Senate committee approves mission change for UCCS, CSU-Pueblo
DENVER – Members of the Senate Education Committee voted unanimously in favor of proposed changes in the roles and missions of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Colorado State University-Pueblo following testimony Wednesday.
The eight-member committee voted to recommend changes in the mission statements of the two southern Colorado universities to allow CSU-Pueblo to add a limited number of graduate programs. The campus seeks to add a Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree, an important component of nursing that will be recommended by 2015 in order to maintain accreditation by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. For UCCS, the change adds research to its mission statement. The committee members praised the cooperation between the CU and CSU campuses.
“We are appreciative of the bi-partisan and regional support of improving public higher education in southern Colorado,” CU Regent Kyle Hybl said of the education committee’s actions.
Based on the Senate Education Committee’s actions, the measure will be voted upon by the full Senate membership and will be placed on the consent calendar. If approved, the measure will be voted on by the members of the Colorado House of Representatives. Following those actions, the bill must still receive the approval of Gov. John Hickenlooper.
“The provisions in this bill will allow CSU-Pueblo to continue to address the health care needs of southern Colorado, specifically the shortage of health care professionals,” said CSU-Pueblo Interim President Julio Leon.
“Nursing education has an enormous role to play in the preparation of care providers who will be equipped to meet the many challenges that we face as a community and a nation,” said Donna Wofford, associate dean, CSU Pueblo Department of Nursing. “The CSU-Pueblo Department of Nursing has the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to ‘re-imagine’ the future of nursing and address health care cost, delivery, and access in southern Colorado.”
UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak said of the proposed change for UCCS:
“This change will assist UCCS in becoming more competitive for federal funds and other grant opportunities.”
Graduate students are about 20 percent of the almost 9,000 students enrolled at UCCS, making it the fourth-largest in Colorado, trailing CU Boulder, CU Denver and CSU-Fort Collins. UCCS faculty members generated $10 million in external research funding last year.
On March 25, Senate Bill 11-204 was introduced by Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Angela Giron, D-Pueblo. Morse and Giron are the bill’s sponsors in the Senate. In the Colorado House of Representatives, the bill is sponsored by Keith Swerdferger, R-Pueblo; Amy Stephens, R-Colorado Springs; Mark Barker, R-Colorado Springs; Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, and Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs.
A copy of the bill is available at http://www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2011A/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/E6E2DE2839A236C88725783E006F8C69?Open&file=204_01.pdf
UCCS, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. The University offers 36 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s, and five doctoral degrees. The campus enrolls about 9,000 students annually.