Chancellor applauds “remarkable” work by faculty and staff

Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak

Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak received a standing ovation at her Jan. 25 all-campus forum as she concluded the meeting by urging faculty and staff members to participate in the search process to name her replacement.

Shockley-Zalabak, who is leaving the campus on Feb. 15, said she is pleased that Venkat Reddy, dean, College of Business, will be interim chancellor.

In addition, she said she’s excited that two members of the University of Colorado Board of Regents with ties to this campus have been named to the search committee, Kyle Hybl and Steve Ludwig. Ludwig, an at-large regent, is a UCCS alum. Hybl represents the 5th Congressional District as regent. Both are term-limited and serving their final two years in office.

In the forum, the chancellor then turned her attention to the standing-room-only crowd.

“What I want to urge you to do is participate in the process, because there are things that need to change, things that need to improve, no question,” she said. “But the essence of the work you’ve done is remarkable.”

And with that, more than 100 faculty and staff members rose to their feet in applause.

Other highlights from the forum include:

  • Student enrollment growth for the spring semester could top 6 percent, she said. UCCS had record enrollment this fall, setting new highs in enrollment, new freshmen and graduate students. (Read more about fall enrollment here.)  Of concern is international student recruitment, she said. Like most college campuses, UCCS is expecting declines in international student enrollment.
  • Colorado lawmakers, meeting now in the 2017 General Assembly, face a shortfall in the state budget. What that will mean for state funding for higher education remains unknown until a state budget is approved by the governor later this year. UCCS has financial plans in place for a variety of budget scenarios, and she said she does not envision cuts to faculty and staff as the campus continues to grow.

“We are in good shape to deal with this,” she said. “We are not affluent. There’s not extra money. But we are in good shape to meet these challenges.”

Shockley-Zalabak is retiring from UCCS but will continue to work. President Bruce Benson announced earlier this month that Leonard Dinegar, senior vice president and chief of staff, will chair the search committee for the next UCCS chancellor. Benson said he hopes to have a new chancellor in place by summer. Read more about the search here.


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