In a recent letter to the Colorado State University community, President Larry Edward Penley addressed University budget concerns in regards to recent developments in the national and local economy, particularly the effects of these developments on state budgets. The text of President Penley’s letter follows:
“Certainly we are all aware of the external budget issues facing our nation and I think all of us anticipate that these issues will likely result in decreased state revenues at some point in the future. In recent years, we have made real gains in number of tenure track faculty, in support of adjunct faculty, and in programs for our students.
“Senior Executive Vice President Tony Frank and I approach the potential effects current economic conditions may produce on Colorado State University's budgets with a firm commitment to provide the greatest possible protection to our faculty and students.
“Whether decreases in state revenues, if they develop, will occur in time and scope so as to require mid-year budget rescissions during FY09 is unclear, but given that the vast majority of our expenditures are as salaries and that we are already more than 25 percent complete with this fiscal year, I have chosen to move forward with an effort to develop appropriate planning scenarios.
“To accomplish this, I have asked our vice presidents and deans to develop a variety of budget reduction scenarios covering both FY09 and FY10.
“While we hope that economic developments unfold in a manner that will not require budget reductions, I think it is in all of our interests to plan proactively and carefully while there remains time to approach potential future reductions in a thoughtful manner.
“It is important to note that Colorado State University has weathered severe budget reductions in the past and has emerged to meet its goals as a premier research university. We will move through this current downturn and, with good planning and a focus on maintaining the core academic elements of the university, will be well positioned to resume our growth and initiatives as the economy recovers.”
Colorado State University celebrated the completion of the $45 million University Center for the Arts with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 16 on the front steps of the new center, located at 1400 Remington St. in Fort Collins.
The University Center for the Arts, or UCA, located in the renovated old Fort Collins High School, is home to Colorado State's School of the Arts. The UCA is a world-class facility with its comprehensive design to support all art forms. It is the first time in university history in which programs in music, theatre, dance and art will be housed under one roof. The UCA provides the platform required for the School of the Arts to achieve new levels of national and international excellence as well as offering a cultural center to the Fort Collins and Northern Colorado communities.
"A rich understanding of human thought and achievement is essential to higher education and the true independence of the human spirit," said Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State University. "I made the completion of the University Center for the Arts one of my highest priorities because of its importance to our programs, students, and faculty in the fine arts. The UCA would not have been completed without the leadership and commitment of our own students. Through their commitment the UCA now ranks among the finest facilities of its kind in the country."
The prestigious Rocky Mountain Institute in Snowmass has selected Colorado State University for a national study on best practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on college and university campuses.
Colorado State is the only university selected in the Rocky Mountain West and one of a dozen institutions selected nationally for the study, which is co-sponsored by the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, or AASHE. Other colleges and universities selected for the study include Yale University, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, University of Vermont and Tufts University.
"Colorado State University has set an ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2020, and the significant challenges we must work through in reaching this goal will provide a valuable body of research that can benefit other institutions worldwide," said Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley. "We are proud that CSU's experience will help to create a model that may encourage more widespread adoption of sustainable operations. We look forward to our collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Institute and AASHE to help our colleagues across the country emphasize energy conservation strategies in a cost-effective manner."
Ultimately, the Rocky Mountain Institute aims to develop a Web-based guide for other universities interested in the barriers and solutions for successful climate-change mitigation initiatives.
The Rocky Mountain Institute was established in 1982 by resource analysts L. Hunter Lovins and Amory B. Lovins. The mission of the non-profit organization is to show businesses, communities, individuals and governments how to create more wealth and employment, protect and enhance natural and human capital, increase profit and competitive advantage and enjoy many other benefits - largely by doing what they do more efficiently.