this is the search page

Regents hear progress report on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

Current and future efforts to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion within the University of Colorado community are broad and deep, CU leadership reported Tuesday to members of the Board of Regents.

But while President Mark Kennedy, Chief Diversity Officer Theodosia Cook and the four campus chancellors cited lengthy lists of accomplishments and initiatives, they acknowledged that much work remains.

Regent Lesley Smith

Regent Lesley Smith

“This is the first step of an important journey to elevate diversity, equity and inclusion across the CU system,” said Board of Regents Vice Chair Lesley Smith. “We want to see progress. We’re going to hold administration accountable. And we want to see the needle move.”

Regent Sue Sharkey

Regent Sue Sharkey

Smith chairs the board’s Governance Committee, which teamed with the University Affairs Committee, chaired by Regent Sue Sharkey, for the first joint meeting of the two committees. Between the two, they account for eight of the board’s nine members. While Regent John Carson did not take part in Tuesday’s meeting, held remotely and livestreamed, they were joined by Chair Glen Gallegos. A recording of the meeting is posted here.

Regent Jack Kroll

Regent Jack Kroll

Tuesday’s meeting was organized after Regent Jack Kroll introduced a resolution at the board’s June 18 meeting. The resolution listed eight immediate action steps for the university to take “to ensure a system that is fair, equitable, and accountable for all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members.” The board referred the resolution to its University Affairs and Governance committees for further review and opportunities to hear input from the university community.

President Mark Kennedy

President Mark Kennedy

In his report to the board, President Kennedy demonstrated how the steps listed in the resolution already have been completed or are being addressed, along with further action.

“We have made progress, but we still have much more work to do and much more listening and learning to do,” Kennedy said. “We’re in this for the long haul and we are committed to success. Achieving success means everyone has to be engaged. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion isn’t just our new Chief Diversity Officer Theodosia Cook’s job or a campus CDO’s job, it must be a focus for every one of us and we must work together to get where we need to go.”

Chief Diversity Officer Theodosia Cook

Chief Diversity Officer Theodosia Cook

Cook discussed the role of a CDO and described work that’s underway. In the works are the spring 2021 launch of a systemwide diversity campaign and an improved climate survey.

The four chancellors reviewed ways in which they and other leaders have engaged with an energized university community in the months since the death of George Floyd led to calls for change.

UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy

UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy

At UCCS, Chancellor Venkat Reddy said, “We’re very fortunate we have a campus community invested in the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.” Expanded curriculum and training for senior leadership have been called for. At CU Denver, the most diverse campus in the system, Chancellor Michelle Marks pointed to action steps that resulted from input she received during her first weeks on the job. CU Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano gave an update on eight actions for change, designed as immediate steps before the fall semester. CU Anschutz Chancellor Don Elliman noted the June establishment of a dedicated Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on the campus.

“We (chancellors) all recognize this is a moment in time, a situation that has prompted interest in and a focus on the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion,” Elliman said. “It gives us an opportunity that we would be, frankly, remiss if we didn’t take advantage of to make significant progress. … Shame on us if we don’t take advantage of (this moment).”

Kroll commended President Kennedy and the administration for pursuing the calls to action in his resolution, which he said he doesn’t plan to bring back to the board for a vote. He said institutions like CU in the past have talked more about diversity, equity and inclusion than taken action.

“We simply must do better,” Kroll said.

Regent Chance Hill said he remains concerned with diversity of thought, notably among faculty. “We have to continue to focus on all aspects of diversity.”

Other board members, including Irene Griego, Linda Shoemaker and Chair Gallegos emphasized the board’s responsibility in holding leadership accountable for the actions being taken at the campuses and across the system. Smith said the board must prioritize measurable goals, the development of a timeline and expects timely reporting from leadership to regents.

Smith said she and Sharkey will ask staff to prepare committee recommendations to submit to the full board at its September meeting.

this is the search page

CU records second-best fundraising year

The generosity of University of Colorado donors resulted in the second-best fundraising year in university history. CU raised some $455 million across its four campuses in fiscal year 2019-20, which is only eclipsed by last year, when a nine-figure gift late in the fiscal year pushed the total past $500 million.

