Founded in 1874, Colorado College is an independent, coeducational, liberal arts and sciences college of bold ideas, located in the beautiful city of Colorado Springs on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains at the foot of Pikes Peak. Ranked among the top 30 National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, Colorado College enjoys an unequivocal mission: to provide the finest liberal arts education in the country. What makes Colorado College distinct is its inimitable combination of program, place, and people. Colorado College is a unique institution in terms of geography and pedagogy. Set in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado College is the only selective liberal arts college in the region and enrolls just over 2,000 undergraduate students. Through 37 academic departments, faculty engage students directly and prepare them for leadership in the 21st century. The College’s signature academic program, the “Block Plan,” is an intensive academic schedule that allows students to immerse themselves in a single subject for three and a half weeks, rather than balancing several courses over a semester. One example of the College’s innovative work is the integration with the world-renowned Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (now the Fine Arts Center at Colorado College), which has greatly expanded arts programming and sparked new interdisciplinary learning opportunities. Students at Colorado College learn more than theoretical approaches; they learn to embrace the importance of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints and appreciate how diversity enriches their understanding of the world.

The Position


Reporting to the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students, the Senior Associate Dean of Students for Equity and Inclusion/Director of the Butler Center provides strategic vision, thoughtful and collaborative leadership and guidance as a member of the College’s team, leading efforts to imbed the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), and belonging within the life of Colorado College. As a senior strategic leader within the Student Life Division and the College, the Senior Associate Dean will advance efforts that build a diverse and welcoming learning environment and culture in addition to furthering inclusive excellence, belonging, and inclusion for all Colorado College students.

The Senior Associate Dean serves as a member of a three-person leadership team, along with the Senior Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Faculty Development and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Staff. Together, this team will work collaboratively to lead strategic implementation to keep antiracism and DEI efforts a priority at the college. The Senior Associate Dean will collaborate with campus constituencies to coordinate effective co-curricular educational opportunities and avenues to address issues of inclusion and difference as they relate to race, ethnicity, culture, class, sex, gender, religion, sexual identity, nationality, and other dimensions of identity.

The Senior Associate Dean manages the Butler Center budget and leads a small staff, complemented by student interns, at the Center; shapes and delivers student-directed programming in coordination with student leaders and other campus colleagues; and, serves as Ombudsperson for students. Further, the Senior Associate Dean assists with division administrative functions as requested by the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students to include development, implementation, and assessment of division goals, policy development, budget planning, and personnel management; and, represents the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students as requested in their absence.

Other key responsibilities:

  • Support and sustain a campus culture in which all students, including American ethnic minority students, first-generation students, international students, LBGTQIA+ students, and majority students will thrive;
  • Contribute to Bridge Programs supporting the successful college transition of first-year students;
  • Identify and lead efforts to resolve issues presented by students and collaborate with the Provost and faculty leadership as needed;
  • Work collaboratively with other leadership team members to introduce the antiracism framework to all incoming trustees, faculty, staff, and students, and develop understanding, accountability, structure, and opportunities for college community members to embrace and further the College’s antiracism initiative;
  • Serve as a primary resource for the college’s Diversity and Equity Advisory Board;
  • Regularly report to the Antiracism Oversight Committee;
  • Meet regularly with the Dean of Students/Vice President for Student Life, President, and other leaders to keep them informed of individual and team work;
  • Build and maintain community partnerships, primarily with various multicultural communities in the greater Colorado Springs area with a goal of supporting local diversity initiatives and providing opportunities for Colorado College students to expand their community of support and serve as mentors to local youth;
  • Forge and maintain partnerships across department boundaries, responding effectively to challenging student and community issues, and approaching issues and situations involving students with empathy and confidence;
  • Promote a culture of safety and environmental protection by working in a safe manner, immediately reporting unsafe situations and accidents, following college procedures, and participating in appropriate safety training;
  • Demonstrate environmental sustainability by using college resources wisely and supporting the college’s sustainability initiatives and innovation;
  • Advise the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students on issues that impact student life;
  • Collaborate closely with other college divisions and departments in carrying out the mission and strategic plan of the college and the priorities of the division;
  • Represent Colorado College at key events and serve as an active member of the college community, regularly participating in institution-wide activities and providing outreach from Student Life to various constituencies on campus and within the community of Colorado Springs;
  • Represent the Division of Student Life on committees as assigned.


