PRESIDENT David Tandberg talked about a “new day” at Adams State and the “general sense of relief and level of confidence that the staff hasn’t felt for a long time” during his first remarks to the university’s Board of Trustees Friday since assuming the interim president role.

Tandberg was an Adams State Trustee before he was named interim president following the June termination of Chery Lovell, who had been in the job four years. The campus Tandberg inherited, he said, is understaffed, under-resourced and overworked.

Yet, the grit of the Grizzlies persists.

Why it matters:

The Grizzly grit will have to continue to persist as Tandberg takes the reins for a year while the Board of Trustees searches for the next “permanent” president and leader of the campus. Two Alamosa natives, Trustee Jonathan Marquez and Trustee Mark Martinez, are leading the search. The search committee of at least 22 (see list below of names so far) will have its initial meeting at 6 p.m. on Aug. 25 at McDaniel Hall.

The size of the committee is to make sure “everybody has a say in this,” Marquez said. The committee plans to hold separate listening sessions for students, faculty and the community to gain input and will make developing a job description and qualities of the next president a key task.

What’s at stake:

While Tandberg said the campus has been exhaling and feeling a sense of calm and relief, it’s also anxious about who comes on board next as president. Tandberg took the interim position under the condition that he would not be a candidate for the permanent role, and his focus for the 2022-23 academic year is on stabilizing enrollment and retaining the students who are enrolled, and preparing the campus for a new leader come spring into summer 2023.

Margaret Doell, associate vice president for academic affairs and a veteran of the campus, described the mood of employees this way: “I’m feeling really good about things right now, but this is only for a year and I’m terrified of what comes next.” 

“There is a lot of anxiety on campus around this,” Tandberg said. “Employees are worried and feeling a bit insecure because they don’t know how it plays out.”

All understandable given that Adams State has seen its last two presidents, Beverly McClure and Cheryl Lovell, fizzle out early in their terms and move on from Alamosa, each leaving the campus rattled and shaken.


The Trustees also met in executive session to give Board Chair Michele Lueck parameters around which to settle with Lovell on any money owed to her and any other conditions of her departure.


Mark Martinez ’13 – co-chair of the Search Committee
Jonathan Marquez ’13 – co-chair of the Search Committee
Michele Lueck – chair of the BoT
Bruce Rosengrant – VP, community engagement & comm | ETeam representative
Margaret Doell – associate VP, academic affairs | administration representative
Colleen Schaffner – associate dept. chair | Academic Council representative
Jenna Nielsen | Faculty Senate representative
Melissa Freeman | Graduate Studies representative
Katelyn Smith – athletic director | Athletics representative
Rodney Martinez – Facilities Services | classified employees representative
Courtney Hocking ’22 – student representative
Duane Bussey ’82 – former CEO, SLV Federal Bank | Foundation representative
Carrie Zimmerman – superintendent, Center School District | K-12 representative
Jennifer Mueller – COO, Friday Health | local employment representative
Konnie Martin – community leadership representative
Cleave Simpson – Colorado state senator | governmental representative
Heidi Schneider – Inclusive Excellence liaison | DEI representative
Arthur Ortegon – BoT HSI representative
Josh Cody ’05 – owner, Colorado Malting Co. | local business representative
Lance Hostetter ’11 – director of communication and public affairs, Denver Families for Public Schools
Kole Kelley ’16 – associate attorney, Jewell Jimmerson Natural Resources Law LLC


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