Page 1


Western Experience

Takes Off!



From the President ................................................... 3 Western by the Numbers......................................... 4-5 A Time of Growth.................................................... 6-7 Real-World Learning............................................... 8-9 New School of Business.....................................10-11 Academics Excel.................................................12-13 New VP Lifts Marketing Effort.............................14-15 Faculty Lead the Way..........................................16-17 Athletic Legacy Lives On.....................................18-19 Students Learn Beyond Class.............................20-21 New Facilities Shine ... and Keep Coming...........22-23


From the President

A Year of Elevating Western W

hen I accepted the position of president at Western State Colorado University, I knew many of our supporters had worried as our enrollment trended downward during the past couple decades. But thanks to tireless efforts from everyone in the Western Nation, our faculty, administration, Board of Trustees and the Western Foundation have all aligned behind a new strategic plan that will lift our university in size, status and quality. As I listened to Gov. Hickenlooper address our graduates in May, I sensed a growing energy, a reawakening. And indeed, it soon was clear to me that 2014 would be a launching pad for Western. Our finest days are ahead. In 2014, Western was one of the very few Colorado schools to increase year-over-year enrollment. Our graduation rate was not only up this past year, it is now higher than our peer-group average. Our retention rate is not only up, it is now higher than our peer group. And we have the most diverse class in our history. We added two new graduate programs this past year, even as we welcomed to campus new students and faculty in our Master in Environmental Management program. Our new Mountaineer Field House opened in March, with a list of superlatives you’ll find on Page 23. We provide all this to students for one of Colorado’s lowest tuition rates. Our students graduate from Western with a debt load consistently at or near the lowest among four-year schools in the state. Our supporters have sensed the momentum of 2014, as well. Paul Rady is a 1978 graduate who came to Western as a struggling student with a high school GPA of 2.3. He is now chairman and CEO of Antero Resources and just donated $2.5 million to our Petroleum Geology program. Sean Markey is a 1983 graduate who wasn’t happy driving trucks and hoped his education here might allow him a new career opportunity. It did. He is now a renowned neurosurgeon in the Denver area, who generously donated $300,000 to Western this past year. Steve Borick, a 1975 graduate who already funded our business building that bears his name, stepped up with yet another gift. These supporters and many others recognize Western is an incredibly rare and special place. Our uniqueness stems not only from our amazing location but also from our unparalleled student experience, guided by some of the best faculty anywhere – some 87 percent of whom have the highest degrees in their fields. Since our inception more than a century ago, we have relied almost exclusively on word-ofmouth to promote Western. But in 2014, we took off our gloves. We hired John Kawauchi as our new vice president of Marketing & Institutional Advancement. He will lead our outreach and communications teams as they build new capabilities for telling the Western Story, one of the most compelling in higher education. It’s time for us to share it with the world. This past year represents a sort of rebirth for Western – with obvious progress. We now have the right plan. We have the right people. And we have the right spirit and conviction. I look forward to sharing more successes as we continue our efforts in 2015.





TUITION Of Colorado’s 4-Year Colleges

27% 2,583 75% 70%





55% 50%


SINCE 2008


2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Percentage points higher than the national average, six-year graduation rate



Students from


#1 The fall 2014 class is the most diverse in Western history!

Western faculty members with highest degrees in their fields

15% growth

in enrollment Merit Scholarship RECIPIENTS since 2011 of student body are






in the





GEOLOGY Programs in the U.S.


Pre-med graduates accepted into post-graduate medical programs.


Student to professor ratio

Western students graduate with the


CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS 2007 - 2017 (Including $25.8 million for Quigley Hall, starting 2016)


Debt Load in Colorado

AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE Top 100 Colleges in the West — Forbes America’s Smartest Colleges — Business Insider Top Military Friendly School — Victory Media and GI Jobs 2013 National Liberal Arts College — Washington Monthly 10 Colleges Where Merit Aid Is Most Common — U.S. News & World Report 5

Enrollment Growth Lifts Western 2,600

Total 2,584 Enrollment






2,242 2,200






• Graduate program enrollment is up 15 percent over 2013, a whopping 51 percent increase since 2010. • In the past three years, we more than tripled our Admissions team based in the key Front Range region.

Our student population has climbed steadily for three years. With new graduate programs, such as the Master in Environmental Management, more Coloradans are discovering the value and adventure of the unique Western experience.

• A quarter of this year’s freshmen at Western classify themselves as nonwhite, making the class of 2018 our most diverse ever. • Western’s faculty-to-student ratio remains an intimate 17:1.

