Supporting Statements

Colorado College is a special place, and it deserves a special leader. I am delighted that we have found an exciting match in our future president, L. Song Richardson. Dean Richardson embodies the curiosity, dedication, spirit, commitment, and joy that are the essence of CC. She is grounded yet aspirational, enthusiastically dedicated to doing the hard work, and her passion is evident: She cares deeply about students and how they will shape our future.

Our next president sees the big picture as well as the details, allowing her to define both the goals and the steps to reach them. As we've come to know her, she has shown an exuberant desire to listen, learn, discover, and appreciate the great possibilities ahead for CC.

Dean Richardson is authentic and accessible, a scholar committed to building the resiliency, depth, and breadth of students, and a changemaker who will shift CC and our future graduates forward on the path toward antiracism, access, and even greater academic excellence.

And best of all, she is a pleasure to know. I am thrilled for our future and for the wonderful journey ahead with L. Song Richardson as the 14th president of Colorado College.

- Susie Burghart '77, Board of Trustees Chair

L. Song Richardson is incredibly accomplished, with a track record of always leaning passionately into opportunity. She fits with our students, who are adventurous by nature, with a desire to take bold but carefully thought-out risks. She is a very capable, charismatic leader, who will listen and learn before making decisions. She will want to take CC in new directions, but also respect where we've been.

Dean Richardson recognizes that the type of educational delivery model that CC offers is what the world needs right now, where our students very quickly assimilate information, and very quickly put knowledge to use as it relates to problem solving in science, the arts, social issues, business, and more. She addresses big and deep questions about gender and racial bias, and legal ethics. She will embrace our creativity and innovation initiatives, and sees the value of equipping students to be resilient. She is the right person at the right time for Colorado College, and I look forward to watching her lift this already great institution to even greater heights.

- Jeff Keller '91, P'22, Colorado College Board of Trustees Vice Chair, Presidential Search Committee Chair

I am simply thrilled that L. Song Richardson will be the 14th president of Colorado College. At this time in Colorado College's story, we are fortunate to have found an outstanding legal scholar and engaging leader who is centered on the great positive impact that students can have on our world.

Dean Richardson's research into racial and gender bias, her thoughtful scholarship and voice on policing and safety, and her dedication to building resiliency in students will move CC's antiracism and innovation efforts forward as an institution. And those impacts will be much larger in the long term, propelling our graduates forward to create solutions to some of the most challenging issues in our country and in our world.

Dean Richardson's core values are our core values. Her commitment to our students, to teaching and learning, and to the greater good will guide us and make CC an even greater liberal arts institution. I look forward to working with her to help set this exciting course for our future.

- Mike Edmonds, Acting Co-President

Colorado College is gaining a demonstrated leader with the selection of L. Song Richardson to become our next president. She is thorough and thoughtful, seeing both the long view and the near-term strategies to reach important goals. She is committed to students, the classroom, and preparing our future graduates to effect positive change in the world.

Dean Richardson's commitment to understanding a place, its people, and its core values is evident - and what we've found in her aligns with the most important needs of the college. Her dedication to hard work and her engaging approach will help CC make great strides in academics, innovation, antiracism, and access.

The future is filled with promise for CC. We will work together on a smooth transition to Dean Richardson's presidency, and I eagerly anticipate the exciting work ahead as she helps us make CC an even greater liberal arts institution.

- Robert G. Moore, Acting Co-President

An innovative institution such as Colorado College demands a dynamic and visionary president. With Song Richardson stepping into this role, we continue a tradition of transformative leadership. She is not only the ideal person to help us face the immediate challenges of the present moment, but also someone who can leverage those challenges into opportunities - opportunities that will further distinguish our unique approach to the liberal arts. An accomplished and empathetic academic administrator, Richardson comes with a desire to embrace the power of our Block Plan and deepen our commitments to endeavors such as the antiracism initiative and our alliance with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Who better to inspire such work than a president who is both a legal expert on implicit bias and a talented musician?

