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‘What we do’: When crisis emerges, CU Anschutz responds

The invisible threat of SARS-CoV-2 has upended life on the planet. Unprecedented in our lifetime, the pandemic is triggering waves of loss – of jobs, of celebrations (including in-person graduations), of social connectedness and, worst of all, of loved ones.

As the magnitude of the crisis spread, and stay-at-home orders became common across the globe, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus community responded, launching a multi-front attack on the virus. Whether caring for patients in our hospitals, creating “homegrown” antibody tests in our labs, providing public health information to our communities, or developing a coronavirus test in our backyard, the CU Anschutz community is rallying to the front lines of the battle against the pandemic.

The “Our COVID-19 Fighters” series strives to tell this remarkable story by highlighting the many ways CU Anschutz is helping patients and the wider community during the crisis. The pandemic has brought our campus’s missions of research, patient care, innovation and education into extremely sharp focus, and our talented, pioneering and dedicated people are rising to meet the challenges on multiple fronts.

We hope you enjoy reading about their amazing work, and we welcome your continued story ideas. Please share them here.

CU Anschutz Scientists Launch Effort to Build COVID-19 Antibody Test

Putting their heads and labs together, several groups of researchers (photo at top of page) from across the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are working to build a “homegrown” antibody test. Once they do, they say, they are equipped for dispersal to all corners of the state and can help lead the way in corralling the novel coronavirus in Colorado.

Natural-Born Sleuth, Globetrotter Combines Passions With Public Health Job

While the novel coronavirus pandemic is stretching many healthcare professionals thin, Natalia Gayou is rallying on the front lines, along with her colleagues at El Paso County Public Health. A 2016 graduate of the Colorado School of Public Health, Gayou, MPH, CPH, is a communicable disease epidemiologist at the Colorado Springs-based organization.


Caring for the Sickest COVID-19 Patients Brings Challenges, Sacrifices, Big Rewards

Since COVID-19 took over his world, Marc Moss, MD, lingers in his patients’ rooms a little longer. The critical care pulmonologist works even harder at earning his patient families’ trust and answering every question they have about their loved ones’ care. And when the stress becomes too much, he takes a walk, re-energizing through the slew of yard signs thanking front-line workers for their sacrifices.

Thimble Army Helps Workers on Pandemic’s Front Lines 

​“Sew with love” is the slogan of the Thimble Army, a group of CU Dental students who have dedicated their free time away from remote learning to sewing masks for local healthcare workers. The Thimble Army, along with staff members at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, are doing their part to make up for the national shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE).


CCPM Biobank Laboratory Steps Up to Develop COVID-19 Test

While the COVID-19 pandemic made its invisible march across the globe, lights glowed around the clock inside the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine (CCPM) Biobank Laboratory on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Over eight days in mid-March, the team in the lab, directed by Kristy Crooks, PhD, and Stephen Wicks, PhD, developed a molecular test to determine whether a person was infected with the coronavirus causing COVID-19.

CU Anschutz Experts Discuss Life on the Front Lines of COVID-19

Chancellor Don Elliman welcomed 2,000 guests to a live panel discussion titled “Life on the Front Lines of COVID-19 with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus” on May 7. The discussion featured campus leaders who shared new insights on our rapidly accelerated approach to clinical trials, shifts in patient care and engagement, and how partners across campus are working together more seamlessly now than ever before. Answering questions from Elliman and audience participants, the panel demonstrated the campus’s expertise and its leadership role in addressing the pandemic.


Worried About Healthcare Workers, Nursing Student Launches Mask Drive

When CU Nursing PhD student Brittni Goodwin, MSN, RN, realized there weren’t enough N95 masks for her colleagues at area hospitals, she went to work to get the needed supplies. Like many healthcare professionals, Goodwin felt the need to help co-workers who were being stretched so intensely during the COVID-19 outbreak. “It’s a bit like survivor’s guilt. I felt I wasn’t doing enough,” said Goodwin.

