CSU will have to face even lower funding from the state due in part to plummeted state revenues, President Albert C. Yates said in his annual fall address Thursday.
Yates spoke about issues the university will encounter, including having to adjust to a significant lower level of funding and improving the graduate program, in the speech in front of the administration building.
Although he did not mention any specific plans to battle the funding crisis, Yates mentioned exploring new TABOR enterprises, enrollment management opportunities, fundraising, license fees for University-held patents and consulting with the university’s vice presidents to help soften the burden the decreased level of funding will have on CSU.
Yates also addressed the graduate program at CSU.
“The current condition of graduate education at CSU does not match our status and statue as a national graduate research university,” Yates said.
Since the fall of 1995, graduate enrollment has slipped by 10 percent, Yates said.
“Higher priority must be given to making graduate education a centerpiece and source of pride for this university,” he said.
The president also encouraged the university to stop pushing diversity on campus lower down the list of priorities.
Although CSU continues to increase its percentage of diverse students among the student body, he said there is much work to be done.
Yates also mentioned that CSU must give high priority to state-level issues, including CSU’s changed relationship with the University of Southern Colorado, which in July will be renamed Colorado State University-Pueblo.
One of the greatest achievements CSU had in the past year was the university’s efforts in cooperative extension, Yates said.
Yates congratulated members of the university who aided the state during a summer of droughts and wildfires.
“True to its mission, our university responded quickly to provide essential information to farmers, ranchers and extension agents across our state,” he said. “I often say a commitment to service ought to be a hallmark of all we do at our university – that we ought to treat it as high calling and one of the most sacred responsibility of a land-grant institution.”
Attendance reached 3,787, according to the university’s food service, which provided a free barbecue lunch after the address.
After he spoke, Yates commented about what he thought was CSU’s greatest achievement last year.
“The faculty, staff and students reaching out and trying to assist with some of the problems of our nation and particularly the state of Colorado,” he said. “I am very pleased with the response (from CSU) to what happened in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.”
Faculty members commented about the president’s speech.
“I am glad he identified the role of the College of Ag Sciences in the drought (issue),” said Marshall Frasier, an assistant professor for agriculture and resources economics. “I think it is important to stress what the college of Ag Sciences does over the year and its nice to have that singled out for recognition.”
The purpose of the speech was to get everyone’s mind in the game to help solve problems facing CSU, said Eric Schuck, an assistant professor for agriculture and resources economics.
“He was very straightforward and to the point about identifying what we have going for us, which is quite a lot, and not shy about telling us we have a bitter pill coming,” Schuck said. “I hope we can do all he hopes we can do as well.”
During his speech, Yates congratulated members of the Colorado State Forest Service for their courage, leadership and commitment during Colorado’s wildfire season.
“I thought it was a good speech, anytime they recognize you it feels good,” said Bob Sturtevant, a division supervisor at Colorado State’s Forest Service.