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March 2015

Universitywide News

Shared Services Center begins to take shape

(March 31, 2015) Progress has been made on several fronts to get the new Shared Services Center up and running. The idea for the new entity came out of work done in 2014 by a committee of staff and faculty members charged with developing recommendations for enhancing and expanding the University’s business services. Recommendations were endorsed to move forward by senior administration last fall.

Chris Bennett, who was named director of Shared Services in January, provides the following update.


Shared Services will include three main groups responsible for transactional functions in the finance, procurement and human resources areas of the University. Two leadership positions have been filled by employees currently doing the work, Shaunda Norman for HR and Bob McVeigh for procurement. An internal search is underway for the finance group leader position; as an internal only posting, you must log into PioneerWeb to view this position.

Other employees whose current work will be part of Shared Services are:

  • HR: Elizabeth Cha, Sarah Childs, Julia Nelson and Kenny Jenkins
  • Payroll: Pat Kavanagh, Carol Montealegre and Margaret Shoup
  • Controller’s office: Tami Nickell and Nikki Bosch
  • Business Services: Tanya Avakian, Mary Freeman, Ben Foster, Ces Grant, Ed Henderson, Kymbella Hill, Marissa Mundy, Katy Stump and Dave Wiley

Ultimately, Shared Services is expected have just under 30 employees in total. Once the finance group leader is in place—expected to be late April to early May—the team will move forward with finalizing additional staffing needs and posting jobs for what could be up to eight new positions.

Office Space

As shared with the University community in January, current plans call for the Shared Services Center to be located on the south end of campus in a building currently occupied primarily by Business Services that includes a warehouse. Work is underway to find a new location for the warehouse and certain Business Services operations not becoming part of Shared Services (such as Mail Services). Once that piece of the puzzle is solved, the building will be renovated to become the permanent home for the Shared Services Center.

In the interim, to ensure Shared Services gets up and running as soon as possible, the team will be located in temporary leased space off campus. Details on the move to the temporary space will be communicated later this spring once plans are finalized.

Process Enhancements

Several projects are underway and in the exploration phase to streamline and automate various functions involved in HR transactions, time and attendance reporting and travel and expense reporting, as well as to increase process efficiency within the procurement functions. Look for future updates in DU Digest on each of these projects.

To get a general overview of projects underway, as well as more details on progress with staffing and office space, log in to Portfolio and search for the “Shared Services Initiative” site; from there, see the PDF file under “Latest News and Updates.”

U.S. Bank in the Driscoll Center

(March 31, 2015) Did you know that U.S. Bank has a full-service branch inside the Driscoll Center? Open a new personal checking account before April 30, 2015 and earn $100. Learn more at the branch located outside of the bookstore on the south side of the Driscoll Center. Bank hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Imagine DU: Shape of Knowledge open houses

Wednesday, April 1, 10-11 a.m. – Anderson Academic Commons Special Events Room

Thursday, April 2, 5-6 p.m. – Anderson Academic Commons Special Events Room

DU is in the midst of a community-wide, imaginative process to determine transformative directions that will guide our development over the next decade. Three working groups of faculty, staff and students are charged with consulting broadly in our community to hear your vision for our future. 

The members of the Shape of Knowledge working group are hosting two open houses for faculty and staff to take part in the consultation process for Imagine DU. This group is tasked with exploring the changes in knowledge, research and teaching. During the open house we want you to think boldly and creatively about how what we do in and outside classrooms, seminar rooms and labs and throughout our larger community might change in the next 10 to 15 years and how the University can best address those changes.

If you are interested in participating in this conversation, please select one of these sessions and RSVP here.

For more information about the planning process, including a video from Chancellor Chopp, please visit

New to the neighborhood and need a residential parking permit?

(March 24, 2015) Now you can apply online! Save yourself a trip downtown and visit for more information on the program and what you need to apply for a permit. 

