Thank You for Another Wonderful Semester, and Please Attend the CLAS Budget and Academic Planning Forum Tomorrow
This semester is ending on a less positive note than I'd like, but I don't want the clouds on our economic horizon to overshadow all that we have accomplished over the last four months. From publications on research that the pandemic shutdown couldn't sideline, to the hundreds of little ways you all make the academic journey better for our students every single day, we are continuing to do great things in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. I want to take this opportunity to again thank you for the stellar work you all do to make our community strong and successful.
But I know that people are anxious about the news that has been coming out lately from the Chancellor about our budgets. Many of you voiced very valid concerns at the university-wide budget meetings with leadership last week, but I know that many questions and concerns remain. We will all be experiencing times of uncertainty over the coming months, but I want all of you to know that in CLAS our focus is on continuing to provide the work and learning conditions that will best support our students, staff, and faculty. People are my priority.
In that spirit, the conversations continue tomorrow at our CLAS Budget and Academic Planning Forum (details below in the events list). I hope this session will be the transparent and honest conversation that we all need and deserve to have. Folks from across the college have already been putting together proposals of how to address the requested cuts from CLAS that we need to send on to central administration by December 21. The timeline is tight, and the ask is pretty daunting, but we are going to work together to find the best way to make the resources we have work for us. Please come tomorrow with any ideas you think might help, and the Associate Deans, the Assistant Dean, and I will be grateful to listen.
And then another semester will be in the books. I hope many of you will be able to attend Commencement on Saturday, which I always find to be a really impactful reminder of what our teaching and student support efforts are all about. We continue to graduate amazing people who have become well-prepared global citizens, and that isn't going to change. I hope all of you get to relax and take some well-deserved time to recharge your batteries over the break. Happy holidays, and I look forward to meeting the challenges of 2023 with you in the new year!
Honorary Aurora Poet Laureate and Creative Writing Alum, Ahja Fox, is proud of being born and raised in the diverse City of Aurora. And while Fox is quick to credit her caring teachers and mentors for instilling a love of poetry, what originally "started her pen” was seeing a collection of poetry next to artwork at the Denver Art Museum. Fox was inspired by this collision of two of her interests, and thus began her style: " research poetry," where she combines emotion and history in her work.
Michael Moore, Assistant Professor of Integrative Biology, studies dragonfly coloration and how it impacts sexual selection. But increasingly there is a twist: “We’re all realizing, ‘Oh, we need to be studying reproduction in addition to survival if we’re going to understand how organisms are going to respond to the climate over the next 20 to 50 years,’” said Moore. The Washington Post also produced this video describing a variety of research (including Moore’s) on animals’ (and possibly humans’) mating habits changing in response to rising temperatures.
English Professor, Cynthia Wong, recently contributed some literary remarks to the BBC program, The Exploding Library. The “warped literature” series of this book-lovers program returned for a new run where comedians explode and unravel their most cherished cult books, paying homage to the tone and style of the original text - and blurring and warping the lines between fact and fiction. As the hosts shine the spotlight on strange, funny, and sometimes disturbing novels, experts like Wong join in to help gain a deeper understanding of their workings and the unique literary minds that created them. Find Wong’s commentary at 16:23.
“Past research linked the introduction of the oral contraceptive pill in the 1960s to women’s college completion, but it was unclear whether improvements in access to contraception in the contemporary U.S. would yield similar results,” said Health and Behavioral Sciences Professor and lead author, Sara Yeatman. Her study, published in Health Affairs, suggests that living in an area with expanded access to FDA-approved contraception, like Colorado, leads to an increase in women acquiring bachelor’s degrees.
The CU Denver Ethics Bowl team is rebuilding after a two-year hiatus brought on by COVID. The team competed on November 12, against sixteen teams in the region, and our students acquitted themselves admirably. Ethics Bowl debate is a civil, nuanced discussion by teams prepared to take a position on each of fifteen cases. Cases are chosen minutes before each competition round. Interested students should visit the Philosophy Department website.
At this forum Dean Jansma and CLAS leadership will be sharing information on existing CLAS budget cutting proposals, asking for your feedback and additional ideas for how to best address the issues that we are facing, and determining the processes that will guide us as we adjust over the next 18 months. All CLAS Staff and Faculty are invited to participate, and we are making this a hybrid meeting for people to attend both in-person or by Zoom (to receive the zoom link email Karen.Fennell@ucdenver.edu).
The focus of continuous improvement is to increase efficiency across campus so that we can better serve our students, improve workplace satisfaction and be agile as we face the current and future challenges of higher education. This Instructor-Led Trainings (ILT) will be conducted by Human Resources at no cost and are open to all university staff and faculty. More information and registration is available on the Human Resources website.
This dynamic and engaging course will help participants consistently deliver highly successful presentations. Participants will learn the mindsets, skillsets, and toolsets to better inform, influence, and persuade others in today’s knowledge-based world. This Instructor-Led Trainings (ILT) will be conducted by Human Resources at no cost and are open to all university staff and faculty. More information and registration is available on the Human Resources website.