University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder

From the Chancellor

O C T O B E R   2 0 1 1

Dear Friends,

Philip P. DiStefano
Philip P. DiStefano

We were excited to learn Sept. 30 that the prestigious National Solar Observatory has chosen the University of Colorado Boulder for its headquarters. CU-Boulder’s East Campus will be the primary site for scientific research on solar physics and space weather, which can have a significant impact on global communications and power grids.

 Red Sun by NASA
CU-Boulder was awarded the National Solar Observatory on Sept. 30. (Photo courtesy of NASA.)

This will enhance our longtime research partnerships with several federal labs, create exceptional educational opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students and produce more than 70 high-paying jobs in our community with an annual payroll of $20 million. It will further position CU-Boulder as a center of innovation in solar research and is another example of how our entrepreneurial spirit will benefit Colorado’s economy.

Our ability to win the National Solar Observatory came about because of a terrific joint effort led by Professor Dan Baker, director of our Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, coordinating the university, the city of Boulder, the business community and Colorado’s political leadership. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, Congressmen Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter, our federal lab partners and Governor John Hickenlooper were all closely involved. Collaboration with these important partners put us in position to win the NSO.

Boulder Daily Camera, Sept. 30: "CU-Boulder tops Alabama to land National Solar Observatory headquarters"

In another instance of how we help build Colorado's economy, Long Island-based Arrow Electronics announced its relocation to Colorado this week. Arrow CEO Michael Long said that a highly educated workforce—including access to CU-Boulder's engineering programs—rivals Colorado tax incentives as an inducement to relocate. Arrow plans to create 1,200 additional Colorado jobs in five years and we look forward to partnering with this dynamic company.

videoCBS4 News: Oct. 12: "Arrow Electronics' Move Is A Bet On Colorado: What's Behind The Move Of Arrow Electronics?"

Chancellor Philip DiStefano delivers the 2011 State of the Campus address in the Glenn Miller Ballroom.

State of the Campus

The relocation of Arrow Electronics is a good example of how we can help lead the state to prosperity, a subject I focused on in my annual State of the Campus address last week. In the speech I detailed how the state's flagship university, despite having very little financial support from the state, can and must help Colorado move forward in these challenging economic times. We prepare students for highly skilled jobs in the 21st century global workplace, contribute billions annually to Colorado's economy, and our research innovations create and attract companies. Technology transfer is just one of many ways we move the state ahead economically. Here's an example of how our research innovations improve lives, while creating companies, through technology transfer.

CU News Services, Sept. 19: "Suvica Inc. of Boulder to commercialize CU-Boulder cancer screening technology"

 Android phone app by Daniel Schaefer
Daniel Schaefer, a CU-Boulder doctoral candidate in communication, holds up his Android smart phone with a special keyboard app that he created for easier Twitter posting during disasters.

Center of Entrepreneurship

CU-Boulder continues to be a center of entrepreneurship inspired by both our faculty and students. We were pleased our students' entrepreneurial activities were detailed in this Boulder Daily Camera story.

We have many resources to support and help our entrepreneurial students. One of those is a cross-campus Certificate in Entrepreneurship developed for students of all majors—from engineering to theater—offered through the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship in the Leeds School of Business. The Deming Center also gives students a host of entrepreneurial opportunities in a number of transformational industry sectors such as bioscience, clean energy and organic business. We have entrepreneurial programs and certificates in specific schools, colleges and Residential Academic Programs (RAPS) such as engineering, music and our sustainable design RAP.

It's also notable that the Department of Energy last week awarded the CU Cleantech Program at the Deming Center a grant to host a regional competition for students working on renewable energy start-up companies. Students from 10 states will submit clean-technology business plans to compete for $100,000.  The university and the Deming Center are leaders in commercializing renewable energy.

Boulder County Business Report, Oct. 11: "CU to host clean-tech competition"

Here are just a handful of entrepreneurial projects our students are working on:

Boulder County Business Report, Sept. 28: "New app inspired by Fourmile Fire"

videoBoulder Daily Camera, Sept. 16: "Sounds of fun: CU-Boulder students engineer toys for the blind"

Boulder Daily Camera, Sept. 24: "CU-Boulder students to get involved with solar-powered Wi-Fi project in Haiti"

CU-Boulder will prepare space experiments designed by students 14 to 18 in an international contest sponsored in part by YouTube.

Supporting our communities

While we build and attract companies to support our economy, we also improve communities across Colorado. On that note, I'm pleased to report that CU-Boulder's Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence was awarded a $6.5 million grant by the Centers for Disease Control to reduce violence in Denver's 30,000-resident Montbello neighborhood.

Denver KMGH 7 News, Sept. 22: "CU Gets $6.5 Million To Reduce Violence In Montbello"

Building community also includes educational outreach. A CU-Boulder space center will play a key role in a new international contest sponsored by industry partners, including YouTube, and several space agencies, challenging students 14 to 18 to design science experiments. The winning experiments will be conducted on the International Space Station. Our BioServe Space Technologies, headquartered in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department, will turn the winning proposals into space-ready experiments.

videoBoulder Daily Camera, Oct, 12: "YouTube Space Lab: CU-Boulder to prepare International Space Station experiments"

 Alysia Marino
Alysia Marino

Physics professor honored by the White House

It was a pleasure to honor faculty promotions, awards and elections to distinguished national academies at Faculty Convocation on Sept. 30 in an ceremony that also recognized top students. I'm compelled to make special mention of Physics Assistant Professor Alysia Marino, who was honored on Friday at the White House by President Obama as one of 13 Department of Energy researchers to receive prestigious Early Career Scientist Awards.

I'm proud to say that she also was recognized for mentoring graduate students. She joined colleagues at the White House from the likes of Cal-Berkeley, Cornell and the California Institute of Technology.

Boulder County Business Report, Sept. 27: "White House recognizes CU professor"

Matt Stone, left, and Trey Parker as young screenwriters in Hollywood.

CU alums on 60 Minutes

Our incorrigible and idiosyncratic alums, Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park fame, were featured on 60 Minutes last month in a segment highlighting their film and Broadway creativity and documenting their CU beginnings. The inseparable pair met in a film studies class in which Professor Don Yannacito told them if they ever got serious they might go somewhere. Needless to say, they never got serious.

60 Minutes, Sept. 25: "Parker and Stone's subversive comedy"

Macky Auditorium symbolizes CU's contribution to community and culture. (Video by Boulder Daily Camera.)

Macky Auditorium celebrated

An iPad loaded with contemporary digital content was part of a time capsule buried at Macky Auditorium last week to replace one opened a year ago on Macky's 100th birthday. Macky has been a community cultural hub on campus for a century. Today, more than 385,000 citizens a year enhance their quality of life by visiting CU-Boulder's museums, performing and visual arts, debates and other cultural events.

 Marching band rainbow
The Golden Buffalo Marching Band practices on Farrand Field. The band will be featured in Homecoming festivities Friday and Saturday.

Join us for Homecoming this weekend

Unlike many schools, we never take our Homecoming opponent for granted. We can't because typically they are Top-10 ranked, and this year is no exception as we host No. 9 Oregon for Homecoming on Saturday. Highlights include the Homecoming Parade and Buff Stampede on the Pearl Street Mall at 7 p.m. Friday and the game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

To prepare for the big events and make parking smoother, visit the following websites:

• Boulder Pearl Street Mall Parking
• Campus Game Day Parking

I'll see you there! Go Buffs!


Philip P. DiStefano

Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor
University of Colorado Boulder