Top Story

Board of Governors names first woman president

864views

Lesley Di Mare, CSU-Pueblo’s first woman president, was selected by unanimous decision by the CSU System Board of Governors who announced the decision early Wednesday morning.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be offered the job of president at CSU-Pueblo. I’m happy to accept,” Di Mare said following the announcement. She expressed her eagerness to get started and that she was looking forward to building upon the school’s reputation for excellence.

Di Mare was one of three finalists put forth to the board by the presidential search advisory committee, which has been attempting to fill the vacancy since Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia resigned Nov. 2010. Di Mare replaces Julio Leon, the current interim president of CSU-Pueblo, though her start date has not yet been announced.

The other finalists for the vacancy were Michael Driscoll, executive chancellor of the University of Alaska-Anchorage, and Karla Hughes, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky.

 “I think they chose the right person for the job,“ said Ralph Williams, a Pueblo community member of the presidential search advisory committee. Williams said that Di Mare did extremely well in her interviews and that he believes she will bring great energy and leadership skills to the position.

“She’s just top-notch,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday evening.

Di Mare’s  most recent experience has been as interim president and chief executive officer at Nevada State College, Henderson, Nv.,  where she began as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs for three years before serving her current position.

“Frankly, it was a very difficult decision to leave Nevada State College, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart,” she said in an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Di Mare earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre arts with a minor in English from California State University-Chico, her master’s degree in speech communications from California State University-Hayword, and her doctorate in speech communications from Indiana University.

Her professional career began as a secondary school English teacher in Antioch, Calif. After six years, she moved on to become an instructor of speech communication, broadcasting and journalism at California State University in Los Angeles. Di Mare stayed at Cal State for almost 10 years as she worked her way up to chair of her department.

In 1992, Di Mare became department chair of the department of communication studies at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. In 1993, while still serving as department chair she also took on the role of interim president of the criminal justice program of ASU for two years.

Then, from 2003 to 2005 Di Mare was interim dean of ASU’s college of human services. Also at ASU from 2005-2007 she was the associate vice provost for undergraduate initiatives and academic programs.

Di Mare has won several awards including “Women to Watch” awarded by In Business Las Vegas and Outstanding Administrator Award from the Council of Academic Advisors of ASU.

Di Mare has also been appointed to several distinguished positions including visiting fellow of the Oxford Round Table in Oxford, England, and she served as a consultant for the Japan External Trade Organization in Los Angeles.

While visiting CSU-Pueblo’s campus Sept 12. Di Mare described herself as a “mover and a shaker,” and that she would need to be wholly involved on campus and in the community in order to continue the growth that the campus has seen in the past several years, Di Mare said.

Di Mare sees the vacancies in CSU-Pueblo’s administration as an opportunity to build her own team and would surround herself with smart individuals that “know what I don’t know,” she said.

With a background in communications, Di Mare said she would like to include all areas of the campus in the decision making processes.

Di Mare will be the sixth president of CSU-Pueblo in the last decade