Committees plan to look at CU’s future needs, will report to President Brown by Sept. 2007
This Saturday, the steering committee for Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson’s “Flagship 2030” Strategic Planning Initiative will convene for the first time.
The “Flagship 2030” initiative, a strategic planning program announced by Peterson earlier this year, seeks to ascertain and address issues that CU might face in the year 2030.
“President Brown wanted us to develop a vision for the university in the years to come,” Peterson said. “I could have gone off and written a vision by myself, but I thought it was important that we have a more comprehensive effort. We needed something more overarching.”
The steering committee for the project includes 60 people and is comprised of faculty, alumni, administrators, students and community members. The committee will be further divided to form subcommittee groups of 10 people each. Each subcommittee will address one specific question.
Questions the subcommittees will address include: What will CU’s graduates need to know and be able to do in the year 2030? To what needs of the year 2030 will CU’s research, scholarship and creative efforts respond? What will the state of Colorado need from CU in the year 2030? What should CU’s relationship with the Boulder community be in the year 2030? What kind of university community will CU aspire to be in the year 2030? What kind of financial and operational models will CU need in order to succeed in 2030?
Stuart Takeuchi, who formerly served as the CU system vice president and CU vice chancellor for administration, came out of retirement to act as the planning coordinator for the project.
“People have said that 2030 is awfully far away,” Takeuchi said. “One of my colleagues brought to my attention that the freshman class of 2030 won’t even be born until the year 2012. It’s definitely longer than most planning efforts.”
Takeuchi said he believes the long-term scope of the project will allow the committee to free itself from immediate concerns.
“By thinking 25 years out, rather than be burdened by tomorrow, we’re able to really think about the future,” he said. “It’s a very interesting question.”
CU student and UCSU tri-exec Andy Aitchison is serving as co-chair for the subcommittee that will address the question of what CU’s graduates will need to know in the year 2030.
“(This project) is an attempt to look to the future beyond the next budget cycle,” said Aitchison, a senior anthropology major. “For example, if we determine that all CU graduates will need to know Mandarin Chinese in the year 2030, we need to take steps now to ensure that that will be part of our curriculum in the future.”
The ultimate goal of the “Flagship 2030” Strategic Planning Project is to provide CU’s Board of Regents with a set of specific action plans by Sept. 7, 2007.
“Hopefully, when we’re done, we don’t have everybody saying that it’s a really nice description of what we want but have no concrete actions,” Takeuchi said. “The goal is to have a concrete plan.”
But Takeuchi acknowledges the difficulty of projecting that far in the future.
“Once you get beyond five years, anybody’s projections are pretty shaky,” he said. “The future is unknowable. That’s the main question: how do you have an institution that can respond to things that can affect us but are not knowable?”
Despite the challenges, Takeuchi said he remains confident.
“This is a very significant opportunity to imagine the future of CU in 25 years,” he said.