The Opportunity

Colorado State University seeks an experienced leader to serve as its second ranking executive in the CSU Health Network—an integrated, comprehensive health care service addressing the needs of 33,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The CSU Health Network (CSUHN) provides a full range of cost effective mental health and primary care medical services on campus, referral for community specialty care, and comprehensive health education and prevention services programming. Services such as physical therapy, dentistry, and optometry are also available. The CSU Health Network is active in creating a healthy campus environment to support learning and success and is committed to providing equitable services to all students, including individuals of historically marginalized identities.

The Position

Role of the Associate Executive Director, CSU Health Network for Colorado State University

In partnership with the Executive Director, the Associate Executive Director of the CSU Health Network provides vision and strategic planning for the CSUHN and support of the Leadership Team (comprised of nine unit directors). The Associate Executive Director is committed to providing leadership for integrative, innovative, and comprehensive health care of the highest quality in a University environment, supporting CSUHN’s vision to be a national leader in campus community health care. The Associate Executive Director reports directly to the Executive Director of the CSU Health Network and, in the absence of the Executive Director, assumes leadership and oversight of the entire span of Health Network programs, services, and activities composed of Medical Services, Counseling Services, and Health Education and Prevention Services in an integrated organizational unit. As the Executive Director’s top deputy, the Associate Executive Director is focused on advancing a progressive vision and excellence in all facets of CSUHN services and initiatives, championing the work of over 270 highly trained and talented health providers and staff members, and operationalizing CSU’s and the Health Network’s commitment to anti-racism, equity, and inclusive access in service to students and in support of their ongoing academic success.

The Associate Executive Director is directly engaged in accreditation processes of the CSU Health Network and its various services, risk management, compliance reporting and upholding of privacy laws, and management of electronic health records, requiring a broad understanding of health care services (medical and behavioral), health promotion/education, and administration. Key functional duties include responsibility for the business services, administration, and operations management of the CSU Health Network. The Associate Executive Director provides direct leadership of all business functions, including budget development, human resources management, and planning, and also provides strategic oversight and direction in health care related areas such as health insurance billing and coding and medical records. Facilities management for the 113,000 sq. ft., four-story state-of-the-art Health and Medical Center is also part of the Associate Executive Director’s portfolio. The Associate Executive Director is responsible for planning, overseeing, and coordinating capital operating expenditures and fiscal systems with self-generated revenues exceeding $10 million; developing, managing, and monitoring a total CSUHN budget in excess of $20 million; and managing a team of nine (9) direct reports and total of 42 indirect reports.

As indicated in the institutional job description, the Associate Executive Director (AED) must be equipped to address unique problems and secure solutions that take into account future considerations and reconcile multiple stakeholder views. The AED will provide input into the development of strategy and be tasked with translating and operationalizing strategy into the day-to-day activities of departments or functions of the overall CSUHN. An estimated breakdown of essential job duties and allocation of time follows.

Fiscal Management and Strategic Development (30%)

  • Manage, coordinate, and make decisions for the financial/fiscal operations of the organization with a more than $20 million budget and 270 staff, including the development and administration of capital and operating budgets and expenditures and the establishment and management of financial control systems.
  • Establish pricing of services and set revenue from student fees and self-generated revenues for optimal operations and accountability.
  • Direct and oversee the planning, development, and administration of all business activities and auxiliary enterprise functions for CSU Health Network.
  • Engage in strategic planning for the organization and support priorities related to enhanced or different revenue sources, as well as expense controls.
  • Oversee the business services in preparation of department budgets, financial reports, special analyses, and development of spreadsheets and proformas.
  • Work with university fiscal officers, contract attorneys, purchasing, and accounting specialists to ensure compliance with all University financial regulations.

Leadership and Supervision (30%)

The position provides direct leadership and oversight for the following areas, which are composed of 42 full- and part-time staff.

