ASU trustees plan to retain Lovell

Adams State trustees have more to smile about these days with Dr. Cheryl Lovell at the helm. Trustee Chairman Cleave Simpson, shown with Lovell during a trustee meeting last fall, told Alamosa city councilors this week that the trustees plan on offering a permanent contract to Interim President Lovell./Courier file photo by Ruth Heide

ALAMOSA — In its meeting next week in Denver, the Adams State University board of trustees will likely act to transition Dr. Cheryl Lovell from interim to permanent president, ASU Board Chairman Cleave Simpson told Alamosa city councilors during their Wednesday meeting.

Simpson said he has been meeting with groups on and off campus and wanted to make sure the Alamosa council was aware of what was happening at Adams State.

“There’s no bigger stakeholder off campus than the City of Alamosa,” he said. He added he wanted the city to know the direction Adams State was going.

Simpson said the trustees hired Dr. Lovell last July for a one-year interim contract. At some point the trustees would have to make a decision about their next steps in either continuing the interim position or continuing their search for a new president, he said.

At its December meeting the board outlined its “preferred process but not predetermined outcome” in addressing the ASU leadership. That preferred process will likely take action next week in removing the “interim” and replacing it with “permanent” for Lovell’s title as president of Adams State. The action will also likely authorize the negotiation process towards a long-term contract with Lovell, Simpson said.

“The board is excited to have Dr. Lovell in her capacity. She brings a real solid leadership foundation to the university,” Simpson said.

Even though it has only been six months going on seven, the board has felt comfortable enough with her leadership capabilities and what she has done already at Adams that it wanted to move forward with a permanent contract, Simpson added.

He encouraged the city council to reach out to the board of trustees with support or concerns as the trustees prepare to move forward, and he encouraged the council to engage with the trustees individually or more formally anytime.

Councilor Liz Thomas said as both a part of Adams State and the city council she was looking forward to the stability of making Lovell the permanent president. “It strengthens that position,” she said.

Acknowledging that the president’s job is challenging, Hensley said Lovell “is doing a fantastic job.”

Councilman Charles Griego thanked Simpson for taking the time to inform the city of what was happening at Adams State. He said the city and ASU representatives used to meet annually and he hoped that could resume in the future. Simpson said he could make that happen. City Manager Heather Brooks said the city would try to coordinate such a meeting with a time when the trustees were in town for their meeting.

Councilman David Broyles also thanked Simpson for informing the city. “The relationship between the city and Adams State is real important,” he said.

Simpson said he was born here and grew up here. “I absolutely understand the importance of the relationship between the city and the university.”

Councilor Kristina Daniel said she appreciates Dr. Lovell and has had an opportunity to meet with her in the community, and her husband works at Adams State. “I am looking forward to the stability.”

She said she also looked forward to building and strengthening the city’s partnership with the university and looking at ways they could work together.

Mayor Ty Coleman said, “ASU is the cornerstone of the community and the San Luis Valley.” He said he has heard positive feedback about Lovell and her participation in student events and within the community.

“She absolutely has a genuine passion for Alamosa, the San Luis Valley and region,” Simpson said. “She seems to be the right person at the right time. Adams State is in a pretty good position right now.”

He added that while Adams State still faces challenges with enrollment and finances, “There’s a stability and a little light at the end of the tunnel.” He said the university is poised to thrive and excel.