Executive Leadership Team
As the first woman president in CSU’s long history, Joyce McConnell is proud to lead one of our nation’s best land grant universities. A passionate learner and educator who cares deeply for people, McConnell is a tireless advocate for access, equity and inclusion and committed to the success of CSU and its land-grant mission. She has led the university through a successful in-person academic year during COVID and is currently leading the Courageous, Strategic Transformation of CSU, a process grounded in a commitment to equity, sustainability, and student success.
Como la primera mujer presidenta en la larga historia de CSU, Joyce McConnell se enorgullece de dirigir una de las mejores universidades de la nación, establecida en tierras cedidas por el gobierno. Como ferviente estudiante y educadora que se preocupa profundamente por las personas, McConnell aboga incansablemente por el acceso, la equidad y la inclusión y tiene un compromiso con el éxito de CSU y su misión como institución de tierras cedidas. Ella ha dirigido a la universidad a través de un exitoso semestre de otoño 2020 en persona durante COVID y actualmente está encabezando la Transformación Estratégica Valiente de CSU, que es un proceso basado en el compromiso con la equidad, la sostenibilidad y el éxito estudiantil.
Provost and Executive Vice President
As Provost and Executive Vice President, Dr. Pedersen is the chief academic officer of CSU and works in concert with the president, deans, vice presidents, and the campus community to strengthen the university’s reputation as an internationally recognized land-grant institution of higher education. Her role is to collaborate with campus leaders to provide academic vision and leadership to articulate, communicate, and facilitate the development of fundamental values basic to the University’s mission and administer academic programs and policies with utmost respect for and attention to our constituents’ needs and promoting inclusive excellence to advance education, research, scholarship, and outreach for all who work and learn at CSU.
Provost and Executive Vice President Mary Pedersen joined CSU in August 2020 from California Polytechnic State University where she served in successive leadership roles with the Provost’s Office since 2011. Those roles included Interim Provost, Senior Vice Provost, Vice Provost, and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Academic Programs and Planning. During her more than 30 years at Cal Poly, she also served on faculty as an Associate Professor and Professor in Nutrition, Department Head of Food Science & Nutrition, and Associate Dean in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences. Dr. Pedersen began her academic career as a postdoctoral fellow in Atherosclerosis at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. She earned her B.A. in biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and both her M.S. and Ph.D. in Public Health Nutrition with a minor in lipid biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her primary research focused on lipid metabolism and nutrition.
Vice President for Strategy
Jenelle Beavers serves as Vice President for Strategy at Colorado State University. In this role, she works with the Executive Leadership Team to formulate, refine, and deploy strategies for successful and timely implementation of the President’s strategic priorities and policies. She supports the President in the development of internal and external strategic visions; determines structure of, and manages, federal, state, county, city, corporate and association partnerships; and oversees all Presidential Advisory Councils, Task Forces and Working Groups.
She earned her J.D. and M.P.H. from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and her B.A. from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou). She came to Colorado State after serving as Counsel at the University of Missouri System. Before joining the University of Missouri System, she was the Associate Director of the University of Missouri Honors College, a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, and a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice where she received a Special Commendation for Outstanding Service from the Assistant Attorney General of the United States.
Vice President for Information Technology
Brandon Bernier serves as the Vice President for Information Technology, which includes the central IT departments of Academic Computing, Information Systems, and Telecommunications. He joined CSU in 2018 as the Director of ACNS and Telecom. A proponent of proactive campus engagement, Bernier works to bring together information and technology communities to advance teaching and learning, research, outreach, and administration.
With over 18 years of higher education IT experience, Bernier previously worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Oakland University in central IT, distributed IT, and Library leadership roles. He holds an MBA from Wayne State University and a BA in Telecommunications from Michigan State University.
Vice President for Marketing and Communications
Acting Vice President for Enrollment and Access
Yolanda Bevill serves as the Vice President for Marketing and Communications. This division oversees Marketing, Public Relations, Creative Services, Social and Digital Media, Internal Communications and Web Services. University Communications provides central marketing, media and community relations, design, photography, Web, and digital social media to build a strong, compelling, and effective brand position for the entire university and its units.