The ambitious individuals who form our CC community - students, staff, faculty, and alumni - share an unyielding desire to understand better the world around us and to make it a more equitable place for all. So too does Song Richardson, as a teacher, as a scholar, as a leader. She honors a collaborative process wherein all voices are heard; all perspectives are considered. I am excited for the CC community here and around the globe to get to know what we on the search committee have already discovered: Richardson is the perfect choice for Colorado College, not only as we navigate the dual pandemics of systemic racism and COVID-19, but also as we emerge collectively into the next era of this institution in which we all believe so strongly.

- Ryan Raul BaƱagale '00, Director of Performing Arts, Associate Professor of Music

Being a part of the search for the next president of Colorado College has been a truly thrilling experience. We've had the opportunity to meet with many amazing candidates from all around the country who offered CC a variety of assets. From the pool of tens of outstanding candidates, the search committee unanimously selected Song Richardson to be the next president of Colorado College. I'm sure that the entire community will come to adore her as much as we have over the last few months; her experience, knowledge, and charisma all make her exactly what CC needs in this divisive point in time. I'm excited to see all the ways that Song's leadership will further CC's mission of being the leading liberal arts college in the country, whilst building upon all of our commitments as an institution, particularly that of antiracism.

- Sakina Bhatti '22, President, Colorado College Student Government Association

Out of a phenomenal pool of candidates, L. Song Richardson was our unanimous choice to lead Colorado College. Song has consistently demonstrated courageous and critical thought in her academic career. She has brilliantly succeeded where her passion has led her. Song's passion for Colorado College was clear as shown by the depth of research into the college and the understanding she had for the institution during the interview process. When making decisions, Song is committed to hearing all voices and is committed to shared faculty governance. Song has the strength, foundation, and demonstrated engagement to continue our transition into an antiracist campus. L. Song Richardson will be a forward-thinking, decisive, empathetic, and transformative leader, and I am excited for the journey on which she will lead us.

- Murphy G. Brasuel '96, P'20, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chair, Natural Science Executive Committee

It is difficult to summarize Song Richardson, who embodies a dynamic, resolute, and exuberant spirit; who is a visionary, inspiring leader whose brilliance is matched by her wit and her wisdom, her humility, and her integrity; who has a lifelong and deep-seated dedication (personally, professionally, and academically) to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism; who is passionate about the import of the liberal arts and engaged teaching and learning; who has the intellect, experience, emotional intelligence, and creativity to lead Colorado College through this unprecedented period and work in concert with the entire CC community as we endeavor to "provide the finest liberal arts education in the country." But, if I were asked to do so, in a word, she is exceptional.

- Heather Carroll '89, Trustee

When we commenced the search for the next president of Colorado College, students, faculty, and staff voices called for a visionary and experienced leader who will not only build on CC's strength as a top liberal arts institution, but who will also shape the national conversation about the future of higher education, who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to antiracism and justice, and who will lead CC with transparency, integrity, and investment in shared governance. President Song Richardson clearly emerged as the best person to lead us in this moment in time.

Throughout the extensive search process, I have been impressed by Song's accomplishments. She has a proven track record creating and sustaining meaningful dialogue on difficult issues on race and justice, leading to changes in hiring, policies and practices, and institutional culture. She is a leading scholar on racial stereotyping and prejudice in criminal justice and legal contexts. She is an outstanding teacher and effective communicator. Her past and current colleagues attest to how she builds teams that balance strategic thinking, risk-taking, and data-driven analyses with creative independence, collaboration, and authenticity. The next years will present challenges and opportunities to the liberal arts endeavor, and I believe that Song is the right person to lead and potentiate the campus and the CC community to take on these challenges and grow together.

- Emily Chan, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Bridge Scholars Program

I am thrilled that Song Richardson will lead Colorado College through its next chapter of success as we fulfill our mission of providing the finest liberal arts education in the country. Dean Richardson's passion for who Colorado College is, and what we can become, is inspiring. That passion, along with her courage, ambition, and tremendous leadership and academic experience, make her the absolute right fit to lead the college during this period when the liberal arts can, and must, bring the positive changes our world needs. I have no doubt that she will lead Colorado College forward in the same way that she spent her life defying odds and shattering glass ceilings. She is a courageous and ambitious leader who will match the adventurous spirit that is at the heart of our mission to challenge and develop students for life-long learning and leadership.

