Regents notes: Student brain injury; new degrees


Campus leaders say CU Boulder is committed to studying traumatic brain injury and preventing it among students – athletes and non-athletes alike.

At the request of the Board of Regents, CU Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano and Athletic Director Rick George reported on the topic during the board’s Nov. 16 meeting at CU Boulder. Concussions and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) have figured prominently in sports headlines nationally in recent months.

DiStefano and George pointed to NCAA reforms such as prohibiting two-a-day practices during football preseason camp as lowering the risk of injury for student athletes.

Some 10 faculty members at CU Boulder study traumatic brain- and head-related injuries. DiStefano said one of the faculty members also is working with students who are not athletes but who have sustained head injuries. The prevalence of skateboards, bicycles and headphone usage are contributing to an increase in such injuries among non-athletes.

George said the Pac-12 “is really taking the lead on this,” pointing to the conference adopting practice protocols in 2014. The conference this month also announced that CU Boulder has been selected to lead its Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Concussion Coordinating Unit (PCCU).

Regent Irene Griego said the board is supportive of the campus’s continuing research and any recommendations that emerge from the research.

In other business at the Nov. 16 Board of Regents meeting:

  • The board voted 7-0 (Regents Carson and Hybl absent) to approve the CU Denver 10-year Campus Facility Master Plan. In a presentation to the regents, Chancellor Dorothy Horrell called it “an ambitious plan” that anticipates a student population growing from the current 15,000 to over 25,000 a decade from now.
  • The board approved a new online degree for the CU Boulder campus: the professional Master of Arts in Journalism Entrepreneurship in the College of Media, Communication and Information.
  • Two new degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at CU Denver and the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz were approved: a master’s and a doctorate in Health Economics.