You are here: Home > April 19, 2012 Issue

Letters from the Deans

Message from Dean Daniel J. Howard

Message from Dean Daniel J. Howard

The New Reality of Funding for the Sciences

I spent the better part of spring break in Washington D.C. serving on an NSF preliminary proposal review panel.  This was a first, for me as well as for the Evolutionary Ecology Program, which has just moved to the preliminary proposal model.  In the past, principal investigators could submit full proposals to the program twice a year—in January and July.  Now, there is a single annual deadline and principal investigators are limited to submitting a four page preliminary proposal.  Only 15% of the PIs submitting preliminary proposals will be invited to submit a full proposal.  Of the full proposals, only 1/3 will be funded.  In short, only 5% of PIs submitting preliminary proposals will eventually receive funding.  Contrast this percentage with the 20-25% funding rate of similar NSF programs in the 1990s and it becomes clear that there has been a sea change in funding for science in the United States.

There is not room in this short column for me to dissect the factors that have led to a funding rate so low that many excellent research programs will not be funded.  Instead, I will focus, albeit briefly, on the ramifications for principal investigators and colleges and universities.  First, continuous funding over many years for even the most accomplished investigators will become increasingly uncommon.  Instead, sporadic funding from federal agencies, such as NSF and NIH, will become more frequent and investigators will need to fill the gaps in funding with support from foundations, state agencies, and their home institutions. Moreover, faculty members will need to network with their colleagues more effectively, becoming part of research teams that are investigating important, complex problems that are more likely to attract funding.

Universities will need to reconsider the current model of supporting the scientific research enterprises on their campuses, which center on large startup packages for newly hired assistant professors and the hope that this investment will translate into preliminary data that leads to successful grant proposals and sustained external support.  Instead, universities will have to be prepared to provide support to science faculty members not just at the beginning of their careers, but throughout their careers, if active scientific research laboratories are an important objective of an institution.  This investment will have to be carefully targeted, concentrating on supporting teams of faculty that are working together on multifaceted projects that address problems that are important to scientific disciplines and the general public and therefore have the potential to attract external funding.

One might ask, is the continuing investment necessary to support the scientific infrastructure that we have built up on our universities worth it?  Should we simply acknowledge that the United States no longer has the financial capacity to be the world leader in science and cede the field to rising nations, such as China and India?  My response is no.  Our investment in research and the scientific enterprise has been an engine of economic development for the United States and to become a secondary player in science is to become a secondary nation.  Moreover, one of the most important responsibilities of the modern university is to train the next generation of scientists, a mission that can only be fulfilled if we have active laboratories doing cutting-edge work that can excite talented students and attract them to the scientific enterprise.

Clearly, CLAS cannot adopt this new model of investment in scientific research on its own.  Unilaterally diminishing the size of startup packages would render the college non-competitive for good, young science faculty.  However, the college can be a leader in beginning a conversation about a new model and can begin slowly altering its investment strategies.

With all best wishes,


118 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Letters from the Deans


Students, Staff and Faculty Receive Diversity Awards
Students, Staff and Faculty Receive Diversity Awards

Students, staff and faculty on the Denver Campus were honored with Rosa Parks Diversity Awards at a luncheon Friday, April 7, at St. Cajetans. This year's student honorees were Keven Shaw, Anthony McCree, Beatriz Salazar, Elizabeth Kaplanek, Gordon Hamby, Kristen Fukumoto and Thomas Evans. Staff honorees were Leslie Taylor, administrative assistant, and Regina Rodriguez, academic advisor. Winning the faculty award for contributions toward diversity and inclusion was Charles Musiba, associate professor of biological anthropology. Event speakers included Raul Cardenas, PhD, associate vice chancellor for student affairs; Rachel Harding, PhD, assistant professor of indigenous spiritual traditions; and Omar Montgomery, MPA/MES, director of Black Student Services in the office of Educational Opportunity Programs.

Taking its name from Rosa Parks, who is known as the first lady of the Civil Rights movement, the University of Colorado Denver Rosa Parks Diversity Committee recognizes individuals who have contributed to the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion. The sixth annual event was sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Educational Opportunity Programs and the Office of Student Life. For more, including videos of the presentation, visit this link.