Opportunities Draw More Top Students Increasingly, students who could go to school almost anywhere choose to come to Western. Some of these budding scholars include: Marcel Such, who was accepted at Cornell and the University of Colorado Boulder. Instead, he chose to attend Western, attracted by our small classes and excellent Cross Country team. The freshman from Lyons, Colo., plans to study Wildlife Biology. Patricia Wheeler Larsen, who hails from Salt Lake City, was also drawn to Western’s small classes and personal attention from professors. The Chemistry and Biology major plans to attend nursing school after she graduates this spring. Thalia Garcia, a junior who came to Western from Sylmar, Calif., to play soccer. The Business Administration major has stayed for the personal attention that has helped her “step out of my comfort zone.” Last year, she received an Academic Leadership Program Scholarship, and like Larson, she is an Admissions Ambassador.


Real-World Learning Petroleum Geology Offers State-of-Art Training, Opportunity Western’s Petroleum Geology program grants undergraduate diplomas in one of the most lucrative fields for students with a four-year college education. Graduates earn an average starting salary of $96,000, according to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. And ours is one of only 10 such programs in America. The program benefits from a grant of $2.5 million from 1978 Western graduate Paul Rady, chairman and CEO of Denver’s Antero Resources. Petroleum Geology faculty and students work and learn in technologically sophisticated Hurst Hall. Indoor and outdoor labs have state-of-the-art instruments, software and data sets. Students learn in small classes, taught by experienced professors. They spend much of their time in the field and developing contacts in the energy industry. Nearly all graduates find either employment in the industry after graduation or acceptance into graduate programs.


Mountaineers live what they learn – in modern classrooms and in the world’s greatest outdoor lab. This is especially true of Western’s programs for students seeking careers in the energy industry.

Professional Land & Resource Management Trains Successful Grads Western’s PLRM program is one of only eight certified by the American Association of Professional Landmen. According to the AAPL, graduates from Western’s rigorous program can expect starting salaries of more than $70,000. They work and study in modern Borick Business Building with other students in the new School of Business. They receive a solid foundation in business, marketing and management principles, along with specialty training. When she graduated from the program in 2012, Brittany Grote was quickly hired by SM Energy in Billings, Montana. There, she negotiates land contracts and completes government applications. “The faculty at Western helped build my professional confidence by teaching me as a peer in learning, rather than simply a student,” she explains. “Learning just goes so far beyond the classroom at Western.”


School of Business

New dean, great facilities, dedicated faculty and top programs in a variety of disciplines paint bright future.

New Dean Takes the Helm; Strong Programs Set to Soar


ith the launch of Western’s new School of Business, the university is advancing its business offerings and growing Western’s most popular areas of study to meet career demands of tomorrow. Students and faculty will see the creation of new domestic and international programs, increased focus on career success, and new opportunities for scholarships. Students in the School of Business study under faculty who are passionate – both about their classes and their students’ success. We are known in the School of Business for preparing students to succeed with some of the most highly sought skill sets in American business, including Accounting, Marketing, Resort Management, Professional Land & Resource Management, Economics, Management, Latin American Business and Entrepreneurship. Our faculty are here because they love teaching, love Gunnison, thrive in our collaborative atmosphere and share my excitement at being part of the Western Nation. We look forward to inspiring generations of Mountaineers to change the world.


Offering Premier Programs In: • Accounting • Business Administration • Economics • Entrepreneurship • Latin American Business

• Management • Marketing • Professional Land & Resource Management • Resort Management 11

New MEM Program Exceeds Expectations In August, the first class of 38 Master in Environmental Management students joined eight new instructors for the launch of Western’s new graduate program. Some students went back to study in their communities after two weeks on campus. But several who planned to study from afar liked Gunnison so much they decided to stay. The initial response to the program was almost double what its director, Dr. John Hausdoerffer, expected. He added professors to open more student slots and had to set up a waiting list. Applications are running apace for summer 2015. As the semester got underway, the MEM team announced new partnerships, first with the Peace Corps and later with Americorps VISTA, to help volunteers complete their MEM degrees while on assignment for the government agencies. The two-year MEM program offers residential and distant options, to focus on either Integrative Land Management or Sustainable & Resilient Communities. Students will complete final projects aimed at helping communities across the Gunnison Valley and the Western Slope, as well as around the country – and the world. Hausdoerffer says local residents and visitors can expect initiatives to improve life for them, and likely, local wildlife. The program also shares a lecturer, Dr. Ryan Atwell, with the new Cold Harbour Sustainable Living Center, where he will serve as executive director, applying lessons from the MEM program in the Tomichi Valley.


