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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

Phase 1 Progress (July 2020 - June 2022)

Guided by a vision statement and five vision elements, Phase 1 consists of key actions and tactics that serve as the foundation for the strategic plan. Phase 1 began July 1, 2020 and will be completed on June 30, 2022. The following is a progress report on our accomplishments. 

Updated: February 25, 2022

Phase 1 Progress

  • Key Action 1: Develop and implement a plan to ensure UNC is a student-ready university at all academic levels

    a) Establish baseline data sources and needs related to the success and engagement of undergraduate and graduate students at UNC

    UNC's two institutional research units are in the process of developing more accurate and relevant data sets to be used to provide baseline data for making data-driven decisions that support better undergraduate and graduate student success outcomes. 

    b) Analyze data to determine specific student engagement and academic success outcomes

    UNC's Students First Framework includes a newly revised infrastructure for goal-setting and holding colleges accountable for meeting retention and graduation goals that are taking effect in 2022. Dashboards are currently under development for use in assessing first-time, first-year students. Work remains in developing similar dashboard and data sharing capabilities for transfers and graduate students.

    c) Share data with the university community in order to develop Students First action plans at the academic department level

    In following on tasks 1a and b, the Students First Framework has created the structure necessary to enable UNC to take steps at department/school levels starting in the 2021-22 academic year. Tools are in place via dashboards for equity, retention, and graduation to empower faculty, staff, and deans to identify areas of best practices as well as areas of concern to take next steps to place students first. 

    d) Develop strategies for soliciting input from undergraduate and graduate students – including but not limited to surveys, student focus groups, regular engagement with student organizations – concerning policies and practices that support a Students First university

    The Students First Framework includes robust plans to collect students' input through surveys and other tools. This work has been conducted as a partnership of the Division of Academic Affairs and Division of Student Affairs and began in fall 2022.

  • Key Action 2: Complete the discovery phase of the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) 2025 plan

    a) Facilitate exploratory conversations with UNC’s diverse stakeholders to gain insight and perspective to inform the HSI 2025 plan

    Multiple forums have been held with students, faculty, staff, and alumni and generated the following themes for developing further action planning: 1) UNC as an HSI; 2) Deliver on HSI Promise – Do It Right!, including DEI and Antiracism Initiatives; 3) Student Success Mindset in Recruitment and Developing a Growth Mindset for All Students; 4) Resources; 5) Setting Ourselves Apart; 6) Greeley Community and UNC's Pipeline from District 6 and Aims; and, 7) Leadership Commitment and Strategy, including Trust and Process Imperatives. Additional assessments are being conducted in February 2022 through an HSI and DEI Readiness Survey, which was recently deployed. Workshops and town halls will be hosted in March and April to continue planning, share survey results, and collaboratively establish next steps.

    b) Develop goals and create implementation and assessment strategies that integrate the HSI 2025 plan across the university’s operations

    A communications plan has been developed and implemented, including through the launch of an HSI initiative website and creation and launch of a university-wide HSI and DEI Readiness Survey, which is being deployed in February 2022. The data collected through the survey will provide content for discussion in a town hall in late spring. A strategic planning committee is being formed for each strategic category. On March 23, 2022, Dr. Gina Garcia, a leading scholar on Hispanic Serving Institutions, will visit UNC to meet with various constituents and assist the university's formation of a deeper understanding of what it means to SERVE our Hispanic and Latinx students, faculty, staff, and community.

    c) Raise awareness through internal and external engagement efforts by showcasing how the HSI designation will enhance the learning outcomes and experiences for everyone at the institution. These efforts will place UNC on the path to becoming the first research university in Colorado to obtain HSI status.

    Trainings were conducted with the UNC Student Senate and additional 101- and 201-level UNITE educational workshops have been developed and deployed to faculty and staff. An HSI fact-sheet was created to provide baseline information to the univerisity community. Additionally, media interviews were held with KUNC and the Greeley Tribune and informational meetings were held with key leaders in Denver and with the Hispanic Women of Weld County.