Unsung Heroes on the COVID-19 Front Lines

As the coronavirus pandemic grows, so does the reliance on health care workers around the world. From social media salutes to neighborhood parades, the world is finding innovative ways to applaud the efforts of the medical community on the front line of the fight against COVID-19. The public, and the news media alike, generally identify the front line fighters as being “doctors and nurses.” But there is another critical, yet often unknown, member of the health care team in every COVID-19 intensive care unit – doctors of pharmacy.


Professor Designs the ‘Mother of All Respiratory’ Devices

University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine faculty member is using his background in engineering to help alleviate the country’s shortage of ventilators in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Thomas Greany, DDS, who received his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering, was approached about whether he could build a field ventilator that would provide essential respiratory support for multiple patients simultaneously.

COVID-19 Vaccine Update: More Than 80 Under Development

Herd immunity to a germ occurs when enough people become immune to minimize the spread of the virus. Immunity occurs either through being infected naturally or through vaccination. Can we stake our hopes of conquering COVID-19 on herd immunity via widespread infection? “No,” came the resounding answer from a panel of experts at a recent Department of Medicine Grand Rounds through the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Organizing a Massive Field Hospital? No Problem for This Nurse

When Captain Taylor Allen, BSN, RN, arrived in Denver in March for an internship with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) before entering CU Nursing’s Master’s program, she never thought her Army experience would be in demand. Boy was she wrong. “The day I arrived, Colorado declared a state of emergency because of COVID-19,” said CPT. Allen.


‘We Can Do This’: Nurse Shares Story of Camaraderie and Courage During Pandemic

Haley Cehura remembers being nervous entering her first COVID-19 patient’s room. During the procedure, which took three hours, she began feeling a little weak. When she finally left the room, her eyes welled with tears. “Why am I so worried?” she wondered. “This is what I do.” As a veteran critical care nurse, Cehura had often thought to herself while caring for patients: “What if this were my family member? What if this were me?” But this time was different.


Experts: Our Mental Strength Depends On Us All Reaching Out to Each Other

Colorado is no stranger to disaster, with its devastating floods and record mass shootings. But living through the COVID-19 pandemic, an invisible threat with no known end in sight, creates a whole new set of challenges – especially when you can’t hug your neighbors. A social distancing mandate – as people lose their jobs, their savings, their graduation dreams or, worse, their loved ones – adds a new element to a crisis that experts predict will result in a major mental health fallout. Researchers on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have launched two international surveys this month in hopes of building better responses to these unprecedented stressors for the future.

Practicing Patient Care in an Era of Unknowns

For the past two months, healthcare workers at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital have mounted an unprecedented response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since admitting their first suspected COVID-19 case, their work has been focused on overcoming challenges in the setting of rapidly evolving evidence. “A lot of this stuff is gut feeling,” said Kelly Bookman, MD, explaining practicing in the new “evidence-free zone” of COVID-19 and why staff began having some severe patients spend hours on their stomachs.

We hope you enjoy reading about the amazing work of our CU Anschutz colleagues and students, and we welcome your continued story ideas. Please share them here.

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CU support of Denver PrideFest continues as event goes virtual

The nature of next month’s Denver PrideFest may be undergoing a necessary change, but in its fifth year of sponsorship, the University of Colorado’s support of the annual event remains unwavering.

Ordinarily a two-day festival celebrating Colorado’s LGBTQ+ community, PrideFest’s 2020 edition will be a weekend of virtual events June 20-21. The shift is aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

For Sunday’s Virtual Pride Parade, “entrants” including CU will be represented via videos promoting messages of support, encouragement and community spirit.

The Denver Virtual Pride Parade will be livestreamed on The Center on Colfax’s Facebook page at 9:30 a.m. June 21. The broadcast might also appear via other platforms, to be announced, and a recording will be available after the live broadcast.

