Chancellor Philip DiStefano of the University of Colorado Boulder delivered a forward-looking State of the Campus address on Tuesday, outlining the university’s achievements, challenges and future vision to an audience of students, faculty and staff. The event, an academic tradition, showcased the importance of higher education and served as an announcement for DiStefano’s retirement.
Addressing a virtual and in person audience at the Glenn Miller Ballroom, DiStefano began by expressing his gratitude for the university and his own education. He emphasized the importance of advancing toward a degree, saying that student success and equity are an essential part of CU Boulder’s mission.
“We must now consider how we can usher in the new era of student success through the life-changing power of education,” DiStefano said at the address.
DiStefano highlighted the achievements of the past year, underscoring the university’s 2.9% enrollment increase and record retention rates. He said that student success through a four-year degree was important to the education and betterment of society.
“Success requires we become a university that is equitable and inclusive, and that prioritizes health and wellness — the foundations on which success is built,” DiStefano said.
One of the achievements DiStefano touched upon was the university’s role in fostering a more inclusive and diverse campus environment, highlighting increased incoming diversity in the freshman class. He praised the efforts of the university community in promoting diversity and equity, and pledged to continue working towards creating an environment where all individuals feel welcome and supported.
Looking ahead, DiStefano said that he was retiring from his position as chancellor and returning to the School of Education as a faculty member. DiStefano has been the chancellor of the university for almost 15 years and a faculty member for 50.
“I’m so proud of our faculty, our staff and our students and all that you’ve accomplished,” DiStefano stated. In a written statement to the community, he wrote, “This decision comes following significant personal reflection and the utmost gratitude I have for the privilege of leading this campus.”
DiStefano left encouraging everyone to embrace change, diversity and the spirit of innovation. He will stay in his position as chancellor until the national search for a replacement is concluded. Information about that search will come from President Todd Saliman.
“As we move into our next chapter as a university, there will continue to be naysayers across the nation who claim higher education is failing,” DiStefano said. “Let us use this as an opportunity to fight fiction with facts.”
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