In 2014, Dr. Paul Buckley was hired as Colorado College’s inaugural Assistant Vice President/Director of the Butler Center. In this role, Dr. Buckley provided vision and leadership designed to advance and support issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity for the campus community. As a member of the Student Life division, he worked with the Dean’s Office to create student-centered policies and uphold the college’s core value of diversity. Dr. Buckley resigned his position in January 2020. The Assistant Vice President/Director of the Butler Center role has since been modified and expanded to support Colorado College’s new antiracism plan. Rather than relying on one chief diversity officer to oversee the implementation of the antiracism plan, Colorado College will build the college’s capacity for inclusive excellence by (1) creating a campus committee to oversee this work and (2) elevating the leadership of this work to a diverse three-person team, made up of members with expertise in equity, diversity, and inclusion. The Senior Associate Dean of Students for Equity and Inclusion/Director of the Butler Center will focus on students; the Senior Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion, and Faculty Development will focus on the academic program; and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will focus on employees. The Senior Associate Dean of Students for Equity and Inclusion/Director of the Butler Center, along with the other DEI leaders, will be dedicated to the college’s diversity and inclusion goals, lead strategic implementation, and keep antiracism front and center at the college. This three-person approach will improve efficacy and accountability in this work, allowing for greater reach and collaboration.


The Colorado College campus community has evolved rapidly in recent years. The College is committed to growing diversity among its student body while at the same time enhancing diversity throughout its staff and faculty. Accordingly, there is a strong commitment and growing excitement from institutional stakeholders to develop and embrace antiracism and DEI initiatives on campus. Developing and sustaining a culture that builds an inclusive community is a key institutional priority and the foundation on which the Senior Associate Dean of Students for Equity and Inclusion/Director of the Butler Center’s work will be built in collaboration with the Senior Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Faculty Development and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Staff.

In transitioning to Colorado College, the Senior Associate Dean of Students for Equity and Inclusion/Director of the Butler Center may encounter a number of opportunities and challenges as shared by College stakeholders.

  • The Senior Associate Dean must have the ability to assess opportunities for improvement, prioritize the work, assess impact and outcomes of strategic endeavors, and build collaborative relationships across the campus. Through execution of the work, the Senior Associate Dean will continually define and refine the position. This will demand a high degree of personal motivation, confidence, and competence, as well as an ability to adapt and be flexible over time.
  • There will be a strong commitment within the division and across the institution to helping the new Senior Associate Dean make a successful transition to Colorado College. The Senior Associate Dean will find a supervisor and peer group that are welcoming and promote open communication, and that desire a progressive and forward-thinking professional.
  • During the on-boarding period, the new Senior Associate Dean needs to assess strengths and weaknesses of current programs and services–especially in the context of the antiracist initiatives across campus–and, after a period of evaluation, develop progressive tactical plans that will support both Colorado College students and the broader College.
  • From a mission/vision perspective, Colorado College is deeply committed to and encourages principles of antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. In collaboration with institutional DEI leaders, the Senior Associate Dean will need to continue to provide services that align with those broader institutional characteristics, mission, and values.
  • Stakeholders shared that some students quickly become engaged with DEI initiatives, while others tend to be disconnected. The Senior Associate Dean will need to determine how to better link and involve students during the critical first few weeks of the academic year and refresh connections throughout the year.
  • Students from underrepresented groups can feel isolated and marginalized, and need someone who can “be present” with their concerns, anger, and frustration—while also teaching how to engage in positive change management and find a voice in movement from dialog to action. Students shared that Colorado College can be slow to acknowledge problems and they are hoping for an advocate within the administrative realm of the institution.
  • The Senior Associate Dean will need to build an exemplary team by earning trust through authentic relationship building, enhancing current staff’s morale, and creating a culture of honest information sharing, solicitation of others’ input, and fair and consistent accountability methods.
  • The Senior Associate Dean will need to earn the respect of the campus community through accessibility, visibility, transparency, and meaningful collaboration.


