A national search will soon be conducted to find a permanent provost and executive vice chancellor of Academic Affairs for CU, according to Chancellor Philip DiStefano.
Stein Sture currently holds the interim position.
“This search has nothing to do with my confidence in interim Provost Sture and I sincerely hope that he will be a candidate for the permanent position,” DiStefano said.
He said that faculty would prefer to have more than one candidate and that he will do his best to accomplish this.
Chairs slowly filled in UMC 234 Monday afternoon for the annual State of the Campus Address presented by Chancellor Philip DiStefano as students and faculty alike waited to hear the plans for the coming year.
DiStefano had an overall emphasis in his presentation on teamwork, long hours and productivity. He spent the first few minutes allowing listeners to individually acknowledge the hard work put forth by members of CU faculty.
DiStefano highlighted a few accomplishments of the university over the last few years.
He first emphasized the enrollment for fall 2009, which stands at 30,196 students. Of these students, 5,519 are freshmen and almost 900 are students of color, which DeStefano said highlights the diversity of the school.
Other accomplishments mentioned were the increase in federal funding by $60 million and the addition of 23 graduate students involved in the National Science Foundation.
DiStefano addressed plans for Flagship 2030, a program approved by the Board of Regents in 2007.
“It’s an essential map of where we are and where we are going as we prepare our students for career and contribution for the 21st century global economy,” DiStefano said.
He discussed four main action plans for the university to accomplish. Among them were curriculum enhancements which include the expansion of study abroad programs, internships, residential academic programs and residential colleges.
DiStefano included that he wants to internationalize the campus, hoping that within the next five years 10 percent of the university’s student population will be international students and half of the student body will be able to study abroad.
“It allows students to interact with students from other cultures and share perspectives as they prepare for a life of career and contribution in a global society,” DiStefano said.
Amy Liu, a senior sociology and French major, shared with the CU Independent that she had a positive experience with the study abroad program.
“Studying abroad was one of the best things I did for myself,” Liu said. “There are ways to be smart about it financially.”
A matter of concern during the address was funding, given the current economic state of the nation.
DiStefano said there has been a lot of state support dwindling and there are higher budget reductions. His new strategy is to make deeper and narrower cuts. He acknowledged that many of these decisions may be difficult.
With the increased fear of budget cuts, DiStefano reassured listeners that CU-Boulder has no intention of becoming a private university, but that it would be best to work with the highest level of flexibility and minimum state bureaucracy.
“We will emerge from this challenge stronger,” DiStefano said.
During the question and answer session, students addressed a number of concerns.
One student asked about in-state tuition and how the economic crisis will be affected by budget cuts. DiStefano admitted that more than likely in-state tuition rates will rise, but that a part of that increase will be allocated to financial aid opportunities.
One student said she didn’t think this was necessarily a good solution for all students.
“My parents have decided to give me a certain amount of money for college and if they increase tuition, that money falls on me,” said Annie Frederick, a senior aerospace engineering sciences major.
Another student addressed CU’s reputation as the number one green school, as voted by Sierra Magazine. He asked DiStefano if there would be participation with the Environmental Center to maintain that standard.
DiStefano said that the motive of the school administration was to keep CU’s status as a green school.
“We do a very good job, but we can do better,” DiStefano said.
Dianna Hancock, a sophomore English and history major, told the CU Independent she is optimistic about CU’s ability to maintain its status as an environmentally conscious university.
“I think it’s very realistic that we will keep our status as a green school,” Hancock said. “Our name is so important and so tied to it that we have to.”
In a one-on-one interview, DiStefano said he is most excited about the 68 new faculty members, many of whom are from top universities.
“I got to meet many of the young faculty, and during these hard times, they have to take on leadership positions very early,” DiStefano said.
He added he is happy with the job they are doing.
DiStefano also said his biggest personal challenge as chancellor is that he has worked with so many faculty members in his 36 years of involvement with the university, and that due to budget cuts he may have to say goodbye to some of the staff.
For Chancellor Philip DiStefano’s speech in its entirety, visit the Chancellor’s Web site at http://www.colorado.edu/chancellor/speeches/stateofcampus100509.html
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jesse Flint at email@example.com.