Bevill came to CSU from Prairie View A&M University, a historically Black land-grant institution in the Houston area, where she served as chief public affairs officer. Bevill began her career as a television news producer, worked in corporate positions at Key Bank and Lexis-Nexis, then moved into governmental roles at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, the Office of the Mayor in Cleveland, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston. While working in Harris County, she also earned her J.D. at South Texas Law College.
Vice President for Inclusive Excellence
Dr. Kualine Cipriani serves as CSU’s Vice President for Inclusive Excellence. She joined CSU in August 2021 after serving as associate dean for inclusive excellence at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She holds a Ph.D. in food microbiology from Purdue University.
Executive Associate Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Dr. Clay is a Reproductive Biologist, Professor, and Executive Associate Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Dr. Clay’s research is focused on understanding the molecular and cellular events controlling pituitary production of the gonadotropic hormones LH and FSH. His laboratory has characterized the genetic elements that regulate expression of the GnRH receptor gene, its intracellular signaling and the mechanisms underlying hormonal regulation of pituitary responsiveness to GnRH. In collaboration with Dr. Terry Nett, they defined the molecular mechanisms underlying hormonal responsiveness of the GnRH receptor gene.
Chief of Staff and Director of Presidential Communications
Ann Claycomb is Chief of Staff for President Joyce McConnell and Director of Presidential and Administrative Communications in the Office of the President at CSU.
In this role, she oversees strategic implementation of presidential initiatives and communicating President McConnell’s vision and the initiatives of the President’s office to the campus and wider university community. She previously served five years in this same dual role in the Office of the Provost at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. Claycomb earned her BA in English literature and psychology from Wellesley College, her MA in English literature from the University of Maryland, and her MFA in fiction writing from WVU. Her first novel, The Mermaid’s Daughter, was published by the William Morrow imprint of Harper Collins in 2017.
Chair of Faculty Council
Sue Doe serves as the Chair of Faculty Council. She teaches courses in Composition, Autoethnographic Theory and Method, Reading and Writing Connections, Research Methods, and GTA preparation for writing instruction. She does research in three distinct areas–academic labor and the faculty career, writing across the curriculum, and student-veteran transition in the post-9/11 era. Coauthor of the faculty development book Concepts and Choices: Meeting the Challenges in Higher Education, she has published articles in College English, The WAC Journal, Reflections, and Writing Program Administration (among others) as well as in several book-length collections.
Assistant Vice Provost
Andrea Duffy joined the CSU faculty in Fall 2010 and served as director of International Studies from 2013-2021, when she accepted a Fellowship in the Office of the President working on the university’s Courageous Strategic Transformation. She is currently assistant vice provost in the Office of the Provost, focused on key initiatives including the Academic Master Plan and the Student Success Initiative.
Andrea holds a B.A. in Modern European History from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from Georgetown University with specializations in European, Middle Eastern, Ottoman, and environmental histories. She has studied nearly a dozen languages, has lived in France and Turkey, and has visited more than 30 countries across five continents. She has a thirst for knowledge, curiosity about the wider world, and passion for international experiences and intercultural interaction. She continues to learn and to travel whenever she can. In her spare time, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, and ultra-running.
Dean of Libraries
Karen Estlund joined Colorado State University as the Dean of Libraries in 2019. Prior to joining Colorado State University, Karen served as the Associate Dean for Technology and Digital Strategies for the Pennsylvania State Libraries and as the head of the Digital Scholarship Center at the University of Oregon. Karen has been actively involved in diversity, inclusion and equity efforts in academic libraries. Karen was also one of the original members of the Fembot Collective and founders of Ada: a Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology.
Vice Provost for International Affairs
Kathleen Fairfax is the Vice Provost for International Affairs at Colorado State University. She leads CSU’s efforts to collaborate with colleges and units across campus to implement the University’s internationalization initiatives. Fairfax has worked in the field of international education for 32 years, at both public and private universities, and in the public sector. During her career, Fairfax has focused on improving access to international education opportunities at colleges and universities, developing streamlined and efficient operational models for service delivery, and aligning strategic priorities with concrete action items to deliver results. Fairfax holds a master’s degree in political science/international relations from Indiana University Bloomington and a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
Vice President for Human Resources
Robyn Fergus, Vice President for Human Resources, has extensive experience in public education in both Denver and Jefferson County schools. Her background includes creating strategies for diversity hiring practices, establishing partnerships, enhancing transparency, designing and implementing efficient systems and processes, and guiding human resources units through change and transformation. A graduate of a fellow land-grant institution, Michigan State University, Fergus was a first-generation student from a family that embraced obtaining an education as a core value.
