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Colorado College Announces a New President

What others have to say about Jill Tiefenthaler

Colorado College President Richard F. Celeste, Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch and members of the Presidential Search Committee share their thoughts about Colorado College's 13th president.

I am delighted that the Board of Trustees has chosen Jill Tiefenthaler to be the 13th president of Colorado College and that she has agreed to serve. Dr. Tiefenthaler’s stellar credentials and experience – especially her leadership on strategic planning, diversity initiatives, and innovations in admissions – promise to move CC to greater heights. And Jill brings a fresh and vital perspective to the helm of CC. I am confident that she will find this position to be as rewarding as I have. Everyone on campus looks forward to ensuring a smooth transition and supporting Dr. Tiefenthaler in this endeavor.
—Richard F. Celeste, President of Colorado College

Jill has been a dynamic academic leader at Wake Forest and a wonderful colleague. She has brought great energy to many of our strategic objectives in academic and student life. We extend every good wish as she takes up a new set of challenges at Colorado College. We are deeply indebted to her for her vision, energy and contagious enthusiasm and will miss her greatly. I wish Jill and her family the very best as she begins an exciting new chapter and know that the Colorado College community will find in Jill an uncommonly talented, energetic and committed leader.
—Nathan O. Hatch, President of Wake Forest University

Professor Tiefenthaler rose to become the search committee's unanimous choice, emerging from a field of literally hundreds. Her demonstrated commitment to excellence, her ability to lead internally, and her capacity to motivate externally were decisive considerations. The trustee, faculty, student, staff, and alumni members of the search committee were united in their enthusiasm for Tiefenthaler.
—David M. Lampton, trustee and chair of the Presidential Search Committee

Jill Tiefenthaler seems to me to be a perfect fit for Colorado College. She is a well-trained academic with a strong social conscience who has come up through the liberal arts tradition. She is an experienced and able administrator, with high energy and high ability. From the first, she struck me as engaged and engaging. I am so glad she is coming.
—Esther Redmount, associate professor of economics and business, chair of the Faculty Executive Committee

I am so delighted that Dr. Jill Tiefenthaler has agreed to serve as the next president of Colorado College. In Dr. Tiefenthaler I believe we have found a person of impressive intellect, energy, and ambition to match our own aspirations. At Colgate and then Wake Forest she has led collaborative efforts to engage students in educational endeavors in partnership with local and regional communities; worked to develop flexible policies that value quality teaching and assist faculty in pursuing scholarly enterprises; and supported staff capacities to more effectively serve increasingly diverse student populations. Dr. Tiefenthaler wants to lead an ambitious institution that was willing to consider new directions and possibilities; I believe we can forge an exciting partnership that will move Colorado College forward in providing an even more exceptional education for our students.
—Ginger Morgan ’86, associate dean of students

Jill’s energy and enthusiasm were obvious from the get-go of our first meeting, and she was the unanimous first choice from the outset. Her strong interest in student life and faculty development came through loud and clear. To Jill, campus vibrancy is critical and is best served by student-faculty interaction. She gets the balance between faculty teaching and scholarship at a place like CC and clearly understands a liberal arts education. She has a keen understanding of the economic drivers of a liberal arts college. She believes in servant leadership, empowering others and having fun while doing so. Jill is a good listener and will be a strong and decisive leader for CC.
—Bob Manning ’69, trustee

Colorado College is lucky to have Jill Tiefenthaler as our new president. I am confident she will bring energy, enthusiasm, and vision to the institution. More importantly, the caliber of her leadership speaks to the excellence Colorado College has achieved, and will continue to achieve in the future. As a graduating senior, I am glad to know I'll be leaving the college in great hands.
—Angela Cobian ’11, Colorado College Student Government Association president