  • Key Action 3: Create systems of accountability, effectiveness, and collaboration to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion across the university

    a) Require that all search committees complete training on equitable hiring practices, including ways to improve the diversity of hiring pools

    Implicit bias trainings were developed by the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Human Resources. Search committees have been utilizing these trainings for several months, but are now required to do so in order for searches to proceed effective April 1, 2022. Additional resource materials were shared with all UNC leadership on topics such as writing more inclusive job descriptions, marketing to diverse audiences, LGBTQ+ voices, complexity in gender-based judgment, disability employment, and hiring discrimination against Black Americans.

    b) Establish practices that regularly show the demographics of new and current employees, and document the hiring and retention efforts followed by the university

    A Human Resources dashboard is available and updated annually. The annual Workforce and Talent Report has been reviewed by Cabinet, PASC, CSC, PLC and published. A contract has been signed with DiversityJobs.com to provide additional reach for UNC job announcements to diverse populations including affiliate partners such as LatinoJobs.org, Veteranjobs.net, AllGBTJobs.com, WeHireWomen.com, DiversityJobs.net, Over Fifty Jobs, African American Hires, All Hispanic Jobs, AsianHires.com, All Bilingual Jobs, Native Jobs, BlackCareers.org. We have also updated our position template language with the assistance from several university partners to make it more inclusive and accurate. We are implementing mandatory implicit bias training for all search committee members effective April 1, 2022.

    c) Publish a formal statement on Respectful Behavior to lay the foundation to establish a culture of trust, support, respect, and inclusivity

    A draft Respectful Behavior statement was written and feedback was collected from members of the university community. The next step, to be taken in the spring semester, is to embark on a "Relentless Education" campaign to educate our community about the values expected of a civil and respectful university culture

    d) Develop metrics, measures, processes, and standards of conduct embedded in personnel evaluation for all faculty, staff, and administrators

    A variety of sessions were conducted with each college on what it means to develop metrics, measures, processes, and standards of conduct embedded in personnel evaluation for all faculty, staff, and administrators. Meetings have been scheduled with the Provost and Faculty Senate Chair to discuss further development and implementation needs.

    e) Implement the diversity, equity, and inclusion measurements and processes that were developed as a result of the new systems of accountability

    This item is pending the completion of Task 3d

  • Key Action 4: Establish an infrastructure and set a foundation for a supportive culture of career-long professional development for faculty and staff

    a) Develop a catalog of professional development opportunities for classified and exempt staff that will be maintained by the Office of Human Resources

    Learning Stream implementation has been completed and all employees have access to required annual trainings, as well as the extensive LinkedIn Learning catalog of courses with over 2,000 offerings. A communication plan is being developed so that all required FERPA, HIPPA, DEI, and sexual harassment trainings will be completed in spring 2022. Beginning in Spring 2022, we will develop a new project plan for conversion to Cornerstone LMS, with completion planned in mid-March 2022.

    b) Work with established faculty and staff governance groups to develop strategies that support staff and faculty in their careers

    Representatives from leadership and governance groups have been identified to serve on the Human Resources Office's Professional Development & Training Advisory Council (PTAC). A quarterly schedule to meet and identify career readiness priorities has also been created. Next steps include monthly meetings with Academic Effectiveness to coordinate activity.

    c) Establish a faculty advisory board to create a clearinghouse of all professional development currently offered on topics of instructional best practices, equitable teaching practices, engaged learning best practices, and online instruction best practices

    This task has been completed. The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning has established an advisory board and we also have formed an advisory group for instructional design input to better support professional development needs for instructional design.

  • Key Action 5: Enhance and refine career readiness in the curriculum for all disciplines

    a) Highlight how a liberal arts curriculum helps students develop leadership and career skills that employers have identified as the keys to success. The university will communicate these attributes to students during the recruitment process and throughout their academic journey at the university.