Dean of the Warner College of Natural Resources
John P. Hayes has served as Dean of Warner College of Natural Resources on June 1, 2014. He previously served as University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Station in Gainesville, FL. John’s scholarly background has focused on applied ecology, primarily related to wildlife ecology and forest science. He has co-edited two books and authored or co-authored numerous technical, semi-technical and popular articles and reports in the field. John earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University, his M.S. in biology from Southern Oregon State College, and his undergraduate degree in wildlife science from Oregon State University. While at the University of Florida, he also chaired the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, served as Director of the Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, and taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also previously served as Associate Dean for International Programs at the Oregon State University College of Forestry.
Blanche M. Hughes
Vice President for Student Affairs
As Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Hughes values effective collaboration and building strong relationships in support of a student-centered institution. Prior to that, she spent two years teaching sociology and chairing the department of sociology at Pikes Peak Community College. The majority of her professional experience, however, was spent in her 13-year tenure as the Director of Black Student Services at Colorado State University prior to her move to Colorado Springs in the fall of 1998. She has experience in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, programming, counseling, training, and leadership development. Her research interest lies in areas relating to race and ethnicity, gender, and student retention in higher education.
Dr. Hughes has a B.A. in education from Earlham College, M.Ed. from Colorado State University, and her Ph.D. in sociology from Colorado State University. Blanche and her husband, Wayne, have four children and two granddaughters.
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Dr. Sue James is the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Colorado State University and is responsible for working with faculty, deans, other vice provosts, and vice presidents to ensure a well-supported faculty and exemplary teaching and learning practices. Dr. James is a professor of Mechanical Engineering who joined CSU’s faculty as an assistant professor in 1994. She served as head of the department from 2010 – 2018 and is the founding director of the School of Biomedical Engineering. Committed to giving back to her community, James has been involved with many service organizations over the years, both internal and external to CSU, including Faculty Council, the CSU President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity and the Society of Women Engineers. Dr. James is a prolific scholar and inventor in the field of biomaterials who has translated her work to the clinic. She received her Ph.D. In Polymers from MIT and her B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from Carnegie Mellon, with a minor in Biomedical Engineering and a certificate in Women’s Studies.
Vice Provost for Planning and Effectiveness
Dr. Laura Jensen, a CSU alumna, serves as the Vice Provost for Planning and Effectiveness. Her CSU service began in 2008 when she served as the Associate Director of Institutional Research. In 2010, she was appointed as the Director of that office and in 2015 was appointed as an Associate Provost broadening her service to the institution. Her current portfolio includes strategic planning, academic program review, accreditation, and institutional research. Before coming to CSU, she worked in institutional research at Front Range Community College and in psychiatric research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (now the Anschutz campus). She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology in 1992 and 1996 respectively from the University of Northern Colorado and earned her Ph.D. in education with an emphasis on assessment and program evaluation methodology in 2005.
Vice President for University Operations, Chief Financial Officer
Lynn Johnson serves as Vice President for University Operations and Chief Financial Officer overseeing administrative departments including Facilities Management, inclusive of Parking and Transportation Services and Central Receiving and Mail Services, Business and Financial Services which includes Procurement Services, the Office of Budgets, Human Resources, inclusive of Talent Development and the Employee Assistance Program, and Safety and Risk Services, inclusive of Environmental Health Services, Policy Office, Clery Compliance, Risk Management and Insurance, Public Safety and the CSU Police Department. Lynn also serves as the liaison to the Administrative Professional Council and State Classified Personnel Council, oversees many University initiatives and programs such as Commitment to Campus, Strategic Partnerships, and serves on the board of the Semester at Sea program. As CFO, her primary focus is to ensure the integrity of the financial processes and reporting of the University.
