Regents approve new conference center/hotel, receive CU strategic plan update, discuss civics initiative, more | CU Boulder Today

November 8, 2019 in Boulder


At its regular meeting on Nov. 6 and 7 at the CU South Denver campus, the University of Colorado Board of Regents authorized CU Boulder to enter into a ground lease with a developer that will develop a hotel and conference center in the northwest corner of Main Campus in the Grandview/University area, received an update on the CU System strategic plan, and more.

Conference center and hotel

The board voted to authorize CU Boulder to enter into a ground lease with HRV Hotel Partners to develop an on-campus hotel and conference center that will fill the need for a venue for large and prominent academic, research and other conferences and events in the city of Boulder. 

CU System strategic plan

President Mark Kennedy and the strategic planning team updated the board on progress on the CU system strategic plan, sharing that the working groups have been meeting and are scheduled to produce their first deliverables on Nov. 15. The update included further details about the process, timeline and working groups for the strategic plan, as documented on the University of Colorado strategic planning website.

The update was followed by presentations from three expert panelists, after which the board broke into small groups for in-depth discussions. The presentations and small groups were on the following topics:

  • Adaptive learning technologies and how they can help faculty engage and retain students (Dale P. Johnson, director of adaptive learning initiatives at Arizona State University)
  • Virtual Reality in Physical Therapy Education (Dana Judd, assistant professor of physical therapy at CU Anschutz Medical Campus)
  • Artificial Intelligence in Education (Peter Foltz, vice president of cognitive computing in Pearson’s AI and Products Solutions and research professor at the University of Colorado’s Institute of Cognitive Science)

Campus update on Regents Civics Initiative

As a followup to previous discussions about CU’s role in preserving civic literacy in society, Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Lightner updated the board on Wednesday on the progress of each campus in implementing a faculty-led interdisciplinary elective certificate program. Lightner reported that the CU Boulder Certificate in Civic Discourse, Ethics and Engagement, which is expected to be offered in Fall 2020, will likely be structured as follows:

  • A foundational course on civic literacy (working title), offered by the University Libraries (3 hours)
  • Courses designated for the certificate within the student’s major (probably 3 to 6 hours)
  • Courses designated for the certificate from disciplines outside the student’s major (probably 6 to 9 hours)
  • A capstone course or project (probably 1 to 3 hours)
  • Faculty review of a comprehensive portfolio created by the student representing work in civic discourse, ethics and engagement throughout the undergraduate program.

Overall, the update led to questions and discussion among the board, including consideration of a motion to vote to make civics education a graduation requirement, culminating in the decision to continue the discussion during the next University Affairs committee meeting in January, with input from governance groups. The board revisited the discussion briefly during Thursday’s session and will discuss the initiative again at its February 2020 board meeting.

In other Board news

  • The board voted to discontinue the International Baccalaureate (IBA) degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. Both institutional partners (the University of Wollongong and the University of Dublin) have discontinued their participation, necessitating its closure at CU Boulder as well. Voting members of the CU Boulder Program Discontinuance Committee voted unanimously to discontinue the degree.
  • Board Program and Travel Manager Kari Henningsen updated the board on work to explore livestreaming board proceedings. Henningsen presented a demo of streaming media service provider Swagit, as well as a breakdown of costs. The board provided verbal support to continue exploring how to livestream board meetings.

For more details or to see presentations from the meeting, visit the BoardDocs website.



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