Note to Reporters: A high-resolution photo of Lesley Di Mare is available at http://col.st/FIl1J.
Colorado State University-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare announced today that she will retire next June.
“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to represent this great university for the past five years, and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in that time, thanks to our committed faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters,” she said. “While I’ve cherished the opportunity to serve CSU-Pueblo, I’ve reached a point in my life where I want to spend more time with my husband and with my mother, who is facing health challenges and lives in California.”
Bill Mosher, chair of the Colorado State University System Board of Governors, thanked Di Mare for her record of service to the institution, and said the System will conduct a national search for the university’s next president.
“CSU-Pueblo is on solid footing now to recruit a president who can build on what Lesley has accomplished,” Mosher said. “We have confidence in the senior leadership team at the university, and the CSU System is here to support the process of finding a visionary leader who can best serve our constituents.”
Di Mare’s current five-year agreement ends Nov. 30, 2016, and she has agreed to continue in the role until June 30, 2017.
“We’ve asked Lesley to stay on through the end of June to help with the transition and with the upcoming accreditation process for the campus,” CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank said. “We’re deeply grateful that she has agreed. The Board of Governors is pleased with CSU-Pueblo’s position and thankful to Lesley for her leadership over the past five years. I want to personally thank President Di Mare for her work on behalf of the faculty, staff and students of CSU-Pueblo and the CSU System.”
The search process will begin in the coming days with the CSU System starting a process to hire a search firm. With the assistance of the search firm, the chancellor and the Board of Governors will establish a process to gather stakeholder input on desired qualities of the next president of CSU-Pueblo and establish a search advisory committee representing CSU-Pueblo’s various constituent groups.
The search advisory committee is expected to be assembled in the next month and will bring together a range of voices — including strong faculty, staff, student and community representation — along with other stakeholders. The search advisory committee will work closely with the CSU Board of Governors, which is the hiring authority for the president of CSU-Pueblo.
Di Mare became the 14th president of CSU-Pueblo in December 2011 and is the first female president in the university’s history. Prior to that, she served as interim president and chief executive officer of Nevada State College in Henderson after serving for three years as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs.
At CSU-Pueblo, Di Mare implemented a new financial system to establish a firm fiscal foundation for the campus. Under her leadership, the university established an automatic merit scholarship program, enhanced its longtime partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS and expanded its intercollegiate athletic program to 22 teams. The student population has become even more diverse during her tenure thanks to a variety of enrollment initiatives, including recruitment campaigns for Hispanic and international students.
Di Mare also encouraged initiation of the university’s first online degree programs — in nursing, construction management and civil engineering technology. She secured nearly $1.3 million in state and county appropriations to establish the Institute of Cannabis Research (ICR) and also secured nearly $4 million in state appropriations to renovate the university’s aging information technology system. On Aug. 31, 2016, Di Mare and the CSU-Pueblo Foundation concluded the school’s first comprehensive capital campaign in over three decades, raising $28.5 million and exceeding the $25 million goal.
“I want to thank the Board of Governors and Chancellor Frank for the opportunity to represent CSU-Pueblo over the past five years, and I will continue to move the university forward through the remainder of the academic year,” Di Mare said. “It’s been my privilege to work with all of the people who help this institution make a positive difference in so many students’ lives.”