COVID-19 has disrupted most every aspect of life, putting entire industries at risk. In higher education, beyond the substantial financial impact of the virus, the leap to remote and online classes has posed a number of challenges.
At CU Denver | Anschutz, this shift, while not without its bumps, has benefitted from our having been a pioneer in digital education for over 20 years. The efforts of our innovative faculty over this time have provided some preparation for us as our entire industry scrambles to “go remote.” They’ve also positioned us well to further build on and expand our digital education expertise to serve our community in new and different ways.
One outcome of the current situation is clear: post-COVID, digital education will be more important than ever for our campuses. In all its forms – fully online, hybrid, and all formats in between – our ability to support broader student access and achievement through digital education will be key to our future sustainability.
As CU President Mark Kennedy noted in an email on Friday, the CU Denver | Anschutz Office of Digital Education (ODE) will be expanding its charter to include serving CU Boulder and UCCS. ODE will continue providing support to CU Denver | Anschutz academic programs while the systemwide Online Acceleration Committee (OAC) works through the summer to develop recommendations for the long-term future of online education across all of the campuses.
A key part of the OAC’s role is to define the campus-level requirements for ongoing faculty support, training, program and instructional design, and ensure these are in place to meet each campuses’ needs.
You will hear more about this initiative as the OAC embarks on this important work, including various avenues for input, feedback and questions. We look forward to supporting the committee’s efforts to further strengthen our leadership in digital education and expand the resources available to our faculty, staff, and students.
Finally, a word of congratulations to Sheana Bull and Scot Chadwick, whose leadership of ODE for CU Denver | Anschutz has positioned them to lead this systemwide initiative and will further position all four CU campuses for innovation and success in digital education.
Chancellor, CU Anschutz Medical Campus
Chancellor, CU Denver