ALAMOSA — Adams State University trustees unanimously voted on Tuesday to appoint Cheryl D. Lovell, Ph.D. as the next Adams State president.
Dr. Lovell will serve a 12-month appointment beginning July 1.
“I know ASU has a great future and that we will continue to be a student-centered and transformative university for all who attend,” Dr. Lovell said following the announcement on Tuesday. “I believe the key is to keep moving in a positive, quality direction while being very innovative and mindful stewards of our people and resources.”
Lovell was one of four finalists for the interim post necessitated by the separation of employment with President Dr. Beverlee McClure. Dr. Matt Nehring has served as interim president while the trustees filled the position. Other finalists were Armando Valdez, Dennis Bailey-Fougnier and Marguerite Salazar. The four finalists had been pared down from 77 applicants for the interim appointment.
During the special meeting Tuesday in which the vote was taken to hire Lovell, ASU Board of Trustees Chairman Cleave Simpson thanked all those who had participated in the search and said the process was accomplished in a timely, deliberate, thoughtful and professional manner.
Trustees John Singletary and Kathy Rogers commended Simpson for how smoothly the process was conducted.
“It was a tremendous effort by everybody,” Simpson responded.
“It was a pretty amazing process, and it was a very deliberate process,” added Trustee Pam Bricker.
“I am so proud to be joining the Adams State University community,” Dr. Lovell said. “This is an institution I have long admired for its solid commitment to student success. I am especially pleased to be leading such a strong team and university dedicated to access, opportunity, and affordability for a diverse population.”
Herself a low-income, first-generation college student, she brings a keen understanding and passion for Adams State’s mission to provide access and opportunity to all students, regardless of ZIP code or economic status.
She is fond of talking about the “mobility bump” that occurs for students who come from impoverished and historically underrepresented backgrounds to campuses of higher education, and how a college degree helps move people up the economic ladder and creates social mobility within their lives.
“Adams State’s desire to become the university community of choice for diverse and historically underserved groups and all who value quality education and inclusivity is achievable,” she said. “I am sure we can move forward together to keep ASU focused on its communities and supportive of their needs.”
As she did her own homework on Adams State, she offered, “I am equally pleased to see your athletic programs are so strong. As a student-athlete myself, I appreciate these experiences and want to be part of a campus community that also values student engagement and athletic competition at both intramural and intercollegiate levels.”
Dr. Lovell arrives in Alamosa from metro-Denver, where she has been a mainstay in higher education circles during the past 20 years, including most recently special advisor to the chancellor and to the chief academic officer for the Colorado State University System.
She served as president and CEO of Rocky Vista University, a private osteopathic medical school in Parker, from December 2012 to December 2015, and was the chief academic officer for Colorado Department of Higher Education from February 2010 to July 2011.
“Dr. Lovell’s extensive academic record and deep knowledge of higher education in Colorado brings tremendous advantages to Adams State,” Simpson said. “The board was very thoughtful, deliberate and diligent throughout its process to identify a new leader for the university. Now it’s time for all of us who are part of the Adams State family to focus our energies on serving the students and simultaneously enhancing our great institution in preparation for our 100-year celebration.”
Having graduated from a regional comprehensive university and having worked for a regional university, Dr. Lovell knows how much Adams State, as the regional educational provider for southern Colorado, can make a difference in the lives of others. She also brings deep experiences in higher education from Georgia, Texas, Arkansas and Florida, in addition to her extensive experience with higher education in Colorado.
Dr. Lovell assumes the leadership of Adams State at a time when the university has awarded its first Ph.D. degrees in May and as it focuses on growing its graduate degree student population, pushes for a higher enrollment of undergraduate students, and continues to develop its financial action plan to reflect the changing model of higher education.
Dr. Nehring will return to the department of chemistry, computer science and mathematics as a professor of physics after a year serving as interim vice president of academic affairs and, since March, interim president of the university.
Adams State recently hired Joaquín Vilá, Ph.D., as its vice president of academic affairs. Dr. Vilá comes to Adams State from Northern New Mexico College in Española, N.M., where he served as dean of the college of education. His appointment at ASU also begins in July.
“We all owe a great deal of appreciation to Dr. Nehring for his outstanding leadership and for the work he and the entire campus did to address significant, and ongoing, budgetary issues,” said Dr. Lovell. “He also has left a lasting, positive impact on ASU in improving the quality of ASU’s programs and services.
“I am thankful as well to the ASU Board of Trustees for its dedicated leadership and service. I am humbled by their confidence in my abilities to move ASU forward.”
Cheryl D. Lovell, Ph.D.
Ph.D. Florida State University, 1990
Major: Higher Education
Dissertation: Faculty Grievances: A Longitudinal Study of Conflict
Issues in the State University System of Florida
M.Ed. University of West Georgia, 1982
Major: Guidance and Counseling for Higher Education
Cognate: College Student Development
B.A. University of West Georgia, 1981
Major: Political Science, Pre-Law
Minor: Criminal Justice
Administration/Leadership Experience (Selected list):
Special advisor to the Chancellor and to the Chief Academic Officer for the Colorado State University System – January 2016 to June 30, 2018
President Emerita, Rocky Vista University -- December 2015 to Present
President/CEO of Rocky Vista University -- December 2012 to December 2015
Chief Academic Officer for Colorado Department of Higher Education -- February 2010 to July 2011 (While serving as CAO, Dr. Lovell retained University of Denver status as a tenured/full professor and maintained student advising and limited teaching responsibilities)
Associate Dean, Morgridge College of Education (MCE), University of Denver – September 2001 to September 2009
Assistant Dean, College of Education, University of Denver – September 1999 to September 2001
Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver
Professor, June 2006 to December 2012
Associate Professor (with Tenure), June 2000 to 2006
Assistant Professor, September 1995 to June 2000
Recognized as an outstanding faculty member
Accomplished faculty member with extensive teaching and research while simultaneously holding progressively responsible academic administrative roles
Tenured full professor at a doctoral university (with high research classification)