Much to celebrate, even as challenges loom
As we launch this edition of Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine—a quarterly publication that, with this issue, celebrates its first anniversary—we reflect on the remarkable strengths and coming challenges for the college.
In most ways, the college and the Boulder campus are stronger than ever. In this issue of the magazine, you’ll find stories about a range of accomplishments from some of our outstanding faculty, students and alumni:
For instance, an anthropology professor exhumes new data that debunk a scathing critique of Margaret Mead, the leading American woman in science for five decades. A physics professor who studies the Earth from space has found dangerously rapid depletion of groundwater in northern India, home to 600 million people.
Because leading American intellectuals have implored the nation to respond to an educational crisis—the lack of sufficient numbers of well-trained science and math teachers in K-12 education—colleges and schools across our campus have banded together to improve science and math education. The initiative works. It has improved undergraduate education, helped future graduate students succeed and tripled the number of CU students choosing K-12 as a career.
One of our alumni turned 100 this month, and her commitment to funding merit-based scholarships for students shows no signs of slowing down. Another graduate finds himself at ground zero in the housing crisis, at the behest of President Obama.
And the December Outstanding Graduate for the College of Arts and Sciences completed a study of co-infection rates in deer mice that “astounded” a faculty member, and the work has implications for management of a potentially fatal viral infection, the hantavirus.
These are just small samples of the important, engaging and inspiring developments within our college. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge the fiscal challenges ahead.
Because of the economic downturn, the state of Colorado’s reductions to next year’s instruction budgets for the Boulder campus may be at least $9 million and as much as $12 million. The College of Arts and Sciences anticipates reducing our expenses by at least $2 million and as much as $4 million.
Readers will likely learn of these reductions in the press and on these pages during the spring term. We are in the process of identifying what educational programs and activities we will have to end or suspend, effective next fall.
Our choices are not good ones, and most all of them will affect not only students but also instructional faculty. Recognizing that we are stewards of the oldest and largest college at the university, and one that can be legitimately seen as the heart of the campus, we will strive to protect the quality of our most important programs.
We remain mindful and respectful of the fact that good stewardship in difficult times is our obligation to the students, citizens and society.
Todd T. Gleeson