Alvin Rivera: All Colorado students should have access to CU higher education | SteamboatToday.com

Alvin Rivera: All Colorado students should have access to CU higher education

Institutional change is good. It revitalizes the soul of the institution and provides refreshing ideas and often new direction. With the resignation of current University of Colorado President Bruce Benton, effective July 2019, the CU system will likely undergo such a change. As a member of the Board of Regents, I look forward to participating in this process by utilizing my experience with higher education policy and my strong advocacy for the CU system.

As a graduate of CU Boulder with a Ph.D. in higher education administration, I have been an active contributor to CU over the years and an advocate for the system with students and citizens in my region.

In 2013, the staff of President Benton recognized my contributions to CU by selecting me as the first CU Advocate of the Year. CU Connections, a publication for faculty and staff, reported, "Benson recognized Rivera for the enthusiasm, passion and action he brings to his role as a CU Advocate."

Alvin Rivera

In addition, the university recognized my work with the CU Government Relations team to "build support from elected officials on bills important to CU … and an event (in Pueblo) welcoming incoming CU students." These Pueblo events are now in their sixth year, and I have encouraged the CU staff to do so in other rural communities, inspiring a similar event in Grand Junction.

The history of my contributions to the four CU campuses and CU Boulder endowment have been well documented. As a frequent contributor to CU over the years, I am "paying back" the federal government, the state of Colorado, the Veteran Administration and other sources that supported me financially through four Colorado college degrees.

On the broader issues of institutional change, I strongly support the following:

  • CU must come face-to-face with the high cost of a CU education to students and their families. New avenues must be explored to change this deplorable costly situation. Many families have come to believe that the cost of a CU education is beyond their reach.
  • Not enough is being done by the CU system to serve rural Colorado. CU has enormous educational resources, and too little effort is being extended to southern and western Colorado. It is the obligation of the CU regents to insure that all Colorado students who are prepared to enter post-secondary education have access to CU higher education.
  • Research and development activities should remain a priority on all CU Campuses. CU has been a leader in research and development for Colorado, and those efforts need to persist for CU to continue to impact the quality of life in Colorado. Efforts need to be multiplied at the Anschutz campus to ensure funding of their stellar work in many areas. A new CU President could provide new vision, direction and renewed energies for Anschutz. At the same time, I would like to see greater efforts in developing industrial partnerships and more meaningful collaboration with other Colorado colleges and universities.
  • All CU campuses need to continue to ensure high-quality undergraduate and graduate instruction. As a regent, I will continue to support CU's leadership in preparing its graduates to meet the future economic needs of our state and the universities' accountability to Colorado citizens. I will insist on this standard of excellence.

Successful institutional change requires strong leadership. My history of advocacy to improve educational accessibility in southern Colorado demonstrates my fitness to serve. With your support in November, I will be a CU regent for all of Colorado.

Alvin Rivera

University of Colorado regent District 3 Democratic candidate

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