Position Description

CSU Campus - Admin Building

The Provost & Executive Vice President

Colorado State University (CSU) invites applications and nominations for the position of Provost & Executive Vice President. This position reports directly to the president and, as the chief academic officer and executive vice president, 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 with the highest Carnegie ranking (Doctoral University: Very High Research Activity). True to its land-grant mission, CSU is proud of long-standing commitments to access and success of a diverse student body, excellence, education, research and engagement of the highest impact. CSU is deeply committed to its students, faculty and staff and continually seeks to enhance its diversity and inclusion. The university exhibits strong cooperation among units that support student success and takes seriously its responsibility to create an engaged academic community without institutional barriers.

Colorado State University takes pride in undergraduate and graduate teaching, learning, research and engagement. To fulfill its land-grant responsibilities, it focuses on integrating high-level research with strong undergraduate and graduate teaching and learning as well as meaningful engagement. Founded in 1870, CSU enrolls over 28,000 residential and 6,000 online students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries. CSU has many highly ranked departments and innovative interdisciplinary programs. CSU’s faculty are recognized nationally or internationally as contributing significantly to their disciplines or interdisciplinary research.

CSU has a commitment to the sciences and the liberal and performing arts, strong professional schools, research and education excellence, and a collaborative institutional culture. It is consistently ranked one of the top 3 in veterinary medicine, with a strong focus on equine science and translational medicine. It is also known for its commitment to sustainability in academic programs, research and operations. In 2015, CSU was the first university in the world to have its sustainability efforts rated Platinum by STARS. CSU has invested more than $1.5B in the physical infrastructure over the last decade. CSU supports an array of facilities across the state, including research centers, institutes, core research facilities, agricultural experiment stations, Cooperative Extension offices, Colorado State Forest Service offices, engagement hubs and a Mountain Campus. CSU maintains a strong international presence, with a facility in Todos Santos, Mexico, home for the Semester at Sea program, and strong partnerships and collaborations in China, several countries in Africa and throughout the world. CSU is nationally recognized for its student affairs programs, including its Health Network, Adult Learners program, and Veteran Services. CSU is governed by a Board of Governors selected by the Governor.

This position is critical to CSU at all times, but particularly now. CSU welcomed new president Joyce McConnell on July 1, 2019 and has a keen sense of urgency to develop its Strategic Transformation Plan. The provost must bring a sophisticated understanding of the key social, political, economic, and technological changes affecting higher education today. It is essential the provost bring creativity, optimism, vision, shared values, and a sense of urgency to the CSU’s efforts to address those changes and be a partner to the president and university community in implementing strategic transformation.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Serve as the chief academic officer for Colorado State University.
  • Lead the university in advancing its commitment to diversity and inclusion through persistent effort, active planning, allocation of resources and accountability for diversity outcomes.
  • Collaborate with CSU faculty, students and staff to foster and advance academic excellence and student success on campus.
  • Manage the financial resources of the university through an effective annual operating budget and long-term financial plan.
  • Champion university capacity, both physical infrastructure and human.
  • Design and oversee the implementation of initiatives that support university objectives and will advance scholarly and creative pursuits among faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, post-doctoral associates and staff.
  • Lead efforts to recruit, retain and provide a positive environment for the success of all students – including attention to first-generation students, veterans, adult learners and students of different races, religions, nationalities, ethnicities, gender, LGBTQ+ and those with disabilities.
  • Lead efforts to recruit and retain distinguished, diverse faculty members, researchers and instructors to expand the prominence and global reach of the university.
  • Foster communications both vertically and horizontally.
  • Provide leadership demonstrating and fostering a commitment to shared governance.
  • Provide leadership demonstrating and fostering a commitment to participatory management.
  • Nurture ongoing efforts to advance inclusion, equity and diversity among all university constituencies.
  • Develop, implement, and support strategies to enrich student success, including educational, research, co-curricular and extracurricular experiences at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Promote interdisciplinary and cross-college initiatives that will build on areas of existing strength.
  • Guide deans and other leaders of centers to align priorities with those of the university’s Strategic Transformation Plan.
  • Use the Strategic Transformation Plan to set deadlines, measure outcomes and review.
  • Work with the president and other vice presidents to further university initiatives.
  • Work with the deans to develop unit-specific priorities and plans.
  • Partner with the university’s academic leadership to envision, craft and launch innovative academic programs, both traditional and online, with the potential to increase student enrollment.
  • Provide state-level leadership on the Council of Provosts and in interactions with legislators.
  • Supervise and lead the provost office staff, including vice provosts, associate provosts, center directors and staff members.
  • Lead the university’s promotion and tenure process.

