Dear Roadrunners, 

This semester is flying by, and it will be spring break before we know it. Just in case you don’t have those dates on your calendar, 2024 spring break is March 18-24. Campus will remain open, but no classes will be in session. 

State gift-limit law

First, I want to remind everyone that there is a state law that limits our ability (as government employees) to accept gifts. The dollar limit is currently $65 in gifts from a single organization or individual per year, but that amount will increase at the rate of inflation.   

The idea here isnt to prevent your neighbor down the street from offering you tickets to a Broncos game. But if your neighbor down the street is or might be doing business with the University, then those tickets might be a concern — particularly if you work in a job that could have influence over a particular award or purchase in which he has interest. 

Because of my position with the University, I frequently receive gifts from partners, contractors or those who wish to be. Most folks looking for business know better than to offer gifts that exceed the limit, but as a personal best practice, I will return things such as gift cards and share other gifts with the office (5-gallon buckets of flavored popcorn were popular gifts for a while there). If there is a dinner invitation involved, I might accept but make a point of covering the cost of my dinner over the $65 limit. 

Remember that the intent here is to prevent even the appearance of impropriety! If youre uncertain about how to handle a particular gift or situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to a supervisor or the General Counsel’s Office for guidance. 

Last chance to submit questions for Student Employment Webinar 

Friday is the final day for student employees and their supervisors to submit questions for the Student Employment Webinar. Questions received after the deadline may not be included in the March 1 event.

New Employee Community Welcome event 

While we’re on the topic of employment, I hope you all have become familiar with the New Employee Community Welcome event, which began in August. Human Resources offers this event three times annually, and it is geared toward newer employees who have had some time to settle into their new roles and are ready for more thoughtful campuswide community engagement. The program includes a catered luncheon, keynote by a senior leader and the chance to connect with campus professionals and departments via a resource fair. Eligible employees will receive an invitation and RSVP link from the Leadership and Organizational Engagement team.  

All employees hired between Nov. 1 and Feb. 1 are required to attend the New Employee Community Welcome event March 4 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Tivoli Turnhalle. Employees will be excused only if they: 

  • Have a class conflict (faculty and student employees). 
  • Work fully remotely. 
  • Have a health condition or disability that will limit participation. 

If your department is interested in welcoming new members of our community to campus by hosting a resourcefair table at the event, please complete the form linked here. Employees with questions can contact Natawsha Mitchell, senior program manager for Leadership and Organizational Engagement.  

Be aware of phishing scams 

A lot of you likely received one or two phishing scams via email Wednesday. Refresh yourself with this article to review common phishing scams and how to report suspicious emails. Thank you for always being on high alert. 

AHEC updates 

The Auraria Higher Education Center has announced there will be two upcoming Town Halls in March related to the Auraria Campus Master Plan. All employees are encouraged to attend:  

March 7

5-6 p.m. 
Multicultural Lounge 

March 11 

Noon-1 p.m.
Multicultural Lounge  

Lastly, AHEC has also announced the schedule for 2024 safety trainings, including: 

  • Active Harmer Preparedness Training. 
  • Stop the Bleed® (Civilian Trauma Training). 
  • Basic CPR/AED and First Aid.

The training courses are open to all Metropolitan State University of Denver employees. More information, including registration, can be found here. 

As always, thank you for staying so engaged with MSU Denver. It is employees like you all who make this University the incredible place it is.  

Larry Sampler, chief operating officer and vice president for Administration