At an appropriate interval after joining Colorado College, a number of accomplishments will initially define success for the new Senior Associate Dean of Students for Equity and Inclusion/Director of the Butler Center:

  • Demonstrated a collaborative leadership style that is credible and collegial while contributing to being highly effective;
  • Worked at a strategic level across the institution, building partnerships and advancing policy and priorities;
  • Earned the respect of the campus community through positive working relationships, strong visibility, accessibility and honest, open communication;
  • Utilized antiracism and DEI initiatives to afford students a true sense of belonging to the Colorado College community;
  • Supported and advocated for students’ needs and concerns;
  • Increased morale and built a strong staff that feels supported, valued, empowered, and unified by a common vision;
  • Developed a five-year plan to address antiracism and DEI initiatives for Colorado College students.


Candidates must possess a master’s degree from an accredited university and five to seven years of experience and documented success taking a leadership role in developing and implementing programs, curricula, and/or other institutional/organizational activities that place DEI concerns and commitments at their center in a higher education or community-based organization. Qualified candidates possessing a doctoral degree, DEI certification(s), and/or advanced training in diversity related fields are strongly encouraged to apply.

The successful candidate must demonstrate evidence of successful programming designed to build cultural competencies; documented experience engaging varied constituencies on issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual identity, and religion; an understanding of, and experience with, effective student support and advocacy; deep knowledge of assessment practices focused on student learning; and, an ability to guide data-driven efforts across a large department. Further, the candidate must possess knowledge of professional development modalities and needs within student affairs/student life;

experience developing professional development activities for staff and student leaders; demonstrated success in working across traditional boundaries with a diverse group of people, including students, faculty, administrators, and alumni; and, demonstrated critical thinking, creativity, and self-direction. In addition, the candidate must demonstrate outstanding organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills; the ability to manage change through a highly collaborative and collegial process; and, an understanding and appreciation for a liberal arts approach to higher education.

Additionally, various stakeholders identified a number of characteristics, skills, actions, and/or abilities as important attributes of the Senior Associate Dean:

  • A thought leader with the ability to think and act in a progressive and creative manner, and to lead strategic visioning/planning processes;
  • Someone who is student-centered in outlook, values, and has a work style that is very open, transparent and collaborative;
  • Ability to balance patience and urgency in working with various institutional stakeholders;
  • A dynamic communicator with the ability to broadly promote antiracism and DEI initiatives;
  • Political savvy, and the skills to de-escalate polarizing conflicts and issues;
  • A passion for helping students succeed by serving as a mentor, particularly for individuals from historically underrepresented populations;
  • An ability to teach, engage, and appropriately challenge majority students about diversity-related topics;
  • A creative thinker capable of designing DEI programming that is welcoming and inclusive of majority students, as well as students from underrepresented populations;
  • A transformational leader who has high ethical standards and professional integrity;
  • Be a community builder, able to forge common ground among individuals of different backgrounds, identities, perspectives, philosophies, etc.;
  • Be regarded as a good listener, readily approachable, charismatic, sociable, and visible—as someone to whom students can turn to with confidence to seek counsel and support;
  • Demonstrated commitment to a strong collaborative style and the capacity to build bridges to other departments, faculty, students, and the community;
  • Accessible, transparent, ethical leader with excellent communication skills to clearly articulate vision, direction, and purpose and earn the trust, respect, and confidence of the faculty, staff, and students;
  • Ability to set priorities to achieve objectives, and manage multiple projects concurrently.


An Overview of the Division of Student Life

The Division of Student Life brings the college’s values and mission to life through its ability to connect, integrate, and engage students, creating a strong sense of place and belonging. Staff are integrally involved in the student experience, both inside and outside of the classroom, working to ensure that students can maximize and leverage their time at the college and truly thrive. To that end, Student Life provides an array of intentional and relevant support and resource systems to help students learn and to develop as leaders.

Special services provided by the Division of Student Life include:

  • Student Initiative Resources. Emergency funding is available for high-need students and students in crisis facing unexpected financial needs. These funds are made possible through generous donations from alumni, parents, and friends of Colorado College.
  • Student Concerns. Student Life maintains a log of student concerns and the Division’s response. It is important to note that not all issues are resolved in a manner that matches students’ hopes.
  • Time Off and Withdrawals. Student Life can make provisions for students interested in taking a block off, taking a leave of absence (multiple blocks), or withdrawing from the college.

