Colorado State University Mourns Loss of Renowned Leader

Alan Tucker, 56, Colorado State University Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and a respected teacher, researcher and administrator, drowned Jan. 6 while on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Arrangements for a memorial service in his honor will be announced as soon as they are available.

"This is a great loss for Colorado State and the Fort Collins community," said Peter Nicholls, Provost and Academic Vice President of Colorado State. "Alan had an unsurpassed commitment to this university and its students, and loved the people here. In addition to his unparalleled professionalism, he was one of the kindest persons I have had the pleasure of knowing. He will be deeply missed. Many people on this campus have lost not just a trusted colleague but a dear friend."

Tucker is survived by his wife Melissa, his father Philip, two children, two grandchildren, five nieces and one nephew.

Tucker served at Colorado State for nearly 25 years after joining the university in 1979 as an associate professor of physiology. Tucker’s teaching and research focused on cardiopulmonary physiology and high-altitude medicine and he routinely taught in the university’s undergraduate, graduate and professional veterinary medicine programs. Outside of the university, Tucker was involved with various community service organizations including the American Heart Association.

During his tenure at Colorado State, Tucker served as assistant dean then associate dean in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences from 1989-2000, as department head of physiology from 1995-2001, and on several faculty council leadership committees. Tucker was appointed Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs in July 2002 after serving in that position in an interim capacity since May 2001.

As Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, Tucker had oversight of a number of key university responsibilities, including faculty personnel affairs, diversity initiatives, academic program reviews, accountability for Board of Governors areas of emphasis and Colorado Commission on Higher Education performance indicators, budgets, strategic planning, grants and contracts, and life sciences initiatives.

Before joining Colorado State, Tucker had previously served as a faculty member at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, and as a research associate at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Tucker earned his bachelor’s degree in zoology and his doctoral degree in biological sciences from the University of California at Santa Barbara.