About Academic Affairs
Academic Affairs promotes educational excellence and engaged learning by offering innovative and integrated experiences that support an inclusive, global, creative, and academically-rigorous environment dedicated to preparing students for lives of purpose. Faculty and staff advisors partner to support students' successful navigation of their curricular experiences by empowering them to be the experts in their own academic journey.
Academic Affairs promotes academic excellence, engagement, and student success by empowering students to make the most of their experience at the University of Denver. To implement our mission we:
- collaborate with the schools, divisions, academic departments, the faculty, and student affairs to develop programs, curricula, and experiences that support, inspire, and challenge students;
- encourage students, through coursework and research, to learn about the tools and perspectives offered by different disciplines, as well as the benefits and challenges of bringing these perspectives together to study a given topic; and
- guide and support students as they navigate the University; discover, define, and realize their academic and career goals, acquire skills and experiences that foster meaningful lives of engagement in their communities, and access mentoring and the resources that will promote their success as engaged citizens.
As a unit that uniquely supports and serves all students, Academic Affairs enhances the student experience by fostering cross-disciplinary connections, providing students with the opportunities to deepen hands-on learning, to engage in community-based learning and research, to develop skills in just sustainability, to develop ethical leadership skills, and to cultivate their passions outside of their major courses. Academic Affairs also serves faculty members across the institution through multiple trainings and workshops held to develop specific skills or mindsets that are applicable for working with students both inside and outside the classroom.
The Associate Provost and the Graduate Council are responsible for implementing graduate education policy. The graduate council is made up of academic deans of graduate programs, elected faculty representatives, representatives from the Faculty Senate, and two members of the DU Graduate Student Government.
The graduate council's responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- configuration of graduate degree and certificate programs,
- monitor programs' successfulness'
- avoid unwarranted program duplication,
- establish, monitor, and maintain academic standards across the graduate curricula.
The Undergraduate Council is the faculty governing body charged with the responsibility of formulating policy concerning undergraduate education and reviewing its implementation. Specifically, the Undergraduate Council:
- Coordinates the procedures of undergraduate degree programs as they relate to degrees at the Bachelor's level;
- Oversees the configuration of undergraduate academic programs;
- Monitors the degree to which these programs further the University's mission, avoid unwarranted duplication and meet minimum standards of academic criteria; and
- Establishes and maintains academic standards and discipline across the undergraduate curriculum.
The Undergraduate Council has three sub-committees:
- Academic Standards is charged with reviewing student records to ensure satisfactory progression toward degree.
- Academic Exceptions is charged with reviewing student petitions requesting exceptions to current academic policy.
- The Central Committee is charged with communicating the policies and goals of the Common Curriculum, capacity planning, and coordination of the curriculum. It is responsible for making the elements of the Curriculum function cohesively, and for formulating the overall assessment of the Curriculum.
University Academic Programs oversees institutional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Institutional accreditation is a voluntary process in which a regional non-governmental agency examines the University's ability to fulfill its mission and provide an acceptable quality of education.
Regional accreditation is the highest standard for post-secondary institutions in the United States and the HLC is one of six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the federal government. The commission sets a standard of integrity for universities, taking into consideration the academic mission, strategy, resources, assessment process, teaching effectiveness, student learning, usefulness of curricula, and community involvement.
Institutional accreditation begins with a comprehensive self-study followed by a site visit with a team of peer evaluators who closely review our:
- Governance and administration
- Financial stability
- Admission and student services
- Institutional resources
- Student learning
- Relationships with internal and external constituencies
Our next accreditation review is scheduled for 2030-31.