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Academic News - December 2019

Alejandro Rojas-Sosa Selected as CSU-Pueblo’s Vice President for Finance and Administration

Alejandro Sosa Colorado State University-Pueblo has hired Alejandro Rojas Sosa to serve as the new Vice President for Finance and Administration (VPFA).

Rojas-Sosa was selected after a national search with a competitive pool of 86 applicants. As Vice President for Finance and Administration, he will partner with the president and vice presidents in implementing Vision 2028 to ensure that the university remains accessible and affordable, develops people, and designs learning and support systems that enhance experiential education, soft skill development, as well as personalized advising and mentoring.

Rojas-Sosa has enjoyed a distinguished career as a higher education executive. He joined The University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus in August 2013 and was responsible for strategic partnerships, planning, provider relations, mergers and acquisitions, outreach, business development, and the financial success of the community practice division.

He is an accomplished executive with a strong background in academic healthcare and higher education finance, operations and clinical management, budget and strategic planning, process improvement, and team building and leadership.

"This was a once-in-a-career opportunity,” said Rojas-Sosa.  “I welcome the opportunity to use my skillsets and the experience I've gained to work with my colleagues at CSU-Pueblo to support the mission of the organization.”

Rojas-Sosa will report to the president and serve on the Cabinet and University Leadership Team.  He will provide leadership and direction for Budget, Business Financial Services, Purchasing, Facilities, Auxiliary Services, Physical Plant, and Information Technology Services.

“I am excited about Alejandro’s 23 years of developing people and teams in addition to his finance and administrative leadership experience,” said CSU-Pueblo president, Timothy Mottet.  “He is a thoughtful leader who understands how to align teams to a shared vision and I'm excited about his ability to lead across the university as we implement Vision 2028.”

Rojas-Sosa is a member of prestigious healthcare societies such as the American College of Healthcare Executives, Healthcare Financial Management Associations, and National Society of Hispanic MBA’s. He is a frequent invited speaker and moderator at national and international meetings.

Before joining The University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, he served as Vice Chair of Administration for The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. In previous positions, he was the Department Director and Business Manager for The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas.

Rojas-Sosa earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He earned his Master of Science in Health Administration Finance from Houston Baptist University and a Master of Business Administration Finance from the University of St. Thomas.

Rojas-Sosa and his wife Laura currently live in Franktown, Colorado with their two children. Rojas-Sosa replaces current VPFA Karl Spiecker who retires December 31.

CSU-Pueblo Hosts Colorado Department of Corrections for Educational Workshops

DOC programColorado State University-Pueblo welcomes the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) to campus for a number of workshops hosted November 12 and 13. This opportunity provides teachers across the state of Colorado the ability to participate in continuing education.  These teachers provide educational and vocational teaching within the DOC.

The DOC educational program partners with two and four year institutions across the state to help their educators with certifications, continuing educations, and pursue new certificate or education programs to further educate offenders.  Offenders are then offered industry trade educations, alternative college and industry certificate programming. DOC continues to update and program new educational opportunities for marketable jobs when offenders are released to reduce recidivism and help individuals succeed. 

This educational programming is part of the Correctional Education Program Act passed in 1990, which then was amended in 2010 to include technical education and “provide all eligible offenders with marketable re-entry skills that are relevant and in-demand.”

“In Extended Studies, we are very focused on providing access to education for incarcerated students in several of our programs. And for several years, we have worked closely with the Colorado DOC to provide programs in their facilities for both our print based programs and face-to-face courses,” said Kathryn Starkey, Outreach Specialist with Extended Studies. 

Several of the individuals that are teaching workshops in conjunction with DOC teach in correctional facilities now and are excited to share expertise with those attending.  The Teacher Education Program; Sociology/Criminology/Anthropology Department; Exercise Science, Physical Education, and Recreation Department; all will represent different programs and curriculum needs for the DOC. 

“When Melissa Smith, DOC Education Program Coordinator/Credential & Grant Officer, came to us to ask for our help in hosting a professional development workshop, we were elated to have the chance to not only make a difference for the students but now also the teachers,” said Starkey.  “We are so grateful to have this partnership with the DOC to continue to help foster access to education and make a difference in the lives of students across the state.”

Rick Gonzalez Appointed to Spouse/Partner Program Team for American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Rick GonzalezRick Gonzalez, spouse of Colorado State University-Pueblo President Timothy Mottet, has been appointed by Dr. Mildred Garcia, President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), to develop presidential spouse/partner programming for their annual conferences.  Gonzalez will present at the AASCU annual meeting in Phoenix, AZ being held the end of October.

