Chancellor's Communiqué

Welcome to a New Semester, 8-22-2016

Dear faculty, staff and students,

Welcome to a new academic year! The campus is already humming with the activity and promise that this time of year brings.  In the past week, I have had the opportunity to meet a number of new members of our faculty and staff, as well as many of our new students at Campus Village and at the well-attended new-student convocation. The enthusiasm and sense of purpose among these new members of our diverse community inspire me, just as our continuing faculty, staff and students have done in my first seven months at CU Denver.

This fall we are welcoming what preliminary numbers indicate is the largest and most diverse freshman class in our university's history. They -- and all our students, new and returning -- are joining us at an exciting time. New degree programs, including the BA in Public Service, expand our total to 104 degrees from bachelor's to doctoral. A more visible symbol of CU Denver's bright future is the new Student Wellness Center, set to break ground on Sept. 22. When it's completed in spring 2018, it will join the new Student Commons and Business School buildings in carving out our distinct CU Denver footprint and identity downtown. â€‹

I am pleased to report on the headway we made over the summer on filling some key leadership positions. Rohan Christie-David joined us as the new Business School dean on Aug. 1 from the University of Louisville, where he served most recently as interim dean of the College of Business. He brings a leadership style rooted in shared governance, a priority on fundraising, and a plan to engage the Denver business community, all of which will serve the Business School -- and CU Denver -- well. Jennifer Sobanet began on July 1 as CU Denver's chief financial officer and vice chancellor for budget and finance for CU Denver | Anschutz.  She brings an extensive leadership background in higher education, most recently as chief operating officer at the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Amber Long became the first executive director of the new Student Wellness Center on Aug. 8. She comes to us from the Kirmayer Fitness Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center where she served as director since 2012.

I'd like to call your attention to a number of events coming up in the next several weeks.

  • This Thursday, Aug. 25, is the fifth annual CU Denver Block Party, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. We'll be closing down Lawrence Street between Speer and 14th Street to celebrate our growing campus and our downtown community with live music, food, fun with Milo the Lynx and activities like a mechanical bull. I can't promise I'll ride the bull, but I do hope you'll join the party.
  • On Thursday, Sept. 22, the Student Wellness Center groundbreaking will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event is open to all faculty, staff and students, and will include a drawing for a free membership to the wellness center. 
  • Also on Sept. 22, the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture at 6 p.m. will feature Harvard Professor Jennifer A. Lewis in a fascinating presentation for the non-scientist on 3D printing. 
  • I will be holding campus forums on Monday, Sept. 26 (8 a.m. and 4 p.m.) to talk with you about our collective work in shaping CU Denver's future.  I'll share next steps from the listening tour, updates on initiatives that began this summer, and strategic priorities for the coming year.

More details on the September events will follow.

Since I arrived on campus in January, so many of you have expressed your commitment to the excellence of this institution -- and to moving us to ever greater aspirations and accomplishments as Colorado's public urban research university. I look forward to a vibrant and successful year of embracing our goals and working together to achieve them.

Dorothy Horrell signature

Dorothy Horrell

Chancellor’s Office

CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street

Suite 1400

Denver, CO 80204


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