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CSU-Pueblo presidential candidates cover campus

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The three finalists for the university presidential position met with campus and community members to share their visions for the future of the CSU-Pueblo campus, Sept. 12 through Sept. 16. 

For the recently named finalists this was their first opportunity to address their constituents and tour the campus and surrounding community of Pueblo.

Lesley Ann Di Mare, current interim president of Nevada State College in Henderson, Nev., was the first to address the campus, Sept. 12.  Di Mare received her doctorate from Indiana University and her master’s degree from California State University-Hayward, both in communications. She also has a bachelor’s degree in theatre arts, with a minor in English from CSU-Chico.

Di Mare described herself as a “mover and a shaker,” and believes 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.

“I believe the president has to work with every facet of the community, not just the city but the region,” she 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.

The second candidate to address campus was Michael Driscoll, executive chancellor of the University of Alaska-Anchorage. He spoke to student and community constituents Sept. 14. Driscoll holds his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from Michigan State University.

During his speech, Driscoll emphasized the role a regional university plays within the community.

“You have a university that has a strong connection to the community. You have a university that is very good at what it does. You have a base here that is remarkably strong,” Driscoll said. “I’m excited about the possibility of building on that and I’m interested in the potential you have here.”

Driscoll also sees the vacancies within CSU-Pueblo’s administration as an opportunity to build his own team, but he isn’t looking to micromanage, he said.

“I would try to be as clear as I can about high expectations without telling people how to do their jobs,” he said.

Karla Hughes, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky., was the final candidate to address the campus, Sept. 16. She has a doctorate from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nutrition from Kansas State University-Manhattan.

Hughes’ post-doctorate studies focused on higher-education administration.

During her speech, Hughes stressed the need for teamwork.

“The way I see it is you can talk a lot, but to make it real you have to have a team that works together,” she said.

Hughes also stressed the importance of developing relationships on and off campus for fundraising and support.

“A president does not build those relationships by sitting in the office,” Hughes said.