The Division oversees the following areas: The Residential Experience, The Butler Center, Outdoor Education, Housing & Conferences, Wellness Resource Center & Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Honnen Ice Arena, Campus Safety, Chaplain’s Office, Forensics, Campus Activities, Counseling Center, Arts and Crafts, The Advising Hub, Student Health Center, Worner Center, and the Career Center.

Leadership of the Division of Student Life

Dr. Mike Edmonds – Dean of Students/Vice President of Student Life

Mike Edmonds, PhD, is the Dean of Students/Vice President of Student Life at Colorado College, where he has served for nearly 30 years. Dean Edmonds is also an executive in residence in the economics and business department. Dean Edmonds holds a bachelor of arts, master’s, and PhD from Ole Miss, and was inducted as a Hall of Fame graduate in 1984. He has completed a post-graduate institute at Harvard University, and is a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership. He frequently judges for the National Speech and Debate Association.

Dean Edmonds is a member of the North Central Institution Action Committee of the Higher Learning Commission, and serves as a peer reviewer for accreditation visits. At Colorado College, he has been recognized with the Colorado College Center for Service and Learning Award; the Victor Nelson Cisneros Diversity Award, which was presented at the 2010 Colorado College Honors Convocation; and the 2011 Gresham Riley Award, which recognizes faculty and staff of the College who have made a significant difference to the Colorado College community through outstanding service, commitment and accomplishment.

Nationally, Dean Edmonds is a member of the Lott Institute Trustees at the University of Mississippi and the School of Liberal Arts Board of Trustees at Ole Miss. He is treasurer of the Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha forensics honorary. Regionally, Dean Edmonds is a past chair of the Board of Trustees for Memorial Health System, past chair of United Way for the Pikes Peak Region, a member of the Tocqueville Society United Way, and on the Board of Trustees of the Colorado Springs School. He is past chair and current member of the Board of Directors of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, president-elect of the Great West American Cancer Society Board of Directors, and past member of the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Board. He was appointed by Governor Bill Owens to serve on the Fourth District Judicial Commission of Colorado and served as chair of the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport Commission. Dean Edmonds holds a professional membership in Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha and is a silver lifetime member of the NAACP.

Dean Edmonds has been honored with the Educator of the Year Award from the Urban League of the Pikes Peak Region; the national St. George Award from the American Cancer Society; the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Forensic League; the MLK award from James Logan High school in Union City, CA; the Delores Taylor Arthur Award from Holy Cross High School in New Orleans; the Men of Achievement award from Delta Sigma Theta; and the Citizen of the Year Award from Omega Psi Phi. He was the recipient and awardee of the Uplift Community Foundation’s support in 2015. For his work in speech and forensics, he has been recognized with the National Speech and Debate Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and inducted into the Gold Key Society at Emory University.

The Butler Center

The Butler Center, named for one of the earliest African American alums who invested in the future of Colorado College, serves as the college center for diversity, inclusion, intercultural exchange, equity, and empowerment for the entire college community. The Center resists all forms and manifestations of oppression through its commitment to these principles, and utilizes them as a catalyst for this critical work shared by many departments and people at the college. Although the work of the Center may be uncomfortable and challenging at times, it is always incredibly rewarding for the community.

Institution & Location


Institutional Background/History

Colorado College’s history is one full of proud tradition and progressive culture. The conventions upon which the school was based continue to live through the current college’s students, faculty, and staff. In the early years, before there existed so much as a permanent building, Colorado College gathered a small faculty whose roots ran to New England scholarship. Today’s faculty, although more diverse philosophically, still balances teaching and scholarship as the college’s traditional strength. Established in 1874, two years before Colorado became a state, as a coeducational institution Colorado College’s history is a long and proud one.

In 1871, General William Jackson Palmer, founder of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, laid out the city of Colorado Springs along his new line from Denver. Envisioning a model city, he reserved land and contributed funds for a college, which was to open May 6, 1874.


The college’s first building, Cutler Hall, was occupied in 1880; the first bachelor’s degrees were conferred in 1882. Under President William F. Slocum, who served from 1888 to 1917, the campus took the shape it held until the 1950s. During this time, the college reached scholarly maturity, especially by significantly expanding and improving the library’s holdings and by attracting leading scholars in a number of fields. Phi Beta Kappa was chartered in 1904.