Members of the CU community are invited to contribute material that may be used in CU’s virtual parade float. Here are two ways to take part in the Pride celebration:

Photo Activity One

  1. Identify an item or create one that shows your Pride (Pride flag, T-shirts, etc.)
  2. Find a space in your home or neighborhood that you feel allows you to be your authentic self. (Some of us may not be in or near such a space; instead, if you have a photo in your collection that highlights a space like somewhere on campus where you felt a sense of Pride, please feel free to use it.)
  3. Take your item and place it in that space and take a picture. (You can choose to be in the image or not, we’ll follow your lead.)
  4. Tag CU in the picture or use the hashtag #CUatPride

Photo Activity Two

  1. Create or buy decor that you think celebrates Pride.
  2. By yourself, or with others, decorate a space in your home.
  3. Take a picture and tag us in it or use the hashtag #CUatPride. (You can choose to be in the image or not.)

Post your photos and we might include them in our virtual parade video. Any photo posted by June 1 will be considered. Even if you miss the Monday deadline, please continue to post your photos as you celebrate Pride month.

Photo guidelines

  • Pride is a celebration that recognizes the history of the LGBTQ+ community and our future possibilities. We encourage everyone who participates to embrace and respect this.
  • We ask that you ensure your pictures are full of fun and yet remain family-friendly as several of us would like to share our Pride with the future generation.
  • CU reserves the right not to repost or ask for the removal of any image we are tagged in that is found to be promoting illegal activity and/or inappropriate or offensive activity.

Please note: Yard sign rules and regulations vary among cities and counties. Check your local guidelines.

Questions about the virtual parade? Email

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The importance of innovation for CU in the age of COVID-19 and beyond

CU on the Air again talks to CU President Kennedy about the University of Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and its transformation to greater technology and online learning.

  • Analysis of the market and CU’s role in online learning
  • Strong progress in the past on which to build
  • Online Acceleration Committee
  • Bring together the best of our four campuses
  • Proposed answers for the campuses in September
  • CU Online from CU Denver now integrating all four campuses
  • Fall of 2021 launch of extensive online offerings
  • Sharing our assets
  • Five years down the road? Growing, competitive, innovative, adaptive learning, VR
  • Mix and match options for our students
  • Faculty quality in both online and classroom learning
  • Remote learning vs. online education
  • Students gravitate toward authentic experiences – whether online or in the classroom
  • Ensuring programs delivered digitally were designed for that experience
  • Information systems critical for educational, research and teaching capabilities
  • Exploring a systemwide, common technology platform
  • More meaningful digital support over the next three years
  • Collaborating with the campuses to optimize support for CRM
  • Thank you again to our resilient faculty and staff!


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Furlough plans growing more detailed at system, campuses

In response to the budget threats brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, furloughs were announced Friday for system administration employees, adding to those announced at the campuses.

In an email to staff, President Mark Kennedy said all system administration employees who earn more than $60,000 annually will take one furlough day per month – which equates to about a 5% cut – effective July 1 and continuing until further notice.

“We are all aware of the extremely challenging financial conditions COVID-19 brought about,” Kennedy wrote. “Personnel costs are more than 70 percent of our expenditures. As part of our early mitigation efforts, my leadership team at system administration joined me in taking a 10% pay cut through furloughs, as did the campus chancellors and their leadership teams. The campuses are making further cuts across their workforce, and it is appropriate that we join in this shared sacrifice and be seen as good partners.”

Higher education faced news both good and bad last week regarding funding. The federal CARES act allowed the governor to provide some $450 million in funding for higher education (CU’s share is $127 million). Also, Colorado higher education will take a one-time $493 million cut (58%) in state funding (CU’s share is $140 million).

“The federal relief funds will definitely provide help to campuses as they work to educate, retain and graduate students, but they do not replace the state cut, and there is strict guidance on how the funds must be used,” Kennedy wrote. “Additionally, we face considerable uncertainty about our other major revenue streams – fall enrollment, research funding and auxiliary revenue (from campus operations such as housing, dining, parking, etc.). At the same time, efforts to ensure the health of our communities and to deliver more content digitally will increase costs.”

Employee Services will send out more detail regarding how the furlough will be implemented.

The president acknowledged the difficulty of furloughs at a time when COVID-19 has caused increased workloads and stress.

“Yet I believe it will give us a better chance to sustain our operations in the long run and to avoid deeper cuts that would weaken our enterprise,” Kennedy wrote.

