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Looking Forward

This is just the beginning! Naropa's first forty years were focused on plowing the ground in preparation for the even greater things to come. Naropa's future will be built on hard work, dedication, collaboration, and lots of heart. Here are some of the ways that we have been working diligently to advance Naropa's mission of contemplative education through campus improvements, new collaborations and partnerships, diversity and inclusivity work, and other initiatives. 

Campus Improvements

The Construction of the Pavilion on the Arapahoe Campus

The construction of the Pavilion was completed during winter break, and the new space was met with great approval at the start of classes this semester. Although it has been open only a short while, the Pavilion appears to have already accomplished its main goal: to offer more welcoming and accessible community space. The Pavilion has been a respite from the cold weather and the reconfigured cafe has enhanced the food service experience for our students. 

Renovation & Expansion of the Nalanda Campus

Naropa has refinanced its more than $10 million in bonds, used over the years for construction on the three campuses, purchase and renovation of Snow Lion, and the Academic Administration building. In addition to saving Naropa hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest over the next several years, the refinance has generated about $2 million in funds to be used for the next phase of renovation and expansion of the Nalanda Campus.

Collaborations & Partnerships

Center for Contemplative Science At the University of Virginia & the Rocky Mountain Regional Dialogue on Mindfulness in Higher Education

Distinguished Professor for Contemplative and Religious Studies Judith Simmer-Brown and a team of Naropa faculty members traveled to the University of Virginia in late January to explore collaborations with their new Center for Contemplative Science. She and several other faculty from Naropa and the University of Colorado have established the Rocky Mountain Regional Dialogue on Mindfulness in Higher Education, which is holding its first gathering for faculty from nine colleges in April. Naropa is also collaborating with the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education on planning for a conference on access, innovation and policy in education, to be held in the Bay Area.

Naropa's Relationship with the Royal University of Bhutan

This past fall, Naropa University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) to establish a study abroad program at its various campuses throughout Bhutan. This program is set to begin in January 2015. In addition to study abroad, Naropa faculty have worked for years establishing relationships in Bhutan and furthering the curriculum of RUB. In April, Naropa will be sending six faculty members to present papers or lead workshops at the Creative University Conference in Bhutan, co-sponsored by RUB, the Institute for Gross National Happiness Studies, and the International Creative University Network.

Diversity & Inclusivity Initiatives

Search for the Director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Provost Janet Cramer has seated a committee, comprised of faculty and staff, charged with conducting and overseeing the hiring process. We received more than 150 applications for this position. The committee has invited nine applicants for a telephone interview with the committee. The intention is to select three finalists to bring to campus for a series of presentations and meetings with students, faculty, and staff. Naropa University is committed to choosing a director this spring.

Board of Trustee Retreat on Diversity & Inclusivity

The Board of Trustees met on February 13, 2014. Following the on-campus meeting, board members went on a weekend retreat at the Shambhala Mountain Center. Part of the retreat was spent in a facilitated dialogue regarding diversity and inclusivity with the Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group.

Other Initiatives to Revitalize Naropa's Mission

The Launch of Naropa's "Sixth School"

Naropa University is working with Rolfe Larson of Rolfe Larson Associates to develop a comprehensive business plan for the (to be renamed) "6th School". Rolfe has been working with Naropa since the fall and has spoken with numerous stakeholders in an effort to build upon the work Susan Skjei started last academic year. Rolfe has worked closely with Susan in order to capture the vision of the "6th School" as expounded by the Naropa community. The plan developed by Rolfe will create a model of long-term financial viability. Rolfe has presented his plan to cabinet, cauldron, and the board of trustees.

The Revival of the Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education

The Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education (CACE) will be the home and hub of a range of projects aimed at investigating the ways in which contemplative approaches enrich higher education research, teaching, administration, and campus life.

The center will magnetize faculty from Rocky Mountain regional universities to discuss contemplative teaching. It will also serve as a base for visiting faculty and researchers from other institutions who wish to draw from our unique approach to contemplative education. As an extension of this, the center will also offer summer faculty pedagogy seminars for visiting professors. Finally, CACE will collaborate with all divisions of Naropa University to preserve our diverse contemplative heritage and contribute to contemplative studies in North America.

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