By Chelsea Reese
Peter Dorhout has been named to serve as provost at CSU-Pueblo, a position held by Russ Meyer who retired in February.
Dorhout, the vice provost for graduate studies and assistant vice president for research at CSU-Fort Collins, came to CSU-Pueblo first as the interim provost, but was appointed to the provost’s position on March 3 by Julio Leon, CSU-Pueblo’s interim president. Dorhout’s role as the provost officially started March 7, but he said it still might not be a permanent job.
“I would call it a term provost. There’s a fixed term, a fixed contract. That was the recommendation that came from the Board of Governors.” Dorhout said. “I don’t quite understand the subtleties myself but it is a term position.”
With the university currently going through many administrative changes, Dorhout said whether he stays with the university in a full-time, permanent capacity has a lot to do with who is named its official president. He said he thinks the university will start having prospective presidents visiting campus in the next couple months.
“As far as the provost position goes, a new president needs to be able to select his or her own provost,” Dorhout said. “That’s the chief academic officer for the university and is somebody that’s extremely important, not only to the president, but to everybody else on campus.”
If he were selected to be the official provost by the new president, he is still unsure if he would accept the job because it would also depend on how comfortable he is working with someone who would be considered his boss, he said.
Dorhout is currently trying to get a feel for the university and for Pueblo, he said.
“A lot of it, so far, is simply observing. My background as a chemist, as a scientist, I’ve learned how to observe,” Dorhout said. “There’s just a lot to learn. Here everything is new, so I have to rely on what I hope are my good instincts in terms of communication and building relationships.”
Dorhout was given the opportunity to be the interim provost for CSU-Pueblo by the Board of Governors because it was well-known that he was actively searching for the “next challenge,” he said.
“I’ve always been interested in the next challenge,” Dorhout said. “This is an opportunity to help out the system, and I’m a sucker for that, but also to learn. Frankly, I think that I can make a difference even if it’s a short term. There’s nothing wrong with the institution. It’s just gone through growing pains.”
Before his career with CSU-Fort Collins began, Dorhout earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, and a doctorate in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, according to CSU-Pueblo’s website.