Provost accepts the Graduate School’s strategic plan | CU Boulder today
The Graduate School has published its strategic plan, providing a dynamic plan for the transformation of higher education at CU Boulder for the next three to five years.
The The Graduate School’s Strategic Planning Committee began its work in October 2019 after being tasked by Rector Russell Moore. But in March 2020, the committee was forced to halt its work when the campus shifted its focus to tackling the rapidly escalating global pandemic. When the committee resumed work in the spring of 2021, many of the imperatives it initially identified and outlined became even more relevant and evident as the events of the past year and a half became clear.
“The global pandemic has caused many unforeseen challenges,” said Scott Adler, dean of the Graduate School and vice-president of graduate affairs. “Students were immediately faced with a downturn in their research, a disrupted economy and job market, and a variety of challenges that affected their well-being,” he said.. “The Graduate School needed to think differently about how we could meet these challenges and help maintain ties within the Graduate School community. “
The three imperatives described in the strategic plan are:
- Foster an inclusive and equitable campus climate to ensure a thriving and diverse student community.
- Provide comprehensive support for students to recruit, retain and graduate academics prepared for a range of career paths and positive societal impact.
- Transform the supportive relationships, roles and interactions that shape graduate student success, fostering a more people-centered approach to higher education.
- Advance higher education to anticipate the needs of a rapidly changing world and look to the future with flexibility and agility.
“A long-held belief is that universities are effecting change at freezing speed,” Adler said. “The pandemic allowed us to see how the university could be more agile than we ever imagined. Additionally, it accentuated the need for graduate studies to be more student-oriented, more humane, and more compassionate.
The Graduate School is already making progress in many areas addressed in the strategic plan. Last year, the Graduate School launched a Diversity Recruitment Initiative that provided more than $ 220,000 to 22 departments to fund innovative plans on how to increase their diversity candidate pool. It also awarded $ 195,000 in diversity recruiting scholarships to 46 incoming students. This year, it will continue to offer recruitment scholarships to students from underrepresented communities in higher education and to work with the graduate recruitment team and departments to strengthen their diversity efforts.
Continuing its work to build a stronger community for graduate students, the Graduate School has expanded its peer mentoring program to over 1,300 participants, with multiple social events scheduled throughout the year. Registration will open soon for the fourth annual three-minute thesis competition, which last year had 39 competing graduate students and drew an audience of 240 in six countries who watched the final live. Grad + seminars, which provide research and writing support to over 300 graduate students, continue to grow in attendance, as do all professional development programs.
Mental health services for graduate students expanded this year with the integrated counselor initiative placing Counselors in psychiatric counseling and services in all colleges and university schools, including one at the Graduate School.
Adler is excited about the potential for change that is already taking place at the Graduate School. “We recognize that the educational and professional needs of graduate students are changing rapidly, which means that our graduate programs and the graduate school must change as well,” he said.
Note: Dean Adler will be hosting a town hall for graduate students who have Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs JB Banks, Provost Moore and COO Patrick O’Rourke. Here is the Zoom link.