Colorado State University – Pueblo announces finalists for provost/chief academic officer


Colorado State University – Pueblo announces finalists for provost/chief academic officer

PUEBLO – Three individuals have been selected as finalists for the top academic position at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

The following three candidates will interview at a variety of campus forums next week for the position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs: Dr. Perry Rettig, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; Dr. James Payne, former regional vice chancellor for academic affairs and research at the University of South Florida Polytechnic; and Dr. Brenda Nichols, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Rick Kremenski, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, has been serving as interim provost since December of 2011.  

The candidates will interview on campus on the following dates: Perry Rettig, Sept. 17; James Payne, Sept. 19, and Brenda Nichols, Sept. 21. Interview schedules and copies of the candidates’ vitae will be available for viewing at http://www.colostate-pueblo.edu/HR/Employment/Provost-Announcement/Pages/Provost-Candidate-Visit.aspx . Open forum sessions for the public will be offered from 7:30-8 a.m. and 4-4:30 p.m. on each of the dates in the Occhiato University Center -- Rettig (West Ballroom), Payne (Hearthwell Lounge), Nichols (Aspen Leaf).

The Provost/VPAA is the chief academic officer of the University charged with providing dynamic and transformational leadership and overall strategic direction for the instructional and research programs of the University.  The Provost is responsible for all aspects of the academic mission and will collaborate with University leadership to guide the institution in advancing its strategic plan while considering the evolving role of the public university in the 21st century. The position has oversight responsibilities for all academic degree and non-degree programs, Student Academic Support programs, First-Year Programs, Enrollment Management, Research and Sponsored Programs, Continuing Education, Information Technology Services, the Library, the Honors Program, and the President's Leadership Program.  The Provost/VPAA reports directly to the President and works closely and directly with the Vice President for Finance and Administration in a strong team approach to the general administration of the institution.

Rettig received a Ph.D. in administrative leadership and supervision from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc.  He also holds an M.S. in administrative leadership and supervision and a


B.S.E. in elementary education. Rettig serves as the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  He is a professor of educational administration and leadership at the same institution. In his current position he works with or chairs several initiatives including: enrollment management, retention task force, faculty and academic handbook, university compensation committee, enterprise risk management, merit and post-tenure review, budget management, and technology. Rettig has also held the positions of interim provost, interim assistant vice chancellor, and Chancellor’s Leadership Fellow at other institutions of higher education.  Rettig also held K-12 principal and teaching positions.

Payne earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Berea College, Berea, Ken., and master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from Florida State University. Payne most recently served as the regional vice chancellor for academic affairs and research at the University of South Florida Polytechnic, a full professor of finance and economics, and research associate with the Alternative Energy Research Center. The responsibilities of that position included oversight of a $21.2 M academic affairs budget, planning and resource allocation, recruitment, hiring and retention of faculty, liaison to the University of South Florida System and numerous other organizations and agencies, and development of a transition plan for independent status.  Payne has also held the positions of interim dean, chair, and associate and assistant professor at other institutions.  In the dean’s position at Illinois State, Payne led the college to $3.8 million in fundraising and $12.5 million in grants.

After earning associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Evansville, Nichols earned a Doctorate of Nursing Science from Indiana University.  She serves as the dean of the college of arts and sciences and a professor nursing at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.  In her current position, Nichols is responsible for budget management, program development, accreditation, strategic planning, community partnerships, fund raising, distance learning, ability to work with culturally and ethnically diverse students, and assessing the challenges and trends facing the institution.  Nichols increased retention rates, increased the number of donors to the College including a $1.5 million named department, a $1 million unrestricted gift, and led a renovation of five buildings on the Lamar campus.  Nichols also has held administrative and teaching positions at Old Dominion and the University of Southern Mississippi.

The candidates all will follow a similar schedule:

7:30-8 a.m. Open Forum

Rettig (West Ballroom), Payne (Hearthwell Lounge), Nichols (Aspen Leaf)

8-8:50 a.m. Search Committee

9-9:50 a.m. University Leadership Team 

10-10:45 a.m. Classified Staff

11-11:45 a.m. Administrative/Professional Staff

Noon-1:20 p.m.Lunch with direct report employees

1:30-2 p.m. Chief of Staff

2-2:45 p.m. Faculty

3- 3:45 p.m. Students

4 - 4:30 p.m. Open Forum

Rettig (West Ballroom), Payne (Hearthwell Lounge), Nichols (Aspen Leaf)

4:30-5 p.m. Search Committee

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.