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Feinstein Notes Progress, Work Ahead During Presidential Address

President Andy Feinstein giving the annual State of the University Address.

September 10, 2019

Delivering the annual State of the University address at the Campus Commons on Tuesday, Andy Feinstein reflected on the “meaningful work” campus accomplished together during his first year as UNC president and offered a preview of the next phase of strategic planning.  

Before an audience of over 350 people, which included State Representative Mary Young, Greeley Mayor John Gates, Greeley City Manager Roy Otto, Greeley City councilman Dale Hall and Greeley-Evans School District 6 Superintendent Deirdre Pilch, Feinstein highlighted some of UNC’s accomplishments:

  • Raising over $54 million in a fundraising campaign that surpassed the goal by 20%
  • Significantly reducing the structural deficit
  • Opening Campus Commons and bringing together students support services at the heart of campus
  • Creating and implementing the Strategic Enrollment and Student Success (SESS) plan through campuswide involvement
  • Creating a Student Affairs division to unify student support functions and combining two divisions into University Advancement to integrate efforts to build relationships, share UNC’s story and generate support
  • Creating a President’s Leadership Council “to foster collaboration and improve communication” and trust

“All of this, and much more, took a lot of teamwork. A lot of rowing together,” Feinstein said in acknowledging the campus effort.

Looking ahead, Feinstein sees a desire for UNC “to be more actively engaged” based on feedback from visiting Colorado communities, particularly in Greeley.

“UNC, Aims, District 6 and Greeley should be, and will be, tightly connected,” Feinstein said, noting the recent launch of Aims2UNC as an example of what’s possible with coordinated collaboration.

He also spoke of the immediate challenges and opportunities confronting UNC that became clear during his conversations with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members.

“Our university is fundamentally strong, but we owe it to our students and each other to make it even stronger,” he said.

The SESS plan is addressing enrollment, retention and graduation, and Feinstein said that the university must adapt to the digital age, particularly when it comes to support services.

“It is time for us to engage in uncomfortable conversations,” he said. “To grapple with topics you have been urging we address openly.”

That effort will include articulating a clear vision for UNC and what the university aspires to be in 10 years. Six forums starting this week and an upcoming online survey will provide opportunities for campus input. A draft of the plan is expected for more campus feedback in October. Revisions will be shared with the UNC Board of Trustees in November. And goals to fulfill the vision will be developed with campus involvement during the spring semester.

“The end result will be a roadmap for our future — not a report that collects dust on a shelf,” Feinstein said, adding he is confident UNC will rise to the challenge based on UNC’s history and reputation.

“My confidence is also based on my conversations with many of you,” Feinstein told the audience. “The urgency with which you express the need for constructive change, and the value you place on personalized education for every student.”

Watch a recording of Feinstein's Speech:

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