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 Tuesday, February 27, 2007 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


The search for excellence
Phil DiStefano, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

This academic year is an exciting one for Academic Affairs. We are involved in developing Flagship 2030, the strategic planning process that Chancellor Peterson initiated last semester, and in the short term, searching for two important cabinet positions—the newly created Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement and the Vice Chancellor for Research/Dean of the Graduate School. Individuals filling both of these positions will have a major role in developing the action plans that emerge from the strategic planning process.

In keeping with CU-Boulder's history and our vision for the campus, we remain committed to recruiting and retaining an increasingly diverse faculty, staff, and student body. Achieving a more diverse university population is basic to our research, teaching, and service mission to the state of Colorado and the nation. All faculty, students, and staff benefit from an education enriched by the diversity of people (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, geographic) as well as a diversity of ideas.

To achieve diversity in its broadest sense, we created the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Equity nearly 10 years ago. This position was later elevated to Vice Provost to ensure that campus constituents understood that diversity was the responsibility of the entire campus. Given the many accomplishments in the area of diversity during the past 10 years, now is the appropriate time to expand the role of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Equity to include external constituents, such as the city and county of Boulder, the Denver-metro area, and the state of Colorado, and elevate this position to a Vice Chancellor.

The Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement will be responsible for articulating a vision and providing leadership in developing a university-wide program to support and foster a more diverse community and one that embraces and welcomes diversity in all its forms. As a member of the Chancellor's Cabinet, the Vice Chancellor will participates in policy discussions, ensuring that diversity-related issues are key considerations in all budgetary, administrative, academic, and governance decisions. The person in this position will provide leadership on the campus and will work collaboratively with the deans, department chairs, senior level staff, student groups and the greater university community to develop, implement and assess strategies, activities and programs that are designed to increase and enhance faculty, student, and staff diversity. In addition, the Vice Chancellor will develop outreach and partnership programs with local and state communities to create a welcoming environment for all faculty, students, and staff.

The position of Vice Chancellor for Research/Dean of the Graduate School is not a new cabinet position, and although Susan Avery and Stein Sture have done an excellent job serving in this position on an interim basis, it is extremely important for us to fill the position on a permanent basis. As the flagship university in the state of Colorado, research and graduate education are crucial to the economic vitality of the state. The research that our faculty and graduate students engage in improves the quality of life for the citizens of Colorado, the nation, and the world.

Also, we sometimes forget that given our role and mission as a comprehensive, graduate, research university, we have the responsibility of educating the next generation of professors. This combined position integrates research and graduate education, emphasizing interdisciplinary research and education across the disciplines. Our Ph.D. graduates will be in the forefront of cutting edge research and teaching through their programs at the university.

The hiring of these two critical positions this year will pave the way for excellence in the year 2030.

Learn more about Flagship 2030 >>

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