  • Business Services
    • Patient Access Services (call center)
    • Patient Reception and Registration
    • Student Health Insurance
    • Billing and Coding
    • Medical Records
  • Administration
    • Human Resources
    • Accounting Services (including Purchasing and Central Supply)
    • Executive Administrative Assistant
  • Operations
    • Building Maintenance
    • Custodial Services

Administration (20%)

  • Ensure University financial and policy compliance, health care insurance billing regulations, health care compliance, and privacy regulations.
  • Serve as the leader for the CSUHN in the absence of the Executive Director.
  • Serve as the University Privacy Officer.
  • Represent the CSUHN, on both University and community committees.
  • Prepare regular and special reports related to the functional areas of oversight, such as annual reports, program review, and accreditation.
  • Engage in project management.
  • Serve as liaison to University of Colorado Health Systems and business partners whose offices occupy space in the Health and Medical Center—Associates in Family Medicine, Columbine Health Systems Building Partners, and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Operations (20%)

  • Business Services
    • Provide an environment conducive to the highest quality of care.
    • Attend to patient satisfaction, access, customer service, and patient flow.
    • Create a welcoming, inclusive, and comfortable environment for all students and staff.
  • Facility Management
    • Develop and implement a facility strategic repair and replacement plan.
    • Serve as liaison with the CSU Facilities Management unit.
    • Provide leadership and guidance for custodial services staff.

History of the Position

In March 2018, Anne Hudgens, who was nearing her tenth year as Executive Director of CSUHN, hired Lori Lynn to serve as the Associate Executive Director of CSU Health Network. Approximately 15 months later, Hudgens took a leave of absence from CSU in order to serve four months with Semester at Sea. In Hudgens’ absence, Lynn was promoted to Acting Executive Director and another staff member, Joel Schwartzkopf was appointed as Interim Associate Executive Director.

Hudgens returned to CSU in early 2020 with the expectation that she would retire in June 2020. With that impending transition, Lynn retained the responsibilities that were expanded during her time as Acting Executive Director and was formally appointed as Executive Director in summer 2020. By March 2020, however, CSU was immersed in addressing the needs of its campus community in the face of COVID-19. In short order, Lynn was tapped to co-chair the University’s Pandemic Preparedness Team. Within a month following her retirement, Hudgens was wooed back as a Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the CSU Health Network to provide assistance with general operations as Lynn’s time was increasingly committed to working with colleagues across campus on the university’s COVID-19 response.

In late September, Schwartzkopf accepted a promotional opportunity as the Executive Director of the Cougar Health Services at Washington State University. The vacancy caused by his departure has been filled on an interim basis by Alisa Kates. As the role of Associate Executive Director is deemed essential, senior officers of the University are moving forward with the search and have supported CSU Health Network’s effort to ensure a robust national recruitment effort by engaging Spelman Johnson as its search partner.

During the period of the search and as the current Executive Director remains engaged working on COVID-19 response, Hudgens will continue to support the overall operations of the CSU Health Center.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

Contributing to the ongoing strategic objectives of the CSU Health Network, especially to the commitment to ensure equitable access and service to all students, is the top priority for the Associate Executive Director. It is critically important that individuals with historically marginalized identities receive the care and support needed to thrive in their pursuit of academic success at CSU. A focus for the Associate Executive Director will be on sustaining and expanding professional development/training opportunities for Medical and Administrative staff (and supporting ongoing initiatives already underway by Counseling staff) to build capacity and compassionate response to student needs. Aligned with this is an opportunity for the Associate Executive Director to champion diversity recruitment such that as vacancies are filled, there is a conscientious effort to ensure staff reflect the full spectrum of identities represented across the student body. Bringing an equity lens to the work is a very important priority for the Associate Executive Director.

