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Update from the Dean’s Office
It hardly seems possible that the end of the semester and graduation are upon us, but here we are gathering up our caps and gowns, cleaning and pressing our regalia, and getting ready for a most momentous event – the graduation of the Class of 2004.
First, let me congratulate each and every one of our graduates on a job well done. As you embark on your future, I hope that we have given you the roots and wings you need to have a fulfilling and joyous life – roots to keep you grounded and wings to help you accomplish your lofty goals. Keep your alma mater in your heart, and know that we will be here to celebrate your accomplishments, support you in your ambitions, and provide a home port no matter where your journey takes you.
Besides the pending end of term, I’m sure that the budget for fiscal year 2004/2005 is something else that is on everyone’s mind. At this point, Provost Nicholls has asked and we have submitted two budgets to the administration – one with a 1.59 percent reduction and the other a 2.65 percent reduction. Our budget will most likely be somewhere in between those numbers.
Part of the reason for the budget reduction is the need to internally reallocate dollars in order to fund increases in state classified pay as mandated by the general assembly. With the passage of the Long Bill, and flat funding for higher education, no new dollars were allocated for this increase. In addition to the mandated state classified raises, the University decided to fund modest pay raises for faculty and administrative professionals. The reallocation of budget dollars should provide a pool of funds for all of these increases.
Currently, the State Legislature also has approved vouchers for higher education. This bill must still be signed by Gov. Owens. President Penley supports the voucher system and believes it will begin to address the funding issues confronting higher education in Colorado.
In non-budget news, I’d like to thank all of you who came to the spring faculty and staff meeting. Dr. Lori Kogan presented the results of a special faculty survey, standing committees reported on their work, and we were able to preliminarily address upcoming issues.
On April 30, May 1 and 2, I attended, along with several faculty members and veterinary students, the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association’s Spring Leadership Conference. The main topic of discussion was the increasing cost of veterinary services and the options for third-party payment. This promises to be an area of innovation and growth for those in veterinary medicine and is sure to be a topic of discussion for some years to come.
On May 18, I will travel to Boise, Idaho, for the WICHE commissioners meeting (Western Interstate Council of Higher Education). I will speak on behalf of maintaining WICHE support fees for students from the WICHE states ( Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming).
Before I close, I’d like to congratulate Dr. Stephen Withrow on being selected as a University Distinguished Professor. This is a great honor and speaks to the dedication and hard work Dr. Withrow has always given to the College and the greater cause of cancer medicine. Congratulations also to Dr. Ian Orme who was selected for the University’s Scholarship Impact Award, honoring his research work in the diagnosis and treatment of, and vaccination development for tuberculosis. Kudos, too, to Drs. Kristy Dowers, Sherry McConnell, and Regina M. Schoenfeld-Tacher for receiving the Provost’s N. Preston Davis Award for Instructional Innovation.
I hope each of you has a wonderful summer and, again, congratulations to our graduates. For those heading out of town, safe travels and a safe return. For those leaving the University, I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors.