"Today, we are beginning an academic year unlike any we’ve ever experienced at UCCS." — Chancellor Venkat Reddy


Dear students,

Welcome to a historic fall semester.

Today, you and your classmates are beginning an academic year unlike any we’ve ever experienced at UCCS. In some ways, it is simply exciting to be back. It brought me real joy to see our new students moving into their residence halls last week, getting to know each other at Clyde’s Kickoff events and heading to the first day of their GPS classes.

But I recognize that for many of our students, the uncertainty of the present moment overshadows the joy of the new semester. Whether you are a first-year student or a doctoral candidate, this is not the academic experience you envisioned. Life at UCCS, in Colorado and across the world, is different than it used to be.

In line with our culture of caring, and thanks to the efforts of hundreds of UCCS faculty, staff and student leaders, as well as CU system leadership, we have prepared as best as possible for a safe return to the fall semester.

Guided by the best public health protocols available, we’ve established health and safety measures for the entire campus – including face coverings, social distancing, contact tracing and testing for potential COVID cases. We are in constant contact with our state and county public health officials. And we will remain responsive to evolving health and safety requirements.

But in large part, the success of our fall semester rests on you.

We have already seen highly regarded schools move back to remote learning in a matter of days after reopening. At UCCS, you have a critical role to play: keeping our community safe.

If you are spending time on campus, you must stand up for the behavior you know is right and speak out against the behavior you know is wrong. Wear your face covering. Watch your distance. Complete your daily wellness check before spending time on campus. Be an example to your friends and colleagues. You have the opportunity to prove UCCS to be the exception rather than the rule. Collectively, as a student body, you can determine the success of the fall semester.

As I’ve walked campus this week, I’ve spoken with our students and seen the vast majority of you following health and safety protocols. I’m proud of you. We can do this.

In fact, even in the midst of a pandemic, there are still many reasons to be hopeful. Today marks the grand opening of our state-of-the-art William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center – which represents the future of UCCS and of Colorado Springs. We have put our 2020-2030 Strategic Plan into motion, and we are making progress on our long-term goals. We are celebrating new research achievements and new members of our faculty body.

Above all, I am hopeful because I know the character of our students. You are a special group of individuals. You are caring, committed to your community and laser-focused on the future. I know you will continue to do UCCS proud this semester.

Remember to practice patience and compassion – not only with those around you, but also with yourself. Don’t hesitate to reach out for the resources you need for your wellbeing, whether they are for your physical or mental health.

Things are different this semester, but many remain the same. We are dedicated to high-quality academics. We are committed to respect, compassion, safety, excellence and strengthening diversity and inclusion in our campus community.

Most importantly, we are still a Mountain Lion Family. We will care for each other, support each other and be there for each other, no matter what. Together, we will get through this, stronger and better than ever before.

Wishing you the very best, 

Chancellor Venkat Reddy's Signature
Venkat Reddy
UCCS Chancellor