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 Tuesday, March 24, 2009 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


It has been my honor to serve CU-Boulder
Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson

As Val and I spend our last days in Boulder finishing up many things and preparing for our new challenges at Georgia Tech, I find myself reflecting on all that we as a university community have accomplished over the last 33 months at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Together we have enrolled our largest, best-qualified and most diverse freshman classes three years in a row and have set new records for fundraising and sponsored research for two consecutive years. We have begun to execute a new visionary strategic plan for the 21st century in Flagship 2030, conceived with tremendous campus and public input, to guide CU-Boulder for decades to come.

We have encouraged an ethos of academic excellence, civic engagement and community service in our students, an effort that was recognized with a U.S. Presidential award in 2008. And today, we are looked upon as a national model for integrating athletics into the academic fabric of the university.

Indeed we have significant momentum and I am confident that momentum will continue under new leadership. I have full confidence in that expectation with the appointment of Dr. Phil DiStefano as Interim Chancellor, who will continue to carry CU-Boulder forward. It is a choice that I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically support for many reasons, both professionally and personally.

Professionally, Dr. DiStefano was instrumental in the formulation of Flagship 2030 as co-chair of the steering committee, and he has a continued role in its implementation that is now well underway. I have no doubt that he is committed to seeing it move ahead. Personally, I believe Dr. DiStefano is the right person at the right time for CU-Boulder. As Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. DiStefano has been our top academic officer for eight years. He has demonstrated leadership at CU-Boulder for more than 35 years, starting as an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at the School of Education in 1974.

The many successes that CU-Boulder enjoys today, and will surely enjoy in the years to come, are built on the collective strength of our community and on the strong foundation of excellence embodied here in our faculty, staff, students, alumni and the shared community of CU-Boulder. With continued support and dedication we will continue to make progress in our four key research initiatives: aerospace engineering, biotechnology, geosciences, and sustainable and renewable energy − all areas in which CU-Boulder has become world renowned.

In particular, we have made great strides advancing the Colorado Initiative in Molecular Biotechnology, which will have a revolutionary impact on biotech research in Colorado and globally through ground-breaking discoveries in medical science and patient care. We have made vital progress in establishing a permanent endowment for CIMB and we are well positioned to move forward on a Biotech Building on the East Campus.

Likewise, the CU-Boulder Energy Initiative positions us as a leader in society’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. In October, we formed the Energy Initiative Leadership Council with private partners on the council investing $1 million annually to accelerate the commercialization of energy technologies discovered at CU-Boulder.

While we enjoy a growing national reputation as a leader in engineering and the sciences, it has been said that what a society deems important is enshrined in its art. A “topping-off” ceremony for the new Visual Arts Complex earlier this month christened CU as a new gateway to the arts. Home to the University of Colorado Art Museum and the Department of Art and Art History, the Visual Arts Complex will be a tremendous asset for our students, the university and the Front Range community.

The successful transfer of the Alumni Association from the CU Foundation back to the university was a major step that is providing benefits to our alumni and the university, creating new synergy and a spirit of collaboration. We also made critical organizational changes in Athletics, Student Life, University Communications and Human Resources.

These have all proven to be vital steps along our journey of success. However, when I am asked about my most satisfying moment at CU-Boulder, I do not hesitate to say that it is the way the university community has embraced Flagship 2030 as our collective vision.

Thanks to the efforts of the entire campus community we have a very strong strategic plan that will chart our course. The community building of Flagship 2030 gave us the opportunity to look ahead, rather than back, providing a campus catharsis that was an unexpected bonus. Flagship 2030 is now a pIan in motion and I am grateful for the foresight and support of all those who contributed to it for positioning our students and CU-Boulder for the 21st century.

While Val and I are saddened to be leaving, there is a great leadership team in place and I am very confident that CU-Boulder will continue to move forward and excel. Val and I will watch from afar and we will take great pride in all that you are accomplishing. It has been an honor to work here for nearly three years with all of you. I have no doubt that the University of Colorado at Boulder will continue to thrive − there are far too many great people here to do otherwise!

Thank you for your support, your continued efforts and your dedication to the excellence of this great institution that is the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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