Regents Approve CU Denver Master’s in Sustainable Business

Regents Approve CU Denver Master’s in Sustainable Business

November 14, 2023

The University of Colorado Board of Regents held its November board meeting at UCCS, which included the approval of a new master’s degree for CU Denver, a deep dive on student retention, and more.

MS in Sustainable Business Moves Forward

The regents unanimously voted to approve a master of science in sustainable business at CU Denver, a 33-credit program that can be completed entirely online with some face-to-face courses offered. The master’s degree consists of a Foundations of Sustainable Business Certificate plus two elective certificates from six possible choices, including cross-disciplinary courses from outside of the Business School.

Regent Lesley Smith said few business schools around the country offer a standalone master’s degree in sustainability, and CU Denver’s will be quite inexpensive, comparatively. CU Boulder offers a joint MBA and masters of the environment, which totals 82 credit hours. Smith praised the market analysis and the design of the program, which is, “going to offer graduating students a myriad of opportunities in the workforce,” she said.

The proposal noted student demand for sustainability-related programs increased by 66% nationally and 211% in Colorado from 2017–20.

Retention Roundtables

In Chancellor Michelle Marks’ campus update, she highlighted CU Denver’s first ever DEI Symposium and the launch of the Outside Lab at CU Denver.

Before the regents held deep-dive roundtables on student enrollment and retention, Marks shared that CU Denver realized a 2.2% increase in retention rate from fall 2022 to fall 2023, reaching 71.7%. The university also saw retention gains for underrepresented minority students and Pell Grant-eligible students this year.

Employee Councils Seek More Representation

Leaders from the University of Colorado Staff Council and University of Colorado Faculty Council asked the regents to consider more respective representation on chancellor search committees. Regent Policy 3.C.3 governs the composition of search committees and requires at least four faculty, one dean, one student, one staff, and two external representatives for chancellor searches.

University of Colorado Staff Council Co-chair Ja’Net Hurt noted that while the UCCS chancellor search committee includes two staff members, the upcoming CU Boulder chancellor search could theoretically have just one staff member to represent 7,000 staff and still satisfy regent policy.

Hurt also acknowledged the recently announced 2023 Staff Excellence Award winners from each campus, including Tawnya Boulier and Kenny Sisco from CU Denver. She said that beginning in the 2024–25 academic year, the university will hold the Staff Excellence Awards in the spring instead of the fall to provide more time for planning and align with other campus awards.