ASU seeks to keep President Lovell

Dr. Cheryl Lovell

ALAMOSA — Adams State University trustees are moving towards offering a permanent contract to Interim President Dr. Cheryl Lovell.

Although not making an official offer, the trustees during their meeting on Friday discussed their collective desire to retain Lovell beyond her one-year contract.

Trustee Board Chairman Cleave Simpson, who was reappointed to the board by Governor John Hickelooper on Thursday, said Lovell’s one-year contract will expire at the end of June, and he has discussed the “next steps” with her about remaining at Adams State.

He said he wanted to have the discussion in open session, rather than executive session, “in honor of shared governance” and with Lovell’s consent. He said although no decision was going to be made on Friday, he wanted to talk about making Lovell’s presidency permanent.

Simpson added that he had not heard anyone from the faculty to community members push for a full blown presidential search, and other trustees said they had heard nothing but positive comments about Dr. Lovell. Simpson said he would be meeting with various groups on campus and in the community “to talk about where we are heading.”

He said he hoped during the trustees’ February meeting the board could take action so that a contract could be negotiated for full rather than interim employment for President Lovell.

“She’s doing a wonderful job,” Simpson said. He said she was the “right individual at the right time for the right position.”

He added that he wanted to see her continue to build on the positive foundation she has laid over the past six months.

He said making a change in leadership again in June would not be good for the university.

Trustee Pam Bricker said she had received a great deal of feedback from community members around the San Luis Valley. “The concern is that we would even consider a presidential search,” she said. “I have heard nothing but positive feedback about Dr. Lovell.”

Bricker said she is often asked if the university is going to consider keeping Lovell on as president.

Trustee Reeves Brown echoed the support for Lovell. He said there needs to be some formality in the process of making her position permanent, however, so the trustees’ actions could be documented and defensible.

Trustee Michele Lueck said she liked the idea of bringing the idea to the community to let it “marinate” before official action is taken.

Student Trustee Cody Trujillo echoed support for Lovell. “Dr. Lovell is doing an amazing job,” he said. “If something’s not broken, I don’t see there’s any need to fix it.”

Trujillo said if the trustees conducted another search and hired someone else, “It’s only going to start us back at square one where we have made so much progress.”

Trustee Board Vice-Chair Kathy Rogers said she has heard from community members that they believe Dr. Lovell is doing a great job and that she is the person Adams State needs in leadership right now. She said she believed Lovell had made great strides in achieving the goals the board had set for her, and she would be glad to see her stay “if she’s willing to stick it out with us.”

Simpson said he has asked her if she could see herself here in the future, and she has told him she could. He said she has a passion for Adams State.

Lovell responded, “It’s not about me. It’s about moving this university forward. It’s not me. It’s the people on the executive team who run this university day to day and guide me … lead us all in a very positive direction. We’ve got a great executive team.”