Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fair warning

Missed this thumbsucker in the News Friday by CU Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson, on the future of Colorado's flagship university:

During the next several weeks, the University of Colorado at Boulder will welcome the class of 2011, one which will rival last year’s as one of the largest, best-qualified and most diverse classes in the history of CU-Boulder and one that will help us build on the tremendous momentum established this past year.


However, as delighted as we are about the current state of things, great universities must always set their sights on tomorrow.
Delighted? (Check out the poll. Eighty-nine percent supported Churchill's firing.)

At CU-Boulder, that is exactly what we are doing.

Next week, I will present a draft of our strategic plan, a plan that will carry our university forward 25 years and ensure that we are serving Colorado’s needs now, and in the future. We call this plan “Flagship 2030.”

In 25 years it'll be 2032, Spud. In his favor, though, Bud has a way with the budzz words:

I’m pleased to report that this effort has not been an internal exercise, but one that has been led by a Steering Committee of 60 stakeholders from inside and outside the university.

We have added to this group the perspectives of other “core contributors” — people with an interest in the planning process who are supplementing the ideas of the Steering Committee — and this summer we have reached out to 15 communities across the state of Colorado to solicit their thoughts, ideas and visions of how CU-Boulder can better serve the needs of their communities and of the state. We have done this by interviewing the people who help to shape these communities and their futures.

These “thought leaders” include economic development leaders, school superintendents and parent-teacher organization presidents, newspaper editors and publishers (including John Temple, editor of the Rocky Mountain News), community service leaders and government officials from communities such as [a bunch of cities].

And how exactly does this differ from every other such endeavor in the long, crapulent history of education?
In Flagship 2030 we are not just identifying goals, we are developing "transformational concepts” — strategies and action plans that will help us prepare our students for the world of tomorrow.
One of these concepts requires each of our students to participate in two experiential learning opportunities before graduation.
Two experiential learning opportunities? Slow down, you radical!

These could be study-abroad, service-learning or internship experiences, or other programs designed to help students see and better understand the world around them.
CU appears to be transforming itself into Ward Churchill's alma mater, Sangamon State University, circa 1970. This calls for more clich├ęs:

With global communications making Beijing as close as Fort Collins, this requirement will position our graduates to enter the “real world” prepared to assume their role as global citizens and leaders in business, government, education or any other field they choose to pursue.

So, when I present the first working draft of the Flagship 2030 plan to President Hank Brown and the CU Board of Regents on Aug. 15, our university will be setting sail toward the broadest horizons it has ever envisioned.

Batten down the hatches, mateys.

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