From the Chancellor

From the Chancellor

August 2009

Dear Friends,

Philip P. DiStefano
Philip P. DiStefano

We welcomed 5,600 enthusiastic freshmen to the University of Colorado at Boulder during New Student Convocation on Friday and nearly 30,000 students began classes on Monday.

University of Colorado at Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano, left, and Ric Porreca, senior vice chancellor and CFO, join 5,600 freshmen at Folsom Field for Convocation ceremonies for incoming students on Aug. 21.

With the start of the academic year we announced new campus safety initiatives including hiring six new certified police officers, a new platoon patrolling system that will keep more officers on the street after dark and improvements to campus lighting. We are piloting an on-campus nighttime transportation system and we opened a new pedestrian underpass at the busy crossing near the Kittredge Housing Complex on campus.

Many of these initiatives are a direct response to a student safety survey conducted by the student government, the University of Colorado Student Union. I want to applaud these conscientious student leaders for taking on the challenge of surveying our community and helping us to arrive at solutions to keep our students, faculty and staff safer.

CU-Boulder researchers are developing a gigantic, daisy-shaped space shield that could be unfurled in space and used to block out pesky starlight, allowing orbiting telescopes to zero in on Earth-like planets in other solar systems. The research is featured in the September issue of Air & Space Smithsonian. Read more >>

Record sponsored research

For the third consecutive year we set a new campus record for federally sponsored research revenues: $340 million, topping last year's record by $60 million! This award demonstrates our strength in capturing these dollars even in tough times – and it's important to note that within this figure, only around $10 million comes from federal stimulus grants. We are earning these dollars based on the ingenuity of our researchers and the originality of their work. These awards help to support the work of many hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students and are tangible evidence of our contribution to the health, welfare and advancement of Colorado, the nation and our world.

Boulder County Business Report, Aug. 7: "CU-Boulder received record funding"

Twenty undergraduates gave up their coffee shop jobs this summer for paid research jobs, such as working on better ways to control chronic pain or regenerating cartilage in the jaw, with the aid of $200,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants. This supports our goal of experiential education in our Flagship 2030 strategic plan, which the campus is busy implementing now, and underscores how committed we are to including undergraduates in our research process at CU-Boulder.

CU-Boulder Professor Lucy Pao leads the Center for Research and Education in Wind, which is part of the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory. Watch video >>

CU-Boulder shows well in national rankings

Sierra magazine recently rated CU-Boulder the No.1 green school in the country based on our policies, actions, education and research. For more than half a century, CU-Boulder has been a leader in world-class climate and energy research, environmental studies, the integration of environmental coursework into a variety of fields and degrees, and launching aggressive plans to improve campus sustainability. A special report is available in the CU-Boulder News Center.

In addition, CU-Boulder remains in the top 35 among the nation's top public universities, is rated one of America's "Best College Buys," and is ranked 16th among all public universities in a national survey on graduates' earnings.

Rankings are only part of the story

Rankings only tell part of the story, our students and scholars tell the rest. Three of the 1,100 Fulbright Scholars selected nationally by the U.S. State Department to conduct international research are from CU. And 23 new graduate students, who could choose to study at any U.S. or foreign institution of graduate education, chose to study at CU for their National Science Foundation fellowships.

CU and CSU face off on September 6 at Folsom Field.

I would like to close with this New York Times story about a student who had a transformative experience at CU-Boulder. It's the kind of story that reminds us all at CU why we do what we do.

The New York Times, July 30: "For ex-fullback, big plays in a new game"

I hope that you can join us as we open the football season at Folsom Field on Sept. 6 against rival Colorado State and we begin the second season of our highly successful zero-waste program at home football games.

Go Buffs!

Philip P. DiStefano

Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor
University of Colorado at Boulder