Message from the President

Dear Colleagues:

Our second Adams State University Day at the Capitol, in February, was a big success. Our alumni joined us to help convey the importance of Adams State to legislators. Even more special, the ASU Desert Winds Quintet played for the legislative reception, serenaded the entire Capitol during the next morning, and played the National Anthem for the Senate. It was a wonderful way for us to showcase the talent of our students.

Desert Winds

On February 21, Huron Consulting Group presented our Performance Audit to the Legislative Audit Committee. Our CFO Heather Heersink and I responded to questions and addressed concerns. The full audio of the presentation can be heard here. The full report is on the web and can be accessed here.

Please remember that this audit is based on FY15. Both the consultants and the legislators noted we have made significant progress in the past 18 months to stabilize our finances.

There is always concern about the debt the university is carrying, and we agreed with that concern. Positive steps, such as restructuring our debt, will save the university $3 million over the next three years, with another opportunity to restructure and save even more in 2020.

We need to continue to work together on recruiting and retaining students. We have a Recruitment and Retention plan that we believe will help us improve. We are also adding new academic programs, including a partnership with CSU to offer an agriculture degree beginning this fall. As we complete our Academic Master Plan, we will consider additional plans for new programs that will attract students to our campus.

There are lots of good things happening at Adams State University, and we have great plans for our future. I thank you for caring about our students and our university and encourage you to stay informed of our progress.

President McClure

Budget Update

While Colorado’s Long Bill is not finalized, the current request calls for a small increase to higher education to offset some cost increases. This helps, but doesn’t quite cover mandated cost increases and current year enrollment shortfall.

In evaluating budget requests, the following criterion is used for evaluation and prioritization: life safety, compliance, degree to which request aligns with ASU 2020, revenue generating potential, impact on student success, and degree to which the impact is campus-wide. Some needs arose after the January 27 budget request deadline. These requests will be evaluated with the previous submissions, if they are justified as emergency. Additional requests in this category must be submitted as soon as possible, along with corresponding emergency justification, to Katie Sliva.

The campus will be notified when the timeline of all prioritized requests is posted. The timeline posted is contingent on revenue generation and subject to change with institutional environment changes. It is not a guarantee of funding.

Campus services reminders


Requests for events services, including banners, must be scheduled a minimum 7 business days in advance, and an account code is required. Be sure to request all items needed for your event, as Facilities is not staffed for last minute requests. Athletic events are scheduled through Rob Lopez; events in the SUB are scheduled through Stephanie Lewis; and all other campus events go through Events Coordinator Berna Hostetter.

Grizzly Audio/Video

Grizzly Audio/Video has updated its policies and equipment lists to assure quality presentations at campus events. This information, as well as a reservation form, are available here. Questions may be directed to Marc Eaton.

Inventory Transfers and Deletions

To move or dispose of campus inventory, please contact Justin Prieto in the Business Office, ext. 7552. Inventory available for transfer to another department will be posted on the ASU Portal. To have inventory moved, fill out a work order with Facility Services. Forms to relocate property and delete property are available online.

SUB Parking

The Adams State University Police Department reminds the campus that the two-hour Visitor Parking lot behind the Student Union building is for visitors only. Faculty, staff or students who park there will be ticketed.

Graduate Center open at East Campus

Adams State’s new Graduate Center on the East Campus held an open house March 9. The new center provides a range of services for on-campus and online graduate students, including a meeting space, laptops, and other resources. It offers information about opportunities for scholarships and graduate assistantships, as well as workshops to support academic work.

From left: graduate assistant Elissa Harrington, Andrea Benton-Maestas, Dr. Melissa Freeman, Dr. Penny Sanders.

Grant News

Developing virtual classrooms that expand course choices for students is the goal of a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant recently awarded to Adams State University, in partnership with three other institutions. The three-year grant of $479,762 will fund the project “Engaged Student Learning: Coalition for Undergraduate Computational Data-enabled Science & Engineering (CDSE) Education.” Read more.

Adams State University named Maria McMath project coordinator for its three-year grant project, “Advancing Women in STEM through Institutional Transformation at Adams State University.Dr. Laura Bruneau, professor of counselor education, was named the project’s faculty associate. Dr. Stephanie Hilwig, professor of sociology, and Dr. Alexey Leontyev, assistant professor of chemistry, will participate in the project as survey specialists. Co-principal investigators for the project include Hilwig, Dr. Matt Nehring, professor of physics; Dr. Leslie Alvarez, professor of psychology; and Dr. Benita Brink, professor of biology. Read more.

Campus groups seeking participants

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Faculty are invited to attend the next meeting of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) accountability group. The topic will be Measurement in SoTL.

Monday, March 13
McD 387

Lunch provided. Please RSVP.

For more information on SoTL, click here and here.

New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation seeks ideas from the campus; all are invited to their upcoming brown bag lunch meetings.

Noon in SUB 318

  • March 15
  • March 29
  • April 12
  • April 26

Read about a study of First-year Orientation and Retention at Michigan State University.

