President’s Message

The core strength of our university is the commitment to students demonstrated by our faculty and staff. You see students daily, share with them the passion for your academic discipline, and care for them in a number of ways. Our students and alumni consistently credit the individual attention of ASU faculty for changing their lives.

Because of this close connection, I ask your help in communicating to students two very important messages regarding accreditation probation status and our new Guaranteed Tuition program.

We have emailed students and families about our accreditation status, and I have addressed AS&F, Faculty Senate, Classified Staff, and Professional and Exempt staff. Yet, many students hold misconceptions about the situation, particularly concerning the validity of their credits and degrees.

Please help us emphasize to students that Adams State remains fully accredited, unless and until the HLC withdraws accreditation, which is highly unlikely. Students will be considered to have graduated from an accredited institution, even if the institution is on sanction. Should accreditation be withdrawn, we would prepare a teach-out plan, offer transfer assistance, and as needed, arrange teach-out agreements with other institutions to assure students graduate from an accredited institution.

I ask you to help students understand that we have resolved all of the initial concerns that prompted HLC’s Advisory Visit last September and have made significant progress in correcting additional findings. We have requested the HLC action be changed to a “notice.” I am confident we will be released from probation and emerge a stronger university.

Our new Guaranteed Tuition program goes into effect this coming fall semester. This guarantee applies to all undergraduate students enrolled on campus. This initiative has two important objectives:

  1. Make a higher education more affordable and reduce student debt.
  2.  Give incentive to complete a degree in four years.

All undergraduate students enrolled on-campus are guaranteed no tuition increases through their fourth consecutive academic year of enrollment. The Guarantee is available to in-state and out-of-state students, including full and part-time, new, and transfer students.

As a further incentive, students enrolled this semester or during Summer Session 2016 will experience a lower tuition increase this fall than incoming students, about 2.6 percent, compared to about 5 percent. Our revamped summer schedule offers many General Education requirements during June and July. Current students can speed their progress toward a degree, and incoming students can not only get a head start on college, but also qualify for the lower tuition increase.

Adams State has not only survived, but thrived, through past challenges. I am positive that, with your support and dedication to our students, we will overcome current difficulties and continue our important work.

President McClure

These links provide additional details about both Guaranteed Tuition and our accreditation status:

Accreditation FAQ

HLC Inquiry & Response

Guaranteed Tuition

ASU honors retirees April 6

Wednesday, April 6
5:30 p.m. – SUB 130
Tickets: $13

There is still time to purchase tickets for ASU’s annual retirement dinner. Those being honored upon their retirement include:

  • Dr. Don Basse
  • Shirley Gibson
  • Bill Mansheim
  • Loretta Martinez
  • Darrell Meis
  • Dr. Paul Newman
  • Linda Reid
  • Bill Schlaufman

To purchase tickets, please contact Gaylene Horning, ext. 8110; Alumni Relations Office, Richardson Hall, Room 2-500. A vegetarian option is available if requested when purchasing tickets.

CEC Spring Fling Lunch

Second Annual Spring Fling Lunch
Thursday, April 7
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.- Theater Building
$10 each
12:15 p.m.: Dessert Auction

Sponsored by the Classified Employee Council, all faculty and staff are invited to the lunch. Proceeds will benefit the Classified Employee Council Scholarship fund that was established for classified employees and their families.

The menu is Mexican and will include enchiladas, taquitos, beans, and rice. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance by contacting Jackie Martinez, ext. 7437, and will also be sold at the door. Those interested in donating a dessert for the auction are asked to contact Jackie Martinez.

Student Scholar Days: April 7-8

McDaniel Hall 101
Thursday, April 7: 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday, April 8: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Now in its ninth year, Student Scholar Days is a two-day academic conference highlighting the achievements of undergraduates in several majors. All are welcome to attend. The entire campus community is invited to attend the closing reception and awards ceremony, beginning at 5 p.m., Friday, April 8, in the McDaniel Hall Solarium. Light refreshments will be served. Schedule details.

