Conference Explores Higher Education, Economy and Policy

The 2004 Colorado’s Future conference will feature experts from the public and private sectors exploring the role of higher education in statewide economic development and public-policy formation.

Colorado State University and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will co-host the third annual Colorado’s Future conference Oct. 15 at University Park Holiday Inn in Fort Collins. The full-day event is designed for academics, business people, economic development specialists, elected officials and others interested in partnerships and strategies that successfully stimulate the state and local economies.

Conference speakers and six panel sessions will focus on the multifaceted role that Colorado’s research universities play in boosting the state economy and informing public policy.

Larry Edward Penley, Colorado State president, and Rick O’Donnell, executive director of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, will kick off the event with talks illuminating the theme, "The Twenty-First Century University and Economic Development." Morning conference sessions then will focus on community economic analysis and the interplay of public mood, the economy and public policy.

Luncheon speakers Milan Rewerts, director of Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, and Frank Bruno, city manager in Boulder, will talk about "University Research and Policy Making." Their talks will introduce afternoon panel sessions focused on how research discoveries are transferred and applied in Colorado to enhance economic development and enlighten policy discussion.

Panel sessions will feature respected speakers, including Colorado Speaker of the House Lola Spradley, R-Beulah, who will provide real examples of partnerships that have drawn on research-based knowledge to spur the economy and state policy. Panel discussions will center on rural and inner-city revitalization, technology transfer, Colorado’s migrant workforce, wind farms, water policy and other timely issues.   

The Colorado Institute of Public Policy at Colorado State University and the Center for Colorado Policy Studies at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs are organizing the conference. For more information and to register, visit or call Colorado State University Conference Services at (970) 491-7501.