This is a unique time in our collective history. The Associate Executive Director must appreciate that in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing political unrest and cries for social justice, and fires that have raged just outside of Fort Collins burning thousands of acres, destroying homes, and disrupting the lives of thousands of CSU community members and their fellow citizens, as well as raising heightened health concerns and fears of lasting damage due to climate change, students, faculty, and staff in general are quite fatigued. All of this has contributed to rising mental health concerns and the CSU Health Network and its dedicated staff are right in the nexus of that—working hard to address the needs of others while also trying to maintain a sense of calm and focus for themselves as they execute their respective responsibilities. As the business services leader with oversight for human resources, the Associate Executive Director must be prepared to take an active role in strengthening and sustaining a positive morale throughout the Network’s 200 plus staff members. This will demand a transparent, consistent, and vigilant approach to communication up, down, and across the organization and University, as well as advocacy on behalf of staff to assure they receive the support needed to continue fulfilling their duties to the best of their ability and to create a cohesive shared purpose and vision.

Additional opportunities and challenges to be addressed by the next Associate Executive Director, in no particular order, include:

  • maintain a careful balance, understanding the university environment (which is student centered, as opposed to profit driven) and the many components that comprise the integrated CSU Health Network—Medical Services, Health Education and Promotion, and Counseling, as well as administrative services;
  • recognize that the key to success is to build strong, collaborative working partnerships with unit leaders—respect their expertise, foster continuous improvement, and engender an atmosphere that promotes innovation, supports their endeavors, and advocates for their needs by finding creative solutions with regard to administrative processes, fiscal management, training and development, and recruitment and retention initiatives;
  • challenge policies and processes that may limit access to services by some individuals and/or groups, especially individuals who have historically been marginalized;
  • bring a forward-looking and strategic approach to budget management, recognizing that there have been significant financial impacts of COVID-19 that have lowered revenue generation due to the limits on in-person care, and yet the degree of innovation and use of teleservices has grown. The associate executive director must build a model that factors in these realities and allows for continuous improvement and sustained high-quality care;
  • promote efforts to enhance efficiency and optimize use of technology without losing sight of the fact that the mission of the CSU Health Network, at its core, is about improving the human condition of the most vital members of the CSU community—its students;
  • understand that the operations of the CSU Health Network must transcend that of a traditional medical services model and the many inequities inherent in that hierarchical model to become an organization that is truly integrative and evolved, maximizing the contributions and talents of all its members in service to others;
  • be an effective listener who is also committed to acting on expressed needs and actively working toward solutions that dismantle inequities and advance positive change;
  • provide stability for staff, bring people together, and generate shared purpose;
  • support new ways of doing business, including internal efforts to enhance communication through regularly scheduled “town hall-type” Zoom meetings and active coalition building.

Measures of Success

The items listed below will define the new Associate Executive Director’s success throughout the first year of employment:

  • A culture of care throughout the CSUHN has been nurtured and sustained that values collaboration and is dedicated to providing the very best services possible to students. All units, including that of Health Education and Prevention Services and Counseling Services—not just that of the Medical Clinic—are highly valued as contributing members of a truly integrated health network.
  • Significant, careful attention has been given to strategically planning CSUHN budgets for the next two to three years. Given the impacts of COVID-19 on revenue generation and limited resources from the State of Colorado, the Associate Executive Director must factor in many variables in calculating a self-sustaining budget model.
  • Active support has been directed towards generating effective strategies for serving the full spectrum of CSU students, particularly individuals with marginalized identities. The Associate Executive Director has kept matters of race, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of strategic decision making and has provided measureable leadership and support in the dismantling of a system of health care predicated on white privilege.

Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate will have an advanced degree (master’s degree or higher) in business, health care, higher education administration, operation, organizational leadership, or related field. A minimum of five years progressively responsible organizational leadership experience, including administrative management and strategic planning, coupled with at least five years of supervisory experience of full-time professionals and five years of budget development and fiscal management experience are required. Applicants whose experience lies in the private sector (outside of higher education), must be able to transfer appropriate technical skills to an integrated university health care environment (medical, mental health, and health promotion) with the mission to directly serve students and support their academic success.

