Since I began my role as chancellor last year, the University of Colorado Denver │ Anschutz Medical Campus has experienced remarkable growth and change. From the physical transformations under way at both campuses to our new programs that meet 21st century needs, it’s clear that our university is changing quickly, becoming a markedly stronger institution. I’m writing to share with you some interesting and important recent developments.
New academic building makes history on Denver Campus
The Denver Campus kicked off its 40th anniversary year in January by breaking ground on an academic building at Speer and Larimer. This is the first academic building on the Auraria Campus devoted solely to CU Denver. It will serve as both a "one-stop shop" for students and a welcoming place for alumni to reconnect with their university. When it is finished in August 2014, the building will be a city and university landmark, a signature building in the CU Denver neighborhood that connects Auraria to the city's downtown.
Improving access to Anschutz Medical Campus
New buildings are old hat for the Anschutz Medical Campus, where remarkably rapid growth is bringing significant new car traffic. Today the campus sees 58,000 in-and-out vehicle trips each day, most traveling through an interchange that was designed to serve 4,000. Last month, we cut the ribbon on—and opened—a $43 million new interchange at Interstate 225 and 17th Place, an important and long-anticipated access point to the east side of the campus. A new RTD bus route links the Stapleton neighborhood to campus. And a Light Rail extension along I-225 will connect to the campus and open in summer 2016. We look forward to enhanced access to our campus, which is critical for our faculty, staff, and students and for the patients and community members who come here.
Meet Milo the Lynx
We recently welcomed a furry and energetic new member to the Denver Campus community—our new mascot, Milo the CU Denver Lynx. Milo’s February debut culminated an effort that began in fall 2011 when students expressed interest in having a mascot. Through a series of surveys, students, alumni, faculty and staff selected the Canada lynx. The name Milo, suggested by a CU Denver student, was chosen from more than 500 name entries. It incorporates two location descriptions important to CU Denver: the Mile High City nickname and downtown Denver's historic LoDo (lower downtown) area.
New degrees, research and clinical programs
A number of exciting new programs highlight the breadth of options we offer. For the first time ever, students are able to earn an undergraduate degree in architecture on the Denver Campus. Our new construction and engineering management master’s degree will prepare graduate students to enter a wide range of design/build professional roles. The School of Medicine is preparing for a new branch in Colorado Springs, to provide clinical training for third- and fourth-year students. The initial group of students is expected to begin at the branch in August 2014. This year, the Colorado School of Public Health will begin offering new maternal and child health and health services research programs, aimed at addressing specific health indicators and outcomes lacking in our state. Through our new bioengineering undergraduate degree program, students will spend their first two years at the Denver Campus and their third and fourth years at the Anschutz Medical Campus. This program joins others, such as the hospital administration management graduate degree, our undergraduate BA/BS to MD programs, and a new certificate program in bioinnovation and entrepreneurship, that capitalize on the strengths of our two campuses.
On a final note, I was honored and humbled by the support of the university community and the Board of Regents last month, when CU System President Bruce Benson removed the word “interim” from my title and appointed me chancellor. I truly appreciate the opportunity to lead the University of Colorado Denver │ Anschutz Medical Campus at this critical juncture in its history and promise that I will do my best to help this institution meet its immense potential.
Thanks for reading, and for your continued support of our university. If you have any suggestions for this newsletter, please send them to me at Chancellor@ucdenver.edu. And please do pass along this information to others you know who may have an interest.
Don Elliman, Chancellor