Good afternoon, everyone! Well, it’s official—Colorado State University is 150 years old. The streamers have come down, the birthday cake is all gone, and we’ve recycled all the wrapping paper from our presents. So what’s next?

We are what’s next! Every single person reading this message is part of CSU today, and will be a part of CSU’s future. And every day that I spend getting to know all of you is a day that I finish prouder than ever to be a member of the extraordinary Ram family.

This week we are demonstrating our commitment to educating our community with a special forum focused on the science of coronavirus. Come to the Lory Student Center Ballroom D on February 19 at 5 p.m. to hear our distinguished researchers address the relevant questions about this illness and its impact on global public health.

We are also proud to affirm our commitment to the local community of Fort Collins and to improving quality of life for all who live and work here. We recently launched an online survey called the Optimal College Town Assessment to understand the quality of the relationship between CSU and the larger Fort Collins Community. Share your experiences and perception of the relationship between CSU and the larger Fort Collins community (And make sure you select “Campus Representative/Employee” when the survey asks for your identifier.) The survey takes just 15 minutes to complete and your answers are completely confidential. Thank you for helping to improve the Colorado State University and Fort Collins community!

And in a quick look back, I want to call out several recent events held here on campus that truly speak to the compassion and courage of this campus. On February 6, we hosted the third annual Northern Colorado Human Trafficking Symposium, which aims to shed light on this horrific practice and how we can stop it once and for all. And just last week, we hosted two incredible women who exemplified CSU Founders Day Medal recipient Libbie Coy’s prediction that eventually “woman will assert her undisputed power.” We heard first from former UN Ambassador and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and then the very next night from Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the pediatrician who exposed the Flint water crisis.

In the realm of arts, which sustain us and challenge us in equal measure, I’m excited to note that CSU is hosting the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 7 conference this week—and also interested to note that the KCACTF has also recently publicly committed to addressing equity and diversity in all that they do. Check out their new initiative here.

Finally, I’m excited to report that the Race, Bias and Equity Initiative held a half-day retreat last week to review the many proposals, ideas and suggestions that we have received in answer to our fall semester call. More than 65 faculty and staff, representing units from across campus, reviewed the proposals. At the retreat, the working groups discussed the proposals, and everyone came together to for a rich discussion on each. We’re excited by the scope of your imaginations; you suggested everything from speakers to art exhibits, curricular changes to expanded professional development opportunities. The next step for the RBEI will be to share proposals and ideas with a broad base of student groups, and faculty and staff for their feedback. Stay tuned!

And in the meantime, the Race, Bias and Equity Initiative has a new website! We will be adding links and resources, so bookmark this site and check back with it! And don’t forget that we’re always accepting proposals and ideas for how to make our campus a place where every single individual feels welcomed and valued— continually receiving proposals that help us live up to our values and our Principles of Community.

Wishing all of you a wonderful, productive week.