A Message from President Aceves

Dear Colleagues,

Commencement is upon us and is something that evokes mixed emotions. While we celebrate the success of a graduating class, we are also sad to see them go. We find ourselves in a similar situation as we bid farewell to Provost Karen Riley. Karen will depart Regis and Denver to become president at Slippery Rock University.

As we reflect on Karen’s time at Regis University, we are grateful that she led the academic affairs unit to new heights with energy and optimism. Her strengths as a pragmatic and inclusive leader should position her for success in her new role.

At Regis, Karen’s impact has been felt in many ways. Here are a few examples. 

  • Her work leading the Student Thriving Task Force resulted in improvements in advising, course sequencing, and other important improvements as part of the student journey;
  • She spearheaded the academic excellence program that led to an increase in faculty publications by 33% and presentations by 125%;
  • She supported innovative mission-aligned academic programs. This included the GLOBAL program for students with intellectual disabilities and the Inside/Out program.

We reached out to the Deans who worked closely with her. Here is what they shared:

She has helped Regis University launch important partnerships that have advanced the university.  Guild Education, Intermountain Health, and Rocky Vista University are examples of partnerships that were forged under her leadership.  Dr. Riley has inspired faculty and helped support faculty to move in the direction of a university-wide senate.” – Linda Osterlund, academic dean, RHCHP

“Although the time has been short, you have definitely become part of the tapestry that is Regis.  I appreciate that you always told the truth in our conversations. A wise man once said, “Building trust requires nothing more than telling the truth.”  I wish you well in your presidency at Slippery Rock.” – Mark Reinking, dean of physical therapy.

It is difficult to join a new organization with a long history, learn the culture, ask the hard questions, and help make improvements. I appreciate your approach and the sense of compassion and equity you brought to your work and relationships.” – Shari Plantz-Masters, academic dean, Anderson College

“Karen worked tirelessly during her time at Regis to advocate for and support academic excellence. Through inspiring and supporting academic excellence and helping develop several new mission-aligned programs, she has left an indelible mark on the University.” – Samit Shah, dean, pharmacy.

“I really appreciate Karen's sense of humor and her ability to laugh at herself as well as situations.  She has been a great support for nursing and health care education.  I appreciate her support of faculty scholarship and the fact that she values the voice of faculty and staff.  I appreciate her encouragement of the faculty senate and faculty involvement in the university.”  – Catherine Witt, dean of nursing.

“You will be an excellent President because of several reasons including your willingness to learn and listen; your courage to introduce change; your desire to innovate and seek new opportunities; your commitment to support all people; and your deep interest in developing trustworthy relationships.  Your leadership is characterized with integrity. You will be missed!” – Maria del Valle Bohorquez, dean of Regis College.

“After my time with Karen, I feel like I have done enough “piloting” to earn a license! In all seriousness though, I have deeply appreciated Karen’s commitment to academic excellence and inclusion, her understanding that these two things are not incompatible but are rather complementary.” – Bryan Hall, dean of the School for Professional Advancement

I invite you to a drop-in reception scheduled from 3 to 5 PM on Monday, April 24, in 333 Main Hall. Please join me in thanking and celebrating Karen’s accomplishments as we wish her every measure of success in her new position and role.