“We are incredibly grateful to our donors, who add substantial value to CU students, faculty and programs through their generous contributions,” said CU President Mark Kennedy. “Through scholarships, research initiatives and program advancements, our donors enhance quality at CU and make us a much stronger institution.”

Kennedy lauded the university’s advancement staff for its “tireless work” in engaging with donors. He said the effort was particularly impressive, given that the pandemic struck in the final quarter of the fiscal year, a time that usually sees considerable activity in terms of gifts received. Kennedy also noted that donors earmark their contributions for specific scholarships, programs, faculty positions or research projects, and that the funds cannot be diverted to general operations of the university.

“This year’s total is not just testament to the confidence that donors have in CU, its people and its activities, as well as their incredible generosity,” said Annie Baccary, associate vice president and interim advancement administration officer. “We also have a great advancement team on each of our campuses that does a great job pairing our donors’ passion with CU’s people and programs.

“We’re extremely grateful to have people who make a significant impact on Colorado and beyond by investing through CU to make our communities, state and nation better places,” she said.

this is the search page

Transformation and Innovation Program: Who’s who

With CU’s Transformation and Innovation Program (TIP), the four campuses and system administration are collaborating to better position the CU system to efficiently, effectively deliver technology services to students, faculty, researchers and staff. TIP launched last year as a key component of President Mark Kennedy’s strategic planning process.

“The Transformation and Innovation Program has the potential to have an impact on virtually every part of CU’s far-flung operations, so it’s critical that we take a deliberate approach to finding efficiencies and enhancing effectiveness,” Kennedy said.

The effort at the system level is led by the recently formed Program Management Office, which is based in the Office of the President. The Program Management Office follows the systemwide IT strategy as determined by the president and chancellors, and works closely with the TIP Steering Committee, consisting of members from across the four campuses and system administration.

Who’s who in the TIP Program Management Office?

Harper Johnson

Harper Johnson

Harper Johnson, Associate Vice President of Transformation and Innovation

Johnson, who joined CU in 2017, is responsible for TIP. He is focused on aligning and improving IT capabilities at CU through the delivery of reliable, secure and cost-effective technology services and data access, and fostering innovation and effectiveness through a focus on strategic partnerships.

Johnson has over 20 years of experience working on innovative education technology solutions. He has served the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in the position of AVC of IT and CIO since 2017. Before joining CU, he led the Information Security and Enterprise Information Solutions teams in support of all Academic and Administrative technology efforts at Northern Arizona University.

He worked in the private sector in the education software industry and managing an on-demand printing business; and served as an officer and pilot in the U.S. Air Force. Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in international affairs at the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s degree in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.

PhuLan Olson

PhuLan Olson

PhuLan Olson, Senior Project Manager

Olson joined CU in 2019. She brings to CU over 20 years of experience in planning, project management, process improvement, information technology, and sales and marketing.

At CU, she will focus on project management of various TIP projects including CU-wide constituent relationship management (CRM). Before joining CU, Olson served in Strategic Accounts at Kaiser Permanente and was instrumental in lifting the organization to the next level by achieving growth, retention and client relations objectives.

Olson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of California, Riverside, a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Southern California, PMP certification from PMI, and MHP designation from AHIP.

Olson enjoys family, running, skiing and a wide variety of cuisine.

Kristen Quintana

Kristen Quintana

Kristen Quintana, Senior Project Manager

Quintana joined CU two months ago to help stand up the TIP PMO and serve as a project manager focused on TIP projects.

Previously in her 12-year career, she worked in education at McGraw Hill, standing up and running a project management office that supported enterprise product implementations. She also served in project management roles at Pearson.

Quintana earned her master’s in project management from Regis University and also has a PMP (Project Management Professional) certification.

She coaches softball, and enjoys live music, camping, and rooting for the Broncos. Quintana aims to travel internationally at least once a year.

