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Colorado State University Pueblo Announced Inaugural Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Student Success

Release Date: February 28, 2022

Greg Hoye

Executive Director

Marketing, Communications, Community Relations

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Dr. Benkert

Pueblo— Colorado State University Pueblo has announced Stuart Benkert, Ph.D., as the inaugural Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Student Success.

“I am excited to have Dr. Benkert join CSU Pueblo to lead undergraduate studies and student success initiatives,” said Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mohamed Abdelrahman. “Dr. Benkert is a seasoned academic leader with the experience we need to lead our efforts focused on improving retention, persistence, and graduation rates and closing the equity gaps.”

In this newly established position, Benkert will be primarily responsible for the execution of strategic priorities including equity and student success initiatives, general education curriculum and capstone courses, and more.

“Dr. Benkert is a collaborative leader who will work closely with all stakeholders including Deans, Department Chairs, and faculty and staff members as he addresses these crucial issues,” said Abdelrahman.

As part of student success initiatives, Benkert will oversee enrollment goals and student success metrics to identify successes and opportunities for improvements. Another facet of this work is to interpret data to enable positive improvements in the engagement and experience of students, faculty, and staff. He will also supervise the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Center for Honors and Leadership, and the tutoring and learning centers.

“I am honored to join the team at CSU Pueblo as the inaugural dean of student success and undergraduate education,” said Benkert. “From my first meeting to my last, each person I met was intensely interested in identifying methods for assisting students as they begin building their dreams. I believe that an authentic and inclusive educational experience requires academic rigor, relevant curriculum, effective pedagogy, and multi-faceted support structures with timely delivery.”

Benkert has worked to support students for over 22 years. Most recently he functioned as the inaugural Head of the Department of Performing Arts at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). As department head, Benkert led the development of an accredited music therapy program that saw its first cohort of students in the fall of 2019. He has served as a professor of music at UTC since 1999.

“Engaged students are successful students and whether it be through research, internships, community service, or various other activities, we will create opportunities for students to apply their intellect and skills in real-world problem solving,” said Benkert.

Prior to operating as Head of the Department of Performing Arts, he worked as the Assistant Provost for Complete College and Student Success at UTC for three years.

Benkert received his doctorate in philosophy in music education from the University of Kansas and has his certificate in Leading Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

“The landscape of education is changing, and I accepted the challenge at CSU Pueblo because I believe that this institution can be the generation point for a meaningful curricular evolution,” said Benkert. “I look forward to facilitating this discussion and becoming a part of this tremendous community.”

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