We've risen to the challenges of the past two years, and I know we'll do so again
Nothing is permanent except change, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously observed. What was true then is true now, and the times in which we live emphasize that point.
This year, the College of Arts and Sciences will make significant strides towards the completion of its reorganization. After years of discussion about why and how to change the college and how best to implement such changes, implementation is at hand.
Also this year, the CU Boulder campus is redesigning its budget model, meaning it aims to change the structure and framework for allocating money campus-wide. The campus is undertaking a budget redesign to reduce its reliance on “legacy allocations,” those funding choices that have been historically emphasized but which might not meet the needs of our changing world.
A new budget model should incentivize new ideas and opportunities, particularly in teaching. If the new model works as intended, the campus states, it will “support our mission as a comprehensive teaching and research institution that serves the public good.”
Our students are changing, too. As the tides of history ebb and flow, what students want and where they enroll shifts. We are obliged to respond helpfully and affirmatively and with a sharp eye on what our state and country needs: an educated, critically thinking citizenry to shepherd our democracy.
It hardly needs to be noted that the foregoing list leaves us with a very full plate. Additionally, though, our campus and our community reel from the most economically devastating wildfire in Colorado history, with many in our arts and sciences community directly affected. All of this is on the backdrop of COVID-19, which is a continuing challenge, especially as we weather the spike in cases from the latest variant.
Let us be flexible as we strive to learn new systems, accept new realities and face new horizons. And let us, most importantly, be flexible with one another."
Successfully handling this confluence of change and challenge requires that, as much as we can, we remain flexible. Let us be flexible as we strive to learn new systems, accept new realities and face new horizons. And let us, most importantly, be flexible with one another.
Again and again in the past two years, we have risen to the moment and done what we could to transform challenges into opportunities. In that spirit, a colleague recently reminded me of an apt quotation by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy we celebrated last week.
As he said: “If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
And so, I am sure, we shall.
James W.C. White is acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.