Whether or not Todd Saliman knew it prior to now or not, his profession path helped information him to precisely the place he sits at present — because the president of the College of Colorado’s four-campus system.
Even after he was named interim president of CU in June 2021, Saliman wasn’t all the time positive he wished to use for the everlasting place. However those that have labored with Saliman all through the course of his evolving profession acknowledged the connection between his expertise and what was wanted in CU’s subsequent president.
“(Saliman) is aware of how you can do the work and the imaginative and prescient,” mentioned Tanya Mares Kelly-Bowry, CU’s former vice chairman for presidency relations. “Often when you’ve a numbers man, they’re not visionary. I believe that’s the nice management he’ll convey to CU. I’m excited to see the place we’re going within the subsequent few years.”
Saliman, 55, who graduated from CU Boulder in 1989, did finally change his thoughts and tossed his hat within the ring to run for the president place and was unanimously chosen by the College of Colorado Board of Regents to be the subsequent chief earlier this 12 months.
Now all the pieces has come full circle, mentioned Kelly-Bowry, who has labored with Saliman in numerous capacities for about 30 years.
“Once I turned the youngest Hispanic vice chairman within the historical past of CU, Todd Saliman was one of many guys who helped persuade my higher-ups that they might promote me as each a girl and a girl of shade,” Kelly-Bowry mentioned. “He has all the time had an extended monitor report of engaged on range points and supporting ladies in highly effective positions.”
Kelly-Bowry mentioned she has labored with seven CU presidents, however not one has had the monetary information that Saliman has.
“He is aware of the ins and out, and he is aware of the cash, and I believe that makes him a vital asset in his function,” Kelly-Bowry mentioned.
Earlier than Saliman took the reins as interim president and now president, CU and the Board of Regents created a strategic plan with former President Mark Kennedy who left the place July 1, 2021, after he did not reveal management in range, fairness and inclusion and shared governance.
Now that Saliman has taken over as president, Lesley Smith, chair of the CU Board of Regents, mentioned she appears to be like ahead to choosing up that work once more and tackling strategic plan objectives with Saliman.
“As interim president, (Saliman) had some concepts, and now we are able to transfer ahead full throttle with these concepts,” she mentioned. “I really feel like that the board is in settlement on these objectives, and we’re prepared to maneuver ahead with Todd.”
CU’s strategic plan is constructed on 4 pillars: affordability and pupil success; discovery and affect; range, fairness, inclusion (DEI) and entry; and financial energy.
Saliman has used these 4 pillars as a information for the work he desires to do. Thus far, he’s created 5 precedence “buckets” that can information him together with his work. They’re pupil success, educating and schooling; reflecting the range of Colorado; analysis and artistic work; serving the group of Colorado and connecting to the group of Colorado; and assembly the well being care wants of Colorado whereas additionally addressing the state’s well being care workforce wants.
Saliman has already made headway on a few of his high priorities comparable to work to enhance pupil retention and commencement charges, he mentioned.
He accepted funds for CU Boulder’s new residential program that can home all first-year incoming engineering college students at Williams Village beginning in fall 2023. It value $5.5 million to renovate Williams Village for future engineering college students. The funds are being pulled from the college’s funding earnings, mentioned Ken McConnellogue, spokesperson for the CU System.
As well as, Saliman additionally labored with the system to allocate about $37 million towards supporting CU Boulder with its work to develop scholarships for first-generation college students and improve scholarships for switch college students.
“We are attempting to implement very actual issues to assist enhance retention and commencement charges,” Saliman mentioned. “The retention and commencement price at CU Boulder is bettering due to issues like that.”
Placing his expertise to work
Saliman joined CU in 2011 because the college’s senior vice chairman for technique, authorities relations and chief monetary officer.
Throughout that point, CU Boulder Chief Working Officer Pat O’Rourke mentioned he noticed how Saliman was ready to make use of his understanding and information of fiscal coverage from his increased schooling background and his work in politics to bolster the college.
“I don’t assume that there’s anybody in Colorado who has a greater understanding of fiscal coverage,” O’Rourke mentioned of Saliman. “He’s actually great at having the ability to determine alternatives, and you actually noticed that come collectively when Todd labored with all increased schooling establishments throughout the state to have the ability to provide you with a funding components.”
Saliman’s effort to work with different increased schooling establishments in Colorado resulted in lawmakers approving a few 11.4% improve in funding for increased schooling this 12 months. That improve, coupled with tuition will increase and a projected enrollment improve, allowed the Board of Regents to approve raises for nonclassified employees and college merit-based will increase starting in January.
“He’s all the time going to be interested by collaborations and partnerships that won’t simply make us higher, however hopefully will make the state stronger,” O’Rourke mentioned.