- Jerome A. DeHerrera '97, Board of Trustees Secretary

This is indeed a historic moment for Colorado College as we welcome our first female-identifying woman of color as our president, and we are so proud that L. Song Richardson is stepping into that role.

Song's engagement with our search committee was truly exceptional in every way. Her genuine passion for her role as an educator, scholar, and advocate were immediately apparent, but what also struck us was her equal passion and excitement for Colorado College and her keen grasp of our challenges and opportunities. Song had certainly done her research on Colorado College, but took it to the next step and dug into our archives, viewing videos of student forums as part of her desire to have a greater understanding of our community, our antiracism work, and student concerns.

Song Richardson is one of the country's preeminent legal scholars and a force for social change, conducting cutting-edge research on implicit bias and prejudice, and we are very excited about her insights and leadership as we continue our journey to becoming an antiracist institution and providing the finest liberal arts education in the country.

In the words of one of her colleagues, "Song continually seeks to mobilize people to advance inclusive excellence." We know that Song will lead with a continued eye toward inclusive excellence and making Colorado College the best it can be for students, faculty, and staff. I am delighted to be at Colorado College at this point in time as we take this tremendous next step, and proud of the work of our search committee; it has been a pleasure to be a part of this team.

- Rochelle T. Dickey '83, P'19, Acting Dean of Students/ Acting Vice President for Student Life

Colorado College is fortunate to welcome Dean L. Song Richardson as the 14th president. Dean Richardson is uniquely qualified to lead Colorado College with her optimistic outlook, passion for social justice, and ability to think systemically and strategically. She stood out among an impressive field of candidates with her intellect, proclivity for welcoming challenges, and clear communication.

The search committee prioritized a leader who is transparent, supremely consultative, and student-centered in decision making. As an educator, researcher, and advocate, Dean Richardson's proven record demonstrates her superior communication skills. From the moment we met Song, her compassionate, curious, and authentic nature showed. She dazzled us with her deep knowledge of CC in a compressed time frame. In true Block Plan form, she showed us her ability to be thorough, respectful, nimble, and thoughtful. These skills will be of great value as Song meets and forms a vision for CC with faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni, and members of the community.

The search committee looked for a leader with an unfaltering commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism initiatives. Many qualified candidates applied. Dean Richardson's research on implicit bias, criminal law, and psychology propelled her to be the unanimous choice. Song's article titled "Police Efficiency and the Fourth Amendment" was selected as a "Must Read" by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. I highly recommend this article.

It's been a pleasure and privilege to serve on the search committee with exceptional individuals from our beloved Colorado College community. Thank you to Storbeck Search for guiding this effort. I very much look forward to introducing Dean L. Song Richardson to Colorado College.

- Lisa Remey Hastings '91, P'23, Trustee

Song Richardson is a superb choice to lead Colorado College. At a time when the undeniable truth that Black Lives Matter is being tested across America, when the Coronavirus is ravaging communities of color throughout the country, and when the cracks of structural racism in our foundation are causing earthquakes in Black and other communities of color, Colorado College has made the historic choice to have a Black woman, who is also Korean, lead us boldly and courageously now and into the future.

Now, as much as at any time in our nation's history, Colorado College students are called to help lead the movement for social and racial justice, to build a new foundation and system that empowers Black and other people of color, and to bend our neighborhoods, our state, and our country toward community - and away from chaos.

Song is one of America's leading critical race scholars and experts on implicit racial and gender bias and policing. In addition, she is an esteemed law professor; a seasoned dean; and a former NAACP Legal Defense Fund attorney, as I am. Song's lifelong work building an antiracist America will powerfully advance Colorado College's commitment, as a champion of the liberal arts, to creating an antiracist campus and community.

I couldn't be more excited about Song's leadership for our students and community.