The four campuses continue to announce details on their plans for furloughs:

CU Boulder: Since April, the university has indicated that furloughs were likely. So far, 447 employees have been notified about being continuously furloughed on or before June 1. These employees will retain their university benefits and be able to apply for unemployment benefits. The intention with these measures is to position the university to be able to bring furloughed employees back as soon as possible. Leadership including the chancellor, provost, chief operating officer, deans, vice chancellors, and associate vice chancellors will be taking two unpaid furlough days a month beginning July 1 and continuing through the upcoming academic year.

UCCS: The campus will institute tiered, temporary furloughs. All officers will take a 10 percent reduction in salary through furlough beginning July 1. General fund employees, or those funded through state appropriations and tuition, earning $60,000 or more per year will take a 4.6 percent reduction in salary, equivalent to one furloughed day per month, beginning July 1. Faculty earning $60,000 or more per year will take the same reduction in salary beginning Aug. 17, the first day of the academic year. In the present model, classified staff members are not subject to furloughs. These employees may be subject to furlough plans or other reductions implemented by the state or by the CU system. More information can be found on the Human Resources website.

CU Denver: Leaders have announced a tiered, progressive program of unpaid, temporary furloughs beginning July 1 and potentially running through June 30, 2021. Required furlough days will range from none, for those earning under $60,000 annually, to 26 days, for those earning $180,000 and above. The furlough plan will apply to most CU Denver employees: schools, colleges, academic and student affairs (ASA) staff, and CU Denver administration. All CU Denver cabinet, deans, and other officers will be furloughed at the highest level.

CU Anschutz: Some departments, schools and units have implemented furloughs and other cost-cutting measures to sustain their critical operations.

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CU names José Padilla vice president, general counsel and secretary to the Board of Regents

Denver – The University of Colorado today named José Padilla Vice President, University Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Regents.

Padilla, now vice president, general counsel and secretary at DePaul University in Chicago, will begin his duties at CU July 6. He has deep and wide-ranging experience in higher education, public policy, community engagement and government.

“This is a critical position for the university and the Board of Regents, so we are thrilled to have someone of José’s caliber, experience and expertise on our team,” said Glen Gallegos, chair of the CU Board of Regents. “He joins us as we face some substantial challenges, and he will be a key contributor to advancing CU on a variety of fronts.”

In addition to serving as DePaul’s general counsel since 2005, Padilla oversees management of the university’s 40-member Board of Trustees. DePaul is a doctoral/research university with some 22,000 students, making it the largest Catholic university in the United States. While serving as DePaul’s general counsel, he also provided interim leadership in separate stints to the university’s Office of Community and Government Relations and later the Office of Public Relations and Communications.

“I am excited to be joining the team at one of the pre-eminent public research universities in the country,” Padilla said. “I am impressed by the quality of the university’s legal operations and I look forward to working with the Board of Regents and President Kennedy to continue CU’s progress, as well as to support the university’s efforts to navigate the current pandemic crisis. Every day, I hope to earn my seat at the table of these wise and dedicated university leaders.”

Padilla will serve as secretary to CU’s elected nine-member governing board, as well as oversee a systemwide legal team of 28 attorneys who provide comprehensive legal services to CU’s four campuses and system administration. He replaces Patrick O’Rourke, who left in February to become interim chief operating officer of CU’s Boulder Campus.

“José is not only an accomplished attorney and skilled higher education administrator, but he is also deeply involved in his community, active in important professional organizations and widely respected and engaged nationally,” said CU President Mark Kennedy. “He will be a welcome addition to our leadership and to the CU community.”

Padilla served as chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the professional organization for university attorneys with 870 member institutions and some 4,500 attorneys represented. He was the first-ever Latino chair. He also has served on the Board of Directors of the University of Michigan Alumni Association, one of the largest alumni organizations in the country. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Saint Thomas Aquinas College in New York.

Padilla has a variety of experience in government. He was a political appointee in the Clinton administration, serving as assistant commissioner for congressional and public affairs at the U.S. Customs Service within the United States Department of Treasury. He also served as a legislative assistant for U.S. Senators Lloyd Bentsen and Robert Krueger. Padilla was on the national board of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education.

