus on feedback during the first year. 
  • Increased mental-health resources for students.  
  • Relaxed tardy policies within classrooms. 
  • Transparency in data tracked. 

Physical approaches could include:

  • Staffed entrances for individuals without key cards. 
  • Communication to online learners about inclusivity on campus.  
  • Contingency plans — keypads, doorbells or 24/7 call support for building access.  

Strategic Plan update

Meredith Jeffers, Ph.D., director of Strategy, spoke to how the student-success team is operationalizing Pillars I and II of the 2030 Strategic Plan and provided an update on draft objectives, key results and committee charges. 

The Strategy team reviewed the 30/60/90 plans and ideas submitted by deans and academic leaders and identified and organized common themes. The team then made a heat map to set priorities for the rest of the fall semester. 

Priorities include: 

  • Experiential major maps 
  • Advising technology 
  • Academic policies as obstacles 
  • One-click registration 
  • Exploratory/undeclared grouped with meta majors  
  • Change major grouped with withdrawal process 

“Each objective for each theme was meant to be significant, concrete, action-oriented and inspirational to keep people motivated to knocking out those problems,” Jeffers said.  

Jeffers also shared the plan for remaining fall meetings and sought Cabinet feedback on spring priorities. 

See the full recording. 

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