July 1, 2020
I’m writing to let you know how honored and excited I am to be joining the CU Denver community as your new chancellor. I just moved here from the east coast and love this city already.
I was attracted to CU Denver for many reasons, none more powerful than the commitment here to helping students succeed in college and get prepared for successful careers and meaningful lives. I believe that our greatest strengths are you, our students, and the opportunities we all have from being located right in the heart of the city.
I know this is a difficult time for you. Watching my daughter Allie make the abrupt pivot from college to home, attend class virtually, and handle the challenges of limited social freedom has given me up-close experience with some of the trials students are facing. And that’s only the beginning. Many of you are experiencing financial challenges and worries. Others have experienced sickness and loss of loved ones.
My message to you: We miss seeing you on campus. We want you to stay in school. And we are going to do everything we can to help you stay in school while keeping you safe.
As the nation struggles through this pandemic, the disparities in opportunity between people who have a college education and those who don’t are obvious. Those with an education are faring much better. It reaffirms our sincere dedication to helping you complete your education.
Seriously, we’ve got you.
As we prepare for the fall semester, we know it will be something of an unknown journey. Through all of our planning, know that we are absolutely committed to supporting you.
And because I’m new, I want to hear from you. I want to listen to what’s important to you and learn about your hopes for your CU Denver education. That’s why I’m launching 100 Days of Listening, to hear from you about things that are working well for you here and what we need to improve. The student voice is essential.
Through Oct. 8, there will be opportunities to hear from students who want to participate. We’ll probably be doing much of it virtually as we navigate through this pandemic with safety at the forefront. You’ll be able to find details on the 100 days website, which will be updated regularly with the meeting schedule, and also includes a feedback form in case you’d like to write me directly.
My first 10 days of listening—from now through July 10—will focus on issues of equity and racial justice (see the schedule and sign-up at the end of this email). After that we’ll broaden the discussion to other topics.
In October, I’ll report directly back to you on what I’ve learned. These conversations will help me understand where CU Denver is today and how we position ourselves for the future. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer. I can’t wait to meet you, and I’m proud to say as your new chancellor, Go Lynx!
There will be four equity and racial justice listening sessions where you can share your perspective directly with me:
If you would like to join one of these sessions, please register here. You may also provide written feedback here.
On July 20, I will announce the concrete actions we will take next to address how CU Denver will better serve its community and the nation on these issues.