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 strategic plan titled “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,” she met with students, faculty, staff, and community members, and heard from hundreds of alumni and parents nationwide about their aspirations for the college. In year two, President Tiefenthaler worked with the campus and Board of Trustees to finalize a strategic plan that focuses primarily on providing additional support to realize the potential of the college’s pioneering Block Plan, and to enhance the college’s distinctive place of learning here in the southwest, supporting an engaged and globally connected academic community as well as to embody our regional and historical identity.
In the years since the strategic plan was developed, President Tiefenthaler has overseen the implementation of its many initiatives. Tiefenthaler worked with the college’s community to launch programming for a new center for immersive learning and engaged teaching; to envision an innovation space that will support students as they put the liberal arts into action; to design a new library that will serve as the campus’ academic hub; and to revamp Half Block and summer programs focused on helping students develop valuable skills and professional experiences prior to graduation. Additionally, she has moved to diversify the increasingly selective student body, faculty, and staff; to bring distinguished scholars, artists and innovators as visitors to campus; and to develop a Campus Master Plan. President Tiefenthaler's fundraising for these initiatives has led to historic accomplishments. The five years under her leadership have been the most successful fundraising stretch in CC's history, including $54.9M in new gifts and pledges to the endowment and record years in total and annual giving.
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, October 2013), 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 in the department of economics.
After receiving her Ph.D. in economics from Duke University, she joined the faculty of Colgate University in 1991, also serving as department chair, associate dean of the faculty, and senior adviser to the president. Before becoming president of Colorado College, she 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 teenaged children, Olivia and Owen.