    Each of the colleges is working on building curricular and extra-curricular connectivity between individual majors, careers, and workforce readiness. For example, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences is working on career readiness through the curricular revision group and with support from the faculty associate to the dean.

    b) Map existing career-readiness initiatives and explore processes and best practices to ensure students can demonstrate their curricular and co-curricular learning outcomes

    A shared campus definition of career readiness and a shared list of expected competencies to establish across campus was completed. Career Readiness Is a process that supports students as they develop a better understanding of themselves, discover careers, and participate in career-specific learning. At UNC career readiness is infused throughout the university experience in order for students to recognize and develop their career relevant competencies to leverage them in an ever-changing world of work. UNC Career Relevant Competencies, based on National Association of Colleges & Employers standards, include Critical Thinking/Problem Solving; Oral/Written Communication; Teamwork/Collaboration; Digital Literacy; Leadership; Work Ethic; Career Management; and, Identity and Cultural Fluency.

    c) Engage in conversations about career readiness and curriculum across all academic units

    Conversations about career readiness have been thoughtfully embedded into the Academic Portoflio Revitalization work being undertaken in Academic Affairs with deans, chairs, faculty, and directors.

    d) Identify employment and career trends by engaging with alumni and business representatives through a newly formed Academic Affairs Advisory Board

    This work has undergone a slight shift in focus with the formation of advisory boards having been completed or currently underway in all of the colleges. Support is being provided to deans to continue progressing.

  • Key Action 6: Develop a new university-wide data infrastructure focused on improving strategy, organizational effectiveness, and student success

    a) Establish university data governance and usage standards

    A Data Governance framework was established in February of 2021, at which time the charter was approved. A reporting structure was created consisting of the Executive Steering Committee (Chaired by the CIO and comprised of the Provost, CFO, VPUA, VPSA, and VPDEI), the Data Governance Strategy Committee (Co-chaired by Dir of the Office of Institutional Research & Effectiveness and Dir of Business Intelligence & Data Engineering) and specific sub-committees/Action Teams, which are formed and closed as work progresses. Most of the early work for the Data Governance Strategy Committee was around establishing the procedural framework for the group and codifying existing guidelines related to data governance. Recently, activity has shifted more to subcommittees, each established to address a specific data governance initiative as prioritized by the Data Governance Strategy Committee. Subcommittees have been meeting to make recommendations/propose guidelines related to data integrity initiatives, auditing/maintaining the reporting catalog, publishing dashboards, conducting surveys, and sending communications to students. Planned future subcommittees include groups that will explore the creation of a data dictionary, future planning for the data warehouse, data literacy, role-based security, and data destruction protocols. Data Governance “Wins” to date include utilizing Slate as a CRM for current students, implementing the Faculty Load and Compensation (FLAC) module in Banner, developing and certifying new dashboards, forming a subcommittee to make decisions about what types of communications students receive, and establishing written guidelines around how data is to be protected, used, and shared.

    b) Create dashboards for academic monitoring of trends in majors, student credit hours, retention, four-year graduation rates, and six-year graduation rates with the ability to disaggregate

    Great progress has been made on the creation of equity dashboards in particular. Utilization of the information in progress through various task forces and under direction of deans, associate deans, chairs, and directors. Implementation of curricular and extracurricular interventions are underway. 

    c) Integrate data training into chair and director workshops, and identify additional university-wide opportunities to better understand how to leverage data analytics in decision-making

    The Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning is conducting training around inclusive teaching and learning, including on equity issues and leveraging equity dashboards. Additional work is currently being done to better support chairs and directors, starting with dashboard training and establishment of meetings with chairs and directors and Provost. 

  • Key Action 7: Establish a robust infrastructure to support Research, Scholarship, and Creative Works (RSCW) that engages students and provides opportunities for faculty to contribute to the creation of new knowledge

    a) Establish support systems for RSCW at the university and college level such as new and existing internal grants

    The Office of Research and Sponsored Projects and Graduate School have been signficantly strengthened in the last 18 months. Internal grant programs are working well at the division and college levels. Additional work needs to be done to develop a culture of external grant solicitation as well as to do more robust post-award support. 

    b) Establish workload practices across all colleges that are equitable while also allowing for differentiated workloads

    Faculty Load and Compensation was launched in 2021 and has helped identify inequities in faculty workload across the institution, including under-assigned faculty and over-reliance on stipends and overloads in certain sectors of the institution.

    c) The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) will establish faculty grant writing workshops focused on multiple funding sources for different disciplines

    A principal investigator peer group was established as a learning community in 2021. Pre-award support has been strengthened and ongoing training and one-on-one or group assistance is being provided for prospective principal investigators. Furthermore, grant seeking incentives were rolled in Fall 2021 as a Provost initiative. 

    d) Exceed $5 million in annual research expenditures in support of achieving Carnegie R2 Classification, and establish research goals and grant activity for each academic unit

    Significant work remains to achieve this goal and this work should continue in Phase 2, which will require research productivity goals and incentives.

