The First Word

Providing a real-world education means adapting to the ever-evolving real world.

Publish Date: October 17, 2014

Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D.

While the world moves at lightning speed, our mission at Metropolitan State University of Denver — to provide a high-quality, accessible education that prepares students for success and lifelong learning — remains constant.

Achieving our mission and providing MSU Denver students with a relevant, real-world education requires us to adapt to the ever-evolving real world.

Consider how we’re responding to workforce needs by creating public-private partnerships that address specific industry clusters. Our innovation shows in endeavors like our interdisciplinary Aerospace and Engineering Sciences (AES) initiative, which will unite programs in aviation and aerospace science; civil, mechanical and electrical engineering technology; industrial design; physics; computer science and computer information systems under one roof. And what a roof it will be: The 142,000-square-foot, $60 million AES building, which recently received $5.2 million in state funding, will be a symbol of progress and promise for the University, the state and beyond.

We’re working to improve success for all students — especially those who’ve traditionally struggled in college — through our commitment to inclusive excellence. We’ll move forward with various initiatives that improve graduation rates for African-American and Latino students, including our efforts to earn the federal designation of Hispanic Serving Institution. We’ll continue to enhance key student-support programs, as well as training and development for MSU Denver staff who work in those areas.

We’re constantly expanding the breadth and depth of our programs to arm our students with the up-to-the-minute knowledge and skills they need to be leaders in their fields. Our newly-created School of Education, for example, offers research-based programs and ample classroom experience via partnerships with Colorado school districts. The result is that our students become visionary educators poised to make a difference in classrooms, schools and communities state-wide.

How do we know what we’re doing is working? Just look at the success stories featured on the pages of this magazine. There’s Frank DeAngelis, who is sharing his hard-earned wisdom and hope with communities nationwide after rebuilding his own in the wake of the Columbine shootings; there are the first-generation students, who are breaking new ground and forging new legacies for themselves and their families; and there are faculty like B. Afeni McNeely Cobham who are teaching our students to think critically and be active participants in everything they do.

The people of MSU Denver demonstrate our success as an institution. Their accomplishments. Their contributions to communities near and far. Their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. Their intellectual curiosity. These individuals make this University what it is today and show us what is possible tomorrow. And clearly, the possibilities are endless.

Finally, I am pleased to share that the MSU Denver Board of Trustees and I have mutually agreed to extend my service as President through July 2016. I look forward to leading the University toward continued success that will benefit Colorado for years to come.

Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D.