Padilla has also held positions at the Illinois Institute of Technology and in private practice. He earned a law degree from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo.

Contact: Ken McConnellogue 303.815.8481

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CU closely watching progress of SpaceX

The sigh of disappointment Wednesday when weather delayed the historic launch of SpaceX from the Kennedy Space Center was never louder than at CU Boulder. NASA is looking to try again Saturday.

It’s no surprise that the first peopled liftoff from the United States in nearly a decade had – and will continue to have – the rapt attention of researchers and leadership at the University of Colorado.

Since the late 1940s, the University of Colorado Boulder has sent important experiments and instruments to every planet in the solar system. In 52 space missions, NASA spacecraft have launched hundreds of instruments from CU Boulder as well as 20 CU scientists, faculty and alumni – including 18 from Boulder, one from UCCS and one from CU Anschutz.

Two of those missions ended in tragedy. Each January, NASA, the University of Colorado, institutions and individuals across the country honor the 17 astronauts who were killed, including CU alumni Ellison Onizuka (Challenger, 1986) and Kalpana Chawla (Columbia, 2003).

Through the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and other schools and colleges, CU Boulder ranks in the top five U.S. universities, excluding military academies, in the number of astronaut alumni, and is the top NASA-funded university in the world. The importance of the university’s role in space exploration is vast and growing.

President Kennedy visiting LASP in 2019

President Kennedy visiting LASP in 2019

“Despite the delay, this renewed reach for the stars is something to celebrate – particularly during our prolonged pandemic confinement – and it is also an imperative,” said CU President Mark Kennedy. “As a nation, we must again devote ourselves to leadership in space.”

When it at last launches, SpaceX, the first privately developed spacecraft, will blast in a new era of space exploration. The Demo 2 mission’s astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will test the craft’s systems to ensure they meet NASA’s requirements for certification to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and back. After the Space Shuttle Program concluded in 2011, the U.S. paid Russia to shuttle U.S. astronauts to ISS and back.

“In Colorado, we have the nation’s second-largest concentration of space activity – the highest per capita – and one of the country’s strongest space economies,” Kennedy said. “For the sake of our nation’s prosperity and security, it is not enough to journey to the moon once again. We must commit to government, commercial and academic collaboration to retain a position of pre-eminence in space, in this decade and beyond.”

Space X

The Crew Dragon spacecraft is nearly 27 feet tall and 13 feet around and can hold up to seven people. It was built through Elon Musk’s company in a program called Commercial Crew. After launching, the spacecraft will take 19 hours to reach the ISS. NASA anticipates the astronauts will remain on ISS between 30 and 119 days. When the astronauts steer the craft back down to Earth, the mission will conclude with the craft splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.

The SpaceX launch can be viewed through livestream here.


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Rock Your Profile: How to stand out on LinkedIn

Join LinkedIn and Employee Services June 15-16 for Rock Your Profile, an interactive learning experience that will give you tips and insights to make your LinkedIn profile stand out.

Led by a LinkedIn representative, each interactive session will help you get noticed with a robust LinkedIn profile, connect with professional and industry leaders, allow you to share your unique perspective with others and discover new opportunities. Whether you’ve never used LinkedIn before or want to get more out of it, you’ll learn ways to successfully put your skills and expertise in the spotlight. You’ll receive a setlist of best practices, tips and insights to help build an all-star LinkedIn profile.

Even if you are established in your career, a LinkedIn profile can amplify your expertise and enrich your professional development.

University of Colorado faculty and staff have unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning. If you choose to connect your LinkedIn profile to CU’s LinkedIn Learning, you’ll receive customizable course recommendations based on your current skills and job title to enhance your skillset. Sessions will also cover LinkedIn Learning and LinkedIn privacy settings, giving you control of what activities you highlight.

Get a quick introduction to LinkedIn Learning by watching a webinar of CU’s recent Learning Link-up.

Register for an event

For questions about accessibility, email Please provide two weeks’ notice for any accommodations you may need.

