Five minutes with President Joyce McConnell

CSU President Joyce McConnell

“Our world is increasingly connected and rapidly changing, presenting daunting challenges and incredible opportunities to those willing to lead. I am grateful and proud that the people of Colorado State University have never been faint of heart. Instead, we have the courage and conviction our world needs and we’re forging a bold, trailblazing path — one that requires an equally bold action plan.”

— CSU President Joyce McConnell

Courageous Strategic Transformation comes up in a lot of CSU conversations lately, especially when speaking with President Joyce McConnell. We took five minutes with President McConnell to discuss the Courageous Strategic Transformation plan she presented last week to the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System.

Building an organizational plan is a big job. What about creating the Courageous Strategic Transformation makes you most proud and the most grateful?

This plan is the culmination of tremendous effort from our university community. It represents the collective perspectives and efforts of literally thousands of stakeholders, including our Board of Governors, our students, our alumni, and our employees. We’re talking more than 3,500 meeting attendees, more than 6,000 comments on the plan as it developed, and — most exciting — 100 proposals that are both inspired by the plan and inspiring to us all as we move forward together.

This plan is built on “the Green and the Gold,” with green representing a sustainable thriving planet and gold representing a flourishing humanity. What will it actually look like for CSU to realize this vision?

My vision is that in five years, Colorado State will lead the world on solutions to global climate change and student success for meaningful careers and lives. We will be at the forefront of solutions to the most challenging issues in student access and success, health, agriculture and rural community development. We will exemplify and advance economic, environmental, and social sustainability. And we will do all these things while remaining devoted and adept caretakers of our state.

What is one aspect of the Courageous Strategic Transformation plan that you really want to call to our community’s attention as we move forward?

I hope that everyone at CSU explores the plan documents and sees themselves and their work in the structure we created. I also think it’s incredibly important to call out that Inclusive Excellence is intentionally woven throughout, not standing alone. This is very intentional because we believe Inclusive Excellence should inform everything we do. Our commitment to Inclusive Excellence is a part of our fabric and fundamental to everyone’s work at Colorado State.

How can we all learn more about Courageous Strategic Transformation? And how can the CSU community get involved in implementation?

I hope everyone in our CSU community — students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, partners, and friends to CSU — will read the plan itself, and read the Operational Framework too, especially the areas that touch on their work, whatever that is. I believe that whoever you are, when you see the goals and success metrics we’ve established for these goals in your field or discipline, you’re going to be both excited and inspired to work with others to achieve them.

And of course, we’ll be talking about our Courageous Strategic Transformation as we implement it together. We have a lot more to share and talk about as we move forward, and we are excited to continue this conversation!

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