Colorado, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Feb 02, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


The Board of Trustees and the Colorado Mesa University (CMU) community invite nominations and applications for the position of President. The successful candidate will succeed President Tim Foster who is retiring from the University on June 30, 2021 after leading it for 17 years through a period of remarkable growth and transformation during which time CMU has grown in size, strength, and complexity. The new president is expected to assume office on July 1, 2021.

CMU's main campus is located in Grand Junction, Colorado which is approximately 250 miles west of Denver and serves as the regional hub for the 150,000 residents of Western Colorado's Grand Valley. A second campus is located in Montrose, Colorado, 60 miles southeast of Grand Junction. The institution's two-year division - Western Colorado Community College - also is located in Grand Junction, three miles west of the main campus. Taken together, the three campuses and online programs enrolled 9,100 students in Fall 2020.

Under President Foster's leadership, the University more than doubled its enrollment and diversified its student body; expanded to more than 80 fields of study; hired new faculty; constructed and modernized facilities to support 21st-century teaching, learning, research, and creative activities; built additional residence halls to house the 2,500 students who now live on campus; made significant investments in technology; reconstructed the energy infrastructure for much of the main campus; and diversified the institution's revenue streams. Amidst all the change, however, Colorado Mesa has remained true to the philosophy on which it was founded in 1925: a commitment to student success through the delivery of an excellent, rigorous, affordable education that prepares graduates for productive and successful lives in the 21st century.

Position Overview
The CMU President has broad delegated authority for the University. Reporting to the 11-member Board of Trustees, the President provides leadership with the Board in implementing the University's role and mission. A ten-member presidential management team provides primary leadership support and functions as an advisory body to the president. The group meets weekly and includes vice presidents for academic affairs, administration and finance, student services, external affairs, information technology, community college affairs, and development as well as the director of marketing and the co-directors of athletics.

As the chief executive officer, the President is responsible for all aspects of campus administration for fulfilling the teaching, research, and public service responsibilities of a public, medium-sized institution. The President is expected to consult appropriately with faculty, students, and administrative staff in discharging the responsibilities of the office. Additionally, the President plays a vital external role, serving as the University's primary spokesperson and advocate in a variety of forums, enhancing community engagement and developing partnerships with a wide range of public and private organizations across the region, and leading fundraising efforts. Given the forces bearing down on public higher education, Colorado Mesa seeks a president who will work with the campus stakeholders to adapt to the new realities of higher education through innovative approaches and external relationships that advance the institution, ensure CMU's long-term financial sustainability, implement effective recruitment and retention strategies for student, faculty, and staff success, and further diversity and inclusion across the University community. A complete list of duties and responsibilities can be found at:

Professional Qualifications, Expectations, and Experience:
In its 10th president, CMU seeks an entrepreneurial, energetic, and visionary leader who will build on recent accomplishments to further advance the University's ability to deliver excellent academic programs at an affordable cost. While no single candidate will have all of the ideal qualifications, the next president is expected to have the following essential qualifications, expectations, and experiences:
  • A proven leader who brings considerable prior experience comparable to the position in managing a large, complex institution or organization, preferably in higher education.
  • Demonstrated success in leading change and the ability to inspire and motivate diverse constituencies to come together to address the challenges affecting higher education through a shared governance model that engages all university stakeholders. This requires an in-depth understanding of the key issues in the local, state, and national higher education environment, such as the competitive landscape, changing student demographics, and how technology and marketing affect enrollments.
  • Strong problem-solving skills as part of a willingness to take on difficult issues, weigh options based on strong analytical skills and effective use of relevant data, and make difficult decisions with integrity and objectivity.
  • Proven political skills and a solid business acumen for implementing a long-term sustainable plan for the University's finances through diversified revenue streams, budget allocations, and the generation of private and public resources. Given limited financial resources and fierce market competition, CMU requires a leader who can advocate effectively and tirelessly for the institution within a statewide system of higher education to achieve its goals by partnering collaboratively with peer leaders from other Colorado public colleges and universities, statewide higher education staff, and state and local officials.
  • Extensive experience or working knowledge in enrollment management methods and strategies that lead to stronger student recruitment, retention, and completion. Because of enrollments significant relationship to the institution's financial sustainability, these management efforts must be advanced in an increasingly complex and competitive demographic and economic environment.
  • A track-record of successful fundraising and donor cultivation as part of building and strengthening relationships with advisory and foundation board members, corporate and individual donors, and alumni to support current and future institutional needs. This also involves an understanding of the role of intercollegiate athletics in the CMU community.
  • Ability to work effectively with board members to assist them in realizing the Board's full potential to advance institutional goals.
  • Prior experience as a highly visible ambassador for an institution or organization who nurtures existing and future partnerships with business and industry, governmental agencies, health care, and education (K-16), leading to expanded opportunities for students as well as a skilled workforce. Because of the importance of the University's role in the economic development of Western Colorado, the next President must be able to align some of CMU's assets to address those regional needs.
  • Evidence of a student-centered focus that engages, involves, and supports students with diverse backgrounds, needs, and goals, especially for those who are first-generation.
  • Contributions to an affirmative, non-partisan environment and diversity initiatives among students, faculty, and staff that work to ensure CMU is inclusive and welcoming to all.
  • Demonstrated support for the University's liberal education core, excellent instruction, faculty and staff professional development, and student support services across the institution's many venues and formats.
  • Understand the role of a community college and advocate for career and technical education, customized training, and workforce development.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with unquestionable character, integrity, transparency, and approachability.
  • An earned doctorate or terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education, or combination of a master's degree in a relevant field and executive experience.

    The Application and Nomination Process
    To assure full consideration, a complete application should be received by March 1, 2021 and includes:

  • a letter of interest of not more than two pages addressing the criteria outlined above;
  • a current curriculum vita or resume; and
  • the names of five professional references with each person's position, contact information (i.e., office or home address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers), and a note indicating the candidate's working relationship with each. References will not be contacted without prior notification of the applicant. Official transcripts will be required upon hire.

    Nominations and inquiries should be directed to: Nominations should include nominee's contact information (i.e., full name, title (Dr., Mr., Ms., etc), email address and employer.

    Compensation commensurate with education and experience. Excellent health and retirement benefits package.

    Colorado Mesa University is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include reference checks, a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial and/or motor vehicle history. Applicant must be able to verify U.S. employment eligibility. Colorado Mesa University is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a culturally diverse faculty, staff and student body. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. Any person with a disability as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To request an accommodation, please contact the CMU Human Resources Office by phone or email. You may be asked to provide additional information, including medical documentation, regarding functional limitations and type of accommodation needed.

    Colorado Mesa University
    Attn: Human Resources Office
    1100 North Avenue
    Grand Junction, CO 81501


    To apply, visit