292 Views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

Advising Announces New Transfer Advising Group Sessions

CLAS Advising would like to let you know about an exciting new initiative to serve new declared CLAS transfer students in a more comprehensive manner.  Starting April 16, new transfer students will no longer be allowed to see an advisor during walk-in times, or to schedule an individual appointment. All new transfer students will be required to attend a group CLAS Transfer Advising Group Session (TAGS):

  • These two hour sessions are offered at a variety of days and times.
  • Students can sign up for a session here.
  • Students will get the information needed for a successful start including an initial transfer course evaluation, a course on how register and next steps. 
  • As this is a new initiative, the format could be adjusted throughout the summer.  Input and feedback are welcomed.
  • Out of state students should contact the CLAS Academic Advising Office at 303-556-2555 as their first step. 

We are eager to begin providing our new transfer students with a more thorough first advising experience. Thank you in advance for your help and cooperation communicating our new procedure to students (find a flier to share here).

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Carol Morken  at 303-556-2556.

208 Views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

Please Help Spread Scholarship Info to Students

The CLAS Academic Advising Office and the CLAS Scholarship Committee would appreciate your help promoting three scholarships that are now open for student applications for 2012-2013.   The deadline to apply for the scholarships is Monday, April 23, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. CLAS students can apply to the scholarships on the Scholarship Application link within the UCDAccess student portal:

  • Melvin Albaum - Scholarships are awarded to matriculated, first-degree students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled in CLAS.  Preference shall be given to those students whose course of study is in line with Community Organization, Community Planning, Community Leadership and Community Service.
  • Phyllis Weisheit Schultz - To benefit CLAS undergraduate students, to be awarded on the basis of academic excellence to sophomore, junior and/or senior students who show "great promise".
  • Joseph Ben Trujillo - Scholarships to benefit undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in CLAS, based on financial need. 

If students have any additional questions about the application process, please contact the Scholarship Resource Office at 303-352-3608.

181 Views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

Positive Benefits Open Enrolment Means You MUST Elect Benefits

As you may have heard, 2012-13 is a POSITIVE BENEFITS OPEN ENROLLMENT YEAR. This means that all benefits-eligible employees must take action in order to continue to receive their elected benefits through the University of Colorado. To find out what will happen if you DO NOT TAKE ACTION, please click here.

Open enrollment will begin on April 30, 2012 at 8 AM and end on May 25, 2012 at 5 PM, MDT.  All benefit-eligible employees MUST complete open enrollment by May 25, 2012 at 5 PM MDT, without exception. For information on benefit plans available to faculty, classified, exempt staff and retirees, please click here.

More information will follow, including dates and times of open enrollment forums on campus, how to access the online enrollment application, and changes to plan costs, as these details become available from Payroll and Benefits Services (PBS). This information will be posted at, and the Dean’s office will make every effort to distribute it in a timely manner. Please be sure to frequently check your email, Dean’s Notes, department posters, PBS newsletters and mailings, and the PBS website for important details related to this year’s open enrollment.

Questions? Please contact PBS at, phone 303-860-4200, or the CLAS Dean’s office at 303-556-2557.

257 Views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

Summer Compensation Worksheet

As in past years, we are asking that all CLAS Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty, Clinical Teaching Track Faculty, Senior Instructors, and Instructors identify summer compensation (including Maymester) for teaching, administration, and grant activities using this link. Specific instructions and examples are provided on the form.

Forms should be submitted to Steve Honda in the Dean's Office (submission information is included on the bottom of the form) no later than May 4th. Lecturers and Student Employees (Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, Student Hourly) should work within their own home units to set up summer compensation. If you have questions, contact information is also provided on the form.

249 Views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: News Archive

Campaign Corner

University of Colorado Foundation Luncheon: Your Partner in Creating Futures

Friday, Apr 20

11:30 am to 1:30 pm Lawrence Street Center, 1380 Lawrence, 2nd Floor, Terrace Room

A special luncheon for University of Colorado Denver staff, faculty, and retirees.

