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Academic Excellence and Student Success Council update

A recap of the data-gathering process, plans for next steps and how you can still get involved in important work.

May 1, 2018

MSU Denver Campus from on top of the Engineering and Aerospace Science Building.The President’s Advisory Council on Academic Excellence and Student Success has been hard at work this past semester. Here’s an update on where things are and what’s to come.

What the Council has done:

  • The full CAESS has met four times for 90 minutes each.
  • Outside of these meetings, CAESS members have tested surveys, submitted ideas and facilitated focus groups.
  • The steering committee has had five regularly scheduled meetings, plus a half-dozen other meetings to handle specific work (e.g., drafting surveys, planning focus groups, etc.).
  • Each of the four deans at Metropolitan State University of Denver was interviewed by a pair of steering committee members.
  • Three surveys have been conducted: one to all chairs and directors in February, one to all faculty in March and another to all staff and administrators, also in March.
  • In the surveys, nearly 60 people requested to be part of a focus group. CAESS members facilitated seven one-hour focus groups, with about 40 attending total.

Current work:

  • Taking the results of all three surveys and all seven focus groups, the steering committee and in-house specialists are working to draft reports and summaries of the results.
  • The steering committee is working with a consultant who specializes in design thinking and group decision-making.


  • A half-day workshop from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. will take place May 4, at which the full CAESS will work with the consultant, utilizing above-mentioned reports and summaries to lay out concrete ideas and proposals.
  • In mid-May, the steering committee will meet with President Janine Davidson to go over in-progress draft concepts.
  • In June, the Council will deliver a list of recommendations to President Davidson.

How to get involved in the final stages of this work:

  • Find out who in your circle is attending the May 4 half-day workshop, and engage with them on the topic.

Plan to attend the workshop yourself (if you are not already part of the CAESS group, submit a required RSVP to co-chairs Jeff Loats or Angela Marquez).

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