Dear Colleagues –

As we head into our first true three-day Labor Day weekend, I wanted to thank you for all that you do to make Mines one of the most respected and proudest universities in the world. Our campus is a beautiful, vibrant, creative and supportive place to live, learn, work and play because of you. Visitors frequently comment on the beauty of the landscaping, the condition of the buildings and other facilities, the friendliness of the staff, faculty and students they meet, and that they sense a different vibe than on other campuses they visit. This is all because of you – from our facilities teams, to our staff and faculty, and our thousands of student workers.

It was great to see many of you at the campus conference. If you were unable to attend, presentations and workshop summaries are attached here: My presentation reflects a synthesis of all of the input the Mines community gave me at lunches, dinners, tours, trips and sidewalk talks.

We have a lot to be proud of. We also have a lot to accomplish if we are going to be the Mines we aspire to be by the time we celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2024. We will be having conversations about our core values, aspirations, strategic plan, priority initiatives, university design, and ways we hope to inspire, support and put the spotlight on new ideas and initiatives aligned with these.

We are having our three-day Labor Day weekend in part because of the family-friendly initiatives you helped shape, and which have for the most part been enacted. My interest was initially triggered by a discussion at last year’s campus BBQ with a friendly staff member who sat down to talk to the nervous new president. With your help and participation, we were able to work out the logistics needed to shift the M Climb, start of classes, and other long-fixed calendar components to make it work, and we even worked Martin Luther King Day into our calendar as a result of the same discussion. I mention this example to highlight that we value life balance at Mines, are always listening for good suggestions and ideas, and that change can be good. 🙂

In closing, I want to wish you and your families a very Happy Labor Day. It will be a busy weekend here on campus with Mines Athletics in full force. I will be sharing thoughts on the other topics above in the coming weeks. As you have suggestions and ideas for making Mines great, please feel free to share with colleagues and pass them along.

Go Orediggers!

Paul C. Johnson, PhD
Professor & President
Colorado School of Mines