Lara Ackerman

Lara Ackerman

Lara Ackerman, Senior Organizational Change Manager

Ackerman joined CU in 2017 and has spent the past three years working as an organizational change manager primarily on projects that affect all four campuses. She’s passionate about translating strategic vision to tangible outcomes that move CU forward.

Ackerman has 13 years of dedicated organizational change management (OCM) experience in management consulting and internal roles across many industries including higher education, manufacturing, telecom, financial services, aerospace, and oil and gas. Her projects included merger integrations, business process improvement efforts, enterprise resource planning systems, CRM systems, launching a project management office, organizational design, culture change, and digital transformation.

Before focusing on OCM, Ackerman worked on large-scale technology projects in roles such as business analysis, reporting/data system analysis and development, testing coordination, project management, training, and communications.

An avid traveler and Boulder native, she earned her bachelor’s in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Babson College, and an MBA from CU Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.

The TIP Program Management Office takes guidance and strategic direction from the TIP Steering Committee. Members of the committee are:

CU Boulder: Carla Ho-a, Chief Financial Officer (CFO); Larry Levine, Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer (CIO); Dan Jones, Vice Chancellor for Integrity, Safety and Compliance.

CU Denver | Anschutz: Terri Carrothers, Executive Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Chief Financial Officer, CU Anschutz; Jennifer Sobanet, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Chief Financial Officer, CU Denver; Russ Poole, Associate Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer (CIO).

CU Colorado Springs: Chuck Litchfield, Vice Chancellor Administration and Finance; Harper Johnson, Assistant Vice Chancellor for IT and Chief Information Officer (CIO), Committee Chairperson.

CU system: Todd Saliman, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO); Kathy Nesbitt, Vice President of Employee and Information Services; Scott Munson, Chief Information Officer (CIO); Ed Mills, Chief Purchasing Officer; Jason Hunter, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Advancement.

For more information on CU’s Transformation and Innovation Program, please see the TIP website, which also invites stakeholders to share their input.

TIP is committed to sharing regular updates and information as the work progresses.

this is the search page

Tuition Assistance Benefit applications now open

Tuition Assistance Benefit applications now open

As the University of Colorado’s 2020-21 academic year approaches, it’s time to apply for the Tuition Assistance Benefit (TAB) for undergraduate and graduate courses.

Fall 2020 applications for the Tuition Assistance Benefit are now open, and campus-specific enrollment deadlines are fast approaching.

Each academic year (fall through summer), eligible employees can save on up to nine credits on eligible courses on any CU campus. Their dependents also have several options to save on tuition costs.

Employees can grant certain dependents their Tuition Assistance Benefit, but whoever uses the benefit first in the current academic year is allotted the benefit for the entire academic year. If an employee uses the benefit in the fall, their dependent cannot use it in the spring and vice versa.

The Tuition Assistance Benefit page highlights the rules, deadlines and application instructions. The Tuition Assistance Benefit guide provides a high-level, step-by-step overview of the process. Keep in mind that each campus has its own TAB application and course registration deadlines.

Here are the deadlines for the Fall 2020 semester:

CU Boulder

  • Course registration:
    • Employees: First day of class for each specific course after Aug. 24, 2020
    • Dependents: On their designated registration day
  • TAB application: By Sept. 11, 2020

CU Denver l CU Anschutz

  • Course registration:
    • Employees: First day of class for each specific course after Aug. 17, 2020
    • Dependents: On their designated registration day
  • TAB application: By Sept. 2, 2020

CU Colorado Springs

  • Course registration:
    • Employees: Starting Aug. 24, 2020
    • Dependents: On their designated registration day
  • TAB application: By Sept. 10, 2020

Tuition Assistance Benefit dependents can take courses on the employee’s “home” CU campus (their campus of employment) or take courses at other CU campuses. Dependents attending other CU campuses can be granted a $270 per-credit stipend, for up to nine credits per academic year (fall through summer), to apply toward eligible courses.

Some exclusions apply for employees and dependents, so please review the program page and each campus’s requirements closely.

Finally, all users should be aware that they are responsible for paying student fees and that this benefit may be subject to taxation. You can find out more on the dedicated Tuition Assistance Benefit taxation webpage for this benefit.