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2020 Class of Boettcher Investigators includes five University of Colorado researchers

CU’s 2020 Boettcher Investigators, from left, Petter Bjornstad, Suet Nee Chen, Andra Lee Dingman, Sridharan Raghavan and Justin Brumbaugh.

The Boettcher Foundation has announced its 2020 class of Boettcher Investigators, including five University of Colorado biomedical researchers.

The $1.88 million in awards from the foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program support promising, early career scientific researchers, allowi­ng them to establish their independent research and make it competitive for major federal and private awards.

Recipients each are awarded $235,000 in grant funding to sustain up to three years of biomedical research.

This year’s class, the 11th, brings the total number of CU-based Boettcher Investigators to 49, representing research awards of $11.4 million.

The 2020 Class of Boettcher Investigators and their research topics are:

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

  • Petter Bjornstad, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine – Mechanisms underlying early diabetic kidney disease
  • Suet Nee Chen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiology Division – Molecular genetics and pathogenesis of inherited cardiomyopathies
  • Andra Lee Dingman, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child Neurology – Chronic changes in brain plasticity after neonatal stroke
  • Sridharan Raghavan, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine – Understanding genetic and non-genetic contributors to diabetes risk

University of Colorado Boulder

  • Justin Brumbaugh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology – Post-transcriptional regulation and stem cell biology

This year’s class of Boettcher Investigators also includes biomedical researchers from Colorado College, Colorado State University and National Jewish Health. Learn more here.

“This class of Boettcher Investigators are the example of Colorado’s innovation in bioscience research that aims to improve our preparation, response, and deepen our knowledge of human health issues,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “We are proud to support their expert work at this significant juncture in their research careers.”

Including the class of 2020, 76 Boettcher Investigators have received funding through the Webb-Waring program. Since 2010, Boettcher Investigators have gone on to earn a collective $80 million in subsequent independent research funding. Ninety-five percent of award recipients remain at Colorado research institutions, advancing the foundation’s mission of keeping Colorado’s top scientific minds in the state.

“Colorado BioScience Association congratulates the 2020 Class of Boettcher Investigators,” said Jennifer Jones Paton, president and CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association. “Boettcher Foundation and the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards support our state’s most promising scientific researchers. Our life sciences ecosystem applauds Boettcher Foundation’s investments in early stage research and looks forward to collaborating with the newest Boettcher Investigators.”

Friday’s announcement of the Webb-Waring awards came one week after the foundation announced its grantees of nearly $1 million in biomedical research funding to fight COVID-19 and potential future pandemics. The awardees include two CU researchers.

The Boettcher Foundation has been a leading philanthropic supporter of biomedical research in Colorado dating back to the 1940s. For more information about the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards, visit the Boettcher Foundation website.

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Preferred first name: What should we call you?

University of Colorado faculty and staff can now select a preferred first name within the employee portal.

A preferred name differs from a legal name. It may be a nickname, professional name, anglicized name or a name that aligns with their gender identity.

Creating a process for faculty and staff to use their preferred first name contributes to the university’s guiding principle to “provide an outstanding, respectful, and responsive living, learning, teaching and working environment” and is an essential part of inclusion.

To update preferred first name:

  1. Go to
  2. From the CU Resources drop-down menu, select My Info and Pay.
  3. Click the My Info tile.
  4. Click Name on the left-side menu. A pop-up window will populate. Enter your preferred name at Preferred First Name.
  5. Select Save.

An employee’s legal name will still appear on all legal forms such as W-2s, W-4s and paychecks, but preferred first name will now reflect within portal self-service pages as well as in the Human Capital Management (HCM) system – the integrated suite of applications and business processes that enable the university to manage human resources from recruitment to retirement.

Reports within PeopleSoft, the Central Information Warehouse (CIW) and Master Data Management (MDM) and in downstream systems can include an employee’s preferred first name without their legal first name.

Faculty and staff now have the option to update their preferred first name within the employee portal thanks to the coordinated efforts between campus Human Resources offices and Offices of Information Technology (OIT) with Employee Services and University Information Services (UIS) at CU system administration.

Each campus is working to integrate preferred first name information into campus-specific systems and software, and the use of preferred names across the university will continue to evolve.