Lynn previously served as the University Controller and the Director of Business and Financial Services as well as the Director of Sponsored Programs. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Texas Arlington. Lynn is a Certified Public Accountant and spent several years in public accounting with KPMG and served as the CFO for a non-profit cancer research center in Denver prior to joining CSU in 2003. Lynn lives in Loveland with her husband and has two sons, one of which is a graduate of CSU’s College of Business and the other is a graduate of CSU’s Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program.
Executive Assistant to the President
Emily Lewis serves as the Executive Assistant to the President. She manages President Joyce McConnell’s calendar and engagement opportunities, assists with implementing strategic initiatives, and serves as the point of contact for all inquiries and requests. Prior to joining the President’s Office, Emily held various roles within the Office of the Provost at West Virginia University. She has experience with project coordination, executive-level support, accreditation, and high-level support associated with strategic planning.
Vice Provost of Undergraduate Affairs
Dr. Kelly Long is the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs. In that role she provides institutional leadership regarding processes and initiatives involving undergraduate education. As VPUA she collaborates with individuals and groups across campus on matters involving curriculum, student success, advising, teaching and learning, diversity and inclusion, admission and access. Dr. Long joined the Department of History in 1998 and later served as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. Kelly taught high school in the Poudre School District for many years and has been actively involved in pre- and in-service educator development and curricular design. Her research and publication involves US-Asian relations, history education, and the Scholarship on Teaching and Learning. Dr. Long received her bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University and her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Chair of the Classified Personnel Council
Dean of the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering
Jannine R. Mohr
Deputy General Counsel
Jannine Mohr is one of ten attorneys working for the Office of the General Counsel for the Colorado State University System. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Prior to serving as university counsel, Ms. Mohr was a law clerk for the Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Following her clerkship, she worked in Denver as an attorney in private practice for several years.
Ms. Mohr taught the Law in Student Affairs course in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program at CSU from fall 2008 to spring 2019. She was nominated by SAHE students for the 2014 College of Health and Human Sciences Best Teacher Award. In 2018, Ms. Mohr was the recipient of the Dean’s Recognition Award from the College of Natural Sciences. Ms. Mohr has presented on various legal topics both nationally and internationally. Prior to becoming an attorney, Ms. Mohr was a United States Senate staff member. In 2011 and 2015, she was appointed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to serve on the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission where she served as Vice-Chair from 2012 to 2018 and Chair from 2018 to 2019.
Vice President for Engagement and Extension
Blake Naughton serves as vice president for Engagement and Extension at Colorado State University, leading CSU’s engagement and outreach missions and overseeing CSU Extension, CSU Online, the Colorado Water Center, and the Office of Community and Economic Development.
He holds a bachelor’s in technology policy from Stanford University, a master’s in education administration, planning and social policy from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in education administration and policy analysis, also from Stanford.
Professor Janice L. Nerger was appointed Dean of Natural Sciences in 2010. She received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of California, San Diego in 1988. After a two-year postdoctoral research appointment at NASA/Ames Research Center at Moffett Field and the Stanford Research Institute, CA, she joined the faculty at Colorado State in 1990 becoming a full professor in 2002. Nerger is internationally recognized for her research on human vision, in particular on the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying color perception. She is also a faculty member in the Molecular Cellular and Integrative Neurosciences Program at CSU and led the Behavioral Neurosciences program for five years. She is a strong advocate for diversity, particularly for women in science, and is the co-founder for the Women in Natural Sciences organization at CSU. Nerger was also instrumental in co-founding the CSUSTEM Center, recently created to address science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education across the country. During Nerger’s tenure at Colorado State she has held such administrative appointments as Associate and Acting Chair of the Department of Psychology and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Interim Dean of the College of Natural Sciences.
Senior Coordinator of International Partnerships
Sarah Olson is the Senior Coordinator for International Partnerships at Colorado State University. She promotes campus-wide comprehensive internationalization by developing and supporting a wide range of international education, research, and engagement initiatives.
Sarah manages CSU’s portfolio of global partnerships and helps guide the implementation of partnership activities such as developing international agreements to support initiatives including dual degree academic programs, joint research efforts, and other faculty-driven internationalization efforts with international partner institutions.
Cherí E. O’Neill
President/CEO of the Colorado State University Foundation
Cherí E. O’Neill is President/CEO of the Colorado State University Foundation, which helps promote, develop and enhance CSU by receiving, managing, and investing all contributions, gifts, and bequests given to the university. A veteran foundation, nonprofit, and advancement leader in the higher education arena, O’Neill was most recently President/CEO of the Ball State University Foundation, where she oversaw a team of 75 professionals responsible for development, alumni relations, and stewardship of the endowment. Before that, she was CEO of the 200,000-member Alpha Chi Omega women’s fraternity, its foundation and its housing corporation. For 17 years, O’Neill served in increasingly responsible roles (including admissions, international recruiting, alumni relations, and development) for Indiana University, its Kelley School of Business and its College of Arts and Sciences.
Director of Athletics
Joe Parker is director of Colorado State University Athletics. Parker, hired in March of 2015, had been the deputy athletics director at Texas Tech of the Big 12 Conference since 2011, and also served as senior associate A.D. at the University of Michigan (Big 10), the University of Oklahoma (Big 12), Washington State University (Pac-12), and the University of Texas (Big 12). Parker was a three-time All-America swimmer at Michigan, and also became team captain. He earned a gold and bronze medal as a senior in the 1987 World University Games in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Parker earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Michigan, and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. He and his wife, Jennie, have two children, Emma and Will.
Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX
Diana Prieto serves as the Vice President for Equity, Equal Opportunity and Title IX. Prieto has worked in equity offices at public land-grant universities for over 24 years leading and focusing efforts on ensuring equity, equal access and opportunity for students and employees. She joined Colorado State University in July 2010 as the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and over time assumed responsibility for the Human Resources, Talent Development and Ombuds functions at the University serving as the Associate Vice President for Human Capital and Chief Human Resources Officer prior to becoming Vice President in 2020. Before joining Colorado State University, Prieto was the Director of the Office of Institutional Equity at Purdue University. Prieto obtained her law degree from the Tulane University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from Smith College. Ms. Prieto maintains her legal license in the State of Indiana.
Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. James Pritchett has been named dean of the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station in 2020. Originally from southeastern Colorado, Pritchett earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from CSU, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He joined the College of Agricultural Sciences faculty in 2001, with extensive teaching, research and engagement responsibilities. He has served CSU in many leadership roles including Assistant Vice President for Engagement as well as executive associate dean for the College of Agricultural Sciences.
Alan S. Rudolph
Vice President for Research
Dr. Alan S. Rudolph serves as the Vice President for Research at Colorado State University. Dr. Rudolph is a former member of the Senior Executive Service, having served as the Director for Chemical and Biological Technologies Directorate, Research and Development Enterprise, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, in Fort Belvoir, VA. Dr. Rudolph has had an active career in translating interdisciplinary life sciences into useful applications for biotechnology development. His experience spans basic research to advanced development in academia, government laboratories, and most recently in the nonprofit and private sectors. He has published more than 100 technical publications in areas including molecular biophysics, lipid self-assembly, drug delivery, blood substitutes, medical imaging, tissue engineering, neuroscience, and diagnostics.
Previous to CSU, he has served as a National Research Council postdoctoral fellow, and as Chief Executive Officer of Adlyfe, Inc., a diagnostic platform company, and Board Chairman of Cellphire, Inc. Most recently, he started a new international nonprofit foundation, the International Neuroscience Network Foundation, and as director secured corporate and private philanthropic donors to fulfill the mission of the organization focused on brain STEM efforts and clinical trial management in underserved populations.
He has a doctorate degree in zoology from the University of California at Davis and an MBA from George Washington University.
Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School
Dr. Mary Stromberger is the Vice Provost for Graduate Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School. She provides strategic leadership to ensure access, inclusivity, and excellence in graduate education, training, and professional development. Dr. Stromberger is also a professor of soil microbiology in the Department of Soil and Crop Science, where for 17 years she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in soil microbial ecology and conducted research on soil quality and plant microbiomes. Prior to becoming Dean, Mary was Associate Dean of the Graduate School for two years, and Chair of Faculty Council for three years.
Mary is a proud first-generation graduate and has a B.S. in Biology from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, an M.S. in Soil Science from University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from Oregon State University. She is a Fellow in the Soil Science Society of America and recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award, the Soil Science Society of America’s Education Award, and the College of Agricultural Sciences’ Charles N. Shepardson Faculty Teaching Award.
