Dear Colleagues and Students:

Welcome back to campus for the start of a new year and a new semester at Colorado State University.

The rhythm and energy of a new term are actually part of a well-worn pattern on our campus—a pattern established by generations of students, faculty, and staff over the course of the 140 year history of Colorado State. This spring, we’ll be launching a new tradition in celebration of that history and CSU’s 140th birthday. On February 11, we’ll hold our first official Founders Day celebration, which will include a birthday cake here on campus, a special CSU reception at the State Capitol, and the passage of a resolution honoring CSU in the Legislature. Watch Today@ColoradoState for more information on the Founders Day events, but I hope you’ll join me February 11 and throughout this spring in celebrating 140 years of a great university.

We won’t have cake at the upcoming planning and budget hearings, but everyone on campus is still invited to participate as we meet to identify priorities and budget approaches for the coming fiscal year. The first session—a series of presentations from the Strategic Planning Area Review Committees took place this morning, setting the stage for the University budget hearings next week. (An updated draft of the Strategic Plan is available online at The Office of the Provost .) The Planning and Budget Hearings will follow on January 27 in the North Ballroom of the LSC. Those discussions will help us refine our revenue and expenditure projections for the coming year, which we will finalize for Board of Governors’ approval after the Legislature and Governor come to terms on the state’s budget and higher education funding for next year. As usual, we’ll make budget drafts and information fully available to the campus community as the process unfolds.

Thanks to all of you who joined in the annual march and celebration of the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. yesterday. The stirring spirit at the MLK events, coupled with the human tragedy still unfolding in Haiti, are both reminders as we start this semester that Colorado State — a land-grant university &mdash has, at its core, a mission of service. I believe the measure of our character &mdash as a nation and as an institution &mdash is evident in all we do to strengthen and sustain the most vulnerable among us &mdash those who, for whatever reason, have not shared fully in the bounty, hope, and opportunity of the American Dream. I also believe there is no more certain path to opportunity than through education. Public education continues to open doors and transform lives in our country every day, providing access to economic and personal opportunity for students from all backgrounds and walks of life. This is not a privilege available to all people in all nations, and it is a privilege we too often take for granted here in the U.S. And so, as we head into the new academic term, and as we do what we can to offer comfort and assistance to our neighbors in Haiti and here at home, let’s also remember to celebrate the great American institution of public education, of which we are all privileged to be a part.

Have a great semester and welcome!


Dr. Tony Frank