Academic Master Plan: Shaping CSU’s academic enterprise for the future

People listening to AMP presentation

The Academic Master Plan was the focus of a presentation at the Provost’s Fall Forum. 

Colorado State University is looking toward the future to ensure its academic enterprise remains robust, relevant and meets the needs of students, the state, and the demands by industry for workforce expertise and skills.

For nearly a year, under the umbrella of the Courageous Strategic Transformation, or CST, and as one of its essential building blocks, the university has been convening the community to collaborate on an Academic Master Plan (AMP).

Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen said an academic master plan is critical to help CSU respond to current and future challenges, and to evolve our academic programs to be responsive to the needs and interests of a broader range of students, shifting economies, and life in a changing world.

“This is an exciting time to be at CSU and planning for what’s next in sustaining our impact and reputation for academic excellence,” Pedersen said. “This university is one of the top land-grant and public research institutions in the country. Our faculty, staff, students and alumni have made a difference for communities around the globe, and academic master planning for the future allows us to make sure the right pieces are in place to carry that Ram legacy forward.”

CST CoverAchieving strategic academic innovation

Under the oversight of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President and guided by the AMP Advisory Committee and Planning Team, along with broad engagement from colleges, departments, centers and institutes, CSU has been working over the 2021-22 academic year to identify campuswide themes and strategies for achieving strategic academic innovation.

This includes assessing how the results of research, engagement and scholarship can prepare students for impactful careers across all disciplines, helping to solve society’s greatest challenges and advancing the well-being of the human community. Professor Linda Nagel, head of the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, chairs the AMP Advisory Committee and the Planning Team.

“By exploring trends in our fields, deepening our understanding of demographic changes, and leveraging our strengths to meet broader learner needs and motivations, we are reinforcing CSU’s leadership in higher education across our land-grant mission,” said Nagel. “Charting our future together through broad campus engagement has been energizing for everyone.”

The AMP process has focused on identifying and articulating the distinctive knowledge and skills that Colorado State University students will need in the future, and projecting areas of academic growth for programs, research and engagement activities over the next five to 10 years. The planning methodology has been guided by Linda Dalton, a national expert in leading institutions of higher education through strategic and academic planning processes.

“In the spirit of CST, we invited the campus community to look out 10 years into the future and express their aspirations for the university,” Dalton said. “This helped everyone focus first on what CSU can and should be, and then we worked on strategies that can make that vision and those dreams a reality.”

CST logoAligning with the CST roadmap

The final CST plan, Courageous Strategic Transformation: The Colorado State University 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, was shared with the campus community in March 2022. It lays the groundwork for carrying CSU forward to build on the future of the institution, students, community and planet.

AMP aligns with that roadmap and represents a major component of CST implementation. It supports CST’s emphasis on learning, engagement, research and discovery in accordance with CSU’s land-grant mission.

Among the four strategic imperatives in the CST plan (People, Innovation, Impact and Operations) and the more than 20 accompanying priorities, the following priorities are especially relevant for academic master planning:

Education that Evolves

We will craft and implement a dynamic Academic Master Plan that will establish CSU as a leader in higher education, providing critical knowledge, skills and competencies, and we will build the infrastructure to rapidly adjust curricular and educational and delivery approaches to allow our learners to thrive in the 21st-century workforce.

Ensure Student Access and Success

We will provide access to educational excellence and opportunities that arise from it. We will offer all of Colorado’s students access to a high-quality university education, regardless of their financial situation, and provide all learners with the tools to thrive in the 21st-century workforce.

Critical Thinking for Life

We will prepare future generations of leaders, change makers and global citizens through a rigorous and distinctive program of general education that fosters self-knowledge and innovation across all programs of study.

Everyone Belongs

We will cultivate an inclusive climate conducive to the recruitment, retention and success of our students and employees.

Intelligent Growth

We will establish strategic, realistic and measurable enrollment goals and demographic targets to promote regional, national and international matriculation.

Be Where We Are Needed

We will deliver learning experiences in a variety of innovative and engaging formats to equip all learners to live their best lives and do their best work. 

AMP phases and timeline

Graphic about AMP process

CSU is in Phase Three of the AMP process, and the Planning Team is preparing the draft plan for review and final campus feedback with the advice of the Advisory Committee. Final feedback will be solicited at two open forums on April 19 and 20. More information including registration links is available on the AMP website.

Reports from Phase One and Phase Two are on the AMP website for community review. These summaries of outcomes and discovery from the first two phases were informed by the Provost’s Fall Forum; outreach and engagement with colleges, centers and institutes and other units on campus; and input through campus forums. The broad campus collaboration efforts and the resulting phase summaries have informed the direction and drafting of the final plan, including identifying themes and strategies to carry CSU’s academic enterprise into the future.

Contact the AMP Advisory Committee:
If you have ideas, questions, or feedback about CSU’s Academic Master Plan, please contact the AMP Advisory Committee.

Academic Master Plan distinguishes CSU as leader in higher ed

Guest column by Linda Nagel and Linda Dalton

“Through AMP, the CSU community has identified themes that represent the intellectual strengths of the university, including Arts and Cultures, Data Analytics, Inclusive Excellence, One Health, Public Discourse and Democratic Institutions, Sustainability and Resilience, and Technological Innovation. These themes are interdisciplinary, collaborative, and interconnected. Together, they embody the values of the CSU community, our distinction, and our aspirations for excellence.”

Read more in this guest column, which addresses questions like: Why does CSU need an Academic Master Plan? What makes an Inclusive process? and Where are we headed?