Vice President for University Advancement
Kim Tobin joined CSU in 2003 and was appointed vice president in 2017. As vice president, she leads University development efforts and campaign initiatives, alumni and donor relations, University events, and other efforts to build the University’s profile and relationship with donors, alumni, and key constituent groups.
Tobin began her tenure at CSU as the director of development for the College of Natural Resources (now the Warner College), before she went on to lead development efforts for the College of Liberal Arts for nine years. At Colorado State, she has extensive leadership experience in the Division of University Advancement, serving as executive director, assistant vice president, and associate vice president. She has previously served in development positions as Lakehead University, and the University of Toronto. Born and raised in Canada, Tobin earned a bachelor’s of arts from the University of Toronto and a masters of arts from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership at Colorado State.
Dean, College of Business
Dr. Beth Walker is the Dean of the College of Business at Colorado State University. Before joining CSU’s College of Business, Beth served as the Associate Dean, MBA Programs at the W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, where she was also the AT&T Professor of Services Marketing and Management. Beth is an award-winning researcher and teacher, whose research has been widely published in leading marketing journals. She is a recipient of the prestigious Harold Maynard Award, recognizing the most significant contribution to marketing theory and practice by the Journal of Marketing. She also received the Richard Beckhard Prize for her contribution to the MIT Sloan Management Review. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors, Better Business Bureau (Northern Colorado), and served on the American Marketing Association, Board of Directors, as well as the President, American Marketing Association, Academic Division. She has consulted on strategy issues for State Farm Insurance, IBM Global Services, Yellow Roadway Corporation, Lucent Technologies, Honeywell, and AT&T.
Dean of the College of Liberal Arts
Benjamin C. Withers has been dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University since 2016. In this role, Withers is responsible for $43M in annual expenditures, 13 academic departments/schools and six interdisciplinary programs, 539 faculty, 107 staff, and 6780 undergraduate and graduate students.
With his leadership, the College of Liberal Arts has increased the size of incoming first year and transfer undergraduate majors by 30%, added nearly 100 new tenure-track faculty, and doubled sponsored research awards (to $2.2 million), and, in conjunction with the Office of the Provost, significantly increased faculty and staff salaries. The College’s visibility across campus has grown with the implementation of three new Ph.D. programs and two new professional master’s programs along increased support for faculty-led research centers. In conjunction with his development staff, he has been a part of external fundraising that has totaled more than $40M in six years, which includes two of the largest individual gifts in college history: $5M in 2019 and $15M in 2020.
In 2020 and 2021, President Joyce McConnell appointed Withers as a member of the President’s Pandemic Planning Team and as co-chair of the Teaching Continuity and Recovery task force, a group that met consistently throughout the pandemic to ensure the excellence of CSU’s academic mission and the safety of CSU’s people. He has served as a member of then President Tony Frank’s President’s Commission on Culture, the College Board’s AP Higher Education Advisory Committee, and FoCO Creates which created the strategic plan for the City of Fort Collins.
Earning a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Chicago focusing on early medieval manuscripts, Withers has taught at Indiana University South Bend and University of Kentucky before coming to Colorado State. With three books/edited collections and nearly 40 peer-reviewed publications, his scholarship has been supported by the NEH, The Indiana University President’s Arts and Humanities Initiative, University of Kentucky, and The Ameritech Foundation, among others. He has been a department chair, honors program director, associate provost for undergraduate education, and dean of undergraduate studies. Withers has a track record of expanding and strengthening undergraduate programs, promoting multidisciplinary collaborations, fundraising, and supporting diversity and inclusion.
A two-time all-state musician in high school, Withers attended Carleton College, a small liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, for his undergraduate studies.
Dean of College of Health and Human Sciences
Lise Youngblade earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University, and her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Oregon. She joined Colorado State in 2006 from the University of Florida as head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and held that role until August 2019 when she became Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. She is an applied developmental scientist whose areas of specialization include child and adolescent socio-emotional development; access to healthcare for vulnerable youth; program evaluation; and analysis of developmental processes in educational and community contexts. Lise has served as both Associate Dean for Research, and Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives, where she was responsible for leading specific initiatives that benefit the college.