Today started bright and early at 7:30 a.m. with the College’s 6th Annual Welcome Back Ceremony on Ninth Street Park, and was followed by an historic decision by the Board of Trustees at their first meeting of the new academic year.
Jordan appeals to ‘scrappy’ Roadrunners
More than 400 faculty and staff settled into a steady buzz of synergy as they gathered to celebrate Metro State’s 45th Anniversary, honor their peers with Distinguished Service, Teaching Excellence and Golden Key Awards, and learn about the state of the College from President Stephen Jordan.
Though he highlighted the rich accomplishments of the Metro State community, Jordan explained the College was “clearly facing challenges,” particularly as the College administration and the Financial Exigency Committee prepare reduction models and recommendations on the budget in light of Colorado’s higher education funding crisis. He was frank in discussing 15 percent to 25 percent budget reductions as realistic.
At the same time, Jordan also referenced the investment stage of the College that he first discussed at his inaugural Welcome Back Ceremony in 2005, explaining that this stage would invest state resources wisely and then leverage them with private philanthropic giving and government grants and contracts. “I’m pleased with the progress we’re making,” he said, noting the increases in funding attained by the Offices of Development and Sponsored Research and Programs.
Jordan, who believes the College is up for the challenges that lie ahead, reached back for a particular word from someone who is often considered the Father of Metro State ─ Colorado’s 39th Governor Roy Romer. “Romer wanted the College to be for the scrappy student who had to work hard to get there, and perhaps have to do it at odd hours. Scrappy, full of a fighting spirit, this is a ubiquitous theme I see as we preserve our past, honor the present and examine the future,” said Jordan.
Referencing Aesop’s Fable of the race between the hare and tortoise, which the tortoise ultimately won, Jordan said, “We all must realize that it’s not being the quickest, but it’s the steady and consistent pace that will lead us to accomplish our goal. Slow and steady wins the race.”
Signs of the College’s continuing momentum can be witnessed, according to Jordan, in the purchase of a permanent home in the Art District on Santa Fe for the Center for Visual Art, the opening of the Auraria Science Building and the upcoming groundbreakings for the Student Success Building in December and the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center in February of next year. Jordan announced that the hotel will be a Marriott Hotel.
Jordan also reported that he has initiated the 2010 Strategic Planning Committee, to be co-chaired by Associate Professor of Physics and Faculty Senate President Kamran Sahami and Associate Vice President of Communication and Advancement Cathy Lucas. The committee will be closing out the previous strategic plan from 2006 and begin work on the College’s next five-year plan using the College’s four approved planning goals:
- Prepare students for success in their education, career and life.
- Provide a high-quality educational experience.
- Engage, collaborate, and work with the community.
- Embrace and promote diversity.
Faculty, staff and legislators were also honored for their work and commitment to the College. Faculty Senate President Kamran Sahami presented the Distinguished Service Awards and SGA President Sammantha O’Brien presented the Teaching in Excellence Awards.
Jordan also announced the Length of Service Awards, with Professor of Secondary Education F. Elizabeth Friot standing as the only employee to hit the 40-year mark. “That’s pretty remarkable, considering the College is only 45 years old,” said Jordan, who is entering his sixth year at the helm of the College.
Vicki Golich, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who provided the welcome and served as a mistress of ceremonies said “We have such a wealth of creativity, knowledge and talent in this College that I’m eager to see what we will achieve, collectively, over the course of the year.”
View ceremony. View slideshow.
Board approval puts HLC one step closer
Following the Welcome Back Ceremony, the Metro State Board of Trustees had what Chair Rob Cohen called an “historic day” for the College when the trustees voted unanimously to go forward with the mechanisms necessary to fund the construction of the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center (HLC).
Holding its regularly scheduled September meeting in TIV 320, the board approved the Third Supplemental Resolution, which defines several elements necessary for the College to proceed with the HLC project, most notably an agreement between the College and the newly formed HLC@Metro, Inc. to create a separate issuing authority for bonds called the Metropolitan State College of Denver Roadrunner Recovery and Reinvestment Finance Authority.
“This is an historic day for Metro State. We’re essentially moving forward with the Hospitality Learning Center,” Cohen said.
Design schematics for the HLC were presented at the meeting by Lisa Lorman, construction project manager in Metro State’s Facilities Planning Office. The 126,000 square foot complex, to be built where the tennis courts now are, will have four components:
• a six-story Marriot Hotel along Auraria Pkwy.
• a conference center with supporting facilities
• the Hospitality Learning Center, which will face the athletic fields
• a parking structure
The HLC will account for 28,000 of the building’s total 126,000 square feet.
Because gifts to the project will be needed for that portion of the debt not covered by hotel revenues, Trustee Ellen Robinson asked that updates on progress toward fundraising for the project be given at every BOT meeting, which Cohen assured the board will happen.
As part of the process, the trustees also voted to appoint Cohen and President Stephen Jordan to the board of the Roadrunner Recovery and Reinvestment Finance Authority. Robinson and Associate Vice President of Administration, Finance and Facilities/Controller George Middlemist were selected as alternates.
BOT approves resolution opposing ballot measures
Following a presentation by Tamra Ward, senior vice president for public affairs and
Communications for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the trustees voted to approve a resolution declaring the board’s opposition to Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101.
The chamber is one of 200 organizations that are members of Coloradans for Responsible Reform. Ward gave a power point presentation that enumerated what that group believes will happen in Colorado if the controversial measures pass, including the loss of 73,000 primary jobs: 38,000 in the private sector and 35,000 public employees mostly in K-12, higher education and prisons.
The board also approved a study-abroad course, London and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, as well as granted tenure to Associate Professor of Teacher Education Lisa Altemueller Coval.
Top of Page