Ram Tour 2016 visits Front Range, Steamboat Springs

As the fall semester approached, more than three dozen faculty members and administrators came together to see their university’s impact outside of Fort Collins.

The Rams in the Rockies CSU Faculty Engagement Tour – also known as Ram Tour – is a two-day traveling seminar designed for recently hired and newly tenured faculty, and administrators from across campus. Nearly two-thirds of the 43 travelers this year were new hires; many were new to Colorado.

Along with mountain vistas, faculty and administrators got a first-hand look at the some of the University’s land-grant assets and resources maintained — shared with stakeholders — across Colorado.

Ram Tour invitations are issued through the Provost’s Office, and this year seven of eight colleges participated.

The tour, supported by the Vice President for Engagement and CSU Online, is intended to deepen participants’ understanding of the university’s existing community partnerships and provide opportunities to network within and across departments.

2016 Ram Tour stops and presenters

Longmont, Jeffco, Steamboat Springs

“Our Ram Tour is a wonderful opportunity to reach out and learn more about our engagement activities by visiting with partners and colleagues who are working so effectively to represent CSU,” said Provost Rick Miranda. “This year our new faculty saw some of the land-management challenges and opportunities unique to our state. Colorado is our campus – and we couldn’t have a more beautiful one.”

Ram Tour attendees visit Rocky Mountain Fresh. The owner of the Longmont-area farm has been through Extension's Building Farmers program.
Ram Tour attendees visit Rocky Mountain Fresh. The owner of the Longmont-area farm has been through Extension’s Building Farmers program.

CSU Extension, Colorado State Forest Service, and The Nature Conservancy were among the hosts and presenters as the group visited a Longmont-area farm and helped to open the Jefferson County Festival and Fair before reaching Steamboat Springs.

“I have been on the faculty at CSU since 2008 and I got to know more faculty from outside my department in 48 hours than I had in the previous 8 years combined,” said Anthony Marchese, professor of Mechanical Engineering. “It was a wonderful opportunity to see how CSU impacts the state of Colorado and make meaningful connections with other faculty across campus. I wish that Ram Tour existed back in 2008!”

Faculty learned about farming and gardening on the Front Range, forest health, and recreation management from community leaders and partners. CSU Extension staff from Boulder, Jefferson, Jackson, and Routt counties all participated in hosting this year’s tour.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet faculty from across campus, as well as the Extension partners around the state,” said Lisa Kutcher, professor in the Department of Accounting. “Even if you are not sure how this ties into your research or teaching activities, this is a fun and worthwhile experience – whether you are new to CSU or an experienced faculty member.”