Since the mid-1950s, the campus has been almost entirely rebuilt. New facilities include three large residence halls, Worner Campus Center, Tutt Library, Olin Hall of Science and the Barnes Science Center, Honnen Ice Rink, Boettcher Health Center, Schlessman Pool, Armstrong Hall of Humanities, Palmer Hall, El Pomar Sports Center, and Packard Hall of Music and Art. The Gaslight Plaza Building, previously known as the Plaza Hotel and the Plaza Building, was purchased by the college in March 1991, and was renamed the William I. Spencer Center in public ceremonies on October 5, 1991, to honor the retiring charter trustee and board chairman. Bill Spencer served on the board from 1967 until 1991 and was chair from 1984 to 1991. The building houses development, communications, and human resources. Turn-of-the-century Bemis, Cossitt, Cutler, Montgomery, and Palmer Halls, and the William I. Spencer Center are on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Colorado College campus has undergone significant changes over recent years. From the early 2000s with the construction of the Western Ridge Housing Complex, the completion of the Russell T. Tutt Science Center, and well as the revitalization of the east campus, now home to the Greek Quad and several “theme” houses, the college’s campus has been abuzz with change and development.

In 2008, campus welcomed the opening of the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center, an interdisciplinary arts building allowing for innovative, experimental, and collaborative projects in a unique space with state-of-the-art technology.

In the spring of 2013, Colorado College completed the addition of the Adam F. Press Fitness Center, a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the health of the college community. The renovations to El Pomar Sports Center and the addition of the Adam F. Press Fitness Center have reinvigorated and energized the college’s access to health and wellness and continue to be a huge asset to the needs of students, faculty, and staff.

Perhaps more significant than the physical development of the campus is its academic vigor. The college’s curriculum includes a number of interdisciplinary programs: Southwest studies, feminist and gender studies, Asian studies, biochemistry, environmental sciences, neuroscience, Latin American studies, Russian and Eurasian studies, and race and ethnic studies, as well as a strong across-the-curriculum writing program, and a thriving Summer Session.

The citizens of Colorado Springs 100 years ago were so proud of their young town’s progress and prosperity that they filled a Century Chest full of descriptive memorabilia opened on January 1, 2001.

This time capsule contains more than 100 essays and photographs depicting community life a century ago. A splendid ceremony in 1901 at Colorado College marked the sealing of the large steel-riveted box, which stands today in the college’s Tutt Library. Louis R. Ehrich, in his speech “Posteritism,” expressed his hope that the people of 2000 would give a similar Century Chest to their descendants.

About Colorado Springs, Colorado

The Ute, Arapaho, and Cheyenne peoples were the first recorded inhabitants of an area which would become Colorado Springs. As part of the land included in the United States’ 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the current city area was designated a section of the 1854 Kansas Territory. In 1859, after the first local settlement was established, it became part of the Jefferson Territory and then that of El Paso County. Colorado City at the Front Range confluence of Fountain and Camp creeks was formally organized on August 13, 1859 during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. It served as the capital of the Colorado Territory from November 5, 1861, until August 14, 1862, when the capital was moved to Denver.

Today, Colorado Springs is a home rule municipality that is the largest city by area (194.9 square miles) in Colorado as well as the county seat and the most populous municipality of El Paso County, Colorado.  Located 60 miles south of Denver, in east central Colorado, the city stands over 1 mile above sea level; the city lies near the base of Pikes Peak, which rises 14,115 feet above sea level on the eastern edge of the Southern Rocky Mountains.

Colorado Springs has an estimated population of 472,688 and a metro population of approximately 738,939, making it Colorado’s second most populous city, behind Denver, and the 39th most populous city in the United States. The United States Air Force Academy opened in 1958 just north of Colorado Springs. The city also is home to 24 national sports governing bodies, including the United States Olympic Committee, the United States Olympic Training Center, and USA Hockey. In 2018 U.S. News & World Report named Colorado Springs the most desirable place to live in the United States, and the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings found Colorado Springs to be the fastest-growing city for millennials.

Mission and Vision

At Colorado College (CC) our goal is to provide the finest liberal arts education in the country. Drawing upon the adventurous spirit of the Rocky Mountain West, we challenge students, one course at a time, to develop those habits of intellect and imagination that will prepare them for learning and leadership throughout their lives.

Our unique Block Plan system provides students with the most immersive and we feel rewarding method of learning possible. It offers in-depth study of a subject, oftentimes covering far more material than most semester-based programs, at demanding and inspiring levels.

