University of Colorado administrators visit Vail
VAIL – “It’s been a tough year and an extraordinary year,” said Elizabeth Hoffman, University of Colorado’s outgoing president, at a reception held recently in Vail.If local and national media attention is an indication, her statement is restrained. The athletics department has been under a microscope and the Boulder school is facing budget cuts.The reception, held at the home of Rod and Beth Slifer, served two purposes: to make sure local supporters understand the positive accomplishments of Hoffman’s presidency and to introduce Mike Bohn, the university’s new athletics director.
Hoffman’s resignation as president becomes official the end of this month. Under her leadership, the university created the Coleman Institute, and the molecular biotechnology initiative enabled the rapid growth of the Fitzsimons campus. Some of her other accomplishments include gaining enterprise status for the university, consolidation of the Denver and health sciences campuses, strengthening the Colorado Springs campus, and creating one of the most productive technology transfer programs in the country, Hoffman said. Also during her presidency, which began in September, 2000, two faculty members have won Nobel Prizes, four have been awarded MacArthur Genius Awards, and annual research productivity has increased by $100 million, she said. “We’ve succeeded in warding off any further cuts,” Hoffman said.
The university also has a long-standing tradition of space research, proven by its Saturn and Mercury missions, she said. The school also is designing a device for a Pluto satellite. The school is the third largest employer in the state, behind the state and federal governments, and is ahead of major industries like agriculture and tourism. According to Regent Cindy Carlisle, the university is not only a good value, the education among the best in the country.
Bohn, the new athletics director, said he has been following the Buffaloes since he was a child growing up around Boulder community. He arrived from San Diego State University, where he served as director of athletics. Prior to San Diego State, Bohn served as athletics director at the University of Idaho for five years. He’s upbeat about taking on the school’s challenges.”We have a $3 million deficit, so we’ll have to make some cuts,” he said. “I fully embrace reform in recruiting. We’re planning on becoming a role model in the new program.””An unexamined sport is not worth sponsoring,” he added.
Some other marketing plans coming into effect are “Ralphie’s Kids Roundup”, where 10,000 tickets will be given to at-risk kids to attend the games, to help ensure they complete high school to go on to college, he said. Bohn’s response to entering the quagmire and media mess? “When you’re in a hole,” he said, “the best thing to do is quit digging.”
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