Academic Master Plan

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Academic Master Plan for Colorado State University 2023-2027: Overview & First-Year Implementation


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Acknowledgment from the Provost

Dear Ram Community,

From its inception to its implementation, the goal of the Academic Master Plan process was to engage faculty, staff, students, and administrators across CSU to help chart a path forward for our academic enterprise as a land-grant university.

Former Provost Mary Pedersen identified the need to develop an Academic Master Plan to best position our institution for continued success as higher education faces new challenges in an everchanging world. She launched this initiative in Fall 2021 and led its critical planning phases.

Dr. Linda Dalton, a national expert in leading universities through strategic and academic planning processes, and former Professor Dr. Linda Nagel guided us through the challenges of peering into a crystal ball and answering the question, “How do we prepare students for success in a rapidly changing workforce?”

The Advisory Committee and the Planning and Implementation Teams were at the heart of our achievements in the 18-month-long planning process. They were dedicated and driven by a belief in the importance of this work. We had extraordinary participation by campus stakeholders who care deeply about our students and the future of higher education. Their passion and ideas are at the core of this plan.

Thank you for your contributions that culminated in the Academic Master Plan for Colorado State University 2023-2027.

With gratitude,


Janice Nerger, Ph.D.
Interim Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

About the Academic Master Plan:

Achieving Strategic Academic Innovation

The Academic Master Plan (AMP) focuses on identifying and articulating the distinctive knowledge and skills that Colorado State University students will need in the future and on projecting areas of academic growth for our programs, research, and engagement activities over the next five to 10 years. It is a roadmap for the future of our academic enterprise inspired by the brilliance of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni and deeply rooted in our Principles of Community.

Through the AMP Advisory Committee, Planning, and Implementation Teams and broad engagement with representatives from colleges, departments, centers and institutes, we have been working since Summer 2021 to identify campus-wide themes and strategies for Colorado State University’s academic innovation. This includes assessing how the results of research, engagement, and scholarship can prepare students for impactful careers across all disciplines, helping to solve society’s greatest challenges and advancing the well-being of the human community.

The AMP establishes a set of five aspirations and identifies a set of actions to realize those aspirations. The collaborative process included departmental and cross-college dialogue, campus fora, and Academic Master Plan Advisory Committee deliberations. The five AMP aspirations are:

Elevate Our Mission
Foster Interdisciplinarity & Collaboration
Enhance Applied Learning
Cultivate Diversity & Inclusion
Advance Academic Themes

AMP Current Work

Interim Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs Janice Nerger and the AMP Implementation Team are preparing to begin implementation of the first-year priorities in Spring 2023. The Provost will issue a formal call for nominations in early spring for faculty, staff members, and students to serve on implementation teams.

Fall 2022 – Rolling out the AMP Framework

The Provost presented a draft overview of the AMP framework to more than 130 CSU leaders at the President’s Fall Forum on September 14, 2022. A four-page summary of the report was shared: AMP Draft Plan Overview – September 2022

The AMP Support Groups

Over the course of academic master planning, a lead Planning Team was established to work with an Advisory Committee that included broad representation from across the entire University. These groups met regularly during the 2021-2022 academic year to guide the AMP process. In Fall 2022 the Planning Team was replaced with an Implementation Team, which continued to work with members of the Advisory Committee and the Academic Deans to finalize the framework and identify first-year priorities.

AMP Phases

Phase Four: Implementation - Beginning 2023

Implementation of first-year priorities will begin in Spring 2023. More information to come.

Phase One: Input - Fall 2021

  • AMP Advisory Committee and Planning Team were convened.
  • AMP Advisory Committee (comprised of academic leaders, faculty, administrators, students, and a Fort Collins community representative) worked with the AMP Planning Team to oversee the planning process.
  • Provost’s Fall Forum in October focused on the AMP.
  • Two community open fora were held in October.
  • Provost presented updates to the Faculty Council.
  • Extensive input was solicited from CSU Academic Departments, Programs, Centers, and Institutes (accomplished using a template to assemble each unit’s contributions regarding how they are affected by national and global trends and their aspirations for the future).
  • Feedback was assessed in consultation with Deans.

Phase Two: Analysis - Spring 2022

Phase Two of the AMP focused on demographic trends and opportunities for education, research, creative artistry, and community engagement at a forum on February 11, 2022. More details are available in the AMP Phase Two Report under “Resources, Templates & Planning Documents.”

  • A special AMP retreat was held in February with academic leadership.
  • AMP Planning Team began drafting initial plan framework in consultation with Advisory Committee.
  • More than 100 actions were suggested by the CSU community and academic leadership beginning in Phase II and carrying into Phase III during the Fall Leadership Forum (September), open fora, planning meetings, and via the AMP website.

Phase Three: Building the Framework - Summer & Fall 2022

  • AMP framework was assessed in consultation with Deans.
  • Provost presented updates to Faculty Council.
  • Two community open fora were held in May.
  • AMP Advisory Committee and Planning Team consolidated recommended actions from 100+ to 40.
  • Planning Team worked with Deans at July AMP retreat to further consolidate to 18 actions.
  • AMP Implementation Team was established.
  • Implementation Team, with the Provost and Deans, identified six actions to target for first-year implementation.
  • Provost Janice Nerger presented an AMP update at the Fall Leadership Forum in September 2022.
  • AMP Implementation Team conducted a breakout session to introduce university leaders to first-year priorities at the Fall Leadership Forum.

Resources, Templates & Planning Documents

Recommended reading

About Academic Master Planning
Data Resources
Societal Trends
Future of Higher Education