Update: VPAA Search

Interviews are underway with candidates for Vice President for Academic Affairs. Three finalists are interviewing on campus. The finalists and their interview dates are as follows:

  • Dr. Chris Gilmer – April 4
  • Ms. Margaret Doell – April 6
  • Dr. Michael Sitton – April 13

All faculty and staff are invited to attend open forums with each candidate on the above dates as follows:

  • 8 a.m. – McD 101
  • 3 p.m. – POR 130

A survey will be sent for feedback from the campus community.

Information for each of the candidates is available on the VPAA Search website under “Meet the Candidates.” To view the candidates’ CV’s and letters of application, you will be asked to login unless you are already logged into your gmail or Google calendar account.

Upcoming Faculty Development Events

  • “Top Underutilized Blackboard Tools: Part 1” by Fonz Velasquez
    Wednesday, April 6 at 8 a.m. OR 4 p.m. – BUS 129
  • “The Lilly Conference: Lightning Round” hosted by Geoff Johnson
    Expand your teaching “tool box” with tips from faculty who received Faculty Development Committee funding to attend a regional Lilly Conference on evidence-based teaching and learning.
    Friday, April 15 – noon – 1 p.m. – McD 387
    Lunch is provided. so please RSVP.
  • The FDC invites suggestions for next year’s faculty development programming. A suggestion box can be found on the Faculty and Professional Development page.

Procurement deadline reminder

The Purchasing Office reminds the campus of procurement deadlines as the end of the fiscal year approaches:

Procurement Card purchases must be completed by June 15, posted to the Pcard on or before June 25, and the goods must be received by June 30, 2016, to be paid from this year’s appropriation. Questions may be directed to the Purchasing Office, ext. 7526.

Loans available for ASU Extended Studies educator professional development

The Adams State University Office of Extended Studies has collaborated with the San Luis Valley Federal Bank to offer loans for educator professional development.

According to Renae Haslett, Extended Studies director of special projects, the loans apply to Extended Studies Online Professional Development (PD Online) or Virtual Education Software, Inc. (VESI) courses. Loan criteria include a credit score of 680+ and current employment as a teacher. The approximate loan amount is $600 with an interest rate of 6 percent. Once approved for the loan, proceeds will be paid directly to Adams State. Read more.

Student & Program News

ASU Foundation matches grant for student documentary

The ASU Foundation matched a $5,000 grant from the Colorado Office of Film, TV and Media to fund a project by students in “Documentary Film Production,” taught by Paul Echeverria, asst. professor of mass communications. The resulting film, due to be completed by the fall, will air on Rocky Mountain PBS. Connections made through ASU Community Partnerships led to receipt of the grant, which will cover production and travel costs.

The 15 students in Echeverria’s class selected the topic, “The Silent Crisis,” which will explore food insecurity in the San Luis Valley. Production will take place during April and May. “They are working from an idea into telling a story in an actual film that will go in-depth with the subject,” Echeverria explained. “This project is exciting, as is the potential for more collaboration with the film office in Denver.”

Spring Planetarium shows

Zachies Planetarium has a number of free films scheduled through May 6. See a full schedule.

Admissions hosts Denver students at Nuggets game

Shannon Pyle, Denver-area admissions counselor, attended a college fair for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) students in the Denver area, held Feb. 23. The fair was co-sponsored by the Denver Nuggets, so participating colleges received 10 tickets to that evening’s Nuggets basketball game. Shannon accompanied seven admitted students and one parent at the game. They then met with Shannon and were given a “next steps” folder to learn about ASU scholarships, the FAFSA, housing, advising, and enrollment. Since the game, Shannon has met with four of the students at their respective high schools and kept in very close contact with the mother that also attended.avid-2 avid-1

ASU Admissions Counselors are continuously building bonds and strengthening relationships at the administrative, educator, parent, and student level while working “in the field” with prospective, applied, and accepted students. Year-round, they participate in college-fairs, parent and financial aid nights, application and scholarship days, and a continuous calendar of individual school visits engaging in group presentations and individual student meetings.

Student accepted to West Point

Alexandre Basagoitia, an ASU sophomore, received an appointment to the Class of 2020 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He will report to West Point for the first time on June 27. The U. S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year, co-educational, federal, liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. Its mission is to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U. S. Army.

