July Campus Updates


Dear members of the UCCS community,

We are well into summer, and I hope you are taking time to recharge before the beginning of the fall semester. 

Once again in lieu of our monthly virtual Town Hall, here are a few updates from across campus and the CU system. We will resume our virtual town halls starting in August. 


Lifting the face covering executive order

As you know from a visit to your local grocery store or movie theater, face coverings and social distancing are no longer required for vaccinated individuals. Furthermore, Governor Jared Polis recently ended the remaining health emergency executive orders that have guided the state since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In light of this change, and thanks to the strong vaccination rate in our community, I have rescinded my campus executive directive related to face coverings. Effective immediately, we will no longer require face coverings on our campus — including in offices and classrooms — for vaccinated individuals.  

Unvaccinated individuals are still required to wear face coverings in all indoor settings. Please remember that departments and classes cannot create their own rules around face coverings on campus.  

If you have not received a vaccination but plan to receive one, please do so as soon as possible. In addition to multiple opportunities around the community, free on-campus vaccines are available at the UCCS Wellness Center. The next clinic is on July 21 from 11 a.m. – noon. Use this link to register for your first or second dose of the Moderna vaccine. 


Attestation process

Students, faculty and staff are now able to respond to the COVID-19 vaccine attestation. In an effort to gauge progress toward campus herd immunity, UCCS will require all students, faculty and staff to respond to the UCCS vaccination attestation. We are working towards a 100 percent attestation response rate to determine whether our community will have reached herd immunity, and your response is critical for our planning for the new semester. 

Should the attestation reflect a 70 percent or higher vaccination rate among our campus community, we will be able to move into the more relaxed “Protect the Pride” phase of our summer and fall planning, which means: 

  • All classrooms will be at full capacity.  

  • Research areas and labs will be at full capacity.  

  • Instructional modes will be as scheduled, which is primarily in-person.   

  • The majority of events, services and public spaces (including the Kraemer Family Library) will operate at full capacity.    

  • Contact tracing and testing will continue for known exposures among UCCS’ unvaccinated population.   

Faculty and staff, please submit your response. Students should use the unique email sent to them by the Wellness Center. Frequently asked questions are available online.  


Leadership updates

This summer and fall, we will be hard at work identifying several new campus leaders.  

Earlier this week, I announced that the Provost search committee reconvened last month to continue the search for UCCS’ next chief academic officer. The 15-person committee, with assistance from Parker Executive Search, will work to bring candidates to campus in November 2021.

As I announced earlier this month, the charge meeting for the Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion search will take place in late July. The first round of interviews will be scheduled to take place in late September, with finalist interviews anticipated to take place in mid-October.  

We have also restructured the Department of Human Resources, which will now report to Harper Johnson, with the revised title of Assistant Vice Chancellor of Information Technology and Human Resources. 

Finally, the search committee for the new Executive Director of the Ent Center for the Arts received its charge on July 1. The search committee is chaired by Chad Garland, interim senior director of the University Center and the Ent Center for the Arts. 

Your participation in these searches is deeply appreciated. Please keep an eye out for opportunities to meet the candidates and offer feedback. 

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Kennedy, former president of the CU system, for his service over the past two years, and welcome Interim President Todd Saliman, who assumed his new role on July 1.


Welcome, new Mountain Lions!

We have a number of new faces on campus as well as Mountain Lions who are serving in new roles.  

First, I’d like to thank David Weiss, Alex Baker and Aidan Meadows, the outgoing presidents of Faculty Assembly, Staff Association and the Student Government Association. These individuals took on extraordinary leadership responsibilities for shared governance during the COVID-19 era. I’d also like to welcome David Moon, Sarah Long and Emily Gregory, our new shared governance presidents. I look forward to working with them in the coming year. 

In addition, Mary Coussons-Read, Professor of Psychology, recently started as the new chair of the University of Colorado Faculty Council.  

We also have several new campus leaders. Whitley Hadley '13 has been named the new Director of MOSAIC and the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, and Kimberly Guyer has joined us as UCCS’ new Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. I hope you will welcome them both to campus in their new roles. 

And finally, I’d like to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for former Provost Tom Christensen, who returned to faculty after four years as UCCS’ chief academic officer, and welcome Kelli Klebe, Dean of the Graduate School, who assumed the role of Interim Provost on July 1.  


One-time, non-base building payment

Finally, as a reminder, faculty and university staff will receive a one-time, non-base building payment on their July 30 paychecks. Eligible employees include regular faculty and university staff who have an active appointment as of July 1, 2021.  

As approved by the Colorado legislature, classified staff employees received a three percent across-the-board base-building merit increase effective July 1, 2021.  

It’s with gratitude and recognition of your efforts during the COVID-19 era that campus is providing these payments. You may learn more and see frequently asked questions online


We have much to celebrate this summer. In our first community-focused campus event since last March, we were finally able to celebrate Margaret Sabin, the 2020 Karen Possehl Women’s Endowment Unstoppable Woman. This month, we are honored to award Phil and Ann Winslow with the Lifetime Entrepreneurship Award in recognition not just of their entrepreneurial legacy, but also for supporting four life-changing scholarship programs for UCCS students. And of course, we will soon celebrate a return to on-campus events, collaboration and community that make UCCS so special. 

Thank you for everything you do to keep us Mountain Lion Strong. 



Chancellor Venkat Reddy's Signature
Venkat Reddy
UCCS Chancellor