University of Colorado

A Message from the President

June 2011

Dear Friends and Alumni,

President Bruce Benson
President Bruce Benson

In the Colorado General Assembly's legislative session that concluded a few weeks ago, CU sustained a $46 million cut, which will bring our state funding for Fiscal Year 2011-12 to $146 million. This continues an unfortunate trend of declining state funding. We calculate that when factoring in inflation and enrollment growth, we should receive some $326 million annually.

But rather than bemoan the lack of state funding, CU has chosen instead to focus on pursuing legislation that will allow us to operate more efficiently and effectively.

This does not mean state funding challenges are immaterial. Higher education appropriations in Colorado have plunged significantly in recent years, leaving us 48th nationally in state funding per resident student. Our legislators and the governor fully understand and appreciate the value of research universities such as ours. They support us in many ways, knowing that we produce a highly skilled work force, contribute nearly $6.5 billion to Colorado's economy annually, lead research innovation that improves lives (while also creating and attracting businesses), and advance the economy, health and culture of our state and beyond.

Due to conflicting state constitutional provisions and the bad economy, there is simply no available money in the state coffers, leaving higher education to bear the brunt of cuts since it is one of the few discretionary parts of Colorado's budget. But hard economic times often force hard choices that big, complex operations such as ours should make regardless of the economy.

So our approach is to seek the silver lining surrounding the dark funding clouds that marked the 2011 session of the Colorado General Assembly. Our legislative strategy the past three years has been to pursue legislation that allows us to operate more efficiently, engage in better business practices, grow our revenues and leverage our size, buying power and the expertise of our staff and dedicated alumni and volunteers. Our guiding principle has been to ensure accountability while fostering efficiency.

We started modestly in the 2009 legislative session, when we worked with lawmakers to eliminate duplicative and unnecessary steps related to capital construction, which streamlined the process and saved money. We built on that last year with Senate Bill 3 (Higher Education Flexibility Legislation), which among other things allowed us to boost the number of international students – increasing revenue and enhancing our campus environments – and operate under fiscal rules specific to higher education, rather than the limiting one-size-fits-all approach of the state fiscal rules. As a result, we have already seen savings of some $7.5 million in the area of procurement alone.

In the 2011 session, legislators passed House Bill 1301 (Higher Education Efficiency Legislation), a wide-ranging bill that allows us to realize efficiencies in more than 20 areas ranging from construction to operations, from student fees to employee issues. All the measures of the bill combined will add up to significant savings. Examples include streamlining the process for cash-funded building projects, allowing us to offer group benefits plans in lieu of state plans, easing restrictions on indemnification and eliminating redundant data security reporting.

We'll continue to push for funding solutions, but in the meantime, we won't stand idly by. CU will continue to work with lawmakers to help us help ourselves with legislation that enables us to be a more efficient organization. By doing so, we can continue to meet our mission and serve our students and state.

Bruce D. Benson
Bruce Benson

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Creating Futures Profiles: Benefactors making a difference in CU's fundraising campaign

Bequest from CU teaching legend to support faculty outreach, scholarships

Klaus Timmerhaus

Klaus Timmerhaus, a CU-Boulder professor for 42 years, was known as a hard-nosed, old-school professor who took the care and time to ensure all of his students "got it."  His daughter, Carol Getty, reports he didn't buy a technical calculator until 1985 because he did everything on a slide rule. He would say, "The calculator is only as good as what you plug into it."

Timmerhaus, who died in February at age 86, believed the University of Colorado's teaching prowess should be recognized throughout Colorado and that students always came first. His recent bequest to CU reflects these beliefs. Timmerhaus left a majority portion of his estate gift to support a Timmerhaus Teaching Ambassador Award under the auspices of the university's President's Teaching Scholars Program. The award will honor strong teaching and showcase the high caliber of faculty on CU's four campuses.