Preferred qualifications include experience working collaboratively across a complex organization, ideally in a health care related business services function (cost accounting, insurance billing, or health career management), university setting, and/or integrated health care setting (medical, behavioral health, and health promotion). Additional capabilities and demonstrated experience that will be important considerations in the selection of the next Associate Executive Director of the CSU Health Network include management of multiple revenue sources and expense controls; management of human resources and physical assets/facility operations; and evidence of a direct, comprehensive, and sustained focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the execution of one’s professional responsibilities.

In addition to the qualifications stated above, key stakeholders identified the following list of additional capabilities and attributes of a successful candidate:

  • hold a deep understanding of the university environment and higher education—be able to view services from the lens of students and their needs while honoring issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • must have a record of commitment and success advancing equity and inclusion and understand the intersectionality of identities within individuals served by an organization such as CSUHN;
  • be relationship focused and comfortable “crossing the aisle” to build coalitions and collaborations;
  • have a firm grasp of human resources and the ability to balance policy, protocol, practice, and performance expectations across varied groups;
  • support and empower others, taking an active role in helping build capacity and setting people up for success;
  • possess a strong customer service orientation, understanding that health care services within a higher education environment is not deduced simply to productivity, profit, and loss;
  • have a personal style that is approachable, creative, collaborative, friendly, and collegial;
  • maintain a steady internal compass—be a steady leader in the face of challenging times and circumstances;
  • be forward-thinking and dedicated to continuous learning and quality improvement—follow trends and project a long view;
  • appreciate the importance of mental health in the overall assessment and support of individuals striving for success in all of their endeavors;
  • be a thoughtful communicator—understand that language matters and be equipped to communicate effectively with individuals at all levels, including health providers throughout the Health and Medical Center, as well as other internal CSU constituents and external community members/vendors;
  • possess an egalitarian leadership style;
  • have some medical, clinical, and/or public health background;
  • understand the role of data to inform—though not always dictate—decision making;
  • be flexible and adaptable, able to adopt new approaches, embrace new technology and systems, and lead others through a process of change management;
  • have a track record of working within a multi-level, multi-faceted organization—be equipped to address regulatory, compliance, and reporting requirements;
  • hold some familiarity with universal design that promotes accessibility of services and resources;
  • be a progressive leader who is ready to grow and stretch, rising to new challenges and opportunities;
  • see the big picture—recognizing that one’s written job duties are not the sum total of their contributions and that the impact of one’s work reverberates throughout the entire eco-system in which they are a part.

Overview of the CSU Health Network

CSU Health Network is deeply committed to fostering a welcoming, supportive space where ALL students can be truly seen and valued in their entirety. All members of the CSUHN are dedicated to affirming respect, compassion, and acceptance for all, and to celebrating diversity with regard to all backgrounds and identities.

CSUHN strongly condemns racism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of prejudice, discrimination, and oppression, including the acts of hate and harassment that have occurred on campus.

CSU Health Network is every student’s home for health and well-being at Colorado State University. CSUHN is committed to the care of body and mind to help students succeed in college and life.

CUSHN Purpose

Supporting Ram* success through care for body and mind.

(*The Ram is the CSU mascot.)

Principles of Community

CSU Health Network is proud to be a part of the Colorado State University Division of Students Affairs and is committed to upholding the University’s Principles of Community:

  • Inclusion: We create and nurture inclusive environments and welcome, value, and affirm all members of our community, including various identities, skills, ideas, talents, and contributions.
  • Integrity: We are accountable for our actions and will act ethically and honestly in all our interactions.
  • Respect: We honor the inherent dignity of all people within an environment where we are committed to freedom of expression, critical discourse, and the advancement of knowledge.
  • Service: We are responsible, individually and collectively, to give of our time, talents, and resources to promote the well-being of each other and the development of our local, regional, and global communities.
  • Social Justice: We have the right to be treated and the responsibility to treat others with fairness and equity, the duty to challenge prejudice, and to uphold the laws, policies, and procedures that promote justice in all respects.