Organizational Chart for the Provost Office

Education & Qualifications

Academic Vision and Background:

CSU seeks a transformative leader with energy and optimism to serve as its next Provost and Executive Vice President. The individual should have
substantial academic leadership experience at a Carnegie Classified Research Very High, land-grant university. The individual must possess a firm commitment to academic excellence, the ability to work constructively and collaboratively with multiple constituencies through a model of shared governance, and a proven ability to translate ideas and visions into action. In addition to experience, the individual’s career must demonstrate the ability to lead change through effective communication, collaboration with stakeholders, dedication, vision, flexibility and decisiveness. Candidates should have a commitment to the tripartite mission of the land-grant system with experience working in a land-grant university highly desirable. Candidates should currently be a tenured faculty member at a research university with a distinguished record of achievement and professional credentials consistent with appointment at the rank of full professor.

A Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree is required. Substantial experience as a dean and university- wide administrator (for example, as an associate or vice provost) is preferred.

Leadership Qualities:

The successful candidate will be an individual of high integrity who is energetic, engaged, collaborative, decisive, and committed to CSU’s mission as a leading land-grant institution of higher education and research. Additionally, candidates will possess the following leadership qualities:

  • Commitment to effective, inclusive, and collaborative leadership.
  • The capacity to formulate and articulate a shared vision, to persuade a wide range of audiences of its value and to engage others in its implementation.
  • Appreciation of the value of all disciplines at CSU and an ability to ascertain and recognize excellence in each.
  • Commitment to advancing inclusion, equity, and diversity in the university community and commitment to the aspirations outlined in the university’s Principles of Community.
  • Demonstrated ability to use the Office of the Provost to create programs that support deans and department heads in recruiting outstanding new faculty as well as retaining and promoting the university’s strongest faculty.
  • Commitment to student success and advancing the university’s nationally recognized student success initiatives.
  • Commitment to advancing the reputation of the university for excellence in all endeavors.
  • Deep understanding and appreciation of shared governance between faculty and administration and a commitment to working closely with the Council of Deans and others to develop and advance university programs.
  • Capacity to motivate and inspire others to strive continuously for excellence.
  • Strong interdisciplinary ethic.
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Demonstrated ability to set priorities, plan to achieve them and carry through with effective implementation; communicate effectively with multiple constituencies to implement said plans.

Management and Administrative Capabilities:

The successful candidate will demonstrate evidence of operational leadership characterized by excellence, growth and financial effectiveness. They will also demonstrate experience and success in managing a complex organization including people, resources and an operating budget. The successful candidate will have familiarity with the promotion and tenure process for different types of university faculty members.

CSU at night

Colorado State University

Colorado State was founded as the Colorado Agricultural College in 1870, six years before the Colorado Territory was granted statehood, and it was one of 68 land-grant colleges established by President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Morrill Act. Our tradition of providing a high-quality, affordable higher education to all who have the desire and ability to achieve it runs deep, and CSU remains the “university of choice” for Colorado residents — more Colorado high-school students choose CSU than any other campus.

Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the CSU System’s flagship campus, is on a trajectory of growth and momentum, with a student body exceeding 34,000 students, 7,000 employees, and, as a Carnegie 1 Research Institution, has annual research expenditures exceeding $350 million. CSU has invested more than $1.5B in its physical infrastructure over the last decade, transforming it into one of the most beautiful, state-of-the-art, campuses in the country. CSU is a member of the NCAA at the Division 1 level, Mountain West Conference, with 16 collegiate sports programs. CSU is home to several world leading research centers and programs, including the veterinary medicine program ranked among the top three in the nation and some of the world’s most prestigious programs in animal cancer research, atmospheric sciences, alternative energy solutions, and infectious disease.

President Joyce McConnell with Graduates

CSU has 76 undergraduate degree programs and 118 graduate degree programs, and has made significant investments in student recruitment, financial aid, student services, and retention. The last five years has been the most successful fundraising era in the university’s history, just completing a $1B campaign, more than a year ahead of plan.

Faculty at CSU are among the best in their fields and combine classroom learning with experiential learning in the field and laboratory. More than 5,000 CSU students participate in undergraduate research opportunities every year, and even as CSU has grown, we’ve kept our student-faculty ratio at 18:1. Within six months of graduation, 84 percent of students have secured employment or continuing education — and 89 percent of graduates say they would choose CSU again.

CSU educates students both to make a living and to make a difference — and our faculty transform the world through their research, scholarship, engagement, and teaching. This is what it means to be a research university in the 21st century, and Colorado State University is proud to carry on that distinguished academic tradition.

Colorado State University is one of the nation’s top public research universities and an institution on the rise. In the last decade, CSU has produced record enrollment, built on all-time highs in student diversity and student success; record fundraising far outpacing ambitious goals; groundbreaking research driven by a highly productive faculty; a campus revitalized by a transformational building campaign; and, perhaps most important, an unrivaled learning environment where nine of 10 recent graduates say they would choose CSU again and rate their education as excellent.

University Mission

Principles of CommunityThe Colorado State University System exists to support, enhance, and protect the unique missions of its constituent institutions and to encourage collaboration that benefits students and Colorado.

Inspired by its land-grant heritage, CSU is committed to excellence, setting the standard for public research universities in teaching, research, service, and extension for the benefit of the citizens of Colorado, the United States, and the world.


The Colorado State University System will create the financial sustainability to fulfill its mission, while expanding its statewide presence and creating opportunities for building a stronger future for Colorado.

Core values

We embrace these values as we fulfill Our Commitment to Building a Stronger Colorado:

  • An entrepreneurial attitude, while consistently demonstrating fiscal responsibility and resourcefulness.
  • A passion for excellence and a commitment to continuous quality improvement.
  • A willingness to collaborate and work with others in an environment of respect and trust.
  • A commitment to open communication, ethical conduct and full accountability.
  • A loyalty to the mission, with a specific emphasis on meeting student needs.
  • An appreciation for diversity and inclusiveness.
CSU oval


Accredited: Higher Learning CommissionColorado State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) since 1925.

Institutional accreditation by the HLC, also known as regional accreditation, provides assurance to prospective students and other constituents that course credits and degrees earned from the institution meet quality standards of higher education. Accreditation is a requirement for federal financial aid and may be a requirement for some employment opportunities, professional licensure, and graduate education.

Welcome to Colorful Colorado

Academic Colleges

The university is comprised of 14 colleges and schools, which offer 78 undergraduate majors and 118 graduate programs.

College of Agricultural Sciences

The College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS) and the Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) focus on the safety, security and sustainability of food and natural resource systems. With 10 research centers and its Fort Collins campus, CAS and AES innovate in local communities for global impact with team science, innovation and public-private partnerships. Students in CAS experience hands-on learning and scientific inquiry while developing professional skills for tomorrow’s food and agricultural industry. The college is adding state-of-the art infrastructure including the Temple Grandin Equine Center, The JBS Global Food Innovation Center and the Nutrien Agricultural Sciences Building. https://agsci.colostate.edu/


College of Business

The College of Business is an AACSB-accredited business school known for its top-ranked on-campus and online programs focused on helping create innovative business solutions to address the challenges of today and tomorrow. College faculty are known for creating immersive educational experiences and delivering cutting-edge research, resulting in their national status as No. 9 in human resources and No. 17 in supply chain in top journals. The college encompasses a purpose-driven community that consistently seeks to transform lives through business education, scholarly research and community engagement, ultimately using business to create a better world. Visit https://www.biz.colostate.edu to learn more.

