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The 10 most-read CU Connections features of 2019

1. CU on Coursera, free suite of global online courses, now available

(MAR 7) – The University of Colorado has announced the launch of CU on Coursera, a free online learning program available to the university community. CU on Coursera offers over 100 Coursera courses taught by faculty across CU Boulder, the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, CU Denver and UCCS.

2. Five University of Colorado researchers named 2019 Boettcher Investigators

(MAY 28) – Five University of Colorado biomedical researchers are among the newest Boettcher Investigators. This year’s is the 10th class to receive research funding through the Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program.

3. 2019 President’s Diversity Award recipients announced

(FEB 14) – The University of Colorado President’s Diversity Award selection committee has announced its 2019 award and commendation recipients, who will be recognized at a reception at 3 p.m. March 21 at 1800 Grant St., Denver. All members of the CU community are invited to attend. Click here for event details and registration.

4. High-impact educators, researchers receive CU’s highest faculty honor

(SEPT 19) – The University of Colorado on Friday added seven members to its roster of Distinguished Professors. The designation is the highest honor awarded to faculty across the CU system’s four campuses. CU Distinguished Professors are faculty members who demonstrate exemplary performance in research or creative work, a record of excellence in classroom teaching and supervision of individual learning, and outstanding service to the profession, the university and its affiliates.

5. Two CU Boulder educators join ranks of President’s Teaching Scholars

(JUL 11) – Two University of Colorado faculty members have been named President’s Teaching Scholars, who are recognized for expertly performing teaching and research work. The title signifies recognition of excellence in and commitment to learning and teaching, as well as active, substantial contributions to scholarly work. 

6. CU Faculty Voices: Lisa Forbes on being true to who you are in the classroom

(FEB 21) – In my first year as a faculty member, I was swept away with the tidal wave of teaching a 4-4, prepping new courses, engaging in research and service while also managing my life as a mother of a 3-year-old and 6-month-old with a partner who travels five months of the year for work.

7. Philip Fernbach on how ignorance – blissful or not – is more common than we may like to admit

(JAN 17) – You think you know it. But you don’t. Neither does your colleague, or family members or friends, or the pundits you watch on TV who agree with your political ideas. Human brains don’t have the capacity to know everything about everything in our complex world, and so we rely on communities to share knowledge and enable us to accomplish our goals.

8. Lexie Kelly named President’s Employee of the Year

(NOV 21) – Lexie Kelly, assistant treasurer in the Office of the Treasurer at CU system, was honored Nov. 13 by System Staff Council as the President’s Employee of the Year. Kelly received the award from President Mark Kennedy during an event at 1800 Grant St., where many other employees also were recognized for reaching milestones in their years of service to the university.

9. Procurement leader Sandy Hicks has made priceless memories during her four decades at CU

(MAY 9) – When Sandy Hicks wraps up her work day on Friday, it will be the first time in nearly four decades she hasn’t had an official role at the University of Colorado. Hicks, associate vice president and chief procurement officer, is retiring from CU, where she began as a CU Boulder freshman in 1979. It didn’t take long for her to become part of the staff, too, as she joined the Athletic Department to sell football tickets.

10. After years in the Navy and CIA, Regent Chance Hill brings mind for leadership to CU

(AUG 22) – Regent Chance Hill’s pursuit of education led him to Dartmouth College, Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and the University of Michigan’s Law School. A call to service pulled him from his Southern California roots to Asia and the Middle East, the latter the locale for a deployment during six years in the U.S. Navy, as well as for work as an officer and analyst with the CIA.

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Tuition Assistance applications now open

Tuition Assistance

Tuition Assistance Benefit applications for the spring 2020 semester are now being accepted in your employee portal. Save money on your tuition by submitting your application today.

University of Colorado faculty and staff who want to save money on their or their dependent’s spring tuition bill may begin by submitting the Tuition Assistance application through the employee portal. If a dependent will be using the benefit, the employee must submit an application on their behalf.

CU’s Tuition Assistance Benefit gives qualified employees up to nine waived credits per academic year (fall through summer). 

An eligible employee may give their Tuition Assistance Benefit to an eligible dependent or split it between multiple dependents using the benefit on the same CU campus. Dependents have two options for tuition assistance: Option A – Home Campus and Option B – Other Campus. For more information on dependent options, click here.

Dependents attending the same campus where the employee works can use Option A-Home Campus to receive up to nine credits per academic year. Dependents attending a different campus than where the employee works can use Option B-Other Campus for $270 per credit hour, for up to nine credit hours, per academic year. Dependents of CU Boulder employees attending the Boulder campus can receive a 30% tuition discount each semester that they apply.