UTS rolls out Microsoft Office 365

(March 24, 2015) DU has contracted to use Microsoft Office 365 and will begin rolling it out to students in late March and faculty and staff before the end of the academic spring quarter. With Office 365, you will receive one TB of cloud storage, five downloads of the most recent version of Office for Mac or Windows PCs, and the ability to create and edit Microsoft Office documents in a web browser. Document sharing allows multiple people to edit a document at the same time! Stay tuned for further information, and visit for more information.

Strategic Planning: Engaging Community town hall

Tuesday, March 24, 4-5 p.m. – Anderson Academic Commons, Special Events Room

Even as the University dreams big with its Imagine DU process (including over 80 meetings with over 900 members of the community), we are preparing to take specific actions in 2015 to improve the DU community. You may now read the four Engaging Community task force reports as well as the University’s specific action plan to address their recommendation.

There will be a communitywide town hall with Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, Provost Gregg Kvistad and members of each task force on Tuesday, March 24 to discuss the reports and the action plan. Please RSVP here if you are able to attend. Otherwise, you are encouraged to share your feedback online.

Head of Denver Foundation to start new institute for philanthropy at DU

Denver Foundation CEO David Miller will start the Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise at the University of Denver.(March 17, 2015) After 19 years as president and CEO of the Denver Foundation, David Miller has announced he will depart his position at the end of 2015 to start the new Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise, which is scheduled to open at the University of Denver in 2016.





Now boarding for School Days Off Spring Break!

(March 17, 2015) Did you know that as a DU employee you receive a 10 percent discount on the Ritchie Center’s School Days Off program? School Days Off provides an active program for kids ages 5-11 on days when local schools are out of session and includes activities throughout the Ritchie Center. This spring break, participants will travel the world with their Ritchie Center Passport and enjoy themed sport activities in a different country each day. Spring Break weeks include March 23-27 and March 30-April 3. Registration is now available online, by phone at 303-871-3908, or in person at the Ritchie Center. When registering, use the code FACSTA15 to receive your discount.

2015 William T. Driscoll Master Educator Award: Call for nominations

(March 17, 2015) The William T. Driscoll Master Educator Award is given annually to a faculty or staff member for excellence in teaching and/or mentoring students inside and/or outside the classroom. All current faculty and staff, regardless of academic rank or title, who are in good standing with the University are eligible to be nominated. The recipient of the award will be announced at the Pioneer Award Ceremony to be held on May 13, 2015. Make your nomination. Nominations will be accepted through the close of business on Friday, April 3. For additional information contact John Nichols, director, William T. Driscoll Student Center, 303-871-3864 or

Founders Day: Dan Ritchie urges DU community to reimagine its future

Dan Ritchie looked back on his days as DU chancellor during a “fireside chat” with Chancellor Rebecca Chopp at the Founders Day gala Thursday. Photo: Paul Docktor(March 17, 2015) As the University of Denver begins to imagine its near future via a strategic planning process named Imagine DU, Chancellor Emeritus Dan Ritchie stood on stage at this year’s Founders Day gala and looked back at another period of reinvention.



Be a B.O.S.S.

(March 10, 2015) All members of our community can be leaders when it comes to supporting survivors of gender violence. Check out how these student leaders believe, support and listen to their friends.

BOSS ScotieScotie Rowland  is a fourth-year student at the University of Denver, studying sociology, gender and women's studies, and Leadership Studies. Outside of the classroom, he is involved with the Pioneer Leadership Program, the DU Programming Board, Beta Theta Pi fraternity and club ultimate frisbee. Scotie also is the co-chair of the Student Coalition for the Eradication of Sexual Assault (SCESA). 

Scotie believes that gender violence is an incredibly serious issue that too often gets minimized, or worse, gets silenced. It is incredibly important to talk about gender violence and support survivors because of the emotional and physical weight survivors are uninvitingly facing. The more we begin speaking and listening about this difficult topic, the more we will begin to understand preventing such acts from plaguing our college campuses and larger society. Scotie notes that whether we are aware of it or not, all of us likely know a survivor of gender violence or sexual assault, and it is important to open our hearts and ears to them. 

