President's Bio & CV
Jill Tiefenthaler became Colorado College’s 13th president on July 1, 2011.
During her first two years, President Tiefenthaler began the extensive process that led to the college’s strategic plan “The Colorado College Plan: Building on the Block.” Over the course of her first 12 months, which she referred to as “The Year of Listening,” President Tiefenthaler met with students, faculty, staff, and community members, and heard from thousands of alumni and parents nationwide about their aspirations for the college. In year two, President Tiefenthaler worked with the campus community and Board of Trustees to craft a strategic plan that focuses on providing additional support to realize the potential of the college’s innovative Block Plan, enhancing the college’s distinctive place of learning in the Rocky Mountain West, leveraging the college’s innovative and creative spirit to enhance opportunities for students, and fostering a workplace of inclusion and excellence.
In the years since the strategic plan was developed, Tiefenthaler has overseen the implementation of its many initiatives. Tiefenthaler led planning and design of the new Charles L. Tutt Library, centered around immersive learning and engaged teaching, which became the largest academic library to achieve net-zero energy construction and has received several national awards since reopening in Fall 2017. She also oversaw the construction of a new 154-bed residential complex and community center. While Colorado College’s campus is projected to attain carbon-neutrality by 2020, Tiefenthaler is developing new sustainability programs to further reduce the campus’ environmental impact. Tiefenthaler envisioned an innovation space and supported the development of programming that will support students as they put the liberal arts into action, and revamped Half Block and summer programs to help students develop professional skills and experiences. Tiefenthaler worked with the campus community to develop a Campus Master Plan and a Communications Master Plan. In 2017, she executed an alliance to make the world-class Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center part of the college. The FAC serves as a rich academic and cultural resource for Colorado College and the wider Colorado Springs community.
In 2017-2018, Tiefenthaler worked with the faculty to reorganize the academic administrative structure and led a search for Colorado College’s first provost. During the 2019-2020 academic year, she helped to lead the college in an external review of racism at CC that resulted in a commitment and implementation plan to become an antiracist institution. This foundational step built upon her ongoing efforts to diversify the increasingly selective student body, faculty, and staff and to bring distinguished visiting scholars, artists and innovators to campus. Tiefenthaler led planning for the construction of a new competition hockey rink, and executed a public/private partnership for its construction to ensure that Colorado College’s resources continue to engage and benefit the wider community.
During President Tiefenthaler’s nine-year leadership, fundraising has reached new heights. In Fall 2018, the college launched the $435 million Building on Originality: The Campaign for Colorado College, the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the college’s history. To date, more than $360 million has been raised toward the goal with over two years remaining in the campaign. In Fall 2019, President Tiefenthaler announced the Colorado Pledge, a commitment to Colorado students from low- and middle-income families to make Colorado College as accessible as the state’s flagship public institution. The Colorado Pledge has a $20 million fundraising goal and is part of a $100 million scholarship priority for the campaign.
Tiefenthaler is a leading scholar in the field of the economics of higher education, and is also regularly called on to speak about the value of the liberal arts. Her essay on the economic challenges for liberal arts colleges appears in “Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts” (Johns Hopkins University Press), and she has offered her expertise on this issue in numerous presentations across the country. Tiefenthaler's talks on the importance of the liberal arts includes her speech, "Innovation and Collaboration: A Liberal Arts Education as a Catalyst for New Ideas," which she has delivered to several universities throughout China. As professor of economics at the college, she regularly teaches a class on the economics of higher education.
After receiving her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Duke University, Tiefenthaler joined the faculty of Colgate University in 1991, where she served as department chair, associate dean of the faculty, and senior adviser to the president. She then served as provost and professor of economics at Wake Forest University, where she led the implementation of the university’s strategic plan and key initiatives, including diversity in admission, establishing new models for enhanced interdisciplinary research and collaboration, and integrating the university’s undergraduate and graduate business schools.
President Tiefenthaler is originally from Iowa, where she grew up on a farm and worked for her family’s popcorn business before attending Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana. She is married to Kevin Rask, a research professor in economics at Colorado College. They have two children, Olivia ’21 and Owen ’24.
Contact Kim Waldron in the President's Office:
14 E. Cache La Poudre St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903