Spring Update, 3-12-2015

Dear colleagues,

As has been the case every semester since we moved to this campus a decade ago, change is in the air. Last fall, Lilly Marks told Bruce Benson she wanted to continue doing what she did, but just a little less of it. We are fortunate to continue to benefit from her insight, perspective and judgment on our operations and strategic direction. She remains a director on the boards of the FRA, University of Colorado Health system and Children’s Hospital Colorado; she also serves on the NIH clinical research advisory board and just started a three-year term on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. We expect her to lend her expertise in other national roles that benefit both the field of academic medicine and this university. And as Dick Krugman makes his final rounds before stepping down as School of Medicine dean, the school is busily preparing for the arrival of its new dean, John Reilly, on April 6. The changeovers will be an adjustment for us all, but we are working to make the transitions as seamless as possible.

Since focusing my chancellor duties specifically on CU Anschutz in the fall, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with many faculty and staff, and I am encouraged by the rich talent and enthusiasm of so many of you who continue to propel CU Anschutz toward national prominence. This has shaped how I see our strategic priorities for the next several years, which include: 

  • Continuing to build stronger relationships with our clinical affiliates 
  • Creating a strategic plan for the campus
  • Strengthening philanthropy
  • Developing greater support for research, including improving centralized grants and contracts support and capitalizing on our intellectual property
  • Continuing to develop community outreach and relationships statewide

Long before I became chancellor, this campus was attuned to the promise of personalized medicine and began building the groundwork that would enable CU Anschutz to lead in the field. We are committed to continuing that trajectory. From the successful recruiting last month of Kathleen Barnes from Johns Hopkins to lead the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, to the recent announcement that the CU Cancer Center has joined the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) to share research on cancer at the molecular level, we are continuing to invest in the promise of personalized medicine. Our involvement with ORIEN also came up last month when Dan Theodorescu presented an overview of precision cancer medicine at CU to the Colorado House Public Health and Human Services Committee. And, of course, the opening of the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility next month will propel the work of this campus in regenerative medicine. 

In other news, we are moving toward having distinct websites for each campus, Denver and Anschutz. Chancellor Wartgow and I have approved the completion of a website improvement project started in 2012, when the CU Anschutz subsite was created. We believe our audiences will be better served with campus-specific information. Upgrades to the websites will occur this spring and summer.

For a perspective on how CU system policies affect this campus, I encourage you to attend CU President Bruce Benson’s town hall meeting on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, from 3:30-5 in the Hensel Phelps Auditorium. President Benson will give a brief overview of issues facing CU and answer questions from the audience.

Finally, as the dust settles from the renovations in Building 500, I’m happily ensconced in my office on the first floor in the former post office. Stop by any time to say hello.


Don Elliman

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