We offer unparalleled access to the outdoors, and CC students are no strangers to the adventurous spirit that flourishes here in the Rocky Mountain West. This attitude is something that is instilled into everything we do here. Curiosity is the driver and ingenuity is the outcome.

Our academic environment challenges our students, and drives them toward discovery. The nature of the Block Plan enables students to truly find and pursue their passions. Additionally, many courses venture beyond the classroom elsewhere–whether it be studying astronomy at our Baca campus or simply taking your readings outside. CC allows students and professors alike to make their college experience whatever they choose it to be.

At CC, we pride ourselves not solely upon academic rigors and standards, but also on the traits it seeks to bring out in its students. We encourage and facilitate numerous opportunities for student volunteer work, such as BreakOut trips, as well as offering students leadership positions both on campus and within the local Colorado Springs community. Leadership is something that we strive for in everything we do at CC, because the leadership skills cultivated here will allow students to become leaders in whichever career they pursue.

Strategic Plan

As Colorado College moves forward with new strategic initiatives, our mission remains the same—providing the finest liberal arts education in the country. Yes, it’s a simple statement. But in these complicated times, it helps everyone at the college to focus clearly on what is most important—connecting our primary goal to our daily work.

How do we back up such a bold statement? With the Block Plan and our distinctive place in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Both support our strategic focus with a spirit of adventure—a rigorous exploration that develops habits of intellect and imagination.

We believe the best liberal arts education in the country is the one that engages students most directly and best prepares them for learning and leadership in the 21st century. In a time of rapid change and globalization, a liberal arts education is more important than ever to give students the opportunity to think creatively and to focus on details while being able to see the big picture. As a recent survey of 700 employers in the U.S. indicated, businesses are desperately seeking qualified candidates who can communicate effectively, adapt to new situations, solve problems, and make decisions. In other words, they need highly skilled liberal arts graduates.

At Colorado College, students learn more than theoretical approaches to the arts and sciences—they learn firsthand from faculty and staff who have dedicated their lives to creating a better world. Students learn the importance of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints—and they appreciate how diversity enriches their understanding of the world. Every day they see these lessons in action.

They also receive an educational experience that draws inspiration from the spirit of the Rocky Mountains. We believe the liberal arts involves an intellectual adventure, one that requires challenging hearts and minds in new ways, as well as providing space for reflection and contemplation—and our natural surroundings provides the perfect environment for these types of engagement.

Colorado College builds habits of intellect and imagination to succeed in a challenging, complex world.  That’s what the finest liberal arts education in the country offers its students.

To read the entire Colorado College Strategic Plan, Building on the Block:


Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler – President

Jill Tiefenthaler became Colorado College’s 13th president on July 1, 2011.

During her first two years, President Tiefenthaler began the extensive process that led to the college’s strategic plan “The Colorado College Plan: Building on the Block.” Over the course of her first 12 months, which she referred to as “The Year of Listening,” President Tiefenthaler met with students, faculty, staff, and community members and heard from thousands of alumni and parents nationwide about their aspirations for the college. In year two, President Tiefenthaler worked with the campus community and Board of Trustees to craft a strategic plan that focuses on providing additional support to realize the potential of the college’s innovative Block Plan, enhancing the college’s distinctive place of learning in the Rocky Mountain West, leveraging the college’s innovative and creative spirit to enhance opportunities for students, and fostering a workplace of inclusion and excellence.

In the years since the strategic plan was developed, Tiefenthaler has overseen the implementation of its many initiatives.  Tiefenthaler led planning and design of the new Charles L. Tutt Library, centered around immersive learning and engaged teaching, which became the largest academic library to achieve net-zero energy construction and has received several national awards since reopening in fall 2017. She also oversaw the construction of a new 154-bed residential complex and community center. While Colorado College’s campus is projected to attain carbon-neutrality by 2020, Tiefenthaler is developing new sustainability programs to further reduce the campus’ environmental impact. Tiefenthaler envisioned an innovation space and supported the development of programming that will support students as they put the liberal arts into action and revamped Half Block and summer programs to help students develop professional skills and experiences. Tiefenthaler worked with the campus community to develop a Campus Master Plan and a Communications Master Plan. In 2017, she executed an alliance to make the world-class Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center part of the college. The FAC serves as a rich academic and cultural resource for Colorado College and the wider Colorado Springs community.

