Dear Colleagues:

Thanks to all of you who took part in the internal search for CSU’s new Vice President for Diversity. The Search Committee did a great job identifying four very dedicated, talented candidates, all of whom have made significant contributions to our university over many years. One of the real challenges of an internal search is that we know and respect all of the candidates personally, and in this case, that has certainly made my decision quite difficult, as each of our finalists would bring something unique and important to the role.

Yesterday afternoon, I offered the position to Mary Ontiveros, CSU’s long-time Admissions director, current Associate VP for Enrollment and Access, and the architect of our Alliance Partnership program.

Mary has accepted and agreed to a start date of July 1. Mary’s history with the university, her exceptional connections in the statewide community, and her comprehensive understanding of the challenges we face in building a more welcoming, diverse campus all make her a great fit. In addition to her rich experience, I believe she also has the passion, diplomacy, and sense of humor to work through the inevitable challenges she’ll face in establishing a new, uncharted leadership role.

Mary earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at CSU — appropriately, her thesis was on “Creating an Environment Conducive to the Recruitment of Minority Students” — and she has worked in various capacities at CSU since 1974. Throughout her tenure, she has been actively involved in diversity issues and programs both on campus and off, and she has an exceptional statewide network from her involvement with the Colorado Council on High School/College Relations, The Daniels Fund and Boettcher Scholarship Committees, the College Board Summer Institute, the Colorado Coalition for the Educational Advancement of Latinos, and countless other activities.

From 2002-2003, she also served as special assistant to the president at Colorado State University-Pueblo, working closely as a consultant with staff in Admissions, Records, Financial Aid, Continuing Education, Housing, and Institutional Research on that campus.

As I said in my initial announcement of this position, travelling across our state over the past year and observing the changing demographics of our population have only reinforced my understanding of CSU’s land-grant mission — as well as my conviction that we can’t fully deliver on the land-grant promise if we, as a university, are not striving to reflect the society we serve. I’m confident Mary will do a great job as our VP for Diversity, a role in which she will be charged to coordinate, initiate, enhance, and lead CSU’s diversity efforts. The VPD will lead diversity planning efforts, including assessment, evaluation, and accountability; develop strategic partnerships, alliances and collaborations; organize the annual Diversity Conference; help to coordinate activities among on-campus units, commissions, committees, and task forces; and represent the University through networking and collaboration with outside communities, schools, and organizations. She will report to me, as President, and serve on the President’s Cabinet.

Thanks again to all the finalists, and a special thanks to Search Chair Blanche Hughes, who has also served with her usual distinction in the interim VPD role over the last several months. And please join me in congratulating Mary on her appointment!



President Tony Frank