To the Board of Regents:
I have spoken many times about my view of principled leadership. It has become clear to me that, amid the serious matters the University of Colorado now confronts, my role as the leader of the University has become an issue. It appears to me it is in the University's best interest that I remove the issue of my future from the debate so that nothing inhibits CU's ability to successfully create the bright future it so deserves.
Therefore, I intend to resign my position as President of the University of Colorado effective June 30, 2005 or whenever the Board names a successor.
This decision enables me to continue to be an advocate for quality public higher education in the State of Colorado and to work even more closely with the Board to resolve the very serious budget matters currently before the state legislature, to resolve the Ward Churchill matter, and to attend to the pending Title IX trial. It further enables us to oversee the first full year of the reforms we implemented regarding the Athletics Department, football recruiting and our alcohol and sexual conduct programs. It also provides time for the Regents and the University to make as orderly and seamless a leadership transition as possible.
I do not take this step lightly or hastily. I love CU. I have given it my heart and soul these past five years. I deeply appreciate the enormous support and assistance I have received from the students, faculty, administrators, legislature and the larger CU community.
The controversies we have confronted in the past year have helped clarify a set of values and principles I think are vitally important for the University's future. They are values and principles I personally hold dear. They include:
-- Respect for the individual;
-- Protection of free speech and academic freedom;
-- Fiscal, academic, and behavioral responsibility and accountability;
-- Acting in the best interest of the University, no matter what the pressures;
-- Maintenance of an elected Board of Regents to provide a buffer against the abuse of power;
-- Creation of a vibrant, well-supported public higher education system, because public education is one of the most important sources of upward mobility in our society, providing opportunity for young people of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds.
To that end, the larger CU agenda is quite clear, and I urge the Regents and my successors to continue to pursue it vigorously. It requires ensuring the financial health of the University; creating and maintaining an environment that is welcoming, tolerant and supportive of all students; stimulating learning, academic excellence and increasing the number of areas in which CU is a true academic leader; maintaining the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior; and rebuilding CU's reputation as the outstanding university that it is.
It has been my honor and privilege to serve as President of the University of Colorado. We have accomplished great things, the controversies of the past year notwithstanding. Among them are the creation of the Coleman Institute and the molecular biotechnology initiative, the rapid growth of the Fitzsimons campus, gaining enterprise status for CU and all of higher education, consolidation of the Denver and Health Sciences campuses, strengthening the future of the Colorado Springs campus, and creating one of the most productive technology transfer programs in the country. During that time, two faculty members have won Nobel Prizes, four have been awarded MacArthur Genius Awards, and annual research productivity has increased by $100 million.
Of these achievements we should all be proud.
I thank you deeply for your past support, and wish CU nothing but the best and brightest future.
/s/ Elizabeth Hoffman