In 2017-2018, Tiefenthaler worked with the faculty to reorganize the academic administrative structure and led a search for Colorado College’s first provost. During the 2019-2020 academic year, she helped to lead the college in an external review of racism at CC that resulted in a commitment and implementation plan to become an antiracist institution. This foundational step built upon her ongoing efforts to diversify the increasingly selective student body, faculty, and staff and to bring distinguished visiting scholars, artists, and innovators to campus. Tiefenthaler led planning for the construction of a new competition hockey rink, and executed a public/private partnership for its construction to ensure that Colorado College’s resources continue to engage and benefit the wider community.

During President Tiefenthaler’s nine-year leadership, fundraising has reached new heights. In fall 2018, the college launched the $435 million Building on Originality: The Campaign for Colorado College, the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the college’s history. To date, more than $360 million has been raised toward the goal with over two years remaining in the campaign. In fall 2019, President Tiefenthaler announced the Colorado Pledge, a commitment to Colorado students from low- and middle-income families to make Colorado College as accessible as the state’s flagship public institution. The Colorado Pledge has a $20 million fundraising goal and is part of a $100 million scholarship priority for the campaign.

Tiefenthaler is a leading scholar in the field of the economics of higher education and is also regularly called on to speak about the value of the liberal arts. Her essay on the economic challenges for liberal arts colleges appears in “Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts” (Johns Hopkins University Press), and she has offered her expertise on this issue in numerous presentations across the country. Tiefenthaler’s talks on the importance of the liberal arts includes her speech, “Innovation and Collaboration: A Liberal Arts Education as a Catalyst for New Ideas,” which she has delivered to several universities throughout China. As professor of economics at the college, she regularly teaches a class on the economics of higher education.

After receiving her MA and PhD in economics from Duke University, Tiefenthaler joined the faculty of Colgate University in 1991, where she served as department chair, associate dean of the faculty, and senior adviser to the president. She then served as provost and professor of economics at Wake Forest University, where she led the implementation of the university’s strategic plan and key initiatives, including diversity in admission, establishing new models for enhanced interdisciplinary research and collaboration, and integrating the university’s undergraduate and graduate business schools.

President Tiefenthaler is originally from Iowa, where she grew up on a farm and worked for her family’s popcorn business before attending Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana. She is married to Kevin Rask, a research professor in economics at Colorado College. They have two children, Olivia ’21 and Owen ’24.

Academic Programs and Faculty


Instead of taking multiple classes at a time, Colorado College students study one class at a time for three and a half weeks. Introduced in 1970, Colorado College’s “Block Plan” is an intensive and immersive academic schedule that allows students to engage with a single subject for three and a half weeks. With this, CC students are not required to juggle multiple subjects throughout a semester. The entire college runs one block at a time, with each block covering the same amount of material as a semester system.

The result? Students can choose to study the film industry on location in Hollywood, then find Jupiter during evening labs in Barnes observatory, or traverse the natural wonders of the Southwest as a field archaeologist. Classes are small, hands-on, and highly focused.

The Block Basics:

  • A block lasts for three and a half weeks, beginning on a Monday and ending on the following fourth Wednesday.
  • One block is equal to one class on the semester plan.
  • Four blocks per semester; eight blocks per year, plus optional Half Block in the winter and Summer Session during the summer.
  • Class typically meets 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday, with applicable labs in the afternoon, but professors are free to schedule classes in the format they feel is most suited to the subject matter.

With both ample independence and guidance, the Block Plan keeps undergraduates energized and engaged during their four years at Colorado College.

The Student Body

Female: 1,267

Male: 1,024

Total: 2,291

American Ethnic Minority: 565

International: 197

Unspecified:  43

White: 1,486

Student to Faculty ratio:  10:1

Benefits Overview

As an employee of Colorado College, you have the following benefits, among others, available to you:

  • Medical insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Prescription drug plans
  • Retirement plans
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Education assistance
  • Employee assistance program

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately 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 Quincy Martin III at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Colorado College website at

Colorado College is an equal opportunity employer committed to increasing the diversity of its community. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, gender identity or expression, disability, or sexual orientation in our educational programs and activities or our employment practices.