March 4, 2020

Hi Everyone—I’m fresh off the plane from Las Vegas, where I was proudly supporting our basketball teams at the Mountain West Conference tournament and attending MWC meetings. Our student-athletes work very hard in the classroom and in competition, and I am so excited that I had the opportunity to cheer for them on the road. Congratulations to the men’s indoor track and field team on repeating as MW champions last week!

And now, as usual, on to news, updates, and tips on things to do on campus this week:

The Colorado State System is overseen by a group of incredible people, nominated by the Governor of Colorado and confirmed by Colorado’s Senate. We are very happy to welcome Polly Baca and Nathaniel Easley to our Board of Governors. Both these individuals bring incredible ethos and experience to their new roles: Governor Baca is the first Hispanic woman in the country elected to serve in both a State House and Senate, while Governor Easley is the former head of the Denver Scholarship Foundation. And both are proud CSU alums!  We are excited to have their leadership and their help in advancing our land-grant mission.

$3.9 billion and 50,594 jobs supported: That is the overall economic impact of public colleges and universities here in northern Colorado. I was joined by the presidents of Aims Community College, Front Range Community College and the University of Northern Colorado last week to announce these findings in the “Northern Colorado Public Colleges and Universities Economic Impact Report”, released in a study conducted by Emsi. The study found that higher education supports one out of every eight jobs in Larimer and Weld counties!

On March 1, we took a critical step forward to strengthen our commitment to equity for students, faculty and staff by establishing Colorado State University’s Office of Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX under the expert leadership of Diana Prieto. I created this new structure, reporting directly to me, to send a clear message to our whole campus community: Colorado State University is absolutely committed to the ethical management of Title IX and Title VII cases for our students, faculty and staff.

The Provost’s Council for Engagement will celebrate CSU’s tremendous history of Engagement and explore how CSU can inspire community engagement in our next 150 years. The Engagement Symposium is open to the public and will take place 12:45 to 5 p.m. on March 9 in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom.

March is Women’s History Month, and this gives us a chance to explore the vital contributions of women to our shared American history. CSU’s Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research is hosting a special event, the “Feminist Storytelling Webinar Series with Aurora Levins Morales: The Heart of the Story” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 11 in LSC 386. The campus community is welcome to join.

If you have a moment, check out CSU alumna Elizabeth Ruiz’s story, “University leads national effort to diversify the American agriculture workforce” for Denver 7 about CSU’s participation in the Together We Grow program. The story does a great job showing the impact of the program on our students. I was so impressed with our students who were featured.

Finally, I’m sure you all saw my update on COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus. This virus understandably causes nervousness for many. CSU is continuing to work with our partners in the City of Fort Collins, Larimer County, and the State of Colorado. This is a public health issue and you can take preventative measure if you are concerned about COVID-19: wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and stay home if you are sick. CSU’s Student Case management office does a great job on how to handle missing class if you feel ill. CSU’s Faculty Council outlines how faculty and staff can use sick leave.

Have a wonderful remainder of your week and get outside and enjoy this wonderful Colorado sunshine. I’ve been told March is Colorado’s snowiest month, so enjoy these warm temperatures!