New leadership groups charge into gathering input and establishing goals for Courageous Strategic Transformation

CST banner art of rec center

Progress on crafting Colorado State University’s Courageous Strategic Transformation plan is ramping up, as “Leadership Drafting Groups” are being created to host open forums and identify key goals during the fall semester — goals that will become the core of the new campus vision announced earlier this year by CSU President Joyce McConnell.

The Courageous Strategic Transformation, or CST, which McConnell and her leadership team outlined for the CSU Board of Governors in June, is a comprehensive strategic planning process that will focus on “a sustainable, thriving planet and a flourishing humanity.” It will be completed by the end of the calendar year and presented to the board in February 2022.

For Vice President for Strategy Jenelle Beavers, the coming months will be an exciting time as each of the Leadership Drafting Groups carry out a collaborative, inclusive process to identify three to four priorities for their assigned area. She said that the goal is to create a campus vision that every member of the CSU community can support by recognizing how their unit fits in.

“This is a big undertaking,” Beavers said. “We have a huge university with diverse constituencies, but we want this to be something where everyone can see our shared mission and contribute their ideas and expertise.”

Visual representation of strategic plan efforts

A visual representation of CSU’s strategic planning efforts

Leadership Drafting Groups

Fifteen Leadership Drafting Groups are being formed to examine each of the following areas:

  • Research
  • Engagement
  • Health
  • Sustainability
  • SPUR
  • Facilities/Spaces/Places
  • Strategic Enrollment
  • Strategic Workforce Development, Support & Wellness
  • Individual & Institutional Accountability
  • Principled Philanthropy
  • Strategic Branding & Marketing
  • Athletics
  • Inclusive Excellence
  • Academic Master Plan
  • Financial Excellence

Group memberships can be viewed on the CST website. Each will be headed by a CSU leader and composed of diverse university stakeholders — including administrators, students, faculty, classified staff and administrative professionals.

“These groups feature thoughtful, interdisciplinary problem-solvers who will be reaching out to the campus community through open forums and other means to gain insight on the top specific, measurable goals for their area,” Beavers said. “Top priorities we’re already thinking about include human resources, budget and operations, as well as diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. We’re asking each group to look at how their work affects that area.”

Jenelle Beavers
Jenelle Beavers

McConnell said that the plan will have a significant impact on how CSU invests its financial resources in the coming years.

“We need to match our budget with our priorities,” she said. “We can’t meet our goals without having money behind them. I am really looking forward to seeing the innovations and creative solutions that these groups bring forward.”

Inspiration Proposals

Beavers explained that members of the CSU community are also invited to provide their thoughts and input by submitting “Inspiration Proposals.” Proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • Represent and serve multiple members of the CSU community
  • Clearly and succinctly describe the project or initiative
  • Include a feasible plan for implementation
  • Relate to one or more identified strategic target areas
  • Support CSU’s Green (sustainable thriving planet) and/or Gold (flourishing humanity) aims

“This is really an invitation to everyone at CSU,” Beavers said. “We are simply challenging ourselves to identify ways we can be better.”

Beavers added that there have already been changes associated with the CST process. Some examples include the new teleworking policy to recognize the changing workplace culture and employee needs/wellbeing and the realignment of several Student Affairs offices.

Beavers is being assisted in the process by Presidential Leadership Fellows Andrea Duffy and Scott Shrake, and she said that they are eager to meet with as many campus groups as possible to discuss the CST process, from employee groups to college leadership teams.

More information on the effort is available on an FAQs page on the CST website.