Alexandre Basagoitia

Alexandre Basagoitia

Pan Handlers perform for students

The Adams State Rocky Mountain Pan Handlers Steel Band, under the direction of Assistant Professor of Music James Doyle, recently performed for over 1,300 students at 11 performances over three days. Sponsored by the Music in the Mountains Summer Music Festival in Durango, the events also allowed interacting with students from pre-K to 12. The following students participated:

  • Isaiah Pierce
  • Emily Johnson
  • Andrew Naughton
  • Zachary Carpenter
  • Logan Hjelmstad
  • Dryden Hill
  • Kevin Johnson
  • Trevor Ostien
  • Patrick Veto
  • Cody Fricke
  • Carolyn Ogden

See a performance on Youtube.

HPPE students present research

HPPE Exercise Science graduate students Dustin Oranchuk and Zachary Switaj conducted an original research project under the guidance of Dr. Brian Zuleger, asst. professor of HPPE, titled “The Effect of a ‘Rapid Response’ Neuromuscular Warm-up on Isometric Force Production in NCAA Division II Swimmers.” Oranchuk presented a poster summarizing the findings at the 10th annual Coaches and Sport Science College, hosted by East Tennessee State University.

Dustin Oranchuk

Dustin Oranchuk

“This was a terrific learning experience from many perspectives. The opportunity to present research to academics and coaches was very beneficial,” he said. “Attending the conference was also extremely useful in both gathering information and networking. I was able to learn more about potential doctoral programs and meet many people who were willing to share their research and experiences in strength & conditioning and sport performance. I took away a great deal from the trip, from gathering information about the scientific side of research and development, to practical tips that I have been able to apply immediately as a coach.”

Read a brief paper summarizing the research.

Students hold successful Special Olympics Basketball Showcase

Peggy Johnson’s students in HPPE 305 “Sport Facility & Event Management” planned and presented the 2016 Special Olympics Basketball Showcase, February 28 in Plachy Hall gym. Generous donations from the event will help finance the trip to a regional competition.SO-3 SO-1

Using Special Olympics Unified rules, the teams included three Special Olympians and two non-Special Olympics athletes. The event feature teams that included members of the SLV Dust Devils and the Adams State Men’s Lacrosse team. The final results of the Blue and Red match-up was Blue finishing on top, 32-28.

The SLV Special Olympics Basketball program has been practicing on most Saturdays since November and took second at the Southeast Regional Championship, held in Pueblo, February 20. Coached by Jeff Storm, they won against the Rams, 54-26. Once in the winners’ bracket of the Division IV ages 22 and older, in a close game, they fell to the Chrush White, 32-30.SO-2

The SLV Dust Devils team members included Jocelyn Marksberry, Andrew Griego, Christina Quintana, Maria Garcia, Karie Valdez, Loren Guymon, Andrew Allee, Ed June, Sonya Lee, John Bailey, Sharon Bailey & Marc Alfaro. The athletes who participated in an Individual skills competition, including dribbling, passing, and shooting events were Steve Guymon (1st place), Michelle Chacon (3rd place), Chris Martinez (1st place), and Charles Silva (4th place).

Special Olympics is an international organization that provides a year-round program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

Practices have begun for the SLV Special Olympics Track and Field program. For more information or to volunteer, contact Peggy Johnson, ext. 7408.

Senior Jake Heaton and Dr. Liz Hensley, asst. professor of marketing, presented results of their study of ASU’s economic impact on the San Luis Valley at the 2016 annual Tourism Conference sponsored by the San Luis Valley Tourism Association, Feb 25.

“Mind Game” attracts large audience

Approximately 70 attendees took part in the recent screening of “Mind Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw,” hosted by Human Performance & Physical Education Department (HPPE). The Counseling Center and Athletic Department collaborated on the event.

MInd-Game-4The documentary recounts Chamique’s battle with mental illness throughout her career as a star basketball player in high school, college, and WNBA. The message is that no one is immune; even superstar athletes who appear to have everything going great in life can be affected by mental illness. The film also provides insight into the sport culture and Chamique’s experience as an African American female and the lack of awareness and acceptance of mental illness in both cultures.MInd-Game-3A Q&A session followed the film produced an important and productive conversation around mental health on campus in general, as well as among athletes. The discussion was facilitated by Dr. Brian Zuleger, assistant professor sport psychology, and Counseling Center staff Jeff Farmer and Lisyuri Gallardo.

