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 Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2005 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

FROM THE CHANCELLOR


Family Weekend – A Refreshing Experience
By Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano

"I loved it," beamed one parent when I asked about Family Weekend 2005. "What a great opportunity to see my daughter and hear more about college life."

I spent a good deal of time with parents and students at Family Weekend two weeks ago and I wish that all of you could have experienced the positive spirit on campus.

Whether enjoying a great lunch prepared by the UMC catering staff or mixing with university representatives during an evening reception, family members and students were pleased to have the opportunity to share time together on campus. More than 1,500 attendees woke up early Saturday morning to enjoy brunch in the Glenn Miller Ballroom and to participate in a pep rally with the CU marching band, cheerleaders and mascots.

CU-Boulder's Family Weekend is one of the largest in the country, attracting between four and five thousand family members in recent years. Family Weekend 2005 was no different, with visitors from at least 28 different states.

My wife Yvonne and I were members of the Parents Association Board when our daughter attended CU. We know first-hand how much thought and preparation goes into making this weekend a meaningful one for CU parents. We also know how rewarding it is to meet parents and family members from Colorado and across the nation, and often from around the world, throughout the weekend.

Many of our faculty and staff are also parents of CU students. Whether you are a parent or not, I encourage you to participate in Family Weekend activities next year. There are a variety of opportunities to get involved, such as presenting at one of the sessions, volunteering at the registration tables, or attending events. I believe that your perspective on the university will be renewed, something we all can use every now and then.

A Taste of CU-Boulder

Particularly popular this year were presentations by anthropology Professor Dennis Van Gerven (Nubian mummies) and physics Professor Steven Pollock (physics education). In addition, there was a discussion of the rights and responsibilities associated with the First Amendment and academic freedom led by Professors Bob Schulzinger of the history department, Sven Steinmo of political science and Donnie Lichtenstein of the Leeds School of Business. Many parents took the opportunity to tour the CU Heritage Center and Natural History Museum, while others learned about overseas study from Nancy Stubbs, director of the Study Abroad program. Others heard tips for finding housing from Susan Stafford, Off-Campus Student Services director.

A major highlight of Family Weekend is the football game. This year members of the Academic Policy Board for Athletics, chaired by Professor Scott Adler, were recognized on the field, marking an important step that we've taken to more fully integrate academics and athletics.

Many Hands Work Wonders

A great deal of time and effort by dedicated staff and volunteers makes Family Weekend such a great success. I'd like to thank George "Barney" Ballinger, director of the Office of Parent Relations, and Jennifer Hudson, program assistant, along with Debra Wood, president of the CU Parents Association, the Family Weekend tri-chairs and the Parents Association Board members for their hard work in making this weekend possible.

I also greatly appreciate the time that faculty and staff from academic departments, Student Affairs programs and other units across the campus devoted to making the weekend a special one for CU students and their families. I'm looking forward to Family Weekend again in fall 2006.

Forthcoming: Budget Update

In my December column I plan to address the budget situation, as affected by voter action on Referenda C and D in the Nov. 1 election. The Board of Regents plan to hold a special budget meeting later this month and we will know more after that time.


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