To lead the University community toward a healthy campus that promotes student success by providing multidisciplinary healthcare to enhance all aspects of student well-being.


To promote the complete physical and mental health of the CSU student community by providing quality health care and comprehensive health education and prevention programming. In addition, the Health Network offers educational opportunities and training programs for all levels of health professionals. Through ongoing research, the CSU Health Network evaluates programs and services and assesses student needs to meet its goal of continuous quality improvement.


CSU Health Network has achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

Status as an accredited organization means that CSU Health Network has met nationally-recognized standards for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC. CSU Health Network undergoes an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors to maintain this certification.

Since 1973, the predoctoral psychology internship program within CSU Health Network Counseling Services has been accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA-CoA). APA-CoA is recognized by both the US Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation as the national accrediting authority for professional education and training in psychology.

APA-CoA accreditation ensures that CSU Health Network Counseling Services meets professional standards of academic and operational integrity and quality.

Integrated Services

Located in the CSU Health and Medical Center, CSU Health Network provides comprehensive care for students under one roof. All CSU students have full access to CSUHN’s wide range of services, regardless of their insurance plan. These services include the following:

  • Medical Services
    • Primary Care
    • Pharmacy
    • Wellness and Behavioral Health Consultation
    • Immunizations
    • Laboratory
    • Radiology
    • Specialty Medical Services
      • Allergy and Asthma
      • Dental
      • Men’s Care
      • Massage Therapy
      • Nutrition Care for Disordered Eating
      • Optometry
      • Physical Therapy
      • Psychiatry
      • Sports Medicine/Orthopedics
      • Transgender Care
      • Travel Medicine
      • Women’s Care
    • Counseling Services
      • Individual and Couples Counseling
      • Groups and Workshops
      • Multicultural Counseling Services
      • Drugs, Alcohol and You (DAY) Programs
      • Pre-Hospitalization Support (iTeam)
      • Crisis Intervention
      • Consultation with Colleagues/Parents/Families
      • Graduate Training
        • Doctoral Internships in Health Services Psychology
        • Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowships – Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) & PCBH
        • Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship – DBT Informed Post Hospitalization Program & PCBH
        • Two-Year Post-Master’s Fellowship in AOD, Behavioral Health and General Counseling
        • Internship in Social Work
        • Master’s of Counseling Internship
        • Psychology Advance Practicum
        • Beginning Practicum
        • Graduate Student Assistants
      • Health Education and Prevention Services
        • Substance Abuse Prevention
        • Mental Health Initiatives
        • CREWS Peer Education
        • Well-Being Initiatives
        • Sexual Health Initiatives
        • Tobacco Cessation
        • Groups and Workshops

Health Insurance

Domestic students taking six or more resident instruction hours and international students enrolled at any credit level are required to have health insurance that meets CSU, state, and federal regulations.

Domestic students can meet the requirement by providing proof of other health coverage through an individual/family/employer health insurance plan or by enrolling in the University-sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

International students enrolled in any credit level are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) but can meet the insurance requirement by providing proof of other health insurance coverage, including an employer plan or an individual health plan.

Students must meet the health insurance requirement their first semester at CSU and every fall semester.

CSU Health Network is an in-network provider with most major insurance carriers and can file claims with them. Students’ out-of-pocket costs are dependent on their health insurance plan benefits.

CSU Network Organizational Chart

For additional information about the CSU Health Network, please visit:

Leadership of the Division of Student Affairs

Blanche Hughes, PhD, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Blanche Hughes received her bachelor’s degree from Earlham College, a master’s of education degree in Student Affairs, and doctorate degree in Sociology from Colorado State University. She is currently in her 13th year as the Vice President for Student Affairs at CSU. In this role, she works with a Division that includes 21 departments that collaborate with other units in the University community to help CSU students and staff be successful. Dr. Hughes teaches a first-year undergraduate seminar course, as well as teaches and advises students in the Student Affairs in Higher Education graduate program.

