New leadership and challenges
A message from Dean Todd Gleeson:
You may already be aware that the Boulder campus of the University of Colorado is under new management. In May, CU President Bruce Benson appointed Phil DiStefano as the 11th chancellor of the campus.
DiStefano, 62, has served CU for 35 years as an education professor, associate dean, dean, vice chancellor, provost and even, previously, as interim chancellor. DiStefano replaces Bud Peterson, a talented administrator who recently became president of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
DiStefano “is absolutely the right leader to guide CU-Boulder as it addresses critical issues such as re-accreditation, budget challenges and implementing the Flagship 2030 strategic plan,” Benson said.
Having worked closely with DiStefano for years, I concur with the president.
One of DiStefano’s first moves reinforced that confidence. He named Stein Sture as the interim campus provost. Sture has been serving as the vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School.
The provost is the top academic officer on campus. Sture will stay in the interim position until DiStefano makes a permanent hire, reportedly sometime in the next year.
As I noted in the last edition of this magazine, Colorado and its system of higher education faces fiscal obstacles, which, while daunting, are not insurmountable.
In the 2009-10 budget, the College of Arts and Sciences will cut spending by $2.2 million.
Because about 85 percent of our expenses are related to personnel, we will cut some faculty and staff positions, and we will reduce some departmental expenditures. The cuts amount to about 2 percent of the college’s total budget, but the reductions will be felt.
Despite these fiscal challenges, UCB and the College of Arts and Sciences are weathering this economic recession far better than most of our peer flagship institutions.
This fall, we expect about 5,500 new students. Many of them are undergoing orientation now. Class sizes will in some cases be larger, and our student services will be a little more limited, but students will still find CU to be a great educational experience.
As Chancellor DiStefano notes, the cuts are made “with the guiding philosophy that we would preserve what is most crucial to our success, and what would directly support our role and mission.” High-quality education is central to our role and mission, and we will do our utmost to protect it.
In other developments, the Visual Arts Complex, which will be a cutting-edge teaching and exhibition facility at the center of campus, is scheduled to open its doors in January. Groundbreaking for an exciting biotechnology facility on the East Campus, much of it funded by private donations, is scheduled for later this summer.
Finally, in this edition of Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine, our third, you’ll find news and features about our leading-edge research, fascinating alumni and dedicated friends. As always, please let us know what you think. (You may write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
In this edition, you’ll also note coverage of the seventh annual Buffalo Bicycle Classic, which raised its millionth dollar for scholarships last year. This year’s event is scheduled for Sept. 13. I hope to see you there.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support.
Todd T. Gleeson