The moment that Jill walks into a room, her confidence, intelligence, and charisma are immediately apparent. It is obvious in every conversation that she is listening intently. When I first met Jill, I was floored by all that she has accomplished to promote diversity and tolerance at Wake Forest even in the short time that she has been there. I was even more impressed when I learned how she implemented suggestions brought to her by students concerned about sustainability during her time at both Wake Forest and Colgate. Jill's astounding record of accomplishments in the world of higher education speaks for itself. As an environmental policy major and also a senior whose education has been enhanced by encountering diverse ideas and perspectives, I am incredibly excited for the future of CC under Jill's leadership.
—Joel Minor ’11, officer of EnAct and former co-chair of Equal

Being a part of the search committee for our next president has been an amazing, educational and enjoyable process. While we had many outstanding candidates, Jill Tiefenthaler quickly rose to the top as our unanimous selection. We are thrilled that she has agreed to become the next president of Colorado College. She is an analytical and creative leader who will engage students, faculty and staff, and empower the people around her. She understands the landscape of today’s higher education, and can articulate the importance and relevance of a residential liberal arts education, and the specific value of the Colorado College experience. Jill has implemented creative ideas which have led to positive results at her previous institutions, and she will be instrumental in leading Colorado College to the next level of success.
—Anne Goodman James, head swimming coach

Jill's commitment to the liberal arts is genuine, her energy contagious and her standards exacting. She is an outstanding teacher and a committed scholar yet she remains dedicated to innovating meaningful social change beyond the walls of the academy. She will be an inspiring, visionary leader for Colorado College during a time that is certain to be filled with challenges. Colorado College is fortunate to have found such an able President.
—Amy Shackelford Louis ’84, trustee

In multiple forums last fall, current and former members of the Colorado College community voiced their hope that our next president will build on the College’s capacity to provide a superb and distinctive liberal arts education. Among a group of highly talented applicants, Jill Tiefenthaler stands out as a gifted leader who can persuasively articulate the college’s strengths. She is a creative and energetic teacher, scholar and administrator. She is eager to initiate and innovate, yet she is also open and receptive to alternative and dissenting views. The selection committee is quite enthusiastic about Jill’s demonstrated leadership and collaborative style. I am confident we have found a fabulous match, and I hope others will share our excitement.
—Sandi Wong, associate professor of sociology

Jill Tiefenthaler deeply understands the role a liberal arts education plays not only in the lives of college students, but also in their lives as engaged citizens after they graduate. Now, more than ever, in these times of social turmoil, challenges to the environment and economic uncertainty, we need educational leaders who will guide us to be the best thinkers and problem solvers we can be. President Tiefenthaler's dedication to learning will inspire and unite students and faculty to continue in their quest for knowledge.
—Neal Baer ’78, trustee

As far as I can tell—my German is a little rusty—the name “Tiefenthaler” means “deep valley,” and in considering our new president, Jill Tiefenthaler, who grew up in the rich farmlands of northwestern Iowa, the name also seems both literally and poetically apt.  For Jill is a profound thinker, a brilliant economist with a long list of outstanding publications. She is a superb teacher, famed among former students at Colgate for the rigor of her mind and her ability to challenge them to think beyond conventional  ideas, that is, to ponder deeply the most perplexing and baffling economic issues of our time.  And as for innovation, we know from the exciting new programs Jill has instituted as provost at Wake Forest University, that she has always challenged others—and herself—to make their educations dynamic sites where new learning, new technologies, and new pedagogies mix creatively and fruitfully with the great traditions of the past.  To paraphrase (positively) Margo Channing in that great American film, All About Eve, “Fasten your seatbelts, everybody, it’s going to be a wildly exhilarating ride!”
—John Simons, Professor of English

Jill Tiefenthaler radiates with creativity and enthusiasm. She is a collaborative and innovative leader, a superb teacher, and an established scholar who is deeply loved and respected by her students and colleagues. Jill believes that liberal arts institutions should be intellectual, social, and cultural leaders. She is excited to be our president, and we have confidence that she will raise the profile of Colorado College, and of liberal arts education, on a national level.
—Emily Chan, associate professor of psychology