Skip to Page Content

University Relations


The online newsletter for UCCS faculty and staff. Brought to you by the UCCS Office of University Relations.
You can view the CURRENT ISSUE, browse the ARCHIVES, send us an EMAIL, and even SUBMIT a story.

Volume 58, Issue 1

July, 2009

Budget & Organizational Changes

Dear Campus Community,

During the spring budget forums I promised to update you during the summer if the budget situation changed with potential impact on UCCS. Unfortunately, the State of Colorado’s projected budget deficit continues to grow and its impact on higher education could result in further reductions to our budget, perhaps during the current budget year which began on July 1, 2009. Governor Ritter has submitted a request to the federal government for a waiver from the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) i.e. stimulus money, which, if approved, would allow the state to potentially make further state funding cuts to public higher education. Additionally, Governor Ritter authored an article in The Denver Post on July 20, 2009 that detailed some of his thoughts and plans to balance the state budget. You can view two related articles at:

The Leadership Team and I believe we could experience a potential additional cut of $3-$5 million dollars in addition to the $2.2 million we still need to solve after the budget reduction plan that is already in effect in the current year (the campus has already taken a $1.8 million reduction in the current budget). In other words, we are examining scenarios for reductions from $5 to potentially $10 million dollars over the next two years. We are working this summer with the governance groups, Deans, and the University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC) to develop strategies to meet this serious challenge. You will have the opportunity to hear more about these strategies in six open forums scheduled for early this fall:

  • Tuesday, September 1; 9:00-10:00 a.m.
    University Hall 132
  • Wednesday, September 2; 3:00-4:00 p.m.
    Science Building 192
  • Thursday, September 3; 10:30-11:30 a.m.
    University Center 302
  • Wednesday, September 9; 2:00-3:00 p.m.
    Columbine Hall 114
  • Thursday, September 10; 8:00-9:00 a.m.
    Dwire Hall 121
  • Thursday, September 10; 3:00-4:00 p.m.
    Engineering Building 103

We will come through this difficult time, but it will take hard work and broad collaboration. I affirm my personal commitment to this challenge and my continuing belief in a highly transparent decision process.

In order to meet the growing budget challenges, we are introducing several initiatives and making some organizational changes to help meet our immediate and future needs to generate revenue at a very accelerated pace. The initiatives are in the areas of (1) academic innovations; (2) strategic enrollment management; (3) efficiency and effectiveness; (4) innovation/partnerships; and (5) enterprise/business. Peg Bacon will head the academic innovations initiative, I will take responsibility for strategic enrollment management, Brian Burnett will lead the efficiency and effectiveness strategies, Martin Wood will lead an innovation/partnership expansion, and Susan Szpyrka will lead the enterprise/business initiatives. All initiatives will have volunteers from throughout the campus contributing to the efforts. Now and in the fall, opportunities are available for your input. Please contact my office by responding to this email ( to identify your interest and willingness to serve.

The following organizational changes will assist with these strategies and meet other current campus needs (all changes are budget neutral or result in salary savings):

Academic Innovations: Academic Innovations will be examining a wide range of opportunities within academic affairs: core/general education requirements; dual enrollment programs for high school students; expanding online programs; course scheduling alternatives and high impact practices (freshman seminar, learning communities, undergraduate research, etc). While there are no administrative changes within academic affairs, there will be teams of faculty, staff, and Deans researching and implementing these opportunities.

Student Success: As you probably know, Robert Wonnett is retiring as Vice Chancellor for Student Success. We have not been successful in finding a replacement for Robert for 2009-2010. The search remains open and will continue accepting applications. Peg Bacon and I have met with the Student Success staff and they have recommended and we have agreed we will not replace the VCSS this year. Instead we will have a team management approach with Steve Ellis, Sue Mitchell, Barbara Gaddis and Lee Ingalls Noble serving as team leaders for the Student Success division. Steve Ellis and Sue Mitchell will represent Student Success on the Leadership Team. Lee Ingalls Nobel will be retiring as Director of Financial Aid and Student Employment in October and Diana Cook will retire from her position as Executive Assistant to the VCSS in December. The search for their replacements will begin shortly. During this transition Steve Ellis will carry a title of Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success to meet officer designated responsibilities.

Office of the Chancellor: Functional changes also are underway in the Office of the Chancellor. Susan Szpyrka will continue as Chief of Staff, but her focus will change to expand our enterprise/business activities. Along with David Moon, Susan will expand our activities in both conferencing and non-credit bearing online and on-campus offerings. We have opportunities in areas such as wellness, real estate, tourism, command colleges (police training associated with the School of Public Affairs), homeland security, first responders, trauma, and other areas of our experience and expertise. Susan will continue to provide leadership to auxiliary units on campus; however, her day-to-day Chief of Staff duties will be distributed to Andrea Cordova, who will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff and Adam Saffer, who provides professional support in the Office of the Chancellor. Therefore, please send daily questions and correspondence to Andrea Cordova, issues for the Leadership Team to Adam Saffer, and urgent or crisis communication to Susan Szpyrka.

University Advancement: Martin Wood, who is currently a member of the Leadership Team and is the Chief Operating Officer leading the University Advancement division, will have his campus title changed to Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer for University Advancement. This change provides consistency of titles across the CU System (as requested by the System), and is based on Martin’s current status with the State as an officer of the University. There is no fiscal impact of this change and the change does not create a new position. Additionally, Martin Wood is assigned expanded responsibilities for developing regional partnerships, ramping up federal relations, and developing new revenue generation for the campus.

Shared Services: A committee under the Efficiency and Effectiveness initiative, led by Brian Burnett, will explore the concept of “shared services” across campus units. Shared services units find common functions such as human resources, purchasing, or financial transactions and organize personnel to work across units with similar needs. Personnel normally retain their original reporting assignments. Several of our current staff have experience with this model and will be on the committee to explore these opportunities.

As we prepare for our financial challenges, I cannot stress too strongly the need for everyone to come together and determine ways to generate new revenues and contain or reduce expenses. I am committed to you as excellent faculty and staff. Certainly, our campus has a history and culture of pulling together during tough times and coming out ahead. Your ideas always are welcome, and I look forward to keeping UCCS moving forward in a positive direction.


Pam Shockley-Zalabak

Communique is the online newsletter for UCCS faculty and staff. It is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters, monthly during the summer semester. Communique is sent to faculty and staff e-mail lists and, by request, to other e-mail addresses. Previous issues are available in the Communique Archives at, and the current issue is always at Suggestions and comments are welcome. Send ideas to or call Tom Hutton, 255-3439.

View Current Communique