Faculty & Staff News

Dr. Kristy Duran, asst. professor of biology, served on the Ford Foundation Fellowship Program’s review panel for the Ecological, Environmental, & Evolutionary Sciences. The foundation’s mission is to increase diversity in the professoriate. The panel selects awardees at the predoctoral, dissertation, and postdoctoral levels. This is a highly competitive fellowship, as only 3% of applicants are awarded fellowships.

Duran was awarded a grant of $52,120 toward a LI-COR Ecophysiology Package, presented by the LI-COR Environmental Education Fund (LEEF). The package includes an LI-6400XTR Portable Photosynthesis and Fluorescence that allows for cutting edge physiological research, two training vouchers, and funds for undergraduate students to attend conferences to present their independent research. More about LEEF.

In addition, Duran spoke at Northern New Mexico College April 1 about how her research influences her classes and vice versa. She explained how independent undergraduate research projects have developed from research done in courses.

The paper Duran published last year with alumni Vance Barksdale and Marcus Newell won the McClung Award for the best paper published in the journal BIOS for year 2015. The award included a $150 stipend and plaque for the article, “Nuclear intergenic DNA sequence divergence in a Texas dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium divaricatum) population.”

Jess Gagliardi, instructor of developmental education, presented a poster, “Equality for All? Miscegenation and Same-Sex Marriage Law Connections,” at the Western Political Science Association Conference in San Diego, March 23-27. His presentation analyzed the intersections of the 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court case that ruled the ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional and the recent Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court case that ruled same-sex marriages legal with laws that banned both practices.

He will present a poster, “The Dark Side of Decisions: Presidential Censorship,” at the Midwest Political Science Association conference in Chicago, April 7-10. His presentation discusses the decisions and implementation of laws enacted by Presidents John Adams (Sedition Act of 1798), Abraham Lincoln (suspension of habeas corpus), Woodrow Wilson (Sedition Act of 1918), and George W. Bush (Patriot Act). He will also serve as a discussant/chair for undergraduate poster presentations for this conference.

His April 20 faculty lecture on campus will be “Exceptional Presidential Companions: The First Ladies as an Essential Institution to the Presidency.”

Gaylene Horning, assistant director of Alumni Relations, and Linda Relyea, assistant director of communications, and recently attended the Editor’s Forum presented by the Council for Advancement & Support of Education (CASE), held in San Antonio, TX.

Dr. Adam Klienschmit, asst. professor of biology, has his original peer-reviewed teaching case study accepted for publication by the NSF-supported National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCST) at the University at Buffalo. Entitled “One Tablet a Day May Keep Cancer Away,” the case study with teaching notes and an answer key is available for use by other undergraduate educators. The mission of the NCCSTS is to promote the nationwide application of active learning techniques to the teaching of science, with a particular emphasis on case studies and problem-based learning. Read more.

Amy Kucera, graphic artist, and Julie Waechter, assistant to the president for communications, recently attended the Design Summit of the University & College Design Association (UCDA), held in Santa Fe.

Dr. Michael Mumper, professor of History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Political Science, Spanish, wrote the chapter,. “The Federal Government and Higher Education,” in American Higher Education in the 21st Century (4th edition) by Michael Bastedo, Philip Altbach, and Patricia Gumport. It was published in 2016 by Johns Hopkins University press. More information.

Erica Romero, Financial Aid scholarship coordinator; Jennifer Stoughton, enrollment and promotion specialist for Extended Studies; and Traci Bishop, assistant to the Assistant Vice President for Extended Studies, recently completed the 2015-16 Academic Management Institute for Women, a cohort-based institute held September-January in Colorado. The goal of the institute, established by the Colorado Network of Women Leaders (CNWL), an affiliate of the American Council on Education (ACE) Office of Women, is to assist and support the advancement of women in higher education, particularly from the talent available in Colorado and Wyoming, through a variety of networking and professional development activities. Sessions focused on the external political environment for higher education, the internal political environment of a given campus, self-assessment of personality and leadership characteristics, gender differences in thinking and leading, and decision-making strategies through a variety of methods, such as guest lectures, background readings, case studies, campus interviews, and personal projects.

