SILVERTHORNE -- The University of Colorado Board of Regents spent most of the first day of the board's winter retreat Friday discussing goals and priorities for the entire university system.

The discussion was led by Ellen Chaffee, a senior fellow for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. The university paid $5,000 plus expenses for Chaffee to conduct phone interviews with each of the regents before the retreat plus her time leading the discussion on Friday.

"What we've done is outline the process of how to set some broad, system-wide goals, which we haven't really had," said Regent Stephen Ludwig, a Democrat with an at-large seat on the board. "Each campus has its own goals, but how do we move forward as the system as a whole?"

Seven regents and around a dozen paid university staff members spent the afternoon's public session hashing out the priorities of the university, which included student success, diversity, advancing Colorado's economy, advancing the health of Colorado, fiscal stability and the university's reputation.

After the brainstorming session, the regents plan to revisit a more polished version of the list at the February board meeting, and officially approve the priorities by this summer.

"Today we took an important step in our process as the governing board for the whole system on how the system wants to coordinate those different goals and objectives into how we best serve the state of Colorado," said board chairman Michael Carrigan, D-Denver.

At the first day of the retreat, which is held at CU President Bruce Benson's 300-acre ranch 17 miles north of the Town of Silverthorne, the regents also discussed board self-assessment as a way to mark progress and change within the group from year to year.

The regents will spend the second day of the retreat in executive session, which is not open to the public or the press.

Contact Staff Writer Sarah Kuta at 303-473-1106, or