Alumni and Friends of ENVD,
I have great news – ENVD is back in person! After a year-and-a-half of remote teaching, we will be back in person starting in August. Studios, lectures and electives will be back to the in-person experience that is the hallmark of an ENVD education. However, we learned many valuable things during this remote period, and we are keeping some of the innovations that we adopted. We will continue to bring guest lecturers into the classroom from around the world through remote technology. We will continue to utilize digital presentations for many intermediate submittals to take advantage of new collaboration technologies as well as helping us reduce our paper usage. Finally, we will adapt some lecture courses to combine remote learning where it is beneficial to the students. In sum, we will continue to bring innovations to the classroom to make the overall learning experience in ENVD even better for the students.
I am excited to say that our incoming students are also looking forward to being back in person. We had a record-breaking 900 applications for our fall class. We anticipate that we will have about 200 students joining us in the fall, which is the maximum we can handle, given our physical space limitations. The demand for an ENVD education is greater than ever. Students are coming to Boulder from around the country. This will also be the most diverse class we have had, with numbers exceeding our goals in every diversity category.
I am also excited to say that we will now get a chance to celebrate the ENVD 50th anniversary, which was interrupted due to COVID. We will be having alumni and friends in for lunches with the faculty and students. We will have a homecoming event that celebrates the history of the program. And, we will be having many opportunities for you to join us for special lectures and events throughout the year. I hope many of you will get a chance to celebrate with us either in person or remotely.
ENVD is also welcoming several new faculty members this fall. Look for introductions of our new faculty in the fall newsletter. Also, look for announcements of other new communications that will be introduced, including a new Podcast – “ENVD Innovations”. This fall is going to be a time of exciting change and a time of renewal. It will be an opportunity to bring back the best of an ENVD education while introducing new innovations at every level of the curriculum.
As with all of you, getting back to our routine will take some time, and I am sure it will take a few weeks to stop asking people if they can hear us in meetings. ENVD, as part of CU Boulder, will also face some financial challenges. Higher education is having to tighten its belt due to significant revenue shortages over the past two years. As a result, ENVD is facing some tough decisions in terms of where to make its own cuts. Our goal is to make sure the program remains accessible and affordable for all students, as well as continuing to provide the best education in all four of our majors. We will likely be asking for assistance from our alumni and friends as part of our ENVD 50th Anniversary Campaign. I hope you will be able to help – more about that in the next newsletter.
As we reach the midpoint in summer, our faculty and staff are busy gearing up for Fall 2021. It will be an exciting year. It will be a year that we hope all of you can share in. Please feel free to reach out to me and ask how we are doing. A goal of mine this year is to talk to as many of our alumni and friends as possible. So, reach out and let’s have coffee – remote or in person – and let’s celebrate ENVD together!