To receive the benefit, an application must be approved by the posted deadlines. Employee Services will determine Tuition Assistance Benefit eligibility, the campus registrar will determine course eligibility, and the campus bursar’s office will verify adherence to registration policies.


Access the application

  1. Log into the employee portal.
  2. Open the CU Resources dropdown menu and select Forms.
  3. Click the Career Advancement tile, then click the Tuition Assistance Application tile.

Visit our website for full details.

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Scope of Work forms are now digital

Scope of Work forms are now digital

The University of Colorado uses the expertise of not only our own workforce, but that of contractors and individuals not employed by CU. When a department wants to engage an outside independent contractor, a Scope of Work form must be completed in order to compensate these contractors for the work they perform.

Scope of Work forms are submitted by departments and reviewed by Employee Services to ensure compliance with related IRS guidelines when paying these individuals. In 2019 alone, 2,051 Scope of Work requests were approved and processed by Employee Services.

The form can now be completed, signed and sent for approval as a digital form instead of filling out a PDF and emailing it. During the approval process, independent contractors and department liaisons will receive automatic emails from OnBase at each step alerting them to complete certain actions.

The approval process will be more efficient and allow Employee Services to be more responsive and customer-focused with less focus on form details. This change also is a step toward becoming more eco-friendly by reducing paper usage, in addition to ensuring sensitive information is routed in a secure manner.

Complete the online form on the Employee Services’ website.

To learn more about the process and complete the upgraded form, visit; for more information, email

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Faculty invited to submit MOOC ideas for Coursera RFP

Faculty invited to submit MOOC ideas for Coursera

Faculty invited to submit MOOC ideas for Coursera RFP

The University of Colorado is an international leader in the use of MOOCs (massive open online courses), which expand access to CU’s high-quality learning offerings to learners around the world. Coursera, CU’s MOOC partner, recently released an RFP (request for proposals) to develop and launch individual MOOCs and series of MOOCs thematically linked, called specializations.

Topics and fields of interest include artificial intelligence, data science, health care, and business, among others identified in response to learner and search demand on the Coursera platform.

The CU system Office for Digital Education and Engagement and the Provost’s Office for Academic Innovation at CU Boulder would like to share this opportunity with the greatest number of faculty possible. Faculty interested in proposing and creating a course or specialization on the Coursera platform may contact the corresponding individual listed below to receive the confidential list of specific target topics along with the proposal form.

Proposals selected by Coursera are eligible for development funding opportunities as well as design, production and marketing support.

Submission deadline is Feb. 1, 2020.

As always, if you have a great idea for a Coursera MOOC or specialization outside of the RFP topic list, reach out to the above contacts and let them know.

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Call for nominations: Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award

The Women’s Committee of the CU Faculty Council requests nominations for 2019 Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award. Deadline is Jan. 15, 2020.

The Gee Award is the only award in the CU system that specifically recognizes outstanding work on women’s issues and a concerted effort to advance women in the academy. It carries with it a $1,000 cash prize, and the recipient is invited to present a lecture at the 18th Annual CU Women Succeeding Professional Development Symposium, to be held March 6, 2020, at CU Denver. Dorothy Horrell, CU Denver chancellor, will be the keynote speaker.

Founded in 1993, the award recognizes outstanding faculty for their:

  • Efforts to advance women in academia beyond her/his/their own department;
  • Significant and original scholarship and/or creative work;
  • Interdisciplinary scholarly contributions;
  • Distinguished teaching.

Eligibility: Any full-time faculty member from any of the four campuses who has been with the university at least five years with satisfactory evaluations is eligible for nomination.

  • The nominator need not be in the same department or campus as the nominee.
  • Collaborative nominations are encouraged.
  • Self-nominations are not acceptable.

Nomination, preparation and submission guidelines:

  • A completed, one-page nomination form is attached and submitted with the final nomination package. The nomination form can also be accessed here:
  • An abbreviated curriculum vitae prepared by the nominee (not more than two pages in length), and can be limited to the most recent five years of the nominee’s career.
  • List of accomplishments. The list should be prepared using bullet sections; complete sentences are not required. It briefly highlights the nominee’s record of superior accomplishments, including how the accomplishments of the individual are reflective of the institution, college and department missions. The summary of accomplishments may not exceed two pages in length.
  • A minimum of three letters of support from the university community and the extended academic community.