Another portion of his estate will support scholarships for College of Engineering and Applied Science students at CU-Boulder, adding to the Klaus and Jean Timmerhaus Fund he had established in 1992.

Timmerhaus' bequest will be among more than 200,000 gifts received since the outset of Creating Futures – CU's unprecedented $1.5 billion fundraising campaign announced in April to support teaching, research, outreach and health programs on CU's four campuses. To learn more about Creating Futures, visit

Join us in celebrating CU's inaugural season in the Pac-12

CU's intercollegiate athletics program will officially join the Pac-12 Conference next month, and we would like all CU alumni to join us in celebrating our inaugural year. Mark your calendar for the five football game-day events we will host at the following cities:

  • Oct. 8: Palo Alto (CU vs. Stanford)
  • Oct. 15: Seattle (CU vs. Washington)
  • Oct. 29: Tempe (CU vs. Arizona State)
  • Nov. 19: Pasadena (CU vs. UCLA)
  • Nov. 25: Salt Lake City (CU vs. Utah)

We are also planning pregame events in Hawaii and Columbus. Event details and registration information will be available later this month on my web page. Please be sure to order your game tickets through the CU ticket office before they sell out.

Exemplary CU faculty leadership, research recognized

University of Colorado faculty serve the state, the nation and the world through leadership in high-quality education, public service, advancing research and state-of-the-art health care. The past month, several faculty members were honored for their ongoing contributions to research.

Four faculty join ranks of President's Teaching Scholars
Four University of Colorado's faculty leaders in math, aerospace, psychiatry and internal medicine have been designated as President's Teaching Scholars for 2011. CU President's Teaching Scholars exemplify the university's highest recognition of excellence in and commitment to learning and teaching, as well as active, substantial contributions to scholarly work.

The new members of the President's Teaching Scholars Program are:

Mark Earnest Mark Earnest, M.D., Ph.D.,
associate professor, general internal medicine,
University of Colorado School of Medicine,
Anschutz Medical Campus
Robert Feinstein

Robert Feinstein, M.D.,
vice chairman for clinical education and evidence-based
medicine integration, and professor of psychiatry,
department of psychiatry, University of Colorado
School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus

David Klaus David Klaus, Ph.D.,
associate professor of aerospace engineering
sciences, University of Colorado Boulder
Eric Stade
Eric Stade, Ph.D.,
professor of mathematics,
University of Colorado Boulder

Read more about the 2011 scholars here.

CU scientists chosen 2011 Boettcher, Webb-Waring Investigators
Three University of Colorado researchers have been named to the 2011 class of Boettcher Investigators in the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program. This is the second year for the program, which supports early career scientists in their work toward making discoveries that improve human health.

The Boettcher Foundation created the program in 2008 as the result of an innovative agreement among the Boettcher Foundation, the Webb-Waring Foundation for Biomedical Research and CU. Through the program, the Boettcher Foundation now invests more than $1 million annually into efforts to increase Colorado's competitiveness in biomedical science.

CU's 2011 Boettcher Investigators are:

Zhe Chen, Ph.D. Zhe Chen, Ph.D.,
assistant research professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology at the University of Colorado Boulder, whose research focuses on axon guidance during neural development.
Robert C. Doebele, M.D., Ph.D. Robert C. Doebele, M.D., Ph.D.,
assistant professor of medical oncology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, whose research focuses on resistance mechanisms in oncogene-driven lung cancer.
Jing H. Wang, M.D., Ph.D. Jing H. Wang, M.D., Ph.D.,
assistant professor of immunology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, whose research focuses on antibody production and genomic instability in B lymphocytes.

Doebele and Wang are members of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, the state's only federally designated comprehensive cancer center. Two researchers from Colorado State University – John D. (Nick) Fisk, Ph.D., and Tingting Yao, Ph.D. – also received grants.

Individual grant amounts for the research projects range from $200,000 to $300,000. CU's allocation of $700,000 is the largest in the state and will be divided among the three Boettcher Investigators. Grant amounts varied based on funding allocated to each institution.