Western a will offer a M with a focus in fall 2015. The two-y low a traditio to a growing and is Weste It builds o unique High to examine a

91% Placement Rate for Many students find their path to a prosperous future at Western. And Dr. Shan Hays, a professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology, has crunched some numbers to find 91 percent of students who complete pre-medical studies at Western find their applications accepted by graduate medical programs. These successes range from technical certification programs to medical school. Hays notes many students considering college try to compare such acceptance rates. Some want assurance that if they’re accepted into an undergraduate program, they will be accepted into medical school, veterinary school, a nursing program or graduate studies in other biological sciences. But he says achieving success is not that simple. “What makes the difference for our students who succeed, I


Lab Research Grows New Graduate Program

announced in September that the university Master of Science in Exercise & Sport Science s in High Altitude Exercise Physiology, beginning . year residential course of study, which will folonal academic calendar, is the latest addition g list of graduate programs at the university ern’s first master of science offering. on undergraduate research at Western’s Altitude Performance Laboratory, and it aims and research how the human body functions

in high-elevation environments. Students will conduct research on people using the new HAPLab in Mountaineer Field House and the surrounding mountains. Classes will include a common-core curriculum, as well as elective courses. Students will be expected to complete coursework by the end of the fall semester of their second years and defend their theses by the end of the following spring semester. The summers between their first and second years will offer opportunities for practica, for internships, for independent study and for researching thesis proposals.

Educating Educators

r Pre-med Graduates would say, is that they are focused,” Hays explains. “They tend to be students who set themselves up for success.” Hays’ computations on student success are based on 10 years of collected data. They count only students who were Biology majors with a Cell Biology & Pre-medicine emphasis. His numbers don’t include students who majored in Exercise & Sport Science or other disciplines, who seek post-graduate training in, say, physical therapy. While Hays’ count does include veterinary and dentistry students, it doesn’t tally Biology students who went on to graduate studies in chemistry or wildlife biology. And his numbers don’t include Psychology majors who apply to medical schools, seeking psychiatric careers.

Western’s Education department continues a long tradition of preparing teachers, principals and administrators with cutting-edge undergraduate and graduate programs, featuring a dynamic curriculum and innovative instructional strategies from dedicated faculty. Students learn firsthand as they work in schools with children, teachers and administrators, while applying online coursework. Western students emerge from yearlong clinical residencies with experience equal to first-year teachers. Each licensure candidate receives continuous feedback and support from his or her mentor teacher, regional coordinator and instructors. Graduate students from across the country and overseas prepare to enter the teaching profession or earn their Master of Arts in Education degrees while continuing to work as teachers or school administrators. In the summer, they attend a five-day, intensive session with colleagues and Western professors and then spend two years completing coursework online. Western’s Education programs have earned accolades from the Colorado Department of Higher Education the past two years and continue to evolve.

Unveiling Education’s Best-Kept Secret

New vice president, new capabilities, freshened branding and enhanced cohesion are combining to help spread the Western Story to our region – and the world.

New VP Says Marketing Of Western Will Become Better, Faster and Smarter John Kawauchi, Western’s new vice president for Marketing & Institutional Advancement, believes successful organizations have three key attributes: good people, great products and efficient processes. “Since I arrived on campus,” Kawauchi says, “I have been constantly amazed at the genuine quality and caring attitudes of our faculty and staff, as well as the great educational ‘product’ we offer.” He brings more than 20 years experience leading marketing teams across several industries to his new role overseeing Western’s University Communications, Admissions, Student Financial Services and Alumni Relations teams. But Kawauchi says Western must work on the third of the attributes he cites for success. “Until recently,” he explains, “we relied almost exclusively on word-of-mouth communications.That’s not a terribly efficient way to build a brand in the digital age, particularly given our rural location.” Kawauchi says the departments he oversees aim to build better media capabilities, analytically based recruitment strategies and modular communications tools to “leverage and scale up our marketing efforts.” “With such a great value proposition, I’m excited for us to tell the Western Story more enthusiastically


and more effectively to wider and more diverse audiences.” He has implemented a new leadership structure and process to manage recruitment, enrollment and marketing communications. “By operating as one integrated, interdependent team, we will achieve better focus, faster decision making and greater efficiencies,” he explains. “By working smarter, we can spend more time collaborating with the rest of the Western Nation to help Western grow and flourish.”

