IN THE SPOTLIGHT
DiStefano lauds Rippon’s example at faculty-staff breakfast
The Boulder Faculty Assembly and Boulder Campus Staff Council welcomed faculty and staff back to campus for the start of the 2009-2010 academic year in an open-invitation breakfast at the Mary Rippon Theatre Thursday, Sept. 3. Chancellor Phil DiStefano, BFA Chair Joe Rosse and Staff Council Co-Chair Larry Hill offered key campus updates during the session.
DiStefano welcomed 68 new tenure-track faculty members, including 31 new female faculty members who followed a trail blazed by Rippon, CU-Boulder’s third faculty member. Rippon, who taught French and German, is believed to be the first woman to teach at any state university.
The chancellor said the 68 positions include 23 new positions, supporting Flagship 2030 strategic plan goals of adding 300 new tenure-track positions over a 10-year period. So far CU-Boulder has added 73 new faculty positions in three years, “even in these budget-challenged times,” DiStefano said. “I am inspired that we were able to attract so many top-flight faculty from other top universities, confirming for me that we have something great to offer,” he said.
DiStefano and his six vice chancellors were busy over the summer prioritizing Flagship 2030 initiatives to undertake in the next two years. He said he would share plans for Flagship 2030 short-term implementations at his “State of the Campus” address Oct. 5. “Our strategic plan is integral to both our fund-raising efforts and our 2010 re-accreditation,” he said.
The chancellor noted that the new freshman class of nearly 5,600 (based on spring confirmations) could rival CU-Boulder’s second-largest class of 5,617 in 2006. The new class includes 884 students of color, based on confirmations, making it the second-most ethnically diverse in history. “Faculty and staff worked very hard to find courses, seats and beds for all of our new students,” DiStefano said. “This was truly a team effort in the name of the university. This reinforces for me after 35 years that our faculty and staff always come through at crunch time.”
DiStefano closed his remarks by mentioning several accomplishments announced over the summer, including a record for sponsored research revenues of $340 million, fundraising that equaled last year’s record, the 100th anniversary of teacher certification at CU-Boulder, and several impressive rankings by U.S. News and World Report.
Boulder Faculty Alliance Chair Joe Rosse opened the event with remarks that challenged CU-Boulder to convince Colorado citizens and legislators of the need to invest in the university. “We need to persuade them the University of Colorado at Boulder is a good investment—for themselves, for their children, for their constituents, and for the future of the state,” he said.
Rosse pointed out that universities are virtually unique in their tradition of joint governance, with faculty, staff, students and administration pulling together as a community, and that our faculty administrators, long-time members of the CU community, believe in this tradition.
Rosse talked about the role of the BFA, which is the central authority on academic issues, and has been instrumental in addressing issues such as academic standards, intercollegiate athletics, review of administration, and faculty benefits. The BFA also pressed for the Efficiency Task Force to reduce bureaucratic overhead, created a grievance committee concept to ensure that all academic units have a reasonably consistent grievance review process, and developed report on student alcohol abuse.
“If I have convinced you to get involved, or at least to learn more about how to get involved, I invite you to talk with me and learn how you can get involved in one of the committees of the BFA, or one of the university committees that is seeking faculty participation,” said Rosse.
Boulder Campus Staff Council Co-Chair Larry Hill echoed Rosse’s praise of joint governance, and the commitment CU-Boulder administrators have to this collaborative effort. “I feel privileged to serve with an administration that values staff and the contributions staff makes to this great university,” he said. “I encourage all of you to seek and find ways to participate.”
To read the entirety of Chancellor DiStefano's remarks, visit the Office of the Chancellor website.
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