She is also a member of the President’s leadership team. Effective October 21, 2019, Dr. Hughes accepted the role of Lead Administrator of the Race Bias and Equity Initiative at the request of President Joyce McConnell.

Before becoming Vice President, Dr. Hughes spent six years as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and eleven years as the Director of Black Student Services at Colorado State University, and also served as a professor of the Sociology Department at Pikes Peak Community College for two years, one of those years as Chair of the Department.

Lori Lynn, MHSM, Executive Director, CSU Health Network

Lori Lynn joined Colorado State University in March 2018 as the Associate Executive Director of the CSU Health Network. In fall 2019, Lynn stepped in as the Acting Executive Director when Anne Hudgens took a leave for the semester. Upon Hudgens’ return in January 2020, Lynn maintained many of the duties assigned during her period of acting leadership as Hudgens was preparing to retire in a few short months. Lynn was officially appointed as the Executive Director of the CSU Health Network on July 1, 2020. At present, Lynn co-leads the CSU Pandemic Response Team. As Executive Director of the CSU Health Network, Lynn is a direct report to the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Prior to CSU, Lynn’s career path included positions of increasing administrative responsibility at Banner Health in Greeley, Colorado, Arizona Department of Health Services, and Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix, Arizona. From July 2001 to November 2007, Lynn served as the Nursing Director in Campus Health at Arizona State University (ASU)—a large, land-grant institution with over 50 percent of the student population identified as ethnically diverse.


Lynn earned a BSN degree from Binghamton University and MHSM degree with emphasis on Health Sector Management from Arizona State University and the W.P. Carey School of Business. While at ASU, Lynn served as the Campus Health representative on numerous Student Affairs and University committees. Throughout her career, Lynn has gained experience and been invested in providing health care in an inclusive and culturally competent manner while managing a large portfolio of clinical and management leadership responsibilities.

Institution & Location

Institutional Overview

Institutional Background/History

Colorado State University’s roots go back to 1870, when the institution was founded as the Agricultural College of Colorado. The school first opened its doors to students in 1879 with President Elijah Edwards and two faculty members. From these humble origins, a world-class institution grew. Today, Colorado State University has nearly 27,000 undergraduate students and is a Carnegie Class I research institution with annual research expenditures topping $330 million. The University has approximately 1,550 faculty in eight colleges, 55 academic departments, and boasts more than 170,000 living alumni. Included in this list are everyone from state governors, heads of corporations, Olympic gold medalists, teachers, researchers, artists, and many other leaders in society. CSU in Fort Collins is the flagship institution among the three campuses—inclusive of Colorado State University-Pueblo and CSU Global (serving non-traditional students)—that comprise the current Colorado State University System.

Mission and Values


Inspired by its land-grant heritage, Colorado State University 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.

CSU has further adopted the following values:


  • Be accountable
  • Promote civic responsibility
  • Employ a customer focus
  • Promote freedom of expression
  • Demonstrate inclusiveness and diversity
  • Encourage and reward innovation
  • Act with integrity and mutual respect
  • Provide opportunity and access
  • Support excellence in teaching and research

Commitment to Diversity

CSU has a unique mission in the State of Colorado. As a land grant university we are committed to a foundational principle of inclusive excellence recognizing that our institutional success depends on how well we welcome, value, and affirm all members of the CSU community. Only through the inclusion of the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni can we truly be excellent in our pursuits.

Our inclusive excellence efforts hinge on four key ideas:

  • Broad and inclusive definition of diversity.

We recognize that to truly be inclusive we must draw attention to the depth and breadth of the diversity represented at CSU. Our definition includes age, culture, different ideas and perspectives, disability, ethnicity, first generation status, familial status, gender identity and expression, geographic background, marital status, national origin, race, religious and spiritual beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and veteran status. We also recognize that the historical exclusion and marginalization of specific social groups must be addressed to promote equity.