Board of Regents bestows university honors at campus commencements

At recent commencement ceremonies, the University of Colorado Board of Regents bestowed awards to 20 outstanding recipients for achievements or contributions associated with the university, overall commitment to higher education, advancements in community service and/or life-enhancing research.

Honorary Degrees:

  • Paul Frank, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Don Birkeland, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
  • Eleanor "Ellie" Newman Caulkins, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Denver
  • Theodora (Theo) Emily Decker Colborn, Honorary Doctorate of Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Gerald Emil Grilly, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Denver
  • R.C. "Merc" Mercure, Honorary Doctorate of Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Bernard W. Nelson, M.D., Honorary Doctorate of Science, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Juan A. Rodriguez, Honorary Doctorate of Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • David H. Shepard, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Denver
  • Ted Turner, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, University of Colorado
  • Peter J. Wallison, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Richard G. Weingardt, Honorary Doctorate of Science, University of Colorado Boulder

Distinguished Service Awards

  • David C. Baker, University of Colorado Denver
  • James C.T. Linfield, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Richard B. Williams, University of Colorado Boulder

University Medal

  • Gary Anderson, University of Colorado Boulder
  • J. William Freytag, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Norris Hermsmeyer, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Brian E. Lebowitz , University of Colorado Boulder
  • Mauritz A. "Mort" Mortenson Jr., University of Colorado Boulder

Full story>>

News from our campuses


Hynes and Ye elected to National Academy of Sciences
Two faculty members from the University of Colorado Boulder have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, a top honor recognizing scientists and engineers for distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. James Hynes, a professor in CU-Boulder's chemistry and biochemistry department, and Jun Ye, an adjunct professor in CU-Boulder's physics department, are the only Colorado scientists elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2011. Ye also is a fellow of the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA), a joint institute of CU-Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and a fellow at NIST.
Full story>>

More CU-Boulder news>>


Campus' largest building renamed 'Osborne Center'
UCCS renamed the campus' largest building the Osborne Center for Science and Engineering in honor of a landmark estate gift to the campus. Ed and Mary Osborne, campus chairs for the Creating Futures campaign, were recognized for their lifetime generosity to UCCS at a ceremony May 12 by university leadership including CU President Bruce Benson, UCCS Chancellor Pamela Shockley-Zalabak and members of the Board of Regents.
Full story>>

More UCCS news>>


New Business School commodities center a celebration of success
The University of Colorado Denver Business School's annual Celebration of Success provided plenty to celebrate with the announcement of a gift from alumnus George Solich, CEO, and Tad Herz, CFO, of Cordillera Energy Partners. The gift will create a Wall Street-style commodities trading center on the first floor of the new Business School building at 1475 Lawrence St.

More than 650 people attended the 13th annual Celebration of Success, which featured keynote JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief Jamie Dimon. Heralded by the New York Times as America's least-hated banker, Dimon said the nation was two-thirds through the recession and the housing market was slowly stabilizing, but warned of economic catastrophe if the United States defaulted on its loans.
Full story>>
More CU Denver news>>


Altitude Center helping spare soldiers from acute mountain sickness
The Altitude Research Center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is working on molecular biologic studies aimed at relieving soldiers of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), thereby increasing military efficiency overall. Robert Roach, Ph.D., director of the Altitude Research Center said in a news release, "We believe the immediate impact of these studies will be to save lives and improve the performance of those fighting at high altitude. But, in the long term, we hope it will lead to new discoveries that can benefit those who suffer from low oxygen states." The university was recently given a grant of $4 million from the Department of Defense and consists of two smaller grants, both aimed at AMS.
Full story>>

More Anschutz Medical Campus news>>

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Office of the President, University of Colorado
1800 Grant Street, Suite 800, Denver, CO 80203
General Phone: (303) 860-5600 | Fax: (303) 860-5610