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Inside the President’s Cabinet

Members discuss budget, infrastructure and RAVE Alerts and share important announcements and updates.

By Lindsey Coulter

April 22, 2021

MSU Denver signPresident Janine Davidson, Ph.D., began Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting by recognizing the impact of Tuesday’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial and that many Roadrunners are still processing the outcome. Davidson noted Metropolitan State University of Denver’s progress in anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, which will be further outlined in a communication to the University community soon.

Budget updates

Davidson also shared progress on the University’s budget, expressing optimism that legislators will increase MSU Denver’s base funding (as recommended by the state’s Joint Budget Committee) and that the University will receive some one-time federal funding to address deferred projects and support student success.

Other budget updates include:

  • The Budget Recommendation Committee has recommended holding tuition flat, closing the tuition window and increasing the Health and Wellness Fee by 5% and the Student Affairs Fee by 2%. If approved by senior leaders, the recommendations will go to the board in May.
  • On Friday, the BRC will discuss Phase II of the budget, including one-time and base-funding requests and anticipated federal funds.
  • The University’s financial audit is scheduled for the end of May.

Infrastructure updates

The University is taking a more holistic look at infrastructure with regard to buildings and spaces and is contributing to reimagining the Tivoli Student Union. While the University has elected not to pursue the Fox Park partnership, a recent agreement with the University of Colorado Denver has expanded housing options for students at Lynx Crossing. Davidson also referenced the possibility of an MSU Denver presence in Aurora but said the main focus will be on collaborative improvements to the Auraria Campus.

“We think about the campus becoming a place where people in Denver want to be. I’m excited about the work we’re going to be doing to reimagine our infrastructure,” Davidson said. “The challenge will be how we’re going to fund it, but you have to have the vision before you can find the money.”

Other infrastructure updates include:

  • Information Technology Services capital-improvement requests have been funded and will support the University’s network infrastructure and enterprise-resource-planning system.
  • The Facilities team is working on capital-construction-project recommendations and collaborating with Ambient Energy to conduct environmental-sustainability assessment.

RAVE Alert update

Davidson also gave an update on the RAVE Alert that was issued this month, explaining the RAVE process and recognizing the 42-minute lapse in communication, which prompted an after-action review and discussion among the Auraria institutions. Improvements will include using language that asks recipients to increase their awareness and promises follow-up information within five minutes, including regular communications until the situation has been resolved.

President’s Team Award

Davidson recognized the ITS TeamDynanix implementation team of Anna-Liisa Breit, Lee Taylor and Sara Vance with this month’s President’s Team Award.

This three have worked diligently for almost two years to select and implement a new service-and-project-management platform, ultimately selecting and launching TeamDynamix on March 1. The platform increases functionality and allows ITS to better assist all Roadrunners.

Policy update

Provost Alfred Tatum, Ph.D., presented on revisions to the Ethical Use of General Studies Assessment Data Policy. The policy ensures that data are not used in any punitive manner or to reward faculty but are used solely for improvement. The policy also covers aggregating data, privacy of metadata and secure data storage within the Office of Academic Effectiveness. Cabinet members approved advancing the policy through the process.

Other updates:

  • All Roadrunners are invited to attend Higher Learning Commission sessions related to the University’s reaccreditation April 26 and 27.
  • Groups within the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council have completed a Diversity Strategic Plan that will now be vetted by the full membership before being presented to University stakeholder groups.
  • The Campus Climate Survey results are in and will be shared with the campus community soon.
  • Roadrunners are encouraged to attend the Music, Race and Social Justice Series.
  • The 2030 Strategic Plan operations plan will be presented to the board in December. See the Executive Summary to learn more about the 2030 Strategic Plan.
  • The hybrid in-person/online TEDx MSU Denver will be held Sept. 10 with the theme “Ready to Rise.” Stay tuned for more information.
  • The Western Union Foundation has established a dedicated scholarship for refugee students through a $50,000 gift that will also establish a partnership between the organization and MSU Denver.
  • University Advancement has raised more than $5 million toward its goal of $5.5 million. Nearly $1.7 million in asks are in the pipeline.
  • The College of Business received AASCB reauthorization, and the School of Education was reauthorized by the state.
  • The Faculty Workload Task Force Welfare Committee findings will be outlined in the next Faculty Senate update to be published early next week in the Early Bird.
  • Staff Senate senator and officer nominations are open through April 30.
  • Summer enrollment is down 13.68% compared with 2020. Fall enrollment is down 10.16% but has been steadily improving. A virtual registration event will be held Wednesday. Students who register by April 30 can win one of several $500 scholarships. See the new registration website:\registration.
  • Thomas Hernandez, former head of MSU Denver’s scholarships program, will return to serve as interim lead of Financial Aid.
  • Student-athletes have completed more than 1,600 hours of community service, placing fifth in the nation in the NCAA Helper Helper competition.
  • MSU Denver will host the NCAA Division II softball national championship in May.
  • The Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act is now on the Human Resources website.
  • All Classified employees must complete performance evaluations no later than April 30.
  • Administrative evaluations are due June 30. Stay tuned for more details.
  • Roadrunners Who Soar and Distinguished Service Awards nominations are open.

Topics: Events, Inclusive leadership, President’s Cabinet

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