In higher education, May is a time of celebration and change. We celebrate with commencement ceremonies and awards banquets the achievements of our students, faculty and staff members, and alumni while we prepare for the changes that lie ahead in the coming weeks and months. Our students attend to the traditions of commencement while readying themselves for new challenges whether that be postgraduate studies, service to community in organizations such as the Peace Corps, or embarking on a new career.
I’d like to congratulate all our students on their pending graduation and wish them the best of luck in their endeavors. Graduation ceremonies are set for May 15 and 16 and you can see a complete schedule at the College’s website, www.cvmbs.colostate.edu. As a special note, during the graduation ceremony for Biomedical Sciences, we’ll be honoring two retirees; Drs. Mike Fox and Gordon Niswender. We will commemorate their years of unselfish service to the College and the larger Colorado State community.
I’d also like to congratulate our many faculty and staff members who were recently recognized during Celebrate Colorado State with awards of honor and distinction. Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, Director of the Orthopaedic Research Center, and Dr. Ian Orme, co-founder of the Mycobacteria Research Laboratories received the highest honor awarded at Colorado State University, that of University Distinguished Professor. This is a great achievement that recognizes their influence and contributions to their respective fields, excellence in research, teaching and leadership, and speaks highly of their commitment to solving greater social problems.
Erin Reichert, Undergraduate Counselor in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, received the University’s most prestigious advising award, the Jack E. Cermak Advising Award. Ms. Reichert’s dedication to her undergraduate students has created a supportive environment in which ERHS students thrive and excel, taking on challenging internships and receiving comprehensive guidance that helps them make the best decisions for their future academic and career goals.
While preparations for commencement and celebrations of achievements have been enjoyable, we also have been deeply involved with the budget process and waiting to hear final budget numbers for the 2009-2010 academic year. On Friday, May 1, Gov. Bill Ritter signed the Long Bill and we now know what course of action we must take. The budget cut University-wide is $30 million resulting in a 2 percent budget reduction and an estimated loss of 40 jobs. Interim President Tony Frank will use federal stimulus money to lessen the impact on the University and take a step-down approach in funding. We are appreciative of the leadership of Gov. Ritter and both political parties in recognizing and addressing higher education needs. Their work is critical to developing long-term, stable funding solutions that will keep higher education affordable in Colorado and support the vital role our universities play in a healthy and diversified state economy.
Again, congratulations to all our graduates. I look forward to seeing you at our commencement ceremonies and encourage you to stop by a reception for our graduates at the Lory Student Center Food Court, Friday, May 15, at 9:30 p.m. following the undergraduate commencement ceremony.
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences