University of Colorado, A Message from the President
March 2014

Dear Friends and Alumni,

One of the great pleasures of my job has been learning about the depth and breadth of what goes on at the University of Colorado. As I often tell people, I pay attention to what happens here, yet I only scratch the surface as I discover the various activities in which CU engages.

The key to any great university is a great faculty, and that's what I see across our four campuses. I am continually impressed by their expertise, their professionalism, their dedication to their students and to their fields. I got a taste of it while I was a student here, but my job now has provided me a considerably broader perspective. We capture snapshots of faculty activities in a monthly compendium we call Focus on CU Faculty, which we send to a variety of constituents.

Looking back over some of the previous issues, combined with additional things I learn about almost daily, it's hard to not be impressed by CU faculty. Their work benefits our students, our state and our society. Here is a small sampling:

CU Anschutz Medical Campus researcher Dr. Dan Pollyea, leading a clinical trial that had support from colleagues at Stanford and Ohio State, found the drug ibrutinib to be effective in fighting the most common form of leukemia. He worked with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado to secure "breakthrough therapy" designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a program Bennet co-sponsored that expedites approval of potentially lifesaving drugs that show dramatically positive results early in development. The drug is now benefiting patients.

Tom Cech of CU-Boulder, the first of five Nobel laureates at CU, was recently named to the first National Commission on Forensic Science, a duty he will squeeze in between running our BioFrontiers Institute and teaching freshman chemistry.

CU Denver anthropologist Charles Musiba, a native of Tanzania, leads students on a six-week field school in his home country at Laetoli, one of the world's most important fossil sites. There they learn their craft in the cradle of humankind.

Michael Larson, a UCCS mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, has licensed technology he developed for a device that uses lasers to fuse human tissue after nasal surgery as an alternative to stitches or staples.

CU faculty performed the world's first liver transplant. They explore the far reaches of the universe, as well as our own planet. They run an urban farm in Wheat Ridge where students learn about sustainable agriculture. They host hundreds of high school students for a science Olympiad. They tackle pressing issues facing our society in health care, energy, biosciences and education, among others.

Among their ranks are Nobel laureates, National Professors of the Year, MacArthur "Genius" Award winners, National Academy of Sciences fellows, Fulbright Scholars and dozens of additional prestigious designations.

Yet for all the diversity of teaching styles, research interests, expertise and community engagement, there are common threads running through all CU faculty: they have a passion for their students and for the university, they are experts in their fields, and they exemplify a high level of professionalism. Like in any group thousands strong, not all are exemplary, but they are the exception, not the rule. The rule is women and men who care deeply about their students and their work, as well as about their contributions to communities and to society.

I am proud of CU faculty members and an admirer of all they do. Their work inspires me to do the best I can at my work, which is helping to foster an environment where learning, teaching, innovation, discovery and community thrive.

For feedback, contact

Bruce D. Benson
Bruce Benson

CU Advocacy Day at the State Capitol

CU heads south
CU at the Olympics
The University of Colorado is expanding into the south metro Denver area. We announced this week a collaboration with The Wildlife Experience, the largest cultural institution in Douglas County, which will provide CU space to begin offering classes in the south metro area in fall 2014.
Heading south>>

New CU website more responsive, user friendly
CU at the Olympics
When I became president of the University of Colorado six years ago, an important goal was to ensure the university was up-to-date technologically, both in access and in educational opportunities. We've made great advances. Now, the CU systemwide website,, has relaunched with changes designed to be more responsive to friends, faculty, staff and students -- and to their browsers, whether on desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.
New website>>

CU sells Ninth and Colorado campus
CU sells Ninth and Colorado campus
The University of Colorado Board of Regents last month approved the sale of CU's former Health Sciences Center at Ninth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard in Denver to Continuum Partners, a Denver-based developer, for $30 million.
Read more>>

CU-Boulder's Athletic Strategic Plan sets long-term goals
CU-Boulder's Athletic Strategic Plan sets long-term goals
I am greatly encouraged by the strategic plan for CU-Boulder athletics, a 15-year outline that sets goals that encourage accountability in the department while pursuing sports championships. The plan was developed with guidance from Jeff Luftig, associate vice chancellor for process innovation, who is an expert in developing strategic plans, their formulation and the creation of metrics to measure their progress.
Strategic Plan>>

Spotlight on Alumni:
Nursing alumna's leadership philosophy rooted in family
Nursing alumna's leadership philosophy rooted in family
College of Nursing alumna Karen Zink put up her brand-new car as collateral and a friend put up her house to found Southwest Women's Health Associates in Durango. Zink has been the clinic's sole owner since 2000, offering primary and preventative care for women, as well as GYN care such as endometrial biopsies, colposcopies and contraceptive care.

Read more>>

CU For Colorado: Outreach Programs Serving The State
CU-Boulder dance troupe: Ambassadors for dance, dreams in rural Colorado
Students explore, experiment and invent in the Innovation Hyperlab
Last spring the quiet village of Branson and its students could be found rocking, jazzing and swinging with master of fine arts candidates from the CU Contemporary Dance Works (CUCDW). This spring, the troupe plans a trip to southwest Colorado. No matter where they go, CUCDW encourages youth of all ages to explore interdisciplinary learning and a wide range of educational and artistic focus.

Dance troupe>>

News from our campuses
University of Colorado

Holocaust archive will draw scholars from around world: Mazal Holocaust Collection has been donated to CU-Boulder.

University of Colorado
Colorado Springs

Lane Center opens at UCCS: Community invited to come see healthy options facility has to offer.

University of Colorado

PAL mentors assist freshmen: Peer Advocacy Leaders serve nearly 2,000 first-year students annually.

University of Colorado
Anschutz Medical Campus

CU Anschutz and Sen. Bennet fast track leukemia treatment: TKI battles cancer at the molecular level by restoring the "on-off switch" the body uses to regulate cell growth.

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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 |
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