Angelica Valdez, director of Upward Bound, was named a 2016 Aspire TRiO Achiever for the State of Colorado. She will receive the award at the ASPIRE Colorado State Conference TRiO Achievers Luncheon, April 14, in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Hotel Elegante. The award recognizes former TRiO participants who have completed their degrees and current TRiO participants who have a record of achievement and stature within their academic institution and/or profession.

Dr. Benjamin Waddell, assoc. professor of sociology, received the 2016 Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation in the social sciences from the last three years, presented by the University of New Mexico’s Office of Graduate Studies. Waddell earned his Ph.D. from UNM, and his dissertation was titled “The Political Economy of Remittance-led Development in Guanajuato, Mexico.” Completed in 2013, it combines ethnographic and statistical analysis to examine the long-term effects of mass emigration on migrant sending communities in central Mexico.

The award includes a $2,500 honorarium and an all-expense paid trip to UNM’s spring convocation, where the Dean of Arts and Sciences will present the award. The prize was is a permanent memorial to the late Tom L. Popejoy, President of UNM from 1948 to 1968. It recognizes and encourages the highest level of academic excellence and is given on a rotating basis. Read more.

Also, Waddell recently presented at the 63rd Annual Conference of the Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, held in Santa Fe, NM. In June, he will present his work on emigration and crime in modern Mexico at the University of Guanajuato, which is paying his expenses.

New Employees

  • Katherine Black – Ext Stud Administrative Assistant II
  • Brett Bentley – Soccer Coach
  • Wendy Brumback – Custodian I
  • Roberto Falomir – Police Officer
  • Derek Faavi – Assistant FB Coach
  • Robert Glover – Computing Services
  • Jennifer Hutchens – Title V – Project Assistant
  • Julio Madrid – Custodian I
  • Daniel Martinez – General Labor I
  • Maria McMath – Caminos Grant Activity Director
  • Wilfred (Ronnie) Medina – Library Tech II
  • Nolan Miller – Pipe/Mechanical Trades I
  • Erik Pascoe – Custodian I
  • Elaine Taylor – Title V STEM Grant Project Specialist
  • Belinda Vargas – Ext Stud. Advisor/Recruiter
  • Carlos Wiggan – Conexiones Grant Career Services Coordinator

Self-Study chapters ready for campus review

Adams State’s HLC Steering Committee requests input from faculty and staff on the self study report under development for ASU’s 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission. One evaluation factor is campus-wide participation in the accreditation process, therefore, everyone in the campus community is strongly encouraged to provide feedback by Friday, February 19.

You may review and comment on the draft reports through Google Drive using the links below:

To place a comment in a document, select the text relevant to your comment, then click the comment icon to the right and enter your feedback in the comment window. This review is for substantive comments related to content, NOT proofreading as a professional editor will help with this.

Any questions may be directed to Karla Hardesty, Chair, HLC Engagement Committee, ext. 8124.


New student recruitment initiatives

Lone Star Scholarship

Adams State recently created the Lone Star Scholarship exclusively for Texas residents. All qualified new and continuing students from Texas will automatically be awarded $3,000, beginning with the fall 2016 semester. All qualified non-Colorado-resident students also automatically receive Adams State’s Experience Colorado Scholarship of $5,000.

Eric Carpio, assistant vice president for Student Services, explained Texas is the only state in ASU’s region that doesn’t belong to the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), in which members reciprocally offer tuition at 150 percent of in-state rates. ASU has a reciprocal tuition agreement with New Mexico.

“Combined with our new Guaranteed Tuition program,¬† this should make Adams State very attractive to Texas residents,” Carpio added.

Summer Session revamped

The course schedule for Adams State’s Summer Session 2016 has been revamped so that new high school graduates may enroll in General Education courses during June and July. They are also eligible for summer financial aid. In addition, new students who enroll during Summer Session and continue in the fall semester will qualify for a lower Guaranteed Tuition rate than those who begin in the fall.