IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Q&A with Vice Chancellor for Administration Paul Tabolt
After 10 years as Vice Chancellor for Administration, Paul Tabolt has announced his retirement from CU-Boulder, effective at the end of October. Inside CU recently asked Paul to share his thoughts about his tenure on the Boulder campus and his future plans.
Q. What accomplishments stand out in your mind from your time as Vice Chancellor for Administration?
A. As a Vice Chancellor for 10 years, I pride myself on how we, the Division of Administration, have enhanced many different administrative services to support the academic, research and public service mission of the campus. I have worked with 15 different members of the Board of Regents, four university presidents, three CU-Boulder chancellors, two provosts, one senior vice chancellor and six vice chancellors.
I believe I have contributed to a more cordial relationship with the City of Boulder and, in particular, Boulder City Manager, Frank Bruno. Previously strained relationships between the city and university have evolved into steady relationships that can serve both entities well into the future.
Since 1991, the Boulder campus has grown from 8 million to 9.2 million square feet. I have been involved in every capital project since arriving on campus. I am proud of my contribution to the most beautiful campus in the nation and know that the additional campus square footage has been added with great care. The appearance of the campus has steadily improved and I’ve helped make that happen. Today, CU-Boulder has the distinction of having recently completed two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold-certified buildings (ATLAS and the Wolf Law building), and should soon have two more (the Koelbel building and the Visual Arts Complex).
Our environmental commitment has steadily evolved and continues to increase. In 2001, we launched an energy conservation program to help reduce impacts of growing campus utility consumption. Since then, potable water usage has declined by approximately 110 million gallons per year. Campus energy and water conservation efforts have avoided costs of over $2.4 million in the last three years. During that time, we have invested $1.4 million for energy and water conservation projects. Hazardous wastes generated by the campus have decreased by 15 percent since 2001 and pre-treatment of hazardous wastes has eliminated more that 30 tons of waste from the waste stream every year. The CU Recycling Program diverts 1,600 tons of waste annually. The campus’ integrated pest management program reduces the amount of herbicides and pesticides used on campus. While we never seem to accomplish as much as I would like, our environmental record and commitment are very strong.
Our commitment to our employees continues to grow. I take pride in the progress we have made with the Department of Human Resources and am pleased that the campus is exploring the development of a comprehensive human resource system. Five years ago, we suggested the campus needed a comprehensive human resource strategy and today its exploration is a hot topic.
In 2004–05, after racial incidents occurred on campus, we created a discrimination and harassment policy and an overall strategy to implement that policy. We created an organizational structure and the hiring of new staff to train the community and oversee implementation. The resources, staffing, training and start-up of the program, including new investigative procedures, were all in place within six months. Over 5,000 employees were trained in the first year.
A large number of Division of Administration employees include non-English speaking refugees, migrant workers and first-generation citizens for whom we have invested in English as a Second Language programs and programs that provide employees with basic computer literacy skills for staff portal access and university communications. We are also working to offer Graduate Equivalency Diploma programs for staff members who have not had the opportunity to graduate from high school.
I take pride in the many wonderful employees in the Division of Administration. My success as a vice chancellor has been made possible through the strong, dedicated and competent contributions of the administration directors and their staff. With the support of an incredible staff, the campus has a solid bookstore, better physical conditions, better human resource support, better emergency preparedness, and improved public safety to support the campus.
Q. Do you have any parting words of wisdom for your faculty/staff colleagues?
A. It’s probably too soon for me to give out sage advice. My October 31, 2007, retirement date may soon be here, but my plans include returning to the campus on December 1, 2007, to continue to work for CU-Boulder while Chancellor Peterson and Senior Vice Chancellor Porreca seek my replacement. I’ll be around until the end of March 2008. Campus leadership is strong, committed and energetic. I have enjoyed the privilege of working for this campus. I continue to be impressed with the strength and quality of the students, faculty and staff, and the campus is well positioned to move forward. The strategic initiatives unfolding in the Flagship 2030 strategic plan are exciting, and will make this university an even better place to live, work and learn with everyone’s constructive contributions.
Q. What do you plan to do after you retire?
A. I’m looking forward to spending quality time with my wonderful wife, Kris, who retired as the CU-Boulder Bursar in 2004. We love the time that we share on the ski slopes and on our bicycles. I’m an old ski racer who is still in heaven when experiencing the thrill of speed on a mountain. Some day I would like to ride my bike across the country. I enjoy working with my hands and might spend time building homes for Habitat for Humanity. Since I’m still fairly young at 55, I wouldn't be surprised if I work again. It’s been a great career in higher education and I like what I have done.
Q&A with Vice Chancellor for Administration Paul Tabolt
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