November 2019

Dear Alumni and Friends,

I have long believed that life is a game of addition, not subtraction. And when that addition involves interacting with or surrounding yourself with people with different views, different backgrounds, different experiences, all the better.

Diversity is often viewed narrowly through a lens of race and ethnicity. While those are part of it, they are by no means all of it. Diversity to me is the sum of a variety of things – a person’s demographic characteristics, life and work experiences, viewpoints and interactions, among others. And what I have seen over and over – in my own upbringing, my educational experiences and my careers in business, government and academia – is that it is not only imperative to respect the dignity of each individual, but to recognize that diversity is a powerful asset, both personally and professionally.

The Wall Street Journal, in its article “The business case for more diversity,” noted that a diverse and inclusive culture in business provides a competitive edge. It leads to better products, more innovation, fresh ideas and a stronger bottom line.

My own experiences echo that. Homogeneous groups tend toward homogeneous ideas and strategies. Diverse groups challenge, question and view problems from different angles. They arrive at better outcomes.

Embracing diversity is the right thing. It’s an important aspect of everything we do at the University of Colorado. We strive to foster a learning, living and work environment that mirrors the society we serve and makes all feel safe and included. We also know that infusing diversity throughout our activities enriches the learning experience and makes our graduates better prepared to succeed in life.

That’s one of the reasons we recently elevated our strategic plan’s diversity working group to be the plan’s fourth pillar. Our original thinking was that diversity must be part and parcel of each of the areas we identified as focuses of planning. It needs to be. But after broad input from the university community, we agreed that it also is appropriately recognized as a pillar.

Anything judged important should be measured. Our diversity engagement survey in the field now with students, faculty and staff across our four campuses will guide our action. It will give us insight into the climate and culture on our campuses, and identify areas where we can improve.

Incidents, such as the recent racist incident on our Boulder campus, remind us that there is always work to be done in this area, and that diversity must be a constant focus. It is important for all of us to build on the work of generations before us to embrace diversity and to achieve a more inclusive environment.

Mark Kennedy, CU President
Mark Kennedy President


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Newsletter Archive



  • November, The cost of college
  • October, Engineering success with collaboration across Colorado
  • September, A shot of adrenaline for CU’s medical powerhouse
  • August, Back to the Future
  • June, Bright CU ideas
  • May, Teaching students how -- not what -- to think
  • April, Teaching innovation
  • March, Reflecting on a decade
  • February, A festival of ideas
  • January, CU's greatest asset


  • November, Fostering community
  • October, University of Innovation
  • September, Open exchange of ideas
  • August, Pathways to address the teacher shortage
  • June, Building on a proud history
  • May, My favorite time of year
  • April, Mapping MOOCs
  • March, Innovation sparks creation
  • February, Advocating for CU
  • January, State funding quest



  • December, Enriching diversity
  • November, Veterans: Impact and opportunity
  • October, Tackling mental health
  • September, Marketing a great university
  • August, Coming of Age
  • June, Sunny futures
  • May, Vision to see the future
  • April, Momentum in Denver
  • March, Public higher education's changing face
  • February, Health and medicine: modest beginnings, lofty aspirations 


  • November, Leadership lessons
  • October, Learning how to learn
  • September, CU's largest real estate gift
  • August, What for, not how much
  • July, The bogeyman in the basement
  • May, Private gain or public good?
  • April, Funding outlook: sunny today, stormy tomorrow
  • March, Expertise and passion
  • February, Soaring in southern Colorado
  • January, It all starts with reputation



  • December, The threat from legal pot
  • November, Good news comes in threes
  • October, CU labs: a magnificent microcosm
  • September, Is college worth it?
  • August, A lasting legacy and a record set
  • July, Getting there from here
  • June, Serving those who served
  • May, Indelible impact
  • April, Bruce on Bruce
  • March, Perception and reality
  • February,Leading leaders


  • December, We're most proud of this CU uniform
  • November, From python hearts to Tebow's cleats
  • October, We want you
  • September, How to succeed at college and save $20,000
  • August, Reputation drives results
  • July, Teaching an old president new tricks
  • June, A message from the president
  • April, CU announces $1.5 billion Creating Futures campaign
  • February