Magazine Ad

Online Ad

Denver Bus Poster

Digital Banner Ad 15

Faculty Lead the Way In Original Research and Scholarship


n addition to focused, informed instruction and support for students, a great university is known for scholarly research, publication of that research and grants to fund more. Over the past few years, Western has encouraged and incentivized applications for grants by faculty, resulting in a three-fold increase in outside funding for research. During the past three years, university professors and departments have applied for nearly $3 million in outside funding, receiving almost two-thirds of the grants they sought. Key to this success is that almost all the funded research projects involve undergraduate students, offering them opportunities rarely available to their peers at other institutions. From summers spent surveying pi単on-juniper forests to testing the limits of human physiology in our unique High Altitude Performance Laboratory, Western students get handson research experience. Other faculty members have published key books and articles, as well as joining outside symposia, review panels and more. Please check out the opposite page for some examples of scholarship and research led by Western faculty.


Grant and Publication Highlights for 2014 • Dr. Jonathan Coop’s and Dr. Patrick examines the Latino community’s experience in Gunnison. Magee’s ongoing study of how fire-mitigation efforts affect piñon• Dr. Phillip Crossley’s selection to join the second phase of the juniper ecosystems. • Dr. Kevin Alexander’s grantIntegrated Geospatial Education funded research into endangered and Technology Training Project. • MFA lecturer Michaela Roessner’s Uncompaghre fritillary butterflies. • Dr. John Peterson’s grantrole as a judge for the prestigious 2014 Philip K. Dick science fiction funded research in programming languages, as used to teach literary award. computer science and programming • Dr. Anthony Miccoli’s contribution to youths who attend Western’s of “Posthuman Topologies: Thinking Summer Computer Camps. Through The Hoard” as Chapter • Dr. Karin Waidley’s receipt of a One of Lexington Books’ anthology, grant to write and produce the Design, Mediation and the play “Lighten the Shadows,” which Posthuman.

Dr. Orr Oversees Launch Of New Master’s Program

Dr. Dalleck Raises Funding And Visibility for HAPLab

It was another busy year for professor of Art History Dr. Heather Orr, who led the push for Western’s new Master in Gallery Management & Exhibits Specialization program, recently approved by Western’s Trustees and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. She chairs the Art department while teaching courses in Art Criticism & Critical Theory, Native American Art of North America, Women Artists, and History, Aesthetics, Theory & Criticism of Modern Art. She serves on the campus Sustainability Action Committee, Graduate Council, Curriculum Committee, Latin American Studies Council and the Faculty Personnel Advisory Committee. Orr was also appointed faculty trustee for the University Press of Colorado, and she was co-editor of Wearing Culture: Dress and Regalia in Early Mesoamerica and Central America. She is collaborating with past and current librarians, Ethel Rice and Nancy Gauss, and senior Art students on Western Art: The Art Collection of Western State Colorado University. In addition, students and faculty have enjoyed the Art Speaker Series that Orr organized.

As a Western graduate, an assistant professor in Exercise & Sport Science, director of the Center for Wellness & Human Performance and director of Western’s High Altitude Performance Laboratory, Dr. Lance Dalleck knows well how involving our university and valley can be. In a decade since earning his doctoral degree, Dalleck has published more than 25 peer-reviewed articles, delivered 28 conference proceedings and written four book chapters. In 2014, he was lead author or co-author for six peer-reviewed articles on fitness and cardiovascular disease. He secured funding for four fitness, cardiovascular and metabolic projects totaling nearly $30,000. Dalleck is also writing The History of Fitness, due for publication by the University Press of Colorado in early 2016. At Western, where he returned last year, Dalleck conducts his research in the new HAPLab, with Exercise & Sport Science majors as research assistants. Next fall, Dalleck will welcome and work with graduate students in Western’s new Master of Science in High Altitude Exercise Physiology program.


Mountaineer Athletes Build Upon Legacy A long list of Mountaineers rank among Colorado’s athletic legends. But Western athletes also score in the classroom, with a rich history that includes hundreds of NCAA athletic and academic accolades. Western has produced 22 Olympians during the past century, and that legacy continues on the field, court, pool and slopes. This past year, 118 student athletes made Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference all-academic teams. They earned two RMAC team titles and three NCAA Division II top-10 team finishes. This past fall, Western football had its best season in a decade. The new Mountain Sports teams continue a Western tradition of excelling at adventurous pursuits. Led by mountain biking legend and Western graduate Dave Wiens, the program has doubled in size during each of its three years. They’ve proved competitive across the region and country in alpine skiing, big mountain skiing, park & pipe, mountain biking, trail running and more. Our athletes also have some of the best grade-point averages and graduation rates on campus, giving the Mountaineer Nation more reasons to be proud.



