CU Denver is the essential institution to meet this moment. We’re a pioneer of inclusive learning. We’re young and innovative, embodying the curiosity, kindness, and ambition of the Rocky Mountain spirit. And we believe that redefining the urban public research university is the most important thing we can do for higher education and for the future of America.
Since joining CU Denver in July 2020, Chancellor Michelle Marks has pursued an ambitious vision for the future of CU Denver and its impact as a leading public urban research university.
An innovator dedicated to making higher education equitable for the good of society, Marks believes the urgent national need for accessible, high-quality education demands long-term solutions. She has led CU Denver in a highly collaborative strategic planning process, completed in June 2021, to create the university’s 2030 Strategic Plan: Make Education Work for All. The plan outlines an evolved vision of a university that expands education and strengthens economies to work for all—through equity, lifelong learning, world-class scholarship, innovation, and workplace culture.
In addition to her role as chancellor, Marks also serves as a tenured full professor in CU Denver’s Business School. As a scholar, she has dedicated her career to studying leadership and team effectiveness, and she is a frequent guest lecturer in business and leadership classes at the university. She has been recognized for leadership throughout her career, with awards that include the George Mason University Alumni of the Year Award (2017), the Executive MBA Professor of the Year award (2008 and 2011), and the Teaching Excellence Award (2006). Marks was also named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Education in 2022.
Marks holds a PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from George Mason University. Nationally, she is the chair of the board of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, and she serves on the boards of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities and the University Innovation Alliance. In Colorado, her board service includes the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, the Auraria Higher Education Center, and the Colorado Business Roundtable.
Photos of Chancellor Marks
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