Colorado State University System in Denver Announces Changes in Operations Staff

Colorado State University System Chancellor Larry Edward Penley has named Frank Pierz the senior advisor for board relations and legislative policy and Rich Schweigert chief financial officer and director of system operations.

Penley has instituted the changes to streamline operations and to ensure appropriate oversight of key areas as well as to enhance service to CSU System board members and constituents.

In his new role, Pierz, a fixture at Colorado State for 32 years and most recently the director of Governmental Relations, will assume enhanced duties in working with the Board of Governors and in developing community partners across the state . He will also serve as senior advisor to the chancellor on political and community issues.

Schweigert, a seasoned administrator in higher education and Colorado state government, will oversee daily operations of the System office, including the management team responsible for implementing new business opportunities approved by the board. He will also continue in his duties as chief financial officer.  As the chief financial officer, he will take on new responsibilities as the Colorado State University System’s liaison with the Joint Budget Committee in the Colorado Legislature.  

Pierz started at Colorado State with the Colorado 4-H Foundation in September 1977. He then became development officer for Cooperative Extension and the Agricultural Experiment Station, where he worked in collaboration with development offices in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He later became director of special projects for agriculture and public service, dealing with funding mechanisms and working with major donors and elected officials at the county and state levels. He was appointed special assistant to Penley in 2004.

Pierz attended Adams State College in Alamosa and earned a degree in geography and geomorphology. He attended graduate school at Western Washington University and later became director of the four-county Region 13 Council of Governments in Canon City, helping to procure federal and state funds and grants for a wide variety of projects throughout the counties. The work took him from remote ranches to the legislative halls of Denver to hammer out deals, and he built relationships that he still nurtures with constituents and legislators across the state.

Schweigert, a Colorado State alumnus, joined the university in July 2006 as the chief fiscal and budget officer for the Colorado State System offices, providing overall leadership and management on financial matters for the system and the Board of Governors and all component institutions. He previously served as vice president of finance and administration at Mesa State College. Prior to joining Mesa State, he served as CFO for the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

Schweigert began his professional career with the state of Colorado as a senior budget analyst in the Governor’s office. He later became deputy legislative director then director of government relations. He worked as president of the Division of Correctional Industries from 1998 to 2002, and served as chief financial officer for the Colorado Department of Corrections from June 2002 to June 2003 before joining the CCHE.

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State in 1984.