Chancellor addresses CU’s past accomplishments and what he calls an optimistic future
CU faculty and staff alike filled Old Main’s Chapel Friday morning where Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson delivered his third annual State of the University address. The speech outlined CU’s accomplishments in the past year, and set a clear goal for years to come.
Peterson began by discussing the obstacles CU has overcome in the past. He explained how the university started with only 44 students with one instructor in Old Main. The first graduating class was only six; yet he went on to say how this past year there were over 5,000 graduates. Peterson was quick to show how far CU has come along.
“Public confidence in students, faculty and staff, our graduates and in fact our entire university has never been higher,” Peterson said.
This past year there were over 23,000 applications to CU, which is up 16 percent from last year. In the last two years freshman applications went up 35 percent.
Peterson went on to explain how research that is externally funded is up to $280 million, which is $14 million more than last year. Private support is also up, in fact, it has increased by 80 percent to $58 million in the last two years alone.
Peterson did not take the credit for these improvements however, but rather expressed his gratitude to the packed room of faculty and administration.
“The success belongs to all of you,” Peterson said.
Further accomplishments he outlined included the fact that five of CU’s specialty programs are ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. News and World Report graduate school ratings including physics, environmental law, and physical chemistry.
Peterson spent a major part of his speech detailing the future of CU by outlining a project called “Flagship 2030.” Flagship 2030 is a comprehensive plan for long and short-term changes that will have a direct impact on students, faculty, and staff.
Some of the changes include creating 300 new faculty positions in a ten-year period. This year alone, there have been 35 new positions implemented. It is expected that 90 new faculty positions will be created in three years.
Peterson said there would also be a new “faculty task force” which would result in a better minimum salary for instructors and improve faculty salary in all aspects.
Some physical changes to the CU’s campus are also outlined in Flagship 2030. One building included in the plan is the new Visual Arts Complex right next to the ATLAS center.
“At 178,000 square feet, and adjacent to the UMC it will be a campus wide resource, similar to the library and will enrich the cultural life of our campus,” Peterson said. The project is expected to be completed by 2010.
The Visual Arts Complex will be the 4th Leed Gold Certified building. It will be 1 of only 4 in the state, all of which are on the CU-Boulder campus.
In addition to the Visual Arts Complex, Peterson mentioned the preliminary plans for a performing arts center, as well as a new building in the northeast corner in the engineering center.
A change that will affect resident hall students is what Peterson called the “center for community.” In order to free up space for student classrooms, learning centers, and faculty apartments, the Center For Community will unify several dining facilities. Completion is expected in July of 2010.
The main campus is not the only part of CU receiving attention from Flagship 2030. CU-Boulder’s east campus will also be receiving a 10,000-square-foot university cyber-infrastructure facility in the Qwest Building. Its main focus will be biotechnology, energy and sustainability, geosciences and computational science.
Peterson proclaimed, “Flagship 2030 is embedded in everything we do.” Clear changes have already been made on campus with new faculty, and new facilities such as the Koelbel, Wolf law, and ATLAS buildings in the last two years.
“The progress we have made this past year in Flagship 2030 has been remarkable,” Peterson said.
Six immediate goals were outlined in addition to Flagship 2030. The first is to attract faculty and staff. This will create a diverse campus community and be a huge benefit to the university.
Next is the development of East Campus research and academic complex. The third-and the one Peterson said to be the most important-is efforts in private fundraising. CU went from $31 million two years ago to $58 million this year, a clear improvement.
The fourth goal is to continue the development of residential colleges, and the fifth is to continue to embrace diversity, race, ethnicity, gender, geographic and socio-economic differences.
Peterson said that in the fall of 2006 there were 771 new minority students, and this fall we saw an increase to 950.
The final immediate goal is to improve efficiency in all operations on campus in order to make the university run more smoothly.
Peterson expressed his strong enthusiasm for all that is going to be happening in CU’s future.
“The view ahead is truly exciting,” he said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kenny Rosenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.