CU Boulder is providing faculty and staff the option to also update preferred first name in the IdentiKey Manager, allowing faculty and staff to have that name reflected in their email, CU People Search and Microsoft Office 365.

UCCS has integrated preferred-name information in 15 university systems and records, including active directory, library, rec center and more.

CU Denver and CU Anschutz Medical Campus will look at this functionality in the future for campus-specific systems.

For more information or links to campus-specific information, please visit the Preferred Name project page.

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Health and safety take top priority in return to campus planning

This week, the CU Anschutz Medical Campus launched heightened safety protocols and screening processes to guide its limited return to select in-person working and learning activity.

Only a small percentage of faculty, staff and students have thus far been invited and approved for on-campus activity. A formal process is in place to determine which programs or areas deemed mission-critical require campus access to operate. The majority of campus activity continues to be done remotely.

In a video message about the return to campus planning, CU Anschutz Chancellor Don Elliman notes that the early phases of the return have proven successful.

“Our early return to campus activity has gone smoothly, and we’re optimistic about our ability to scale up should current conditions remain,” he said. “In the meantime, all working and learning activity that can effectively be accomplished remotely should be done remotely. Let me repeat that: Anything that can be done remotely needs to continue to be done remotely.”

He emphasizes that the health and safety of the campus community are the top priority, and introduces a host of protocols.

return to campus webpage outlines these protocols and what to expect for those invited to conduct limited working and learning activities on campus.



Three guiding principles

Elliman said that CU Anschutz’s operations as an academic medical campus demand a tailored strategy – often exceeding federal, state and local guidance – that accounts for all mission areas.

He said that campus leaders have set a high bar, and developed three guiding principles for both short- and long-term planning:

  • Protect. The health of our students, faculty and staff and those that we serve is the primary focus.
  • Innovate. Develop creative solutions for the challenges the pandemic has presented.
  • Lead. Maintain unity of purpose and commitment to delivering the finest healthcare in the world today, while redefining that healthcare for tomorrow.

New protocols in place

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, the campus further heightened these measures. Those invited and approved to be on campus will be expected to adhere to the following:

  • You must have completed the required, one-time Skillsoft training, “CU: COVID-19 Return to Campus – CU Denver | Anschutz” through the CU portal in order to be admitted to campus.
  • You must be wearing your CU Anschutz badge and a face mask while on campus.
  • You must also have successfully completed the daily health questionnaire, and have a confirmation email ready to show, before arriving at a designated campus check-in point.
  • You must check-in daily at one of the designated check-in points, locations and hours of which are listed on the return to campus website. There, you will show your daily questionnaire confirmation email, get your temperature checked, and receive a wristband good for that day only.
  • Building entry will be limited, and anyone entering any campus facility must be wearing a wristband in the color for that day.
  • Instructional signage has been posted around campus and within buildings. Please adhere to posted guidance to ensure distancing and occupancy requirements are observed.



The chancellor emphasizes that all have a role to play in minimizing risk, staying safe and keeping the CU Anschutz community strong. “By doing your part,” he said, “you protect yourself and others and help us bring more of our community back safely to the campus.”

Regular updates about the phased return as well as resources available to the campus community can be found at

If invited and approved for return, you must adhere to these protocols. They took full effect on Tuesday, May 26:

  • You must have completed the required, one-time Skillsoft training, “CU: COVID-19 Return to Campus – CU Denver | Anschutz” through the CU portal in order to be admitted to campus.
  • You must be wearing your CU Anschutz badge and a face mask while on campus.
  • You must also have successfully completed the daily health questionnaire, and have a confirmation email ready to show, before arriving at a designated campus check-in point.
  • You must check-in daily at one of the designated check-in pointslocations and hours of which are listed on the return to campus website. There, you will show your daily questionnaire confirmation email, get your temperature checked, and receive a wristband good for that day only.
  • Building entry will be limited, and anyone entering any campus facility must be wearing a wristband in the color for that day.
  • Instructional signage has been posted around campus and within buildings. Please adhere to posted guidance to ensure distancing and occupancy requirements are observed.