Kelly Long, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Liberal Arts, has accepted the position of Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs for Colorado State University, starting July 1.
Long, associate professor of history, will take the office currently held by Dave Gilkey, who will return to his role as Director of Undergraduate Education for the Environmental Health Program in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He stepped in as interim vice provost in January.
“Dr. Long brings a strong institutional perspective to the Provost’s office, and she is absolutely committed to student success, having been an active member of our campus efforts in that direction lately,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda. “She has a solid record of experience with curricular matters, and her commitment to increasing the quality of our programs, and the breadth of our undergraduate offerings, will be much appreciated.”
Long, who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s at CSU and her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado in Boulder has been an educator for 35 years. She taught at Poudre High School for 18 years before coming to CSU in 1998, and has served the College of Liberal Arts as associate dean since January 2014.
“When you move into administration, you truly are a servant,” she said. “I feel it is a privilege to have been given this opportunity to help in bringing together threads of multiple conversations that are running concurrently on campus.”
Long said that among her first steps as vice provost will be to draw various members of the campus community to listen carefully to their concerns and interests to understand how her office can facilitate the multiple and pressing agendas.
“One of my personal and professional passions is the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” said Long, a first-generation college student herself. “We have an exciting opportunity to build upon the monumental work of Paul Thayer and others involved in student success at CSU. We are truly standing on the shoulders of giants in this area, and I look forward to collaborating with those who have already done so much. Education is the most important gift that we can offer toward personal transformation and societal betterment.”
While she is looking forward to the opportunity to serve at a different level, Long expressed true sadness at leaving the College of Liberal Arts.
“I have received so much support, guidance and friendship in this college that I love,” she said. “I am truly grateful for the many mentors, formal and informal, I have learned so much from — students included.”
She and Miranda both gave heartfelt thanks to Gilkey for his extremely effective management of the office over the past months.
“We have been very fortunate to have his talent and energy in the administration this semester, and I look forward to working with him in the future as opportunities arise,” Miranda said.
Long said that some of her most important lessons in leadership have come from her avocation as a jazz trumpeter.
“When you play jazz, you’re not always in the front, sometimes you’re playing backup, but you are always listening and supporting the other players.”