Working along with not simply different increased schooling establishments however state lawmakers has been one in all Saliman’s longtime priorities, he mentioned. Whereas working with the Legislature, Saliman has made it a degree to debate CU’s complete largest expense: compensation.
“We all know that we dwell in a aggressive atmosphere the place individuals have choices,” Saliman mentioned. “We wish to retain our college and employees. They’re those that do the work. They’re those that educate our college students and supply our college students providers day-after-day.”
O’Rourke mentioned Saliman additionally understands how you can work with the campuses each individually and collectively in an effort to assist the college accomplish its objectives whereas additionally assembly the state’s wants.
“Todd will probably be actually nice at having the ability to work with the campuses and the Board of Regents with out attempting to jam us into ‘his imaginative and prescient.’” O’Rourke mentioned. “I believe he desires to have the ability to unlock the instruments that can permit every campus to achieve success, however they’re going to chart their very own path.”
Answering the decision
A current range, fairness and inclusion survey produced a number of knowledge and is now main the way in which for work at every of CU’s campuses.
With the Campus and Office Tradition survey in hand, every campus now has a roadmap to start addressing its shortfalls, Saliman mentioned. Though the person campuses will meet with teams or departments to implement adjustments, he mentioned he additionally acknowledges the significance of listening to from the people on the bottom.
“This spring I visited every campus, and I met with a pupil group, a school group and a DEI group,” he mentioned. “I talked to them precisely about this stuff — about what goes nicely and what they thought wanted to alter, and I’m going to return this spring to do this once more.”
Saliman has additionally devoted himself to outreach and engagement work, which he’ll use to assist entice individuals from rural components of the state to CU, he mentioned.
“Our campuses are massive and may be fairly totally different from a rural group, however now we have loads to supply to each individual on this state and to each group on this state,” he mentioned.
Over the previous few years, the Benson Middle for the Examine of Western Civilization had been extensively criticized for its affiliation with John Eastman, who served as its visiting professor whereas making unproven claims of widespread election fraud at former President Donald Trump’s Jan. 6, 2021, rally in Washington.
Since then, Denver group New Period Colorado has created a petition calling for the middle’s dissolution, saying it promotes a “white supremacy tradition.”
However Saliman mentioned Eastman must be separated from the middle and its work.
“I believe it’s essential to separate his appalling habits from the work that the Benson Middle does day-after-day to foster an atmosphere the place we are able to hear totally different opinions on the campus,” he mentioned.
Saliman mentioned sustaining conservative thought on campus is one other method CU Boulder can proceed to meet its DEI objectives.
“I believe the Benson Middle has an essential function in being part of that discussion board for numerous communication on the campus the place we hear from all views,” he mentioned. “There isn’t any method we as a society can transfer ahead throughout tough instances if we are able to’t discover a option to hear and listen to one another, and I believe they’re a part of that.”
Though Saliman acknowledges every campus has a methods to go to meet its DEI objectives, one college member has taken discover of his efforts to this point to stick to his promise.
When CU launched its strategic plan, Jennifer Ho, director for CU Boulder’s Middle for the Humanities and Arts, learn by means of it. With a background in range, fairness, inclusion and entry — she targeted on the third pillar — DEI.
Ho realized the one racial group lacking from virtually each campus report was Asian Individuals.
“Solely Colorado Springs listed Asian Individuals,” Ho mentioned. “Denver listed Pacific Islanders. I believe Anschutz does the identical factor — they miss Asian Individuals — however they listing Pacific Islanders.”
If all Asian Individuals are lumped collectively, the group is overrepresented at increased schooling establishments within the U.S., however what the strategic plan did not do was desegregate the racial group, Ho mentioned.
“It leaves out actually important teams of Asian Individuals which might be very a lot underrepresented in increased schooling,” Ho mentioned. “It leaves southeast Asians from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos –, and it doesn’t embody the variety of Pakistani Individuals.”
Moderately than flip to Twitter — her traditional medium to share her ideas — Ho determined to ship then-interim President Saliman an e mail. She additionally included CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano, CU Boulder Provost Russell Moore and CU Boulder COO O’Rourke.
Ho despatched the e-mail on a Friday and by Tuesday, O’Rourke had replied, assuring her that Saliman would get the e-mail. That following Thursday, Ho was on a digital assembly with Saliman, she mentioned.
“I totally anticipated (Saliman) to say, ‘This didn’t occur below my watch, however there’s nothing we are able to do about it now,’” Ho mentioned. “Inside like two or three minutes, he was like, ‘We’re going to change the strategic plan.’ I used to be at UNC (College of North Carolina) Chapel Hill for years — this might by no means have occurred.”
Ho mentioned she provides credit score to Saliman for taking the time to satisfy along with her and for making the adjustments.
“He’s not working on his personal ego,” Ho mentioned. “He’s really open to suggestions. He mentioned, ‘I’m completely embarrassed and actually sorry.’”