Welcome back for spring semester 2016! It’s great to see the campus coming back to life with everyone’s return (and the melting of the giant piles of snow that accumulated while you were gone). Apparently, no one missed the students on campus more than Cam XXIV, who is beginning to grow into his role (even if I personally could stand for his tastes in music to change).

Still, it hasn’t been completely quiet on campus over the last several weeks. Our Faculty, Administrative Professional, and State Classified Personnel councils have all been actively working over the break on issues ranging from long-term parking plans to reenvisioning the future of our University as we look to turn 150 in 2020. Thanks to the hard work of hundreds of people — and a core group of 50 volunteers guided by VP for Diversity Mary Ontiveros — we rolled out our Principles of Community, an articulation of CSU’s community values. This is important work and it says much about who we are and strive to be as a campus community — I urge you to look it over. Our volleyball team completed an undefeated Mountain West season and captured its seventh straight league title; our football team went to a third-straight bowl game; and women’s and men’s basketball kicked off their seasons. This Monday, we celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday with a march and ceremony that brought together thousands of people to stand against racism and in support of peace, justice, and the dignity of all people — a perfect start to a semester we hope will be marked with CSU’s signature: putting ourselves into action.

And the semester won’t slow down from here. January marks the beginning of the Colorado legislative session and the final, intensive phase of our university budget planning for next year. The university-wide open budget hearing will be 9-4 p.m. next Wednesday, January 27th, in the Cherokee Park Ballroom, Lory Student Center. The hearing will include presentations by each of the Budget Area Review Committees and an update on discussions around balancing affordability, salaries, response to the State’s budget and a host of other variables. As always, the hearing is open to the campus community, so please attend if you’re interested … and bring coffee. (Not everyone finds these as riveting as Provost Miranda …) Joking aside, please engage this process; our decisions are always stronger for our collective debate and discussion — the hallmark of an academic community.

Spring semester also comes with a number of opportunities to engage with our University. Here are just a few:

  • February 1, listen to the Mendelssohn Trio at the University Center for the Arts.
  • February 2, we’ll welcome professor, writer, political commentator and television host Melissa Harris-Perry to kick off Black History Month.
  • February 5, catch the opening of “Boy” at the UCA.
  • Make it over to Moby to cheer on our mens and women’s basketball teams (and check out all of the other athletic and arts offerings around campus).
  • Later this spring will be the inaugural Colorado State University ACT (Awaken, Connect, Transform) Human Rights Film Festival April 15-22. The festival is spearheaded by Dr. Scott Diffrient, holder of the William E. Morgan Endowed Chair of Liberal Arts in Communication Studies, and will feature films about human rights issues from more than 10 countries — along with an opportunity to interact with filmmakers, scholars, and film subjects from around the world. This has the potential to become a signature campus and community event — and an opportunity to engage our academic community in discussions around global human rights issues in a new and important way.
  • Also this spring there will be professional development opportunities available to faculty through The Institute for Learning and Teaching and CSU Online.
  • The Career Center will be geared up to help students looking for internships or post-graduation employment.
  • We’ll continue our recent efforts to focus on ways to address the high cost of housing in Fort Collins; look for announcements of opportunities to participate in those discussions.

And above all, we’ll continue to do what we’ve done since we opened our doors in 1870: educate students, pursue innovative scholarship and discovery, and share and disseminate knowledge and outreach in ways that have a lasting impact.

Finally, I want to recognize all the members of our CSU faculty and staff, whose personal generosity has once again put our campus far ahead of every other state agency and university in charitable contributions through the Colorado Combined Campaign. The Colorado Combined Campaign is the opportunity CSU employees have to make personal charitable donations via payroll deduction — and it’s another great demonstration of how much CSU faculty and staff give back to our community every year. The biggest beneficiaries of the CSU campaign are United Way of Larimer County, Food Bank of Larimer County, Crossroads Safehouse, the Larimer Humane Society, Pathways Hospice, and Respite Care — and there are hundreds of other organizations that also benefit every year. Thanks to everyone who participated; it makes a tremendous difference.

That’s it for today. Welcome back, have a great semester, take care of yourselves and each other, and stay warm.


Dr. Tony Frank

P.S. Only 27 days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training. Could this be the year?