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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Presidential finalists bring experience to campus

Background information on the CSU-Pueblo presidential candidates

The résumés of the three candidates nominated by the CSU-Pueblo Presidential Search Advisory Committee for the next university president are out and aim to impress. 

Each of the candidates brings experience in higher education administration, yet come from diverse educational backgrounds and areas of expertise. While all three candidates bring their own strengths to the table, it will be the Board of Governors, with advisement from the CSU System Chancellor Joe Blake, who will vote for one candidate to become the next president of CSU-Pueblo.

If selected, the next CSU-Pueblo president will take office by January 2012.

First Candidate

Lesley A. Di Mare, Ph.D.

Most Recent Position: interim president, Nevada State College

Lesley Ann Di Mare has a background in communications and earned both her doctorate and her master’s degrees in speech communication. Di Mare earned her bachelor’s degree in theater arts with a minor in English from California State University. She has worked at diverse campuses and specializes in international and intercultural communications.

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 CSU for almost 10 years, working her way up to chair of her department.

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

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

Her most recent experience has been at Nevada State College where she began as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs for three years before serving her current position as interim president and CEO.

One aspect of being in a university administrator’s position is their ability to raise funds for the university, and Di Mare’s résumé records over $5 million in grants and fundraising efforts.

She has also 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.

On top of that, she has 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.

Second Candidate

Michael “Mike” Driscoll, Ph.D.

Most Recent Position: provost and executive vice chancellor, University of Alaska

Mike Driscoll earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees, as well as his doctorate, from Michigan State University in electrical engineering in the 1980s.

In 1988, Driscoll began as an assistant professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at Portland State University in Portland, Ore. While at PSU, Driscoll became an associate professor with tenure, associate chair of his department, associate dean of academic affairs, executive dean and vice provost for academic personnel and budget.

In 2006, Driscoll left PSU and took on his most recent position of tenured professor of electrical engineering and provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, Ala.

Driscoll’s fundraising background includes helping to secure a $15 million gift from ConocoPhillips to establish the Arctic Science and Engineering Endowment, which is the largest corporate gift to date at the UA, Driscoll said.

He specializes in legislative relations and has worked to “build legislative budget proposals and develop legislative strategy” within the UA System, according to his résumé.

Driscoll is a member of several honor’s societies including Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society, Omega Rho, the operations research and management science honor society, and Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honors society.

When it comes to community leadership, Driscoll has served on a variety of boards including programs in support of youth education, the performing arts and mentoring of the disabled.

Third Candidate

Karla Hughes, Ph.D.

Most Recent Position: vice president for Academic Affairs, Morehead State University

Karla Hughes received both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Kansas State University in the 1970s, with a major in foods and nutrition. In 1979, she received her doctorate in agriculture with a major in animal science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn.

In 1991, Hughes completed her post-doctorate studies in personnel management, organizational theory and finance from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Miss., at the College of Business and Public Administration.

Hughes’ professional education background began in 1974, where she worked as an instructor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. From 1978 to 1979, she worked at Kansas State University as a USDA state foods and nutrition extension specialist and assistant professor.

For 14 years, Hughes worked for the University of Missouri as a tenured associate professor and unit leader for the state food and nutrition office.

Then from 1994-2000, Hughes was a tenured professor and chair of the department of human sciences at Middle Tennessee State University.

Hughes then worked at East Carolina University as tenured professor and founding dean of the college of human ecology. At ECU, she was selected as an American Council on Education fellow class of 2005-2006, initially being placed in the office of the president of the University of North Carolina System.

Her most recent position has been tenured professor, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky.

Hughes has been selected for several honors, including the “Distinguished Service Award,” from KSU, the university division of continuing studies “Distinguished Education Award” in distance learning and the “Carl N. Scheneman Excellence in Teaching Award,” as the project director for the Food Safety Express Program.

Also, Hughes has a proven record in fundraising as she has helped to secure more than $4 million in extramural funding.

She is considered an expert in her field and has peer reviewed scientific publications and reports. Hughes has given professional presentations across the country and has an extensive list of professional and community service spanning more than three decades.

Links to the candidates’ full résumés can be found on the CSU-Pueblo website.


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