Jan 262004
 
Authors: Jason Kosena, Kyle Endres
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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

organizations.

This number can be misleading, however, said Larry Penley, CSU

president.

“(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

said.

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

undergraduates? No.

“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

classrooms.”

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

university.

“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

said.

 

Academic freedom

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.”

Diversity

Penley said diversity is another big issue at CSU that must be

addressed.

“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

the debate.

“(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,”

he said.

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

important.

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.”

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