A Western Education Includes Much More Than Classwork



estern’s vibrant student life offers something for everyone among more than 50 clubs and organizations. From the bustling Multicultural Center and KWSB radio to Club Sports programs and the Whitewater Club, students have boundless opportunities to grow outside the classroom. Many talented students join one of a more than a dozen musical groups on campus, which range from the Chamber Ensemble and Choir to Western’s Jazz Ensemble and Steel Band. The groups welcome both Music majors and those pursuing other directions. Other groups range from academic clubs to the Humans vs. Zombies Urban Warfare Club. There are concerts and speaker series, including last winter’s visit from motivational speaker Stan Pearson, who taught “SALSA: Supporting, Acting, Learning, Striving and Accepting.” There are special spirit events, such as the Running of the Red this past August, during the USA Pro Challenge bike race. And there are special projects, such as Western’s entry in NASA Space Grant Consortium’s Mars Rover Robotics Challenge.


Newest Facilities

Are Bigger and Better ... With More to Come

Quigley Hall Funded for A fixture on the Western campus and home to the university’s Art and Music programs is set to undergo a major facelift, expected to begin in 2015. Thanks to a more than $25 million infusion of cash from the state of Colorado, Quigley Hall will receive a much-needed makeover. The allocation from the state Capital Development Committee was made possible by a $235.8 million state General Fund surplus from the 2013-14 budget year. Quigley Hall was constructed in 1967 and is home to classrooms, studios, a recital hall, a gallery, a choir room and offices. The renovations will include repairing both its structure and systems, as well as preserving and reallocating key studio, gallery and classroom spaces. 22

New Field House Is Game Changer The new Mountaineer Field House opened in March, and campus life hasn’t been the same since. It has hosted Orientation events, wrestling camps, plenty of athletic practices, researchers in high-altitude human performance, and students, faculty and alumni working to stay in shape. The Field House Complex includes:

$25.8 Million Renovation

• A 65,000-square-foot Field House (with trusses as wide as the wingspan of a Boeing 777). • A high-tech surface, indoor NCAA, 200-meter track (the highest in America). • Three basketball courts. • Three group fitness rooms. • Three multi-purpose courts. • Three volleyball courts. • A 43.5-foot climbing wall with 3,114 square feet of climbing space (designed by Entre Prises). • A 6,038-square-foot Athletic Weight Room. • A 5,844-square-foot Fitness Center. • An in-ground trampoline and foam pit (for freeski training, play and more). • A batting- and golf-practice cage. • A new hot tub and pool locker room renovation. • A new High Altitude Performance Lab and Wellness Center with a classroom. 23

Western’s Programs of Excellence Accounting (Financial or Professional Analysis) Anthropology Art Art Education K-12 Art History & Theory Art, Studio (Ceramics, Jewelry, Painting, Photography, Printmaking or Sculpture) Biochemistry Biology Business Administration Cell Biology Chemistry Clinical Psychology

Communication Arts Computer Information Science Counseling Psychology Creative Writing Criminal Justice Economics Elementary Education English Entrepreneurship Environment & Sustainability Environmental Biology & Ecology Environmental Science (minor)

Exercise & Sport Science Exercise Science Experimental Psychology Film Studies Geoarcheology Geography (minor) Geology Graphic Design History Latin American Business Latin American Studies (minor) Management Marketing Mathematics Music

Music Business Music Education K-12 Outdoor Environmental Education Outdoor Leadership Petroleum Geology Philosophy (minor) Physical Education K-12 Physics (minor) Politics & Government Pre-Allied Health Pre-Law Pre-Medicine Professional Land & Resource Management Psychology

Recreation & Outdoor Education Resort Management (Hospitality & Tourism) School Psychology Secondary Education Sociology Spanish Spanish Education K-12 Sport & Fitness Management Strategic Communication Teacher Licensure Theatre & Performance Studies Water Studies

Wildlife Biology

GRADUATE DEGREES Master of Arts in Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Master of Arts in Education Master of Environmental Management ... And many options to combine majors, minors and emphases as you handcraft your Western Education.

Lily Newell

TJ Dennis

Jade McIntosh

Josh Noriega

Stacie Lebigot

Jade Gale


Communicaton Arts



Communication Arts

Environmental Studies

Elevate your education with us! 600 North Adams Street Gunnison, Colo. 81231


Annual Report 2014 - Western State Colorado University  

2014 was a banner year for Western State Colorado University and its Mountaineers. Explore our successes, our growth and our dreams in our 2...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you