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A Sense of Place Outreach and Goals


As we discussed at the Retreat, we will take a grassroots approach to information-gathering, so that representatives of our Panel on Place can obtain broad and wide input to draw upon as we develop our Goals. We will separate in to small teams in order that we can reach most on the lengthy list of constituencies that we identified at the retreat. In the links provided we included a staged list that prioritizes groups to meet sooner vs. later,in this process. Our Panel’s comprehensive list has been provided to the Steering Committee for coordination and scheduling.

Please “sign up” for 3 to 5 groups that you’d particularly like to work with, and please indicate whether you have identified a team mate to work with from our panel or another.

Using the link provided, please “pencil in” your name next to the groups and individuals that you are interested to speak with, as the first round of scheduling begins. Please also the times and weekdays that are most feasible for you to be involved in meetings. Sign up at:

Short-term Goals

Explore and information-gather to obtain perspectives on Strategic Planning, as a means to better-define your own role in the process, philosophical approaches, and the aims of strategic planning…. plus, to gather ideas about who we may best-formulate suitable GOALS for CC as a Distinctive Place of Learning. Draw upon diverse resources! (Colleagues in your field, strategic plans for institutions you know well, your professional expertise…)

If you encounter informative articles, books, web pages or documents from institutions, please share the resource.

Use your CC department/program or close colleagues as a sounding board: Have conversations to try out the central questions that our Panel discussed and refined at the Broadmoor retreat.

Be intentional participants in upcoming campus events, namely, Fall Conference and the Faculty Forum. Extract ideas and information from the sessions and discussions that arise at those events, to bring back to our Panel's work! Listen for colleague's reactions to Jill's expose of the Strategic Planning endeavor. Write up and share notes on your findings.

Defining Language:
Based on preliminary conversations, readings, and information gathering, test your understanding of the strategic planning language provided by Jill in one of two ways: 1) compose a functional definition for Place that can provide needed limitations on the scope of our Panel’s efforts, or 2) draft out a version of a comprehensive Goal that will enhance the Distinctive Place of Learning at CC. Gale Murray undertook the first of these tasks, drew upon material from the retreat, and provided the following. (Thank you, Gale!)

The Geography of Dictionary defines "sense of place" as:
Either the intrinsic character of a place, or the meaning people give to it, but, more often, a mixture of both. Some places are distinctive through their physical appearance, like the Old Man of Hoy; others are distinctive, but have value attached to them, like the white cliffs of Dover.

Less striking places have meaning and value attached to them because they are "home," and it is argued that attachment to a place increases with the distinctiveness of that place. Planners use this argument by consciously creating or preserving memorable and singular structures to make a space distinctively different.

Cultural geographer J.B. Jackson, in Discovering the Vernacular Landscape, writes:
“It is place, permanent position in both the social and topographical sense, that gives us our identity.”

Given that place is both a physical and psychological/social entity, it seems we should maximize that “sense of place” in three distinct areas: 

  1. Our campus: considering ways in which physical design (spaces, both interior and exterior) and sustainability can be enhanced in ways that respond to, support and  reflect our distinctive character as an educational institution
  2. Our unique geographical location at the foot of Pike’s Peak and as part of the Colorado Springs community: considering ways in which to enrich our ties to the surrounding community and our sense of belonging to this distinctive place and its landscape, while remaining a national rather than local institution
  3. Our location in the Southwest: finding ways to use our status as the finest liberal arts institution in the region to enhance our identity nationwide and “to support the academic mission.”