Gonzalez will be co-chairing the programming with Elizabeth Ross, former presidential spouse from Central Michigan University. Together they have scheduled 6 spousal/partner programs at the upcoming conference focusing on issues related to the emerging role of the presidential spouse/partner, as well as issues related to Title IX, fundraising and campus leadership. 

“I’m honored to not only serve as the presidential spouse for CSU-Pueblo, but to be tapped to serve AASCU in this manner,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez’ presentation at the fall conference will focus on how to manage the role of the spouse/partner of a university president and his unique perspective from his time in his role at CSU-Pueblo. 

AASCU is one of few presidential organizations to have spousal/partner programming.  Spouses first began attending AASCU in 1971, and at that time programming was dependent on the interest and involvement of the spouse who lived where the meeting was hosted.

“I’m incredibly proud of Rick for his service to AASCU and for all the ways he supports the campus, community, and me,” said Mottet.

The role of the presidential spouse has evolved over the years from the traditional “first lady” role that focused on hosting and entertaining, to a presidential spouse/partner that is more inclusive and emphasizes how president and spouse/partner work together as a team to serve a university and community.

“I enjoy volunteering in the community and on the campus.  I usually invest three days volunteering at SOCO Spay and Neuter and Adoption Clinic and the other two days on the campus where needed,” said Gonzalez.  “Tim and I usually spend our weekends engaged in campus or community activities.  It’s much work, but incredibly rewarding.”

CSU-Pueblo Sees Exponential Growth in Online and Graduate Enrollment

CSU-Pueblo LibraryColorado State University-Pueblo boasts new student enrollment has increased for the second year in a row, with an increase of 63 students this fall semester.  This is especially satisfying with CSU-Pueblo intentionally increasing academic offerings.  The new offerings reflect its vision to adapt to students’ needs in a rapidly-changing economic landscape.  The University continues to update the wraparound services for students on campus to ensure the success of enrolled students as part of Vision 2028. 

Although new student enrollment has increased, overall undergraduate enrollment has declined with a total of 3,855 which is down from 3,936 in 2018.  This is on track with the trend across the United States with many regional comprehensive universities seeing the effects of declining birth rates, fewer high school graduates, and the general decline in higher education enrollment. 

“CSU-Pueblo is proud of the fact that for the second year in a row, our new student enrollment has seen an increase, focused in the realms of online and graduate programming,” said Chrissy Holliday, Vice President of Enrollment Management, Communications, and Student Affairs.  “Across the nation, universities like ours are struggling with enrollment, and our job is to adapt in ways that keep the University and our programs relevant to potential students.”

In an effort to offset the overall enrollment, CSU-Pueblo has worked to increase online and graduate enrollment, which can be seen with the successful numbers for fall of 2019.  Graduate student enrollment increased by 72 students total.  Due to the shift in effort to focus more intentionally on graduate and online enrollment, CSU-Pueblo delayed reporting fall numbers to include the Fall B sections of online classes offered.  Online enrollment saw a 70 percent increase from 2018 to 2019. 

“The traditional college student who enrolls immediately after high school will always be integral to our success, and we are committed to providing that traditional path for a growing number of young people,” explained Holliday.  “Another piece of our enrollment strategy calls for diversifying our student body by increasing professional, graduate, and online programming. This region has a significant number of adult learners who have some college but no degree, or who now are seeking a degree to support career advancement or a new career path. CSU-Pueblo, with its history of undergraduate research, professional programs and practical work-based application, is uniquely positioned to fill that need.” 

CSU-Pueblo continues to be primarily comprised of local students with 83% of students being from Colorado while out of state total 14% of the overall enrollment population and international students totaling 3%.  Students represent 33 countries, 42 states and territories, and 51 counties in the state of Colorado.    

This academic year brought a surge in graduate student enrollment – with graduate enrollment up 32% in a single year, thanks to a new graduate program in social work and Doctor of Nursing Practice, and offering a master’s in education online. CSU-Pueblo’s student population this year is 35% first-generation, 55% women, and more than half the university’s students are diverse.

“Our presence in both Pueblo and Colorado Springs means that we can make a four-year degree accessible, affordable, and achievable for a majority of residents of Southern Colorado and beyond,” said Holliday.


For more CSU-Pueblo news, click here.

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