The Jordan legacy: Producing partnerships
Jordan has shown how industry and public universities can work together to benefit themselves and their community.
May 24, 2017
President Stephen Jordan has built a track record of preeminence from 12 years at the helm of MSU Denver. To honor his legacy, we’re taking a weekly look at some of the key ways he’s transformed the University for the better.
When Jordan announced that he would be resigning, he said that he had always tried to follow the words of Robert Baden-Powell: “Leave this world a little better than you found it.”
Mission accomplished. Jordan has by any measure left MSU Denver far better than how he found it in 2005. He laid a foundation – both literally and figuratively – so it could begin its ascent toward becoming the preeminent urban university in the country.
One of the ways he did this was by extending a hand of collaboration to the community through partnerships. Forging alliances became a cornerstone of his work.
Two shining examples that have changed the skyline of Denver and the Auraria Campus are the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center and the adjacent Springhill Suites hotel as well as the Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building.
Cathy Lucas, chief of staff and associate to the president for marketing and communications, says these projects perfectly illustrate Jordan’s partnering prowess and “how industry and public universities can work together, not only for their own benefit but also for the economic betterment of the community.”
Today, the Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Events has grown substantially and is widely considered the best baccalaureate hospitality management program in the region. Since the hotel opened in 2012, average occupancy has been about 77 percent with more than 150 sell-out nights. To date, its revenue is $700,000 ahead of its initial estimates. Recently, the MSU Board of Trustees approved the creation of a School of Hospitality, Events and Tourism. The impressive growth of the program, which has doubled since it moved into the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center in 2012, was among the many factors cited in the decision.
And in launching the Aerospace and Engineering Sciences initiative, Jordan brought faculty from several disciplines together with industry leaders. The result: a first-of-its-kind curricula that will train the most skilled, workforce-ready graduates in the nation. The $60 million AES Building, which will host Colorado’s only Institute for Advanced Manufacturing Sciences, will open later this year – proving the University can answer the call of Colorado’s companies’ need for local talent.
What’s more, Jordan orchestrated the partnership MSU Denver has with the Detroit Institute of Music Education, an inspired endeavor that offers students opportunities to take courses online, on campus and in Detroit.
In light of Colorado’s dynamic brewing industry (the state ranks third nationwide in its number of breweries), Jordan helped introduce degree and certificate programs that offer undergraduate courses in brewing, brewery operations, sales and distribution, brew pub management and other related beer industry skills. Program students have training access to the on-campus Tivoli Brewing Company, which has a 28,000 (annual) barrel-capacity brewing, bottling and distribution center.
Lucas adds that the alliances Jordan has fashioned have benefitted the University in the following ways:
- Generated new revenue streams
- Supported new and existing academic programs
- Added scholarships
- Created valuable community connections
“The ripple effect of these partnerships that Dr. Jordan has built will be felt for decades to come,” Lucas says. “I can’t emphasize enough how indebted the University is to him for his leadership and skills in bringing people together.”