Chancellor Horrell continues to Reach Out and Listen

March 7, 2016

“How efficient and effective is this university going to be at getting me a job, a job that I’m going to succeed in?” 

“What are we doing to make our connection to community colleges stronger and to make students aware of all the options and opportunities they have here?”

Those are just two of the questions Chancellor Dorothy Horrell heard in the first four weeks of her 80-day Reach Out and Listen Tour. The new chancellor launched the tour in January, her first month in office, to bring her face-to-face with CU Denver constituents across the university and the city. Her goal for the tour: to begin to develop a shared vision for CU Denver for the months and years ahead.

More than 400 people attended the Jan. 27 tour launch event. By the end of February, Horrell had met with an additional 150 people in the tour’s first eight meetings.

In candid conversations with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners, Horrell fielded questions and comments on a broad range of topics from people with varying viewpoints.

 “When I say I went to CU Denver, they say, ‘Oh, you went to Metro.’ …I think branding and differentiating ourselves is really important.”

“It would be great to be able to promise every student who came here, at least as an undergrad, that they would have an internship.”

“I enjoy the professors, the small class sizes and the individual relationship between instructors and students, but definitely not the wifi system.”

“I hope you will prioritize fundraising.” 

“The bureaucracy is sometimes frustrating.” 

“Are there going to be more parking spaces made available?” 

“We feel constrained by budget and by timeline. I would like to see a culture of abundance and celebration.” 

“I’d like to see a university that’s a lot more student-centric.” 

“I would love for us to be seen as a global premier urban university.” 

“We take pride in what we do and know well. But we have to take pride and communicate and share and build that enthusiasm around CU Denver as a whole.”

In the second half of the Reach Out and Listen Tour which extends until April 16, Horrell will hold discussions with schools, colleges, student groups, alumni and the business community.  If you have not had a chance to meet with the chancellor, check out the list of upcoming meetings.

You can also complete an online questionnaire where you can give the chancellor written feedback on many issues by answering questions like these:

  • Why do you choose to teach, work or learn at CU Denver?
  • What do we do best to help our students succeed?
  • What hinders student success at CU Denver?
  • What are the top three things that should be preserved at CU Denver and what three things should be changed?

Chancellor Horrell has said she hopes to report on emerging themes from the listening tour before the end of the semester, and to develop at least a preliminary shared vision and plan of action by the fall.

As she told attendees at the Feb. 12 listening tour stop for staff, “It really is an opportunity for us to talk together about what it is that we hope for at CU Denver, and what is it going to take for us to get there.”