  • Learn how the CU Foundation supports academic units and programs
  • Creative opportunities to ensure long-term growth of programs for the Denver campus
  • Directing gifts to advance interests and passions
  • Gifts that pay a lifetime return to the donor

Remarks by: Don Elliman, CU Denver Interim Chancellor Mark Foster. Professor Emeritus Cheryl Kisling, CU Foundation
RSVP is required to Kristi Sharon (303-315-2095) as space is limited. Lunch will be provided.

233 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Campaign Corner

CLAS Spotlight

Bernard blog featured by Colorado Health Foundation
Bernard blog featured by Colorado Health Foundation

Colorado needs a 'shot of education' about vaccines Health Relay, Apr 4
Aimee Bernard, senior instructor in integrated biology, wrote this blog for the Colorado Health Foundation regarding vaccine cost effectiveness, safety and efficacy.

165 Views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Dodds given friend of department award by Communication
Dodds given friend of department award by Communication

Laurel Dodds, Director, Initiatives and Continuing & Professional Development, was presented with the 2012 Friend of the Department Award from the Communication Department, for her hard work and dedication, at the 13th annual Communication Days celebration at St. Cajetan's on April 11.

161 Views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Laird delivered paper to annual Business History Conference

Pamela Laird, professor in history, delivered the paper "Narratives of Self-Made Men and the State in Antebellum America" at the annual Business History Conference, March 29-31, in Philadelphia.

This was the debut of her book project on legitimating ambition and the ideological roots of the self-made myth. Laird is a past president of the organization, and directed the Oxford Journals Doctoral Colloquium on Business History for five years.

136 Views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Tomback highlights ecosystem importance of pines
Tomback highlights ecosystem importance of pines

Pine beetles not the only threat to trees

Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Apr 4

Diana Tomback, professor in integrative biology, says pines play an important role in high-mountain ecosystems by serving as avalanche control, producing shade that regulates snow melt and downstream flow, and are important seed sources for grizzly bears and other wildlife.

141 Views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Spotlight Archive

Student Life Events

Oh, Mama Care!

Tuesday, Apr 24 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Science 1086

Do you know how to use ObamaCare to help you and your family? Come find out with Tiffany Noelle Brown, PhD. and UCDenver student Julie Thompson. They will be focusing on the specific needs and issues of women and families but anyone is welcome to attend! Who doesn't need some assistance figuring out the American health care system?

173 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Cory Kahaney: Funny Gets You Further

Wednesday, Apr 25                                                                                    2:00pm Tivoli 320C

Cory Kahaney is a popular female comedian who knows how to get noticed in a male dominated profession.  Hear Ms. Kahaney discuss how women can get ahead in their careers through the use of humor.  While many women may feel they must act serious in order to be taken seriously at work, Kahaney points out how humor makes those around you feel more comfortable and at ease, allowing you to be noticed in a positive way.  Please join us for what is sure to be an enlightening and humorous event.  Ms. Kahaney's visit is sponsored by G.I.S.A. the student organization of the Women's and Gender Studies program at UCD.

150 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Denim Day

Wednesday, Apr 25            11:00am - 1:00pm Tivoli Commons

Denim Day has been internationally celebrated since 1999 in protest of an Italian High Court ruling that overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans, and therefore must have invited her assailant. Enraged by the verdict, women of the Italian Legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans to work. As news of the decision spread, so did the protest.  Please join us in wearing your jeans and supporting this cause!  Meet in the Tivoli Commons, march to Ninth Street Park

Join Kathy Robertson, mother of Abby Robertson, a Metro student who was murdered in 2007; Liz Oster, founder of Courage is Change; The Colorado Mammoth Lacrosse Team; and The Denver Roller Dolls in a march and rally to take a stand against interpersonal violence. For more information go to this link.

222 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

Auraria’s Got Talent

Thursday, Apr 26   4:00pm Tivoli Turnhalle

Showcase YOUR talent to the campus with Auraria’s Got Talent. Open to all students, faculty and staff who register. All types of acts welcome, from dance to singing to comedy to acting, the possibilities are limitless! The audience, along with a panel of faculty judges will determine the winner.