Campus photos

College of Health & Human Sciences

The College of Health & Human Sciences works to improve health and well-being in all aspects of the human experience through technology, advancements in science and research, and applying creative thinking to everyday human environments. With a commitment to the principles of equity and inclusive excellence, the College of Health & Human Sciences provides transformative academic, research, and outreach programs that promote the health and well-being of people, their environments, and communities in which they live. https://www.chhs.colostate.edu/

College of Liberal Arts

The College of Liberal Arts is a community of arts, humanities, and social science scholars who study the cultural, social, environmental, and historical context in which we live, and examine what it means to be human. With state-of-the-art facilities such as the University Center for the Arts, Digital Liberal Arts Hub, and Anthropology Bones Lab, students can explore and create in a variety of scientific and creative spaces. The College offers 19 majors, 35 minors, and 23 graduate programs. Our faculty are renowned teachers, earning more than 100 teaching awards. Our research and creative artistry includes 15 research centers, multiple NEH and NEA grants, two Guggenheim Fellows, and more than 400 active research projects. https://www.libarts.colostate.edu/

College of Natural Sciences

In the College of Natural Sciences “Discovery Begins Here.” It is comprised of the departments of Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science. By harnessing the power of the foundational sciences, the college leads transformative research, education, and community engagement. Guided by the principles of inclusiveness and integrity, the college is committed to providing a positive educational experience for each student, an environment of growth and achievement for each faculty and staff member, significant new knowledge within the sciences, and scientific and mathematics literacy for society. https://www.natsci.colostate.edu/

College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

We improve the health of animals, people, and the planet through innovative and dedicated teaching, research, outreach, and clinical service. Through our actions, we empower the next generation of leaders to change the world. Our college is ranked as the #3 veterinary school in the nation (U.S. News & World Report). Our animal hospital and laboratories provide service to over 50,000 patients each year. We receive over $45M annually in extramural research funding and are the #1 veterinary school for NIH funding. Our biomedical sciences programs deliver bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in a wide variety of the life sciences. https://vetmedbiosci.colostate.edu/

Temple Grandin

Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

The Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering plays a vital role in fulfilling Colorado State University’s land-grant mission. We provide a transformative education that equips our graduates to become leaders and innovators. We conduct research that provides solutions to not just the grand challenges of today, but those of tomorrow. We provide service to society that translates ideas into reality and spurs economic development. The values embodied in the land-grant act are the foundation for what we do. https://www.engr.colostate.edu/

Warner College of Natural Resources

Warner College of Natural Resources is one of the largest and most comprehensive natural resource colleges with wide ranging graduate and undergraduate degree offerings that rival any natural resources program in the nation. Emphasizing hands-on, experiential learning, and other high-impact pedagogical practices in students’ environmental fields of choice, Warner College is an established leader in natural resources education, outreach, and research both in Colorado and around the world. Beyond academic offerings, the College is home to a variety of research and outreach centers and agencies that significantly enhance its impacts and opportunities for students. https://warnercnr.colostate.edu/

Colorado State University System’s Strategic Plan: Building a Stronger Colorado: How We Will Fulfill Our Commitment

As a major economic engine in Colorado, the CSU System is focused on growing the state’s economy. We plan to achieve this through our strategic plan – Our Commitment to Building a Stronger Colorado.

