Engaging Community

Engaging Community Implementation Plan: 2015 Action Items

In November 2014, Chancellor Rebecca Chopp announced a two-pronged approach to the University’s comprehensive strategic planning process. To address our most pressing needs, she established Engaging Community: A Strategic Implementation Initiative to review various reports produced in the prior year and prioritize their recommendations.

The work of Engaging Community was divided among our task forces:

  1. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence
  2. Student Access and Support
  3. Professional Development for Faculty and Staff
  4. Expanding Sustainability on Campus

Reports from these task forces were received mid-February and are included below. Chancellor Chopp and representatives from all four task forces convened a town hall on Tuesday, March 24, to discuss the recommendations with community members.

Implementation of recommendations began immediately, and progress will be tracked with checklists and other updates. Funding for these actions will be provided centrally, since they are for the benefit of the DU community as a whole. Some longer-term recommendations and themes will be rolled into the broader Transformative Directions process.

This implementation plan reflects the recommendations of the task forces, which reflected a clear need to build a stronger sense of community and belonging at DU—across various constituencies, within different units, schools and departments, and among the many affinity groups on campus. Running through this implementation plan and the task force reports are the values of excellence, innovation, engagement, integrity and inclusiveness we embrace as we continue to create a community where everyone can flourish. Enacting these recommendations will lead us closer to realizing our goal to be a “diverse, ethical and intellectually vibrant campus community to provide a challenging and liberating learning environment.” The recommendations also reflect the contributions our community can make in Denver and the world beyond through our sustainability efforts and through making a DU education more accessible to more students.

These actions mark the beginning of some very important work, even as we continue to engage the campus community in conversations to imagine the future of DU through Transformative Directions.

Engaging Community Task Force Members
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence
  • Shelly Smith-Acuna (co-chair)
  • Frank Tuitt (co-chair)
  • Shadee Abdi (student)
  • Stefanie Ungphakorn Cowan
  • Alejandro Garcia (student)
  • Theresa Hernandez
  • Mike Holt
  • Lavita Nadkarni
  • Todd Rinehart
  • Nik Scott
Student Access and Support
  • Gina Johnson (co-chair)
  • Tom Willoughby (co-chair)
  • Uriel Berrum (student)
  • Bill Cross
  • Ryan Gildersleeve
  • Jennifer Karas
  • Johanna Leyba
  • Albert McClure (student)
  • Linda Quintanar
  • Catherine Smith
Professional Development for Faculty and Staff
  • Ken Pinnock (co-chair)
  • Barbara Wilcots (co-chair)
  • Alan Chen
  • Dan Delatorre
  • Linda Kosten
  • Virginia Pitts
  • Thomas Walker
  • Brittany Wilhelm
Expanding Sustainability on Campus
  • Chad King (co-chair)
  • Rebecca Powell (co-chair)
  • Fred Cheever
  • Nathan Duval (student)
  • Stu Halsall
  • Mark McCarthy (student)
  • Tom McGee
  • Sarah Schmidt
  • Mandy Sigmund

  • Danny Brown

    Changing the Gender and Women’s Studies program name to Gender and Sexuality Studies: a move for Inclusive Excellence

    I feel strongly that this is a necessary change to continue to cultivate Inclusive Excellence. Our campus has begun to take huge steps towards gender equality and preventing sexual assault and domestic violence in the form of CAPE and hiring a Title IX coordinator, but these changes only spread awareness and help victims but hardly spread education. The GWST program is the place for education, but the program name isn’t very inclusive. In all of the GWST classes I have taken, it is overwhelming how many more women there are than men. For some reason, men don’t seem to want to take a GWST class, and I have a notion that it is partially because the very name of the program gives off a semi-exclusive vibe. Sure, “Gender” is in the name, but “and Women’s” makes the program feel that it is more directly related to women than man or all other genders (there is more than just men and women). It is surely in part because of the patriarchal society that we live in, but I am sure that gender equality will not come about unless 100% of our population buys in. Right now, it feels like the gender equal talks are perpetrated mostly by women. This is somewhat justified, again, because of the patriarchy, but I know firsthand that men face unequal struggles as well. This is not to say that men have it as bad as women, but it is to say that we need to approach gender equality from a more inclusive standpoint in the view that everyone struggles in gender identity. One might say that women need the program to be called GWST for equity’s sake, but in the academic realm of a college campus, I feel like women are equal – more women are actually college students than men, and are given the equal opportunity to study whatever they want (although some professions may be encouraged or discouraged, but that discussion isn’t something to have influence on changing the name, rather a discussion to be had in the program itself). The area of study must be a completely inclusive and equal ground for all students – women, men, and any other identity – in order to truly strive for gender equality.

    I feel strongly that changing GWST to GSST would give the program a much more inclusive vibe and the demand for classes would go up, and many more students would take a class in the program (it might even expand to a department) so that the discourse of gender equality will be a more common area of discourse in any part of the day for any student or other person on campus. I will be pursuing this further through other means, but I feel it is important to post here so that the Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Board will see it.

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  • Suzanne Medwid

    I would like to attend Strategic Planning: Engaging Community town hall on March 24th. However, the RSVP link isn’t working. Is it still possible to RSVP?