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Making the (associate) dean’s list

Four new associate deans share their backgrounds, top priorities and what drew them to join the Roadrunner family.

November 8, 2016

Associate Dean's ListWith four new associate deans in the fold this semester, the Early Bird editorial team thought it would be fun to check in on how they got here and what they’re working on at the moment. 

What is your professional background?

Chad Harris, Ph.D., associate dean, College of Professional Studies:

I have been at a number of institutions and gained experience in different areas. My longest tenure was 12 years as a faculty member at Boise State University … [then I developed] a kinesiology program at Western New Mexico University, where I also served as dean of allied health … My last stop prior to coming to MSU Denver was as dean of health science at Central Oregon Community College, where I oversaw programs in health and human performance, nursing, allied health and the sciences (biology, chemistry, engineering, physics and geology).

Chitti Govindarajulu, Ph.D., associate dean, College of Business:

[I have] a Ph.D. in management information systems and more than 18 years of teaching experience, including six-plus years of experience in academic administration roles such as chair, associate dean, special assistant to the provost and director of an IT services center.

Ibon Izurieta, Ph.D., interim associate dean, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences:

As a faculty member in the Department of Modern Languages for eight years, I researched (and continue to work on) issues related to collective identity, culture and marginalization of minorities.

Jason Janke, Ph.D., interim associate dean, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences:

I received my Ph.D. from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2004. My parents were both teachers. My mother taught first grade for more than 30 years; my dad has continued to teach college for more than 40 years. I knew when I started my bachelor’s degree that I wanted to become a professor.

Why did you choose to work at MSU Denver?


In my role as associate dean, I focus on assessment, accreditation and curriculum. Much of this work is really focused on continual improvement of academic programs within the College of Professional Studies. That work is very rewarding … [Also,] it is a relatively young institution with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and strong commitment to diversity. Those things are very important to me so there was a matching of values that further drew me to the institution.


Diverse and nontraditional student body, faculty members who excel in teaching, and a very dynamic college and higher level administration. Of course, proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park was an important factor, too.


The effort to become a Hispanic Serving Institution, the University’s decision to grant in-state tuition to undocumented students who have lived in Colorado their entire lives, … the excellence in teaching we have accomplished as an institution, [and] our efforts to become the premier urban university in the nation.


I chose MSU Denver more than 10 years ago because I was impressed by the teaching mission and diverse student population of the University.

What are you working on in your first six months?


My focus has been on assessment, curriculum and accreditation in CPS. Of course, learning the systems at the institution also has been keeping me busy.


The college achieved a great milestone when it received initial AACSB accreditation in spring 2016. My main responsibility will be to assist Dean Murphy in her leadership efforts to move the college forward to be in alignment with 2013 AACSB standards and expectations. Another focus area would be the college’s graduate programs, specifically our MBA.


We spend a lot of time making sure we uphold academic integrity and rigor. Associate deans work directly with department chairs in maintaining excellence across the college, to make standards consistent and fair to everyone.


First, I plan to get acclimated to functions and processes in the CLAS Dean’s Office. Thus far, I have been processing numerous Petitions for Degree exceptions, evaluating faculty member’s narratives and portfolios, and handling various student and faculty requests.


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