Philip P. DiStefano
A lot goes into making a public university great: generous private support, engaged students, dedicated staff, world-class faculty and a campus that contributes to its community.
We indeed have all this going for us at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The Center for Community, dedicated last week, was built without state funding or tuition monies.
Let me start with the inspired public confidence in our university that translates into the private support we are receiving as state funding declines. Last week we dedicated our beautiful new Center for Community, a 323,000 square-foot centerpiece on campus that houses 12 major student services and boasts a 900-seat international food court. Its very presence promotes diversity, intercultural understanding, and community engagement. Paid for with private donations, parking fees, and housing and dining revenues, no state funding or tuition monies were used for this important project.
More than 500 interdisciplinary researchers will begin work in the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building early next year.
Support and confidence in our university was evident again when ConocoPhillips, which plans to open a campus in nearby Louisville, committed $3.5 million to the new Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building, for the new ConocoPhillips Center for Energy Innovation. The biotech building will create a Front Range anchor for the biosciences beginning in early 2012 in both medical advances and energy innovations, such as more efficient biofuels and transfer of biomass into synthetic fuels.
Boulder Daily Camera, March 29: ConocoPhillips commits $3.5M to new CU-Boulder biotech building
It's important to remember that 98 percent of our fundraising is earmarked and does not pay operating costs.
A university is as good as its faculty
College of Music students work with high school and middle school students as part of the Trying on Teaching program developed at CU-Boulder. The College of Music is ranked 10th among public universities.
As we advance the economy, culture and health of Colorado we do so with a focus on four core areas of excellence and impact: learning and teaching, discovery and innovation, community and culture, and health and wellness. It seems that every month our faculty are on the leading edge of discovery and innovation. When Paola Villa, curator of the University of Colorado Museum, co-authored a report concluding that man began to utilize fire for survival as recently as 400,000 years ago, it was picked up by 190 media outlets worldwide including this report in the New York Times.
New York Times, March 14: "Humans' first use of fire may not be so long ago"
Faculty achievement was in the news again when it was announced this month that Distinguished Professor Carl Lineberger has been nominated by the White House to the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation, advising the president and Congress on science and engineering policy. Lineberger also is a fellow of JILA, a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He is the third CU faculty member in the last three years to receive a prestigious White House nomination or appointment, which underscores CU-Boulder's national reach in scientific research and public policy.
Denver Business Journal, April 10: "Obama names CU-Boulder prof to science board"
Our achievements at CU-Boulder are not merely in the sciences. We also became aware this month that the College of Music is ranked 10th among public universities and 22rd among all universities, including conservatories, on uscollegeranking.org. Our music school is a truly global center of talent, as many of you know from attending performances in Grusin Hall.
Please take a moment to see the rankings here. This is a credit to our faculty and our students in the College of Music.
New era in journalism education
Second-year PhD journalism student Benjamin Thevenin addresses a faculty panel on restructuring journalism education at CU.
The CU Board of Regents last week approved a new era in journalism education at CU-Boulder, one that I believe will better prepare journalists in the digital age. The regents' action will close the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as we know it effective June 30, but maintain and improve journalism education at CU-Boulder. One of the new requirements is pairing journalism with a content-rich major like political science or economics. Current students will be able to finish their degrees under the current curriculum.
The recommendations were made following the work this academic year of two concurrent faculty committees studying the future of journalism education; public forums open to students, faculty, alumni and donors; and conversations with donors and media industry leaders. This thorough process was initiated, in part, on the advice of the school's advisory board of media professionals, and I believe it will strategically position our future graduates as accomplished journalists and content experts.
Civically engaged students make great universities
Nathan Roberson (Photo courtesy of PBS)
I am often asked what kind of student I like to see attend CU-Boulder. I answer that we want engaged students who want to be part of our community and contribute to campus as well as to their own educational experience. CU freshman Sarah Buder is an example of such a student, and she recently met with President Obama at the White House about her anti-bullying efforts.
Colorado Daily, March 22: "Anti-bullying conference: Obama honors CU freshman; Student discussed her book at a White House anti-bullying conference"
In another example of student engagement, CU student Nathan Roberson was recently selected by the PBS program "The American Experience" to participate in the 2011 Student Freedom Ride, which commemorates the original Freedom Rides that registered voters in the American South at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. He was one of only 40 students selected nationwide for the honor.
CU News Services, April 7: "CU-Boulder student Nathan Roberson chosen for PBS's Student Freedom Ride"
CU contributing to the community
Conference organizers and speakers lead the opening procession of the Conference on World Affairs April 4. The conference brings the world to CU through 200 panels, plenaries and performances in five days.
One of the ways we can contribute to the community is by bringing the world to CU through our intellectual potpourri known as the Conference on World Affairs. The 63rd annual event was a resounding success as evidenced in these editorial reviews.
Boulder Daily Camera, April 9: "From the editorial advisory board: The CWA"
Another way we can contribute to the community is economically through our partnerships with our neighboring federal laboratories in Colorado. Federal laboratories generated $1.5 billion in net economic benefit in 2010, according to the Leeds School of Business. Aided by our partnership, they account for 7,964 direct jobs and 8,521 indirect jobs, according to the study.
Boulder Daily Camera, March 31: "Federal labs in Boulder, rest of Colo. gave state economy $1.5B boost"
The CU Law School, the only public law school in Colorado, also serves communities by providing free legal services for those who need it in areas as diverse as natural resources, family law, criminal law or new business start-up and it gives students practical experience, such as in the recent case in which students represented an elite athlete against USA Boxing. As a side note, law school applications are up 12 percent, largely because of its growing reputation.
Colorado Daily, March 16: "CU law students win legal battle for boxer in court"
Boulder Daily Camera, April 5: "CU-Boulder law applications up 12 percent, bucking trend"
CU's Brittany Spears was picked 19th by Phoenix in the WNBA draft. Denver Post, April 11. (Photo courtesy Colorado Athletics)
Basketball teams play late; spring game draws 16,600
Both our men's and women's basketball teams played in the post-season under first-year coaches Tad Boyle and Linda Lappe ('Mktg'02). The women's team notched three post-season wins, while the men's team advanced to the National Invitation Tournament Final Four in Madison Square Garden.
Less than two weeks later, our first night spring football game brought the second largest crowd in spring game history. More than 16,600 fans got a sneak preview of the 2011 Buffs under new coach Jon Embree (Comm '88).
You are invited to our Creating Futures celebration April 28
Please join CU President and alumnus Bruce Benson, men's basketball coach Tad Boyle and me Thursday, April 28 on Norlin Quad for a festive campus event for alumni, donors, parents, faculty and staff as we celebrate the many ways CU is creating futures through our excellence and impact. In addition, faculty will share their research and creative work through poster sessions. We'll be making a special announcement. You know it will be important because Ralphie, Chip, and the marching band will be there.
Please register at www.cualum.org/boulder. Open houses and performances at ATLAS, the Visual Arts Complex, and Imig Music begin at 3:30 p.m. and the program on the quad starts at 5:00 p.m. I hope to see you there!
Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor
University of Colorado Boulder