|Box: This is part two of a two-part series looking
at CSU President Larry Penley’s thoughts on the university. On
Monday, The Collegian reported Penley’s thoughts on CSU’s future
and the budget crisis facing the university.
During the fall semester, CSU was awarded more than $66 million
in research funding from the National Science Foundation, the
National Institutes of Health and NASA, among other
This number can be misleading, however, said Larry Penley, CSU
“(Grants and donations are) a tough issue because I think when
people see a $20+ million project in the biocontainment laboratory
or a $16 million award from the federal government, they say, ‘well
gee, CSU can’t be that bad off, you’re getting all this money,'” he
Penley said undergraduate programs at CSU will not see this
money, at least not directly.
“In fact, that money will not affect our undergraduate programs
very much at all,” he said. “Now, will it make sure we retain
faculty that we want to teach undergraduates? Yes. Will it have the
potential of recruiting faculty who will teach undergraduates? Yes.
Will it pay for their salaries to get them here to teach
“If we start using federal money that is designated for a
specific research project to hire faculty to teach English, we’d be
in big trouble.”
All money coming into CSU has a specific purpose.
“It won’t make any difference in the English classes, and the
fundamental science and math classes because the budget doesn’t
work that way,” Penley said. “If you’re hiring faculty with
research dollars, you’re funding them to be in the labs, not in the
Last fall, CSU began searching for a vice president for
Development and University Relations, a position formerly known as
the vice president for University Advancement. The new vice
president will handle fundraising and communications for the
“I think once we get a new vice president for development in
place, I think we can begin to capitalize on both the quality of
this institution and the affection that people have for it,” Penley
A student group at the University of Colorado-Boulder recently
initiated a Web site for students to report political
discrimination in the classroom.
This comes after debate regarding whether state universities
stifle conservative viewpoints. State Senate President John
Andrews, R-Centennial, asked universities in November to submit
their anti-discrimination policies and last week 14 members of the
Colorado General Assembly called for a resolution defending
students’ First Amendment rights, according to the Denver Post.
Penley said Andrews has valid points, but there doesn’t seem to
be a problem with academic freedom on campus.
“First of all I think that John Andrews is absolutely right …
students should have the right to express their political views
freely,” he said. “We have a responsibility then, at Colorado State
University, a legal and moral responsibility, to support open
dialogue, open criticism and free speech.
“I haven’t detected that there’s a major problem on campus and I
have asked people to look at that issue. I think we have to be
diligent about that, even if we don’t see a problem today, and if a
problem arises, we have to go after it.”
Penley said diversity is another big issue at CSU that must be
“We have a responsibility as a public institution to grow in our
diversity,” he said.
With looming questions surrounding possibly capping enrollment
at CSU, Penley sees diversity as an important factor to consider in
“(It) would be a very tough decision to cap enrollment growth
because of the specialized nature of this university. Furthermore,
(there) is a growing minority population in Colorado and we have a
responsibility as a public institution to grow in our diversity,”
Penley said it’s important to look at diversity from two
viewpoints: ethnicity and gender. When looking at it from an ethnic
perspective, he believes increasing access for minorities is
In terms of gender, Penley would like to see more women pursue
traditionally male-dominated areas such as math and science.
“Because we are such a leader in that area in the state, we also
have a responsibility to reach out not just to become more diverse,
from an ethnic or racial point of view, but also to reach out to
more women and encourage women to major in those disciplines where
they have been traditionally underrepresented.”