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FROM THE CHANCELLOR


Spring Semester Campus Update
by Philip P. DiStefano, Interim Chancellor

Delivered April 3, 2009

Good morning. Welcome. Thank you for coming. I am Phil DiStefano, the Interim Chancellor of CU-Boulder. I also have served as the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the last eight years. I have had the pleasure of being here at the University of Colorado at Boulder for 35 years. It is also my pleasure to introduce my wife, Yvonne.

I was both humbled and honored to accept the appointment of Interim Chancellor by President Benson. As many of you know, I also served as the Interim Chancellor from January 2005 to July 2006 during a period when CU-Boulder was facing a number of challenges

The challenges we faced together during that period remind me of the quote by British clergyman Robert South, who said, “Problems can become opportunities when the right people come together.” We have certainly shown that to be true at CU-Boulder.

Today, we face new challenges, and I see new opportunities. We come together today at a time of critical transition, as we continue to pursue important transformation, during a time of budget challenges. We also come together at a time of tremendous momentum. It will be up to us − as a university community − to carry that momentum forward.

By now, we have all heard the jury decision made yesterday afternoon. While I am disappointed by the jury’s decision, I am still confident that the process we used to review allegations of research misconduct was appropriately applied in this case. The university attorneys will evaluate the next steps in the legal process. It is too early to comment on how the judge’s final decision might impact the campus, as that decision has not yet been rendered. I think it’s important, however, to begin to put this case behind us, and to focus on meeting some very pressing challenges: implementing our Flagship 2030 Strategic Plan, managing significant fiscal and resource challenges, and effectively preparing our students for a rapidly changing world. And that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

Indeed, we have much to talk about during this critical juncture for our university. I appreciate the chance to meet with you this morning. For the next 20 minutes or so I would like to talk about challenges facing us with the budget this fiscal year and next, moving forward on our Flagship 2030 strategic plan, preparing for our 2010 accreditation, and the beginning stages of our 10-year master plan.

Chancellor Search
Let me begin by updating you on our Chancellor search. I think all of you join me in thanking Dr. Bud Peterson for his service to the university as chancellor. He was a trusted friend and colleague to many of us. I believe we will see the benefit of Bud’s leadership long after he has moved on to pursue new opportunities as President at Georgia Tech University

President Benson has acknowledged that the work we are doing at CU-Boulder, as the state’s flagship university, is vital and pressing, and therefore it is important that we proceed deliberately − but quickly − in our search for our next permanent Chancellor, a position for which I have asked to be considered, and I thank those faculty and staff who nominated me.

Our next Chancellor will join a strong and experienced leadership team at CU-Boulder that has helped lead us through both uplifting and trying times.

The Chancellor’s search committee received recommendations for internal candidates through April 1 and it is having its first meeting today. The goal, as announced by President Benson, is to have the internal search completed by May

The 12-member search committee includes representatives from a broad cross-section of the campus community including representatives from the Alumni Association, the Boulder Faculty Assembly, Staff Council, the sciences, humanities, undergraduate student government, graduate student government, deans, and diversity and community engagement.

To read the complete text of Interin Chancellor Philip DiStefano's Spring Campus Update, click on this link to the Office of the Chancellor website.

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