February Town Hall: Celebrating our faculty, budget model updates and more

In February’s virtual Town Hall, Chancellor Venkat Reddy and a panel of campus leaders shared thoughts and updates on current campus events.

Take a look at the key takeaways below.

Distinguished Professors

  • The title “Distinguished Professor” is the highest honor that the University of Colorado bestows on its faculty members. This title is extended to recognize the outstanding contributions of tenured faculty members to their academic disciplines.
  • UCCS has two new distinguished professors this year – Dr. Dorothea Olkowski and Dr. Carlos Paz de Araujo. Dr. Olkowski is the first female professor to be recognized with this honor at UCCS.
  • Dr. Terry Boult and Dr. Robert von Dassanowsky received this recognition in 2020. The university will be honoring all four at a reception later this month.


  • On February 3, UCCS and Pueblo Community College celebrated two new partnerships.
  • A memorandum of understanding was signed to create a streamlined pathway for students to earn an associate degree at PCC and then transfer to UCCS, where they can earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  
  • The ribbon was then cut on the new UCCS Pre-Collegiate Support and Success Center on the PCC campus. The new center will work with middle and high school students from the Pueblo community to prepare students academically, socially and emotionally for their postsecondary journeys.  
  • UCCS also entered into an academic partnership with Anschutz Medical campus to provide a unified hybrid curriculum for students pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree program through our nursing and health sciences school. 

Leadership Updates

  • Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources: Our new Assistant Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, Angela Bender, started on February 1. As an experienced higher education human resource leader, Angela hit the ground running in her first few weeks on the job. 
  • Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance: The search for our next Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance continues. While the search process is taking longer than anticipated, it is important that we make sure that we are hiring the right person for the position.
  • Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities: Our search for the Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities continues with Dean Don Rabern chairing the search committee. 
  • Dean of the College of Business: Dr. Tommy Aicher is serving as the Interim Dean of the College of Business while we search for a permanent replacement to lead the College. The search is chaired by Dean George Reed.
  • Kelli Klebe, Dean of the Graduate School, has decided to return to the faculty this fall. Kelli has been Dean of the Graduate School since 2012 and served as our interim Provost for a year. Her long and outstanding administrative service is appreciated. A search for the next Dean of the Graduate School is being launched, with Dean Kevin Laudner serving as search chair. We hope to have someone hired by August 1. 

Budget Reminders

  • Campus recently received messages from President Saliman as well as the Chancellor regarding the status of the Advancing the Strategic Plan funds and the President’s initiative funds. The Cabinet worked hard in identifying the most pressing needs for the campus to invest the limited ASP dollars we received. One of the key areas we want to continue to invest in is the strategic enrollment and retention areas so that we can stabilize and enhance our financial future so that we can invest back in our people.
  • The university used some of those dollars to provide free parking for faculty and staff this year. Given budgets are tight, we will not be continuing the free parking next year.
  • Currently, UCCS is waiting to see which of the three budget scenarios will play out with the legislature. This will determine the levels of tuition increases and compensation pools we will be able to provide. The Cabinet and Deans will continue to meet to discuss the implications of the budget at the college levels. Please see more information below.
    • FY24 Budget Scenarios
    • Each campus submitted 3 scenarios (ABC) and all assume a decline in enrollment of .9%. 
    • Scenario A includes:
      1. New State funding of $69M for HE (Governor’s budget proposal)
      2. UCCS’s share would be $$2.2M
      3. A 6% tuition increase for all categories.
      4. 3.5% combined merit pool
      5. Result is a projected deficit of $5.4M
    • Scenario B includes:
      1. New State funding of $100M (JBC’s budget proposal)
      2. UCCS’s share would be $3.5M
      3. A 5% tuition increase for all categories.
      4. 4.0% combined merit pool
      5. Result is a projected deficit of $5.6M
    • Scenario C includes:
      1. New State funding of $144M (Higher Education President’s budget proposal)
      2. UCCS’s share will be $5.3M
      3. A 4% tuition increase for all categories.
      4. 4.0% combined merit pool
      5. Result is a projected deficit of $4.8M
  • Provost Nancy Marchand-Martella is chairing the Budget Redesign task force that has been hard at work over the last two months to bring a redesigned model forward for feedback from all key stakeholders on the campus. Feedback will be sought from key stakeholders on the campus before any model is finalized. 

Faculty and Instructors

Provost Marchand-Martella also shared information about the number of faculty vs. instructors. Totals for the university can be viewed below. See the breakdown for each college here.


  • The spring Campus Awards Ceremony is coming up on Tuesday, April 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Berger Hall. Faculty and staff are encouraged to put this date on their calendars and make plans to join in.  
  • The Department of Student Life recently announced the 2023 UCCS Significant Speaker featuring civil rights and social justice advocate Angela Davis. This event is also on Tuesday, April 18. Those who were lucky enough to get tickets to Angela’s presentation can attend the Awards Ceremony in Berger and then come over to Gallogly Event Center for this speaker at 7 p.m. 
  • A few weeks ago, a number from UCCS participated in the CU Social Justice Summit. Chancellor Reddy and his fellow CU Chancellors had the opportunity to answer students’ questions on DEI during the Chancellor’s Panel discussion. Five faculty members from the UCCS social work department led a session on anti-racist and trauma-informed pedagogy and our director of Disability Services led another session. Our VC of DEI Rame Hanna presented as part of the Diversity officers discussion.  
  • The reception to honor our 2020 and 2022 Distinguished Professors is next Thursday, February 23 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in Kettle Creek. If you have not yet done so, please RSVP here.

Listen to the full session online.