BOSS AlejandroAlejandro Garcia Fernandez  is a third-year at the University of Denver studying hospitality management, communication studies and psychology. Last year, he was on senate as the senator for the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management and this year he is one of the two on-campus senators for Undergraduate Student Government. For the past two years, he has served as the chair of the Diversity Committee, which consists of about 40 undergraduate students working to build a more inclusive campus climate. Last year, Alejandro had the honor of being the recipient of the undergraduate Champion of Change award at the Diversity Summit.

Outside of senate, Alejandro is involved in several other groups in which Inclusive Excellence is critically engaged: the Queer Student Alliance, Latino Student Alliance, The Spark: An Impetus for Inclusivity and he is the desk manager of Nagel Hall among other activities. Most recently, Alejandro is serving as a member of the University's strategic planning task force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Excellence. He wants to one day be a professor and an administrator at a university in hopes of working for the values of inclusivity and celebrating diversity.

Alejandro believes that supporting survivors of gender violence is important because being an ally is one of the most powerful actions one can take. We must support one another and bring awareness to the issue in order to bring about social justice. Gender inequality exists and, as a community, we must take action to bring it to an end and to make a change. Survivors of gender violence need to know that people – people from many different backgrounds and with a wide array of social identities – are here to help and to provide endless support.

Message from the chancellor: DU community serves the public good through volunteer and service learning commitment

(March 10, 2015) Our University is in the midst of a strategic planning process to determine how we can best fulfill our mission while meeting the challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities of a changing landscape in higher education, the nation and the world.


Be a B.O.S.S.

(March 3, 2015) All members of our community can be leaders when it comes to supporting survivors of gender violence. Check out how these student leaders believe, support and listen to their friends.

BOSS 9  Sable Sable Schultz is a 14-year Colorado resident and currently working on her master’s degree in higher education, with a concentration in diversity and higher education. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she double majored in psychology and journalism with a concentration in public relations. During her undergrad, Sable worked in the Auraria Campus GLBT Student Services office, where she developed passion for programming; student development, access and equity; and social justice work. After graduation, she worked with The BACCHUS Network, the Movement Advancement Project (MAP) and the Mental Hea lth Center of Denver (MHCD) before pursuing her master’s degree. Sable is an Inclusive Excellence Fellow at the Center for Multicultural Excellence, where she assists in supporting the Women’s Coalition and organizing the annual Women’s Conference. Sable is currently the vice president for the DU Higher Education Student Association (HESA).

BOSS 9 Kat

Kat Kovacs  is a second year at the University of Denver and is a double major in psychology and sociology. She studies humans—how we behave, interact, conceptualize and evaluate our own realities. Through studying humans, it became undeniably apparent for Kat that injustices exist and are far spread. Kat is in the social justice Living and Learning Community (LLC), and through this program she was able to learn about the many facets of these injustices. This LLC provided her with the opportunities to be a part of many organizations on campus: the Interfaith Advocates, Social Justice Task Force and National Residence Hall Honorary. 

Kat’s social justice background has primed her to be aware of trials different groups face based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. On the topic of gender, Kat believes it is crucial we support survivors of gender-based violence because to ignore one person’s pain would be to ignore the systemic issue at hand. The only way to begin to tackle this obstacle is to recognize and validate that the survivors are indeed survivors. After personally witnessing the suffering and vulnerability that can stem from this type of violence, Kat believes she has no other choice but to speak up. 

Imagine DU – Creating our Future Together

Imagine DU

(March 3, 2015) In the coming weeks, you will begin to see Imagine DU all around campus. This is a call to action—for all of us to begin thinking about our future together. Get started by visiting the Imagine DU website:

In case you missed it: Denver Post’s Progress Colorado features University of Denver

(March 3, 2015) Community service impacts Colorado economy, leads to employment opportunities for University of Denver students.


University names speakers for spring Commencement ceremonies

(March 3, 2015) Michael Bennet, United States senator for Colorado, will deliver the spring undergraduate Commencement address on Saturday, June 6, and Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, will deliver the 2014 spring graduate Commencement address on Friday, June 5. Ken Salazar, former secretary of the interior, will speak at the Sturm College of Law Commencement on Saturday, May 16.