CMC names Roaring Fork Campus dean |

CMC names Roaring Fork Campus dean

Staff Report
Heather Exby

Heather Exby, director of student services at Western Colorado Community College at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, will become the Roaring Fork Campus dean for Colorado Mountain College, the school said Wednesday.

When she starts work in July, she will oversee instructional sites in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and a residential campus at Spring Valley.

“Colorado Mountain College was the first community college I worked for,” Exby said. “It taught me what’s possible for a community college to achieve.”

In the late 1980s and early ’90s she worked at CMC in the institutional research, community education and admissions departments. She then was employed as executive director of the Western Colorado Graduate Center in Grand Junction, and then as director of regional programming at Colorado Mesa University. She has also been an adjunct faculty member at both CMU and CMC.

“I am so pleased that Heather will be joining us to lead our Roaring Fork Campus,” said Carrie Besnette Hauser, CMC president and CEO. “With her wide experience on many different levels within higher education, she brings a broad perspective of the challenging educational landscape we traverse in Colorado. And she knows and loves the Western Slope, which is a bonus.”

The college’s search committee was composed of three faculty members and three others from the campus, as well as two representatives from the college’s central administrative offices. More than 100 people applied for the position.

The committee was impressed by the range of Exby’s academic experience in higher education, including her previous positions at CMC, said Daryl Yarrow. Yarrow co-chaired the search committee and is the college’s associate vice president for online learning as well as interim dean of the Roaring Fork Campus.

“Her success in starting and maintaining concurrent enrollment programs will be a great fit with our strategic direction,” he said. “Above all, she clearly communicated her passion in helping students achieve their college goals.”

Exby is a representative on the Colorado Concurrent Enrollment Advisory Board, and has served on statewide and Mesa County advisory committees for gifted education. She is a former member of the Grand Junction Rotary Club, and a former president and member of the Rifle Rotary Club.

“Institutions like Colorado Mountain College provide the innovative model for what’s possible in the future,” Exby said. “I am excited with the college’s new strategic direction: to be inclusive and innovative in enhancing the lives of our students and the quality of life in our communities.

“After working at CMC previously, I studied community college leadership in my doctoral program,” she said. “When I studied colleges across the country, I saw that CMC was well-managed and is a prototype of how to make higher education accessible, affordable and top quality.”

Exby holds a Ph.D. in education and human resource studies (with a specialization in higher education leadership) from Colorado State University; a Master of Education in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education; and a Bachelor of Arts in art history/pre-medicine from Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

Along with Rifle Campus Dean Rachel Pokrandt and Aspen Campus Dean Linda Crockett, Exby will report to new regional vice president Richard Maestas, who joins the college June 1.

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