Format for submitting nomination materials:

  • You must electronically submit the nominating packet as a single PDF file using the label in lastname.pdf to for the nomination to be considered.
  • For questions about submissions, please email:

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Impact report: UIS supports technology to advance CU

UIS Impact Report

The University Information Services (UIS) Impact Report details the ways the team works to empower the University of Colorado through technology.

UIS provides technical services and enterprise applications to all CU campuses and system administration. From student technology services to research and grant systems to human resources, UIS supports CU daily, in collaboration with its technology partners throughout CU.

During the past fiscal year, UIS has completed major projects and initiatives that affect the CU community, and the department is excited to share these accomplishments.

Did you know?

  • The Student IT Services team supported the processing of over 290,000 online payments and more than 52,000 Federal Applications for Student Aid.
  • The Research and Grants IT Services team supported over 11,000 active projects, and made 30 improvements to improve the efficiency of grants management.
  • The HR IT Service team’s work enabled nearly 12,000 benefits updates during Open Enrollment.
  • Electronic Research Administration (eRA) routed 4,900 proposals for approval.
  • Enterprise Content Services supported over 3,000 OnBase users from all CU campuses.
  • The Identity and Access Management (IAM) team resolved over 5,900 service requests.
  • The Project, Portfolio and Service Management team completed 22 projects totally over 25,000 execution hours.

See how UIS works for the university by reading the full UIS Annual Impact Report. This page also features interactive versions of the report’s charts and infographics.

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Faculty Council delving into diversity, inclusion with Brenda Allen

Brenda Allen

Brenda Allen

In an effort to boost knowledge and gain expertise in best practices as related to diversity and inclusion, Faculty Council has partnered with Professor Emerita Brenda J. Allen.

Allen, professor of communication and former vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at CU Denver, spoke at the Dec. 5 Faculty Council meeting at 1800 Grant St., where she began sharing plans for the remainder of the academic year.

Allen said she intends to attend council meetings regularly beginning in February, and will facilitate a half-day workshop at the council’s retreat in March.

“Inclusion is a highly complex concept,” said Allen, who has been at work creating a Massive Open Online Course on inclusive leadership. “Our definition of inclusion is that everyone feels respected and valued. Inclusion refers to both a process and a feeling, where everyone can say, ‘I feel included, respected and valued.’”

Allen was one of several guests at last week’s wide-ranging meeting, which also included a discussion of divestment, which Faculty Council Chair Joanne Addison said was prompted by the University of California System’s recent partial divestment of fossil fuels.

CU Treasurer Dan Wilson said he and others in management are working on advancing the topic, but noted the complexity of university assets requires more direction from the council. He described four main pools of assets, including CU’s endowment, which is overseen by the CU Foundation Board and not by the CU Board of Regents. The treasury pool is the university’s operational assets, while the university’s non-PERA retirement assets currently provide investors with the ability to choose where their funds are invested. Non-pool money completes the set of assets.

“We are working with our investment advisers in legal to see what is possible,” Wilson said. “But when it comes to divestment, which pot of money do you want to talk about? That’s the question for this group.”

Addison said the council will seek further clarification of the goals of the campus-based Faculty Assemblies and have the council’s Budget Committee report back to the group.

In other business at last week’s Faculty Council meeting:

  • President Mark Kennedy and Todd Saliman, system vice president for finance and chief financial officer, presented an update on the strategic planning process. Saliman, co-chair of the strategic planning committee, said a summary report derived from the reports of the working groups, will be posted to the strategic planning website this week. The working groups must next deliver metrics on how to measure progress in their areas of work, followed by action steps for implementation. Feedback on those should be shared by Dec. 31, Saliman said. Kennedy continues to emphasize that the strategic plan is a system plan and not campus-specific.
  • Patrick O’Rourke, vice president, general counsel and secretary to the Board of Regents, introduced three team members from EY-Parthenon, recently awarded a contract to provide advice and guidance to the university in its efforts to advance online education across the CU system. Addison said the council will provide names of individuals and groups that it recommends EY-Parthenon engage with during its internal assessment, which continues through March.
  • Ilana Spiegel, candidate for the Board of Regents in the 6th District, introduced herself to the council and took questions. The Englewood Democrat is running for the seat held by John Carson, R-Highlands Ranch, who is not seeking reelection. Addison said the council aims to invite all candidates for regent to appear at a council meeting, noting the group prohibits fundraising at meetings. The council does not endorse candidates for regent.