Kendall A. Blanchard, president of Fort Lewis College, today was commended by the State Board of Agriculture for his accomplishments during his inaugural year as president of the college.
The review was given by the State Board of Agriculture, which is the governing board of the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, Fort Lewis College in Durango and Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Blanchard joined USC as the sixth president in February this year. He most recently served as vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
During his first year at Fort Lewis College, Blanchard continued the work started by his predecessor, President Emeritus Joel Jones, and launched several new initiatives, including:
- A campuswide planning effort to reaffirm the college’s mission and to set priorities for the next five years;
- Advisory councils on Hispanic Affairs and Native Affairs comprised of representatives from the campus community, Durango and Southwest Colorado to advise the college on issues of importance to those populations; and
- Establishing the Western Regional Issues Institute on campus to tap the talents of college faculty and students to assist in the economic development and resolution of environmental issues in the San Juan Basin and the Colorado Plateau.
Also during the past year, the college continued a number of long-term initiatives, including:
- The start of more than $40 million in construction projects, including a science addition, a Center for Southwest Studies, a classroom project and a Student Life Center; and
- Establishment of several student retention efforts, including a Central Advising Center to provide students greater access to advising services.
Each year, Blanchard is evaluated based on the following criteria: leadership, planning and management; ability to foster positive, supportive relationships among campus groups and external constituencies; and fund-raising success.