Academics, Avalanches and Alchemy in Leadville Today
CMC: Expanding for Impact
By Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, CMC President
Recently, I received my first COVID-19 vaccination. As the nurse who administered my shot – a Colorado Mountain College nursing program graduate – placed a small bandage on the injection site, I was once again energized by the contributions CMC makes to our state. This “shot in the arm” was both cause for optimism and a symbolic reminder that many challenges still lie ahead.
While it has been an exhausting year, it has also been inspiring and transformational. Ever since the pandemic rocked our world in March 2020, our team never missed an opportunity to make the dream of college a reality for students enrolled at CMC’s 11 campuses and online.
We worked nearly nonstop to gather facts, plan, innovate, communicate and implement strategies – all while maintaining an operation and facilities that support over 15,000 learners and nearly 2,000 employees without interruption.
Mere days after the Governor’s stay-at-home-order, we launched CMC Responds, a major initiative to provide local businesses with no-cost consulting and free summer tuition for thousands of students whose lives were disrupted by an economic nose-dive. Our employees and students agreed to practice the Five Commitments to Containment, which resulted in very few COVID-related incidents on our campuses.
This spring, CMC has offered more than 1,000 courses online or in a flex format, while safely delivering select classes in-person. Facing a devastating recession, we were still able to secure several multi-million dollar grants, reinvesting them locally to make CMC even more accessible to learners in rural Western Slope communities.
I could not be prouder of our faculty and staff for their resilience and going above and beyond to maintain continuity of CMC services in new and creative ways. And, their efforts paid off. We are on track to graduate the largest class of students in CMC’s history this May.
So, Where Do We Go from Here?
It will take more hard work, thinking differently about how we relate to each other and avoiding a “return to normal” that reinforces cultural divisions in our society. It means exploiting what this massive disruption taught us and using that information to more effectively reach all students.
And, by “all students,” I mean every individual who could benefit from CMC irrespective of income, age, gender, background or political beliefs and especially those marginalized by an unforgiving and rapidly-changing economy.
Colleges across the country articulate commitments to diversity and inclusivity. Noteworthy progress has certainly been made at CMC. The 15-point achievement gap between Hispanic and majority students when I arrived in 2013 is gone. The college’s senior leadership team is nearly equally gender-balanced. I’m approaching eight years of service as the institution’s second female president.
While these are milestones to celebrate, the pandemic intensified barriers to college in our high-cost mountain towns. The lack of affordable housing, food insecurity and inadequate mental health services add great pressures to existing and aspiring CMC students.
Additionally, segments of the public remain dubious about the value of college. The pandemic’s heavy economic toll only reinforces their doubts. While higher education has become more open and accessible to a broader range of individuals, a renewed and charged perception that it is “elitist” has some students and families choosing to bypass its benefits. Better understanding and addressing this unfortunate narrative will be critical, especially for an open-access institution that prides itself on welcoming everyone.
So, considering the challenges that will remain post-pandemic, we must recommit ourselves to finding and serving those still excluded from higher education.
Meet the Staff & Faculty of CMC Leadville!
CMC’s vision statement begins with these words: “We aspire to be the most inclusive, innovative, and student-centered college in the nation…”
While this important phrase guides our institution daily, I also wonder if being “inclusive” underscores the disconnection some individuals feel? Inclusive implies inviting others into an existing culture, environment, family structure, or community. It doesn’t suggest that the culture or community itself must change.
Perhaps it would be more appropriate for higher education to expand itself to reach those not currently enrolled, aware or interested by examining long-standing norms and practices to find missing voices and divergent ways of thinking, challenging existing mindsets, and questioning operating practices that may exclude certain groups or individuals.
For CMC, “expansion” means looking differently at the hurdles that exist for our students (and potential students) to live, learn and thrive.
As we face the months ahead, I remain hopeful. This fall, all of our campuses will welcome students – both in-person and online – with new tools, perspectives, and attitudes. Together, our team will evaluate who is missing from the college, barriers that prevent their enrollment, and strategies to ensure that all are successful and belong.
Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser is President & CEO of Colorado Mountain College. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @CMCPresident
Local Avalanche Conditions ease
Reported on Tuesday, Apr 6, 2021 at 7:21 a.m. for the Sawatch Region which includes Leadville and Lake County, Colorado. – Reported avalanche activity eased off yesterday after a very active weekend. Today brings more warm temperatures, but increasing cloud cover and stronger winds should help keep snow surfaces cooler and allow the surface freeze to remain intact most of the day.
The most concerning slopes are below treeline where we still have more than a few feet of snow on the ground. Most Central Mountain stations showed little to no freeze below about 11,000 feet last night, and since these lower-elevation slopes will also see less wind today, they will be the first to see the surface freeze break down. There is moist to wet snow under the surface crusts, so once we lose the cap holding things together it will easy to trigger wet avalanches in steep terrain. These could break near and/or gouge to the ground. Observers yesterday reported some impressive Wet Slab avalanches breaking near the ground at lower elevations near Crested Butte yesterday. We could see more activity like this today.
