Office of the President

President's Newsletter

October 2023

An Exciting Time for the CU Community

President's Newsletter, Oct. 2023

What an exciting time for research and discovery at the University of Colorado! The buzz surrounding CU is resonating from coast to coast. Our premier programs are garnering well-deserved recognition, and our leadership in innovation is putting CU at the center of transformative initiatives and allowing us to drive progress like never before.

We’re doubling down on our efforts to recruit and retain excellent students from all of Colorado’s diverse communities through our statewide engagement, which is enabling us to strengthen partnerships and forge new connections.

Earlier this month, CU Boulder, an established leader in quantum research and education, hosted nearly 150 leaders from across Colorado to develop a roadmap for growing the state’s quantum economy. Working with Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade, CU Boulder convened representatives from CU and other Colorado higher education institutions, industry and government to identify and align on issues related to workforce development as we strive to make Colorado the Quantum State. The convening was a powerful demonstration of CU’s role in the quantum ecosystem, and in an exciting development, Gov. Polis just announced Colorado has received federal designation as a Tech Hub focused on advancing the quantum industry. CU Boulder will be central to these efforts, which position the state as a global quantum leader. CU’s federal partnerships – with the National Institute of Standards and Technology through JILA, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy – are core to our strength in this space, which is by no means theoretical: CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science recently launched the Quantum Engineering Initiative to accelerate the translation and commercialization of quantum into real-world applications.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and UCCS is a critical part of our nation’s cyber landscape all year round. The campus offers more than 20 cybersecurity-related degrees and programs across five colleges thanks to a robust network of partnerships across the CU system, other academic institutions, government, non-profits and industry. UCCS is a designated National Center for Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense per the U.S. National Security Administration. The National Cybersecurity Center and Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center are housed on campus in the O’Neil Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research. Hundreds of UCCS students graduate each year with critical skills in cybersecurity, making CU a huge workforce pipeline and draw for industry. Just last month, Gov. Polis announced another advanced research and development cybersecurity firm is expanding to Colorado Springs, bringing with it more than 60 new jobs. Since December 2023, eight companies have selected Colorado Springs for expansion, solidifying its status as a hub for cutting-edge military technology, strategy and national security.

CU Anschutz is world renowned for its medical innovation and discovery, patient-centered care, and its work to improve community health across the state and region through partnerships with local clinics, advancing public health initiatives and expanding education opportunities. The campus’ clinical trials provide patients with the most advanced care by looking at new ways to prevent, detect or treat disease. Currently, there are four trials underway related to CAR T-cell therapy, a leading-edge treatment that genetically engineers a patient’s own T cells to fight their cancer. Home to the CU Cancer Center, the Gates Institute, and two world-class hospitals – Children’s Hospital Colorado and UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital – CU Anschutz is the ideal place for this work, putting it at the forefront of this groundbreaking research and treatment and providing hope to patients for whom all other treatments have failed.

As Colorado’s only urban public research university, CU Denver holds a unique spot on the state’s higher education landscape. Among our top priorities at CU Denver is further elevating the campus’ research and creative work. CU Denver’s Grand Challenges Initiative is advancing this goal by supporting projects focused on solving specific, complex problems facing our nation and world. Among them is infrastructure-centered research, including a project led by Associate Professor Farnoush Banaei-Kashani of the College of Engineering, Design and Computing. Banaei-Kashani and his team are using artificial intelligence to develop a system that can predict and optimize the performance of bridges. According to the team’s research, its AI-powered model is 46% more accurate at predicting bridge deterioration than the best available public model. The implications of this work, which the Colorado Department of Transportation is funding, are tremendous: potentially saving lives and keeping our transportation networks and urban areas running smoothly.

CU is a longstanding leader in research, innovation, the arts and scholarship (I’ll be highlighting some of our extraordinary arts and scholarship in a future newsletter). As the above examples from our campuses help illustrate, we’re in our prime when it comes to catalyzing change that promises to have a transformative impact on life as we know it. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be part of the CU community.


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