By Daniel J Vaccaro
President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., will make her first formal address to the MSU Denver community Sept. 13 and present her vision for the future of the institution. The speech will be delivered to faculty, staff and other guests at the annual welcome-back breakfast, this year fittingly titled Welcome Home and livestreamed for the public.
Davidson has spent the past few months, before and since her July 24 start date, doing what great leaders do: listening.
“I’ve been asking everyone I meet to share their opinion about the University,” Davidson said. “I’ve learned a lot about what we’re doing well and where we can be better.”
As part of her listening tour, Davidson met with MSU Denver faculty, staff, students and alumni as well as local and state leaders. In late August, she hosted U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette and Mike Coffman on campus and took the opportunity to solicit their feedback.
Davidson has also been popping in on meetings across campus, sometimes even unannounced. In a recent video, she spoke with faculty and staff in the Department of Human Services about their experience at the University. She has spent most of these visits asking questions.
Besides meeting face-to-face with a variety of constituents, Davidson organized an anonymous online survey, which received nearly 2,000 submissions. She said several major themes emerged from the responses and that the information from all of these sources will form the backbone of her vision for the University.
While Davidson will not tip her hand on the content of her speech, she did say at a recent meeting that the University “must be as strategic as it is bold” and emphasized the centrality of the institution’s mission of providing high-quality, accessible education for all students.
Davidson will preview her vision with the MSU Denver Board of Trustees the week prior to the event and incorporate any final feedback before addressing the greater community.
On the same day as her speech, she plans to participate in a private event for donors where she will recap her vision. And a day later, she will headline a Town Hall event aimed at students and alumni, in which she will respond directly to questions submitted in person or via phone and social media. The Town Hall is sponsored by the MSU Denver Champions program and will be livestreamed.
Not a member of the University community but still want to attend the event? Contact Tiffany Snell, university events specialist, for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-556-5748.
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