Large sagging cornices need to stay on our radar. Cornice fall can trigger avalanches on the slopes below but also pose a substantial threat all by themselves. Best to give these features some healthy respect and avoid traveling under them. Give them a wide berth if traveling along ridges as they can break further back onto flat terrain than you might expect.
If you are hunting for colder, drier snow on high-elevation shady slopes remember we still have basal facets and depth hoar near the ground. We haven’t seen a ton of avalanches breaking on these weak layers, but recent avalanches like this one from near Aspen illustrate that we can’t travel like it’s a mature spring snowpack yet. The most suspect terrain for this kind of avalanches are thinner snowpack areas (less than about 4 feet deep), with intermittent snow cover where trigger points are more abundant.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) is a program within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, a state government agency. They have 20 staff that work out of 8 offices that cover the mountainous areas of Colorado. The CAIC is the public side of the partnership. The mission of the CAIC is to provide avalanche information, education and promote research for the protection of life, property and the enhancement of the state’s economy. These are the folks that produce the weather and backcountry avalanche forecasts. They teach avalanche classes to school kids, university students, and avalanche workers. The CAIC also works with CDOT to reduce the threat of avalanches to the State Transportation System.
New Members Appointed to Mining Board
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) announced today, April 6 the appointment of David P. Abney and Robert “Bob” W. Dudley to its Board of Directors. For readers who may not know, The Climax Mine located north of Leadville Today atop Fremont Pass along Highway 91 is one of Freeport’s holdings. Here’s this morning’s news concerning two new appointment’s to the international mining giant’s Board of Directors.
Mr. Abney retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Parcel Service, Inc., a multinational package delivery and supply chain management company in 2020. He served as CEO beginning in 2014 and previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of UPS. Mr. Abney had an accomplished and highly successful 46-year career at UPS, including executive management roles in operations, international development, logistics, sustainability and engineering across all facets of the UPS global transportation network. During his time as Chief Executive Officer of UPS, Mr. Abney served on the Board of Directors of Catalyst, a global nonprofit working to advance women into senior leadership and board positions. He also previously served as a leader on The Business Roundtable. Mr. Abney currently serves as a director of Macy’s, Inc. and Northrop Grumman Corporation, and serves on the Business Council. Mr. Abney holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Delta State University.
Mr. Dudley is the retired Group Chief Executive of BP, p.l.c., a British multinational oil and gas company, a position he held from 2010 to 2020. Mr. Dudley had a distinguished career with BP and its predecessors spanning over 40 years, serving in a broad range of engineering, commercial, strategic, international and executive roles. Since 2016, he has chaired the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a CEO-led initiative that aims to accelerate the oil and gas industry response to climate change. Mr. Dudley currently serves as a director of Rosneft, the largest publicly traded oil company in the world, and has been recently nominated for the board of LyondellBasell Industries N.V. He also serves on the Business Council, was a member of the Business Roundtable and is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Mr. Dudley has dual American and British citizenship and holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, an MIM from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (now part of Arizona State University), and an MBA from Southern Methodist University.
Richard C. Adkerson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer said: “David Abney and Bob Dudley are exceptional leaders with proven track records and experience in global business, corporate governance and a wide range of matters relevant to Freeport. These individuals will strengthen our Board by complementing the skills of our current directors, as we execute our clearly defined strategy of being foremost in the global copper industry. The additions to our Board are consistent with our corporate objective and my personal commitment to having a Board with broad and diverse experience, a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with our business and a focus on value and sustainability for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
FCX’s Board of Directors is now comprised of eight members, including seven independent directors. As previously announced, Gerald J. Ford, former non-executive Chairman of the Board, will retire as a director effective upon the expiration of his current term, which ends in June 2021. Further additions to the Board are anticipated.
FREEPORT: Foremost in Copper
FCX is a leading international mining company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. FCX operates large, long-lived, geographically diverse assets with significant proven and probable reserves of copper, gold and molybdenum. FCX is one of the world’s largest publicly traded copper producers.
FCX’s portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits; and significant mining operations in North America and South America, including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in Arizona and the Cerro Verde operation in Peru.
By supplying responsibly produced copper, FCX is proud to be a positive contributor to the world well beyond its operational boundaries. Additional information about FCX is available on FCX’s website at fcx.com.
Per the Media Agent for FCX, a publicly-traded company: Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are all statements other than statements of historical facts. FCX cautions readers that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated, expected, projected, or assumed in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that can cause FCX’s actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the factors described in more detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in FCX’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Investors are cautioned that many of the assumptions on which FCX’s forward-looking statements are based are likely to change after the forward-looking statements are made, including for example commodity prices, which FCX cannot control, and production volumes and costs, some aspects of which FCX may not be able to control. Further, FCX may make changes to its business plans that could affect its results. FCX cautions investors that it does not intend to update forward-looking statements more frequently than quarterly notwithstanding any changes in its assumptions, changes in business plans, actual experience or other changes, and FCX undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.