  • Key Action 8: Develop and deploy a consistent and constructive process of evaluating and rewarding employee performance while also fostering varied opporutnities for feedback and growth outside of the traditional supervisor-employee dynamic

    a) Establish a compensation plan for staff and faculty

    A pay equity study was completed and increases will be implemented by April 1, 2022, as they were in spring 2021. We are currently finalizing compensation quick guides and updating classified and exempt compensation policies. These are currently being reviewed by the Provost's Office. A compensation peer group updatewas completed and adopted by Faculty Senate and a compensation presentation was given to the Board of Trustees at the November Finance and Audit Committee meeting.

    b) Adopt and implement new employee performance and evaluation processes

    A contract was signed in October 2021 with Cornerstone to provide an electronic platform for tracking and completing applications. Software implementation is complete and weekly training meetings with the vendor are ongoing. Development of a new professional administrative exempt evaluation process and form is well underway, and we have met with PASC to gather feedback. We plan to bring a draft proposal for performance evaluation to Cabinet in March 2022.

  • Key Action 9: Develop and begin implementation of a data-driven strategic marketing and communications plan that showcases the university's important role on a local, regional, state, and national basis

    a) Conduct an analysis of past marketing efforts in order to prepare for quantitative and qualitative research with stakeholders that identify or reinforce competitive positioning

    UNC is under contract with Ragan Communications and Lucas Narratives to conduct a comprehensive brand audit. The planning phase has been completed and the discovery phase has been unfolding throughout February 2022. This task is on track for completion in May 2022.

    b) Evaluate and develop key messaging based on research findings

    A brand audit will be conducted in Spring 2022 with developed key messages scheduled to be delivered in late spring 2022 as part of the contract.

    c) Develop and implement a public relations strategy in order to showcase the expertise of UNC faculty and highlight students, staff, alumni, and community partnerships

    A new public relations strategy is being developed and implemented to increase a brand journalism approach that proactively pitches media stories that support key messages as defined in spring. Part of this strategy is the creation of a bilingual PR specialsit position. This position will support the strategy and pitch news stories to spanish language media outlets.

  • Key Action 10: Implement UNC's Rowing, Not Drifting 2030 Campaign, including the creation of philanthropic investment opportunities, community engagement and fundraising goals, feasibility study, and timeline for all campaign phases

    a) Work with students, faculty, and staff from throughout the university to identify and prioritize investment opportunities in support of Rowing, Not Drifting 2030

    University Advancement completed meetings with Academic Affairs leadership both individually and as a group to discuss priority setting and begin initial brainstorming in early fall 2021. We received draft priorities from Interim Provost Vollendorf in fall 2021 and also completed meetings with the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Division of Student Affairs. Additional work remains to be done in the spring semester.

    b) Set fundraising and engagement goals for the campaign based on needs and priorities articulated by campus leaders + c) Finalize a timeline for all phases of the campaign from planning through conclusion + d) Launch feasibility study with UNC donors and alumni to test and finalize campus needs and campaign priorities

    Interviews with campaign consultants have been completed and University Advancement plans to be under contract in the near future. The consultant will lead the university through a process that will help refine priorities, establish goals, test priorities and goals via a feasibility study, and finalize a timeline. That work is on track to be completed in June 2022.

    e) Partner with faculty, staff, and students from across campus to engage them in the planning and execution of the comprehensive campaign in meaningful and helpful ways

    This work is in the planning stage, which means most of the work is being done with university leaders with collaboration from the people in their individual colleges and units. There will be additional opportunities for broader involvement throughout the campaign. The Brand Audit referenced in Key Action 9 will provide a meaningful way for all members of the university community to particiapte in the planning of this work. While key actions 9 and 10 are separate, our messaging for the campaign will work in support of the key messages derived from the brand audit.