Common Reading Experience

The Common Reading Experience (CRE) committee is accepting book nominations for the upcoming year. Books may be fiction or non-fiction, with the following criteria:

  •  interdisciplinary, to reach across different disciplines
  •  readable at a freshman level
  •  engaging to students
  •  encourages intellectual discussions around different themes

Suggestions may be submitted to the following CRE committee members:

  • Jess Gagliardi
  • Sonya Brockman
  • Michelle LeBlanc
  • Nick Saenz
  • Nicole Trujillo
  • Erik Hildebrandt
Kasual Kindred Spirit Konversations

Kindred Spirits luncheons are open to all students, faculty, and staff. They are designed to share ideas, seek support, and reflect on inclusive excellence. Lunch is provided (sign up at entrance to La Mesa Dining Hall.) The events begin at noon in the SUB banquet room. Questions may be directed to Maria McMath.

  • Monday, March 27
    Hosted by CIELO President’s Advisory Group
  • Monday, April 17
    Music Department: alternative musical narratives of ASU and the SLV
  • Monday, April 24
    Hosted by CIELO President’s Advisory Group

Student & Program News

The Adams State chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, will induct the following new members, March 15:

  • Keren Bakke
  • AnnMarie Bennett (also to be installed as President)
  • Cole Maze
  • Cindy Sue Millis
  • Shannon Rhodes (also to be installed as Vice-President)
  • Melissa Romero (also to be installed as Secretary)
  • Chelsea Walljasper

The chapter is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its charter. Over the last decade, it has inducted an average of 8 new students per year. Total membership, including graduates, is now 81.

Dr. Leslie Alvarez, professor of psychology, said since the chapter’s inception “We have seen an increase in student presentations of research at conferences and had a number of students receive regional travel grant awards from Psi Chi. A graduate, Tucker Jones, received a research grant award, and last year just before graduating Lenore Reinhart received a Psi Chi regional research award.”

For more information, click here  and here.

Original compositions by undergraduate music students Ryan Watters and Brandi Quinn and graduate student John Brindle were premiered at the annual convention of the Colorado Music Educators Association, held at the Broadmoor in January. The works were performed by the Adams State Winds & Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Angela Winter. Read more.

Miranda Johnson, music composition student, won the Pikes Peak Flute Choir composition contest for her flute ensemble piece “Solstice Dances.” It will be premiered in Colorado Springs in May.

Faculty & Staff News

ASU’s Women’s Week concluded with a Kindred Spirits luncheon featuring a panel of women in traditionally male professions, which was attended by students, faculty, staff, and community members. Facilitated by Dr. Nancy Gonzalez, asst. professor of sociology, the panel included  Dr. Merideth Anderson, asst. professor of mathematics; Dr. Ashley Meek, visiting asst. professor of mathematics; Dr. Christy Miller, professor of chemistry; and Christine Streeter, Computing Services systems administrator.





Seventeen faculty and staff working on the Adams State Pathways Project to develop a new comprehensive curriculum for student success based on the Adams Outcomes (adopted by campus vote spring 2016), participated in the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Assessment and General Education Annual Conference and Pre-conference workshops, February 22-27. The conference focused on examining “how faculty members and all campus educators are being supported and rewarded for innovative work and leadership in designing new approaches to teaching and learning that prepare today’s students to be active participants in our nation’s democracy and to succeed in an ever-changing global society.”

The group’s travel was supported by the Title V Conexiones grant, with supplementary support from the Center for Teaching, Innovation, and Research. Most participants had applied almost two years ago to be part of the Essential Learning Task Force; expanded opportunity to travel was offered to individuals working on pre-baccaclaureate and graduate curriculum.

The days were packed from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with workshops focusing on Design Thinking, Equity and Inclusion, student engagement, a variety of assessment strategies, including e-portfolios, and implementation models for curriculum reforms. The ASU team received many shout outs and appreciations from AAC&U national leaders for its degree of involvement. Participants are responsible for sharing their new knowledge with Curriculum Innovation Teams and eventually with the entire university. Upcoming Professional Development workshops will relate to the Adams Pathways Project.

Dr. Kristy Duran, assoc. professor of biology, and four colleagues published a guest blog post on the Scientific American site titled “We are Never Just Scientists.” They make the point that gender and racial gaps in scientific professions illustrate the need for greater inclusion at all levels. Read more.

Mary Hoffman, executive director of Adams State University Community Partnerships, served as a mentor at The Climate Reality Leadership Corps training, held in Denver, March 2-5. Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore conducted the training, which was attended by 975 participants from 30 countries. Read more.

Adam Kleinschmit, asst. professor of biology, co-authored a manuscript entitled “The GEP: Crowd-Sourcing Big Data Analysis with Undergraduates,” which was published in the February 2017 issue of the journal Trends in Genetics. The article outlines efforts made by the Genomics Education Partnership Consortium toward integrating research into the undergraduate classroom experience. Read more.

Linda Relyea, assistant director of communications, and Julie Waechter, assistant to the president for communications, attended the day-long “Spokesperson and Media Training,” presented by the state of Colorado.

New Employees  
  • Christian Pacheco – custodian I
  • Scott White – IT support administrator
  • Brad Hicks – custodian I
  • Tamera Daniel – Adventure Sports Coordinator
  • Tanya Portillo – accounting tech III, Student Business Services
  • Daren Rodriguez – custodian I
  • Gary Foss – custodian I
  • Aaron Chavez – custodian I