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 Tuesday, August 22, 2006 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Staff Excellence and Commitment: Our Core Strengths

As the University gears up for the return of the students, many people around campus are very busy, but none more so than our staff—those hundreds of workers who do everything from trim the bushes and keep the lights on, to refurbish rundown classrooms and maintain our technology.

I have been meeting with various groups of staff members across the campus, and I am impressed with the commitment and concern for the university that is evident through their questions, comments and attitudes. This is, undeniably, an organization that cares a great deal, particularly about our students. And it shows!

While faculty are acknowledged as the heart and soul of any great university, the staff are the backbone—they represent "the force behind the scenes" that keeps this great university running smoothly day in and day out. I value and have tremendous respect for the high-quality staff and the contributions they make to the success of the university. We are fortunate here at CU-Boulder to have such an exceptional and dedicated workforce.

As we all know, the culture of an organization is determined by the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors shared by its members. What is so clear to me is how energetic, creative and caring that culture has become here at CU-Boulder. Just look around you at the contributions our staff are making on campus, many of which fall well outside their "job description," such as helping to reduce campus energy consumption and recycling efforts, volunteering for campus and community charitable events, and acting as mentors to our students.

I also want to mention how much I appreciate the hard work of the staff in support of the move into the new Wolf Law building and the new ATLAS building, as well as all the activities associated with the move of the Leeds School of Business into Fleming in preparation for the Leeds expansion and renovation. These physical improvements are helping to reaffirm CU-Boulder's position as the Flagship University for the State of Colorado and we could not accomplish these without the assistance of the staff.

One of my favorite lines about organizational culture is "None of us is as smart as all of us." This holds true for accomplishments also – none of us can accomplish as much as all of us can together. There is a world of opportunity out there and we must grasp it and move forward to strengthen our reputation as an outstanding university. We can, as a team, continue to make our story a true success story.

This requires that we empower our colleagues and co-workers at all levels to exceed expectations, and in fact excel, by challenging the status quo and facilitating creativity; that we all continue to learn and master new skills; that we participate and contribute positively through teamwork, partnerships, committees and other formal and informal structures for the benefit of the university; that we model expectations, and help to promote an atmosphere of respect, collegiality and commitment; that at all times, we represent the university in a positive way; and that we all understand and be committed to the principles of diversity in all its forms, be they ethnic, gender, geographic, intellectual or simply the diversity of our roles and responsibilities.

Being new to the campus, I realize that many of you are wondering what our plans are for achieving greater success, and what the future holds. To that end, I will host my first campus address on September 8, 2006 to talk with you about our strategic vision—not my vision, our vision. Each and every one of us has an important role to play in developing the goals and actions that form the framework of our daily work lives.

In closing, I commend our staff for helping to make this university the great institution that it is today. Best wishes for a great year ahead, and I look forward to not only working with you, but getting to know you as well.

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Staff Excellence and Commitment: Our Core Strengths

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