146 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

CU Denver Night at the Rockies

Friday, Apr 27                                                            5:00pm Tivoli 320’s and Coors Field

CU Denver College Night at the Rockies vs. NY Mets: for $5.00 and a non-perishable food item donation for the CU Denver Food Pantry, you get a ticket to the game, a pre game pizza party in the Tivoli, and a CU Denver t-shirt.  For more information, go to our facebook page and become a fan:  If you don’t have facebook, just come by the office and we’ll fill you in

272 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: Student Life Events

CLAS Events

Medical Anthropology Professional Development Speaker Series

“Measuring Quality of Healthcare” Presented by Michelle Piccininni, MA

Thursday, Apr 19 6:30pm Conference room 200, Administration Building

Insurance plans are accountable for quality of care delivered to members. There are specific guidelines to measuring access, cost, use, perception and effectiveness of care. HEDIs (healthcare effectiveness data and information set) is a toolset of NCQA (national committee for quality assurance) used to measure and promote the improvement of healthcare quality. There are currently 76 measures in the toolset including prenatal and postpartum care, comprehensive diabetes care and childhood immunization status. The graduate degree in medical anthropology is excellent preparation for work in this sector of the healthcare industry. Refreshments provided.

For more information contact Connie Turner.

238 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Biology Spring Seminar Series

“When Chromosomes Misbehave: How Sedges Get By So Well Without Centromeres” Presented by Dr. Andrew Hipp Friday, Apr 20 12:30pm - 1:45 pm SI 1111

Dr. Andrew Hipp is the Plant Systematist & Herbarium Curator, The Morton Arboretum and Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago.  

Please contact Jacki Craig for more information.

171 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

The Second Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies and Community Engagement Symposium

Friday, Apr 20 5:30pm - 9:00pm RedLine, 2350 Arapahoe St., Denver, CO 80205

This opening night event will take place at RedLine; a diverse urban art laboratory where creativity, education, and community converge and are celebrated. The theme for the evening is “CREATIVITY AS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL PROGRESS.” Events include a dynamic discussion with PJ D’Amico, Executive Director at RedLine, and Rori Knudtson, RedLine Copenhagen via satellite; a guided tour of select artworks from the exhibition, “The Human Touch,” and other Redline pieces with artist and CU Denver faculty member Bryan Leister of Redline and CAM; and a performance by internationally renowned Ballet Nouveau Colorado, followed by a conversation with BNC Artistic Director, Garrett Ammon. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres begin at 5:30 pm. Programming begins at 6:45 pm.

156 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Ethnic Studies American Indian Speakers Series

Wednesday, Apr 25 Richard Martel, Canadian Cree, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

11:00am-12:15pm North Classroom 1511
For more information contact Jennifer L Williams at 303.315.3612.

131 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Department of Modern Languages Spanish Queer Cinema Series

20 centímetros (2005), by Ramón Salazar [España]

Presenter: Jeff Schweinfest, UC Denver, CLAS Advisor
Tuesday, Apr 24 5:00pm - 7:30pm Plaza 118

Come see foreign flicks from Ibero America and Spain in a friendly atmosphere! Enjoy learning about other cultures through film! Spread the word!  Bring your friends and colleagues!

147 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Feminist Happy Hour

Wednesday, Apr 25 12:00pm -2:00pm Tivoli 320C

Join us for connections, conversation, or curiosity.  Sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Program and the student group GISA.
For more information contact Gillian Silverman.

160 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

Annual CLAS Dean's Award Reception

Friday, May 4 9:00am - 11:00am North Classroom Atrium

For questions contast Karen Fennell at 303-556-2624.

187 views | Issue: April 19, 2012 | Archive: CLAS Events

View all CLAS events on our website

To view all CLAS Events, please visit our event calendar

April 19, 2012



March 27, 2014

March 13, 2014

February 27, 2014

February 13, 2014

January 30, 2014

January 16, 2014

View More Issues


CLAS Home Page

CLAS Events

Faculty and Staff Resources


University Home Page

UCD Network

UCD Newsroom


The CLAS Deans' Notes is a bi-weekly newsletter for college faculty and staff.

Tracy Kohm 303.556.6663