FROM THE CHANCELLOR
Phil DiStefano (Photo/Larry Harwood)
Much has been happening around the nation and on the Boulder campus recently. I"d like to share some examples of how CU-Boulder faculty, staff and students are working to improve the lives of others in Colorado and beyond, as well as adding to the world"s storehouse of knowledge.
Hurricane Katrina Assistance
Certainly, most of us have been affected by the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast. In addition to viewing the startling images and hearing the tragic stories of individuals, many campus community members have family, friends and colleagues who lived and worked there. I"m very pleased with the rapid response from campus community members to organize the following relief efforts:
- We have admitted 150 undergraduate students and at least seven Law School or graduate students who have been displaced by the effects of Hurricane Katrina. The new students are from Colorado and other states around the nation. About 65 percent are non-resident students. I want to thank the staff in the Admissions Offices for their hard work to help these students continue their college education.
- Off-Campus Student Services is helping to locate housing for the displaced incoming students.
- An athletic department fundraising drive at the Sept. 3 CU-CSU game raised more than $43,000 for the American Red Cross disaster relief fund.
- The University of Colorado Student Union is leading "CU Hurricane Relief," a large collaboration of groups and individuals from CU-Boulder and the Boulder community.
- Staff at the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, CU Counseling & Psychological Services and the Office of Victim Assistance are available for community members wishing to discuss the impact of the hurricane.
- University Communications has launched a central Web site, CU-Boulder Hurricane Relief Information, to help coordinate campuswide communication on hurricane relief efforts.
And, as some of you may know, we have a partnership with Dillard University, a historically black liberal arts college in New Orleans. All students, faculty and staff were safely evacuated from Dillard before Katrina hit, but the campus is badly flooded and will require major repair and rebuilding.
Bobby Schnabel, vice provost for academic and campus technology, is leading the effort to establish a "CU Campaign for Dillard" to help our partner institution. Thanks to two donors, we already have a $10,000 "challenge grant" that will match the first $10,000 in donations. I suspect that we'll be able to achieve this goal quickly, as there is interest both from CU employees and friends. Other opportunities for helping Dillard with web sites and online educational courses are also being explored.
Achievements and Discoveries
In addition to organizing community outreach efforts to those in need, we can be proud of many other accomplishments. Often the news about these successes doesn"t get noticed as much as we"d like. To that end, I want to point out some recent noteworthy achievements.
- The world's most accurate "ruler" made with extreme ultraviolet light has been built and demonstrated with ultrafast laser pulses by scientists at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and CU-Boulder.
- In June, a team of students and scholars led by Assistant Professor Diane Conlin of classics and art history began uncovering and analyzing the fourth-century A.D. Villa of Maxentius, located outside Rome, in a new excavation and field school.
- Results from a study conducted by faculty, doctoral and undergraduate students in integrative physiology indicated that leisurely walking for distance combined with low-impact cardiovascular activity appears to be the best formula for obese people seeking to get into shape and stay healthy.
- New findings from a study led by CU-Boulder psychology Professor Yuko Munakata and Professor Jeanne Shinskey of the University of South Carolina suggest that infants' understanding of concepts like "object permanence," the idea that an object still exists even if they can't see it, may be learned rather than innate.
- Associate Professor Anne Sheehan of geological sciences and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences is coordinating a new seismic station in Aspen. The Snowmass station is helping to monitor regional earthquakes more precisely, including quakes in Colorado.
- A CU-Boulder team recently obtained new images of Saturn that showed auroral emissions at its poles similar to Earth's Northern Lights. Taken with the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph, the two images, invisible to the human eye, are the first from the Cassini-Huygens mission to capture the entire "oval" of the auroral emissions at Saturn's south pole.
- A new collaborative global study conducted by researchers with CIRES and three national universities indicated that Earth's ozone layer, while still severely depleted following decades of thinning from industrial chemicals in the atmosphere, is no longer in decline.
- The newly established Center for Business Integration at the Leeds School of Business will connect students and faculty from the systems division with local businesses looking for help with some of their toughest problems.
- The Buff Energy Star Program will now award cash bonuses of $1,000 to building proctors and their residence hall counterparts who reduce energy use in their buildings by at least 5 percent per square foot for 2005-06.
- Recent graduate Janelle Knox of Cortez has received the $300,000 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship, one of the largest and most competitive scholarships offered in the United States. She plans to do her graduate work at Oxford.
- Jazz students in the College of Music have won two more prestigious awards from Down Beat magazine, bringing the program"s four-year total to 11 awards, more than any other school in the region.
- The men's and women's cross country teams are both defending NCAA champions. CU-Boulder was just the fourth school to sweep the men's and women's titles in the same year.
- In addition, the football program will have a 79 percent graduation rate when the NCAA releases the statistics this fall, one of the top numbers nationally.
These are several examples of recent developments by faculty, staff and students. I encourage you to visit the CU-Boulder News Center Web site regularly to keep abreast of campus news and accomplishments.
Active Engagement Promotes Success
Compassion to those in need, innovation, discovery and excellence are the backbone of the University. I encourage you to actively participate in outreach activities on behalf of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. I also ask that you join me in congratulating those involved in recent achievements and others certainly to come this year. My thanks to all of you for your loyalty, commitment and hard work on behalf of the University of Colorado at Boulder.