The plan has four initiatives that build on efforts already underway at the campuses (Fort Collins, Pueblo and Global Campus). It is designed to harness our strengths across campuses with an eye toward benefiting Colorado. Furthermore, it commits to a collaborative effort to find a sustainable funding source for Colorado’s public higher education system.

Ensure Student Satisfaction and Success

  • We will continue to protect access and affordability.
  • We will ensure students receive the support they need to succeed, graduate and obtain the benefits of their post-graduate careers.
  • We will increase retention and graduation rates, reduce student-related debt, and improve critical thinking skills and disciplinary knowledge.
  • We will foster engagement in the broader life of the university.

Expand Statewide Presence

  • We will expand our statewide presence by increasing the number and impact of education by increasing mutually beneficial partnerships with communities in Colorado.
  • Our outreach efforts include initiatives aimed at increasing the percentage of students enrolling in higher education and increasing the proportion of students who choose to enroll in one or more of the CSU System campuses. Through our CSU Extension offices in 60 of the 64 counties, and CSU-Global’s student and alumni engagement in 63 of the 64, we are in a unique position to serve Coloradans statewide.

Create Financial Sustainability

  • We will reinforce our contributions to Colorado in teaching, research and service, and the positive economic impact of the state’s investment in public higher education.
  • We will examine new and existing financial models with a goal of expanding our revenue sources while continuing to seek operational efficiencies.
  • We will collaborate to obtain a sustainable source of funding for higher education in Colorado.

Transform Colorado’s Future

  • We will provide an educated workforce to keep Colorado competitive in the global marketplace through teaching, research and outreach.
  • We will create new companies to help Colorado generate jobs.
  • We will increase applied research activities to enhance the quality of life for Coloradans. We will increase the number of our discoveries entering the marketplace.
  • We will increase the pipeline of students from K-12 who pursue science, technology, engineering or math at a CSU campus, with a special emphasis on first-generation college students.
More information can be found here: http://www.csusystem.edu/
Students at Horsetooth

Fort Collins, Colorado

Located a short drive north of Denver, Fort Collins is a vibrant town full of local eateries, pubs, boutiques and home to Colorado State University. With 300 days of sunshine, snow-capped mountains, idyllic lakes and clear-running rivers, it is hard to deny that people like to get outdoors here all year round.

Fort Collins is a community that blends education and industry, hard work and recreation, tradition and progress. If you’re looking for a college experience with the perfect fusion of community, adventure and opportunity, Fort Collins is where you’ll find it.

Fort Collins offers a taste of all four seasons including winters with enough snow nearby in the foothills for a snowshoeing trip but typically mild temperatures.

With a robust public transportation system, and extensive system of bike trails and bike routes on almost every road, and a uniquely walkable campus, cars are optional in Fort Collins. There are alternative transportation options and even sponsored trips to the mountains and Denver.

Cam the Ram

Nomination and Application Process


The salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Committee Resources

How to Apply

Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. is assisting Colorado State University in this search. For consideration, all applications must be submitted through Greenwood/Asher. Submission of application materials as PDF attachments is strongly encouraged. Initial screening of applications will begin immediately, and applications and nominations will be accepted until an appointment is made; however, the priority consideration date is February 28, 2020.

Confidential inquiries, nominations and application materials (a letter of interest articulating qualifications and vision; a current cv; contact information for 5 professional references) should be directed to:

Jan Greenwood, President & Partner
Julie Holley, Senior Executive Search Consultant
Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc.
42 Business Centre Drive, Suite 206
Miramar Beach, Florida 32550
Phone: 850-650-2277 / Fax: 850-650-2272
Email: jangreenwood@greenwoodsearch.com
Email: julieholley@greenwoodsearch.com

Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc.

For more information on Colorado State University, please visit https://www.colostate.edu/

This position is subject to a criminal background check.

Colorado State University strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will also be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the University, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non- discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services. The Acting Title IX Coordinator is the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, 201 Administration Building, Fort Collins, CO. 80523-8004, (970) 491-5312. The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.