CMC Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs campus leader Heather Exby to retire |

CMC Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs campus leader Heather Exby to retire

Dr. Heather Exby, dean and vice president of CMC’s Spring Valley and Glenwood Springs campus, is retiring at the end of the spring 2023 semester.

After eight years serving the students, faculty and staff at Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus and Glenwood Center, Vice President and Dean Heather Exby is retiring from CMC at the end of the spring semester, the college announced Thursday.

“The Spring Valley campus has undergone a major physical transformation, thanks in large part to Heather’s leadership and the $5 million Promise of Spring Valley capital campaign that she so passionately championed,” CMC President and CEO Carrie Besnette Hauser said in a news release. “We are profoundly grateful for all that Heather has done for our students and mountain communities both at this campus and the Glenwood Center.”

Under Exby’s leadership, CMC’s Spring Valley campus constructed the J. Robert Young Alpine Ascent Center, the Outdoor Leadership Center & Field House, renovated the Sopris Residence Hall and the Paul & Shirley Bushong Student Center, constructed a new system of mountain bike trails on campus, and partnered with Holy Cross Energy to build a massive solar array and battery storage complex on campus.

Meanwhile, CMC’s Glenwood Center, located on Blake Avenue, remains a hub for community programs and nonprofit organizations including the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, high school equivalency programs and the Children’s Mini College.

CMC biology professor and CMC Faculty Senate President Kim Harding said Exby’s contributions extend far beyond just new construction on campus.

“These physical creations are only a partial reflection of Dr. Exby’s willingness to embrace new challenges and opportunities, always seeking for the betterment of our students, communities and those of us lucky enough to work under her guidance,” Harding said in the release. “When I think of her leadership, I am most struck by the level of care and engagement she provided for the myriad of activities that manifest in relation to leading a campus. She provided us with a beautiful example, and we will miss her guidance.”

Exby has worked for CMC in various roles for a total of 17 years, starting in 1986 as an admissions technician before leaving for graduate school at Harvard. She was hired as vice president and dean of the Glenwood Springs locations in 2015.

“I’ve been so fortunate to have been the kind of leader I always wanted to be and build a team that has grown and stepped up to every single challenge that has been laid before them,” Exby said. “I really care about the people I’ve worked with and about creating a learning environment for our students that is as personal and accepting as possible.”

Exby said that some of her favorite days of the year are during commencement ceremonies when she congratulates the students she’s gotten to know on campus as they receive their degrees.

“I love seeing their faces when they cross the stage, along with the faces of the faculty and staff who celebrate right alongside them,” Exby said. “I’m so proud of our students and the CMC community for helping each one of them succeed.”

Exby will stand on stage once more for spring commencement in May before she retires at the end of spring semester. CMC faculty and staff will conduct a national search for the campus’s next leader.

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