What I learned from Rick Miranda

Rick Miranda with students

CSU Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda at the Institute for Entrepreneurship in 2016.

Mark Stetter is the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University.

When you meet Rick Miranda, you will not initially see the many layers of this legacy leader of Colorado State University. I wanted to share a couple of eye-opening moments to help illustrate what I have seen and learned.

I remember one of my first commencement ceremonies as dean about eight years ago. It was the graduate school ceremony at Moby Arena, and I stood on the platform with the president, provost, vice presidents and deans. Moby was filled with graduates, faculty, family and friends and we were all standing and ready to sing the national anthem.

Suddenly, there was some panic at the podium as it was realized the person who always sings the national anthem was not present. After a couple of moments of confusion and whispers, Rick stepped up to the microphone and belted out an wonderful rendition of our national anthem. I was floored and leaned over to one of the other deans and asked, “What was that?” She calmly said, “Yeah, Rick is full of surprises – he has been singing semi-professionally since he was a child.”

I also remember a Council of Deans meeting where Rick was sharing a new tuition model that would help return resources back to the colleges (the now-famous 2-3-6 program). It was clear to Rick that most of those in the room were not grasping his plan.

He quickly jumped up from the large conference table, went past the fancy laptops and smart board, grabbed a marker and went to the whiteboard on the wall. Like a true mathematician and trained instructor, he quickly and smoothly created a beautiful series of mathematical equations on the wall to demonstrate how this new plan would work. The deans had all become his students and the master had shared another lesson.

Lastly, just recently, all the deans had gathered to recognize and thank Rick for his many years of hard work and service. As we raised a glass to toast the Provost, we realized that every single one of us had been recruited and hired by Rick.

A quiet, thoughtful and deeply dedicated man. A true legacy leader!