  • Inclusiveness and excellence are interdependent.

We recognize that to continue to stay current in the global marketplace and stay relevant in an increasingly diverse world, we must embody inclusion. To practice inclusiveness is excellence.

  • Everyone is responsible for inclusive excellence.

All members of the campus community (administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni) must recognize and assume responsibility for the climate of the university. A unit or person can drive the process, but every individual at CSU assumes responsibility for positive change.

  • Inclusive excellence goes beyond numbers.

Historically, diversity has been gauged by demographics or numbers; we must move beyond solely numbers toward an inclusive community that embeds diversity throughout the institution in multiple areas including demographics, policies, and communications; curriculum, pedagogy, and student learning; recruitment, hiring and retention, evaluation and supervision.

Achieving inclusive excellence is a long-term commitment and must have a comprehensive broad approach, embedding appreciation of all members and inclusion best practices into the very fabric of CSU’s organizational culture.


Joyce McConnell – President

Joyce McConnell is the 15th President at Colorado State University and the first woman to serve in this role. She joined CSU in the summer of 2019 in time to herald the University’s 150th birthday throughout the 2019-2020 academic year. In her September 2018 Fall Address to the campus community, McConnell announced a Race, Bias, and Equity Initiative to directly address the challenges faced by CSU. In keeping with her action-oriented leadership style, work on that initiative has advanced rapidly, even against the backdrop of a global pandemic.

Prior to stepping into the presidency at CSU, McConnell spent more than 20 years at another flagship, R1 land grant institution, West Virginia University. She joined the faculty of the WVU College of Law in 1995 and held progressive leadership positions thereafter. She was appointed dean of the College in 2008 and immediately fundraised for a $36 million renovation and expansion of the College building. She also expanded the College’s interdisciplinary opportunities and implemented state of the art experiential and clinical programs and facilities.

McConnell was named provost of West Virginia University (WVU) by President Gordon Gee in 2014. In this role, she galvanized innovation and entrepreneurship at WVU with her creation of the university-wide WVU Idea Hub. Committed to the power of interdisciplinary education and research, she fostered the expansion of WVU’s Energy Institute, ADVANCE Center, and Center for Excellence in STEM Education. To elevate connections among disciplines critical to analytical thinking, problem-solving, and understanding the human condition, she established a Humanities Center. And as an expression of her long-held commitment to diversity and inclusion and its relationship to faculty and student success, she created the university’s LGBTQ+ Center and focused the campus on the success of all students.

During a period of significant transition for West Virginia University, economic crisis in the state of West Virginia, soul-searching across higher education and political and cultural upheaval for our nation, McConnell publicly committed to the principles that guide her leadership. She led WVU to completely rethink their approach to Title IX, with the result that the university is now a national leader in proactive Title IX initiatives on campus. And she consistently spoke to and for the faculty of WVU on such thorny and critical topics as free speech and diversity.

In addition to being passionately committed to the mission and success of land grant institutions, McConnell is an advocate for equity in education and the workplace, as well as an advocate for the preservation and protection of the environment. She is a past President of three sections of the Associations of American Law Schools: the sections on the Dean, on natural resources and energy law, and on women in legal education. She has served on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Committee on Infractions and is a member of the Board of Governors for Antero Resources. From 2016-2019, McConnell also chaired the Board of Trustees for the Nature Conservancy in West Virginia, embodying her long-standing commitment to the TNC mission of creating a world where people and nature can thrive.

In 2014, McConnell was named the 2014 Public Servant of the Year by the West Virginia Association for Justice and awarded the Special Places Award by West Virginia Land Trust in 2010. She earned an undergraduate degree from Evergreen State College, a law degree from Antioch School of Law, and a master of laws from Georgetown University Law Center.

