New Colorado Mountain College president likes Rifle campus’ future |

New Colorado Mountain College president likes Rifle campus’ future

Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser is Colorado Mountain College's ninth president.
Contributed Photo |

Colorado Mountain College’s “energy campus” in Rifle has helped train workers for a variety of related occupations, but it’s future direction relies somewhat on what direction the energy industry heads.

That’s one subject the college’s new president, Dr. Carrie Besnette-Hauser, talked about after a recent appearance in Rifle. Hauser assumed the duties of president of the 12,000-square mile community college district that includes Rifle in December.

“Our energy campus here is different than our ski operations campus in Breckenridge or Steamboat Springs,” Hauser said in an interview with The Citizen Telegram. “The integrated energy programs and others are all part of the conversation about how to help with a diversified economy.”

Hauser also pointed to the Rifle campus’ biofuels study project that includes the City of Rifle and others as an example of how the campus has adopted programs that could help residents looking to learn new skills.

“The question is really ‘what does energy look like in the future?’” Hauser continued.

She noted the college’s recently-added four-year sustainability degree can help students “go lots of ways” in terms of helping secure future employment.

“So it’s like having tentacles in all different directions,” Hauser said. “It’s not just about energy or the environment. We’ve all seen the ebbs and flows in the energy industry, and I really think CMC is in a position to be instrumental in the dialog of where we go from here and help train students in many areas.”

Hauser said the energy industry knows it needs the ability to adapt to many “moving parts, so we’re talking about training that workforce for the next 50 years.”

Hauser also noted the Rifle campus has recently started working with Grand River Health and the college’s culinary students have begun to intern in the Rifle hospital’s kitchen.

“We need to listen and grow as a college, where we have all these different economic clusters,” Hauser said. “This energy campus is one of those, but there are also other industries that are pretty important. Maybe we need to take a look at reviving some of our old programs. We’re in the process of asking ourselves, do we have relevant programs now and for 50 years from now?”

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