- Ryan P. Haygood '97, Trustee

Colorado College is fortunate to have Song Richardson joining the community as our 14th president. Among her many strengths as a leader, including a critical understanding of and commitment to shared governance, perhaps her greatest strength is the value she places on learning and working across differences with empathy and an open mind as we strive to build the strongest possible CC community. Richardson is deeply committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism. Her wealth of knowledge deriving from both lived experience and her commitment to equity in higher education as a professor and administrative leader will ensure and further strengthen our college's antiracism initiative. She has a strong and exciting vision for the future of both liberal arts education and for further elevating the strengths of Colorado College as a leading liberal arts institution.

- Christina Leza, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology

Through our intense and comprehensive presidential search process, it became abundantly clear that Song Richardson is the best person to lead Colorado College at this moment. She has a unique passion, focus, understanding, and vision for what Colorado College is and what we can become. Her personal journey will be an inspiration to our entire community.

Above and beyond her significant intellect and experience, which will serve her well in the role of president, she also has a bit of the CC DNA in her personal style and qualities. I look forward to working closely with Song and supporting her successful presidency.

- Kishen Mangat '96, Trustee

I often reflect on the wisdom of Margaret Mead, who famously said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Song is a personal force with a demonstrated record of building and maintaining teams that change lives and thus, the world. I am thrilled that she has chosen to dedicate her energy and insight to Colorado College. Song will certainly continue CC's record of positively shaping lives and higher education.

- Amy Louis '84, Trustee

I am thrilled that we are welcoming Song Richardson as Colorado College's next president. Throughout the search, it was evident that Song has a special way of keeping the "big picture" in focus while maintaining thoughtful responsiveness to individual voices. Her exacting standards, collaborative approach, and optimistic outlook will propel our community forward through the challenges ahead.

I have tremendous confidence in Song's ability to lead with strength and intention, and feel incredibly fortunate that she has chosen to join us at Colorado College.

- Katherine Menendez, Head Women's Basketball Coach

L. Song Richardson is an inspiring leader, a talented legal scholar, and a trailblazer. She has a demonstrated track record of excellence and is uniquely suited to lead the advancement of the Colorado College antiracism initiative. The Colorado College community is fortunate to have such a dynamic and strategic leader who will engage students, faculty, staff, and alumni alike to further the mission of the college. I'm incredibly excited about the prospect of what lies ahead for our beloved institution.

- Kyle Samuel '92, Trustee, Alumni Association Council President

After receiving informative and necessary feedback from students, faculty, and staff, diving deep into Colorado College's values and needs, and reviewing so many fantastic candidates, I am delighted with how our search for a new president took place.

We will immensely benefit from Song Richardson's leadership, and while her academic achievements speak for themselves, Song brings so much more to our community. She listens closely to every idea and thinks critically about the input before coming to a clear and thoughtful conclusion.

Song surrounds herself with innovation and can use her ability to adapt and grow quickly to build upon our already unique Block Plan and to articulate the value of a liberal arts education. The wide range of experiences Song brings will provide fresh perspective and will allow us to continue to advance the Colorado College education. Although I am sad to graduate and leave this school at such an exciting and important time, the future is bright for our community.

- John Schuler '21

I support with great enthusiasm the selection of L. Song Richardson to be the next president of Colorado College. She has the depth of life experience, the scholarship, and the academic experience to be a terrific leader. Her past legal experience will help us continue our important work in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and help the college carry through on our ambitious antiracism initiative. Song responded to our questions with a measured enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the issues facing higher education and CC in particular.

I would like to emphasize that Song was chosen after a wide-ranging, thorough, and rigorous search. I am proud of the work of our committee; it was a well-represented group of all stakeholders in the college. We debated issues of inclusion, shared governance, financial discipline, and fundraising ambition.

Song, during the interview process, demonstrated a thorough understanding of our culture, history, and ambition. She has the intellect, determination, and wealth of experience to serve our community into the future.

- John Troubh '79, Trustee
Report an issue - Last updated: 12/17/2020