Academic Programs and Faculty

Academic Colleges

  • College of Agricultural Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Health & Human Sciences
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
  • Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering
  • Warner College of Natural Resources

Degree Programs

  • 300 undergraduate academic programs, including more than 70 majors with 140 concentrations, 80 minors, and pre-professional advising.
  • More than 85 Master’s programs, 50 PhD programs, and 40 Graduate Certificates.


  • 1,904 faculty members, with 1,134 on tenure-track appointments.
  • There are currently 18 University Distinguished Professors and 12 University Distinguished Teaching Scholars.
  • Tenure-track faculty with terminal degrees: 99 percent.

The Student Body

  • 34,166 total students
  • 23% racially diverse (domestic)
  • 16:1 student-faculty ratio
  • 17 learning communities
  • 1,231: largest number of degrees awarded, liberal arts
  • 76 undergraduate fields of study at CSU

About Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is a municipality in northern Colorado, which serves as the seat of Larimer County. Situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, Fort Collins is located 56 miles north of the Colorado State Capital in Denver. With a 2018 estimated population of 167,830, it is the fourth most populous city in Colorado after Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. Fort Collins is a midsize college city, home to both Colorado State University and Front Range Community College’s Larimer campus.

Fort Collins is home to fabulous recreational opportunities, diverse cultural attractions, a vibrant nightlife scene, and many family-friendly activities. For outdoor enthusiasts, there is world-class whitewater rafting on the nationally designated “Wild and Scenic” Cache La Poudre River (regarded as the best whitewater rafting near Rocky Mountain National Park) and plenty of hiking, camping, and skiing/snowboarding within close proximity. Known as Colorado’s Craft Beer Capital, Fort Collins is home to over 20 local breweries, as well as one of the best-known large breweries in the world, Anheuser-Busch. The Swetsville Zoo is very popular among families as are the multitude of restaurants, cultural events, and seasonal festivities that make Fort Collins an inviting community.

The combination of an attractive lifestyle, strong local school systems (public, private, and charter schools), and a number of successful local businesses and major corporations that have relocated, settled down, and been established in Fort Collins, creating a good job market and local economy, all add to Fort Collins’ appeal to year-round residents. In fact, the favorable job market is continually listed as one of the reasons why Fort Collins is one of the best places to live in the country.

Recent accolades bestowed upon Fort Collins include the following:

  • No. 7, Safest Driving Cities: Allstate- June 2019
  • No. 4, Best U.S. Cities to Raise a Family: MarketWatch – April 2019
  • Best American Cities for Creatives: Thrillist – March 2019
  • No. 10, Best Cities For Beer Drinkers: Smart Asset- Dec. 2018
  • Best U.S. Places To Travel in 2019: Forbes- Dec. 2018
  • No. 3, U.S. Cities with Highest Economic Confidence: Yahoo- Nov. 2018
  • No. 2, Brain Concentration Index: Bloomberg- Nov. 2018
  • A Overall Rating – Fort Collins Renters: Apartment List- July 2018
  • No. 1 City in America for Cycling: PeopleForBikes– May 2018
  • 14th Best Place to Live : – Mar 2018
  • No. 5, Best-Performing Cities in America: Milken Institute – Jan. 2018

Benefits Overview

The following benefits are available to employees of Colorado State University:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Accidental death & dismemberment insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Health savings account
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Long term care insurance
  • Academic privileges (may enroll in up to nine credits per year)
  • Employee assistance program
  • Leave benefits
  • Campus programs, discounts, and special benefits
  • Promoting employee health, wellness, and personal advancement
  • Engaging employees in the life of the University
  • Connecting employees and students outside the classroom
  • Enriching participation in campus programs, classes, and events
  • Rewarding employees for their service and involvement in the CSU community

For additional information regarding benefits, please visit:

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin December 11, 2020, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Valerie B. Szymkowicz at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Colorado State University website at

 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.

We are sensitive to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting work and personal lives, and will offer the utmost flexibility throughout the interview process which is scheduled to begin in January 2021. The search committee expects to conduct initial interviews virtually for the safety and well-being of all involved.