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CMU Welcomes new Vice President for Academic Affairs

Colorado Mesa University is pleased to announce Cher Hendricks, PhD, will become the university’s new vice president for academic affairs (VPAA), effective July 1.

Hendricks will serve on the senior leadership team and work across all divisions at the university. As VPAA, she will play a critical role collaborating in high-level strategy conversations to ensure that an academic perspective is considered for all important policy and strategy discussions and decisions.

After a successful national search, Hendricks comes to CMU from the University of Akron where she served as vice provost for academic and faculty affairs. Hendricks joins the leadership team with more than five years working in integral university administration roles, which includes her time as vice provost for academic initiatives at the University of Idaho and associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of West Georgia.

“Cher is a relationship-oriented leader whose values and mission are in alignment with the university’s,” said CMU President John Marshall. “With over 25 years of experience in higher education, she has demonstrated her ability to lead and promote innovative and high-quality academic initiatives. Her commitment to students, faculty and staff is apparent and I’m thrilled to welcome her to our incredible campus and to the Mavily.” 

After nearly three decades serving in various roles, both on the faculty side as well as administrative, Hendricks’ experience as a teacher-scholar demonstrates her ability to support students through multiple deliveries of modalities, and will continue to improve the quality of instruction and student success at CMU.

“I am committed to increasing students’ access to a high-quality education aligned to their interests and career goals — whether academic, technical, or some combination of these—and to providing the support students need to be successful,” said Hendricks. “I believe all students have the drive and determination to succeed and I’m honored to join the Colorado Mesa University team with the goal of building on its strong foundation of exceptional teaching to support student success at CMU.”

Hendricks is also an advocate for faculty, and served on the faculty senate at University of West Georgia, chairing committees that supported faculty development and success.

Hendricks succeeds Kurt Haas, PhD, who has served the institution in the VPAA role for 20 years. Haas will be stepping down from the VPAA role and will return to the classroom in the Languages, Literature and Mass Communications Department.

“We are thankful for Kurt’s amazing service and are forever grateful to him for putting in the long hours during an unprecedented few years, where he led faculty through some challenging times,” said Marshall.

The CMU leadership team takes shape with Hendricks being the the second of two senior leaders hired this month. She joins Vice President of Finance & Administration/Chief Financial Officer Michelle Quinn. Meet the new CFO on CMUnow.


Written by Kelsey Coleman