CU-Boulder moves ahead on creating new colleges focusing on media, communication and information; the environment and sustainability

University of Colorado Boulder Provost Russell L. Moore today announced the campus will be taking the first steps needed to formally propose the creation of the first new colleges on the campus in 50 years: a college focused on media, communication and information, and a college designed around CU-Boulder’s strengths in the environment and sustainability.  Both would require the approval of the Board of Regents.

“These proposed new colleges will create exciting synergies among related disciplines,” said Moore. “They will build on CU-Boulder’s programmatic strengths and excellence, attract new high-quality students and faculty, and facilitate scholarship and teaching that will prepare students for careers in a wide range of exciting fields.”

Moore said the college or school devoted to media, communication and information would house programs in journalism, advertising and design, communication, film production and film studies, media studies and a new department in information studies.

“If approved by the Board of Regents, this college will create exciting opportunities for our students and will bring together a dynamic and creative faculty in these disciplines,” said Moore. “From this college, we will create working journalists, editors and media professionals, communication scholars, media experts, advertisers and media designers, filmmakers and film theorists, and experts in the emerging field of information architecture and design. The possibilities are truly exciting.”

A college of the environment and sustainability, Moore said, if approved, will “bring together some of the finest researchers and teachers on the campus” in disciplines and programs that include environmental science, environmental policy and environmental design while “drawing upon assets from some of the campus’s most dynamic institutes,” including the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) and the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI). 

“This will bring together in one college a concentration of faculty who represent some of CU-Boulder’s mostly highly ranked, and highly successful, research in environmental sciences,” said Moore. “The graduates of the college we envision will be highly sought after in fields ranging from design of the built environment to alternative energy development to the formation of environmental and energy policy.”

In both cases, said Moore, the move to create the colleges is supported by three years of work, by recommendations from internal and external committees who reviewed existing programs and structures on the campus, and above all, “by the clear economic, workplace and research demands of the world around us.”

“This isn’t adding to an ivory tower – it’s breaking apart the ivory tower and investing in a bright and very real future for our students and our faculty,” said Moore. “This will challenge us to rethink how we teach, how we organize ourselves as a research and scholarly community, how we generate and use resources, and how we deliver graduates into the job market or into realms of further scholarship.”

Moore said the next step in this process is to form implementation committees to create blueprints for forging the colleges, examining such issues as funding and fundraising, administration, curriculum development and how to integrate the work of the institutes with the role and mission of the new colleges. The goal is to submit proposals to form the colleges to the CU Board of Regents within the next 12 months, and to form the new colleges and begin enrolling students by 2015.

Moore also thanked a host of individuals who drove the internal and external processes to help envision the colleges, including “Merrill Lessley, who chaired the ICMT Exploratory Committee, Andrew Calabrese who chaired the Information Communication Journalism Media and Technology Steering Committee, Helmut Muller-Sievers and Bob Craig who organized conversations in the social sciences and the humanities and arts around these issues last summer, Michele Jackson who conducted an online discussion group, and Sharon Collinge who chaired the Environmental Studies Visioning Committee.”

CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano lauded the work of the committees.

“Forming new academic entities is no small task,” said DiStefano. “From the volunteer committee members who gave their time, to our faculty who gave their time and input into those committees, we have seen the best of what CU-Boulder is about: passion, vision, energy and ingenuity. We are confident our new colleges and schools will embody these same values.”

Contact:
Bronson Hilliard, CU-Boulder spokesperson, 303-735-6183

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