President Benson on the retirement of UCCS' chancellor
Dec. 16, 2016
I want to share some significant news about a leader at the University of Colorado. Dr. Pam Shockley-Zalabak, who has served ably and admirably as chancellor of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs since 2001, told me this week that she intends to retire, effective Feb. 15.
Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak has been an exceptional leader in her 15 years at the helm of the campus (she has served 40 total at UCCS in various capacities). During that time, she has led UCCS from a commuter campus with 6,500 students to a residential academic and research mainstay in southern Colorado with more than 12,000 students. UCCS regularly receives accolades from US News & World Report as one of the top regional research universities in the West.
She has placed a sharp focus on student success and campus engagement with the community, attributes gleaned from her roots as a professor of communication. CU students have benefitted tremendously from her passion for their success.
Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak has established many and meaningful partnerships with the City of Colorado Springs, military bases in the area, major corporations and federal agencies. UCCS was founded just over 50 years ago with the help of business and city leaders who collaborated with CU to build a campus that would benefit the community in a variety of ways, from being a cultural hub to workforce development to serving veterans. Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak has advanced those partnerships in myriad ways, weaving the campus into the fabric of the community and region.
The campus has experienced a tremendous building boom during her tenure, adding and renovating academic space, constructing residence halls and student-support facilities and building health care, athletic and cultural buildings.
Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak has been an integral member of my leadership team. I am grateful for her thoughtful, measured counsel that is always grounded in expert opinion and research.
I am happy to share that I have appointed Dr. Venkat Reddy, dean of the UCCS College of Business, as interim chancellor. A search will begin in January for the permanent chancellor.
I want to thank Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak for her exemplary service to our students, our university and the state. Her distinguished career serves as a beacon for the power and promise of higher education at our university and beyond. I appreciate the passion, dedication and excellence she has displayed over her 40-year career at CU and I wish her the best in all her endeavors.
Bruce D. Benson