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Esther Rodriguez to retire effective June 30

The special assistant to the president has been a champion for the underrepresented and a leader on campus for 10 years.

June 13, 2017

Esther Rodriguez will retire effective June 30.
Esther Rodriguez will retire effective June 30.

Esther Rodriguez will retire from MSU Denver on June 30 after serving in leadership roles at the University for 10 years.

Most recently, as a special assistant to the president, Rodriguez has led the University’s effort to become federally designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by 2018. To qualify as an HSI, MSU Denver’s Latino undergraduate, full-time equivalent enrollment needs to clock in at 25 percent or higher. At last count, that number stood at 24.07 percent (including ASSET students), a major jump from 12.5 percent in 2007. Numbers that reflect fall enrollment will be released this summer.

During her two-year contract as a special assistant, Rodriguez was instrumental in putting together “Connecting the Dots,” a 2016 report that outlined recommendations for pushing the University over the finish line in reaching its goal. Subsequently, she has led the HSI Implementation Team responsible for turning those recommendations into results. The group has made solid progress this year.

“Esther has been a driving force behind our push to become an HSI,” said President Stephen M. Jordan. “The work she has done, both on that major initiative and as a leader in ensuring access to education for students of color, has fundamentally changed MSU Denver for the better.”

Beyond her work with the HSI Initiative, Rodriguez helped develop an urban teacher partnership under a federal Teacher Quality Enhancement grant, and designed and promoted a college readiness school-university partnership under 21st Century Community Learning Center grants.

In a letter to senior leadership, she wrote: “It has been a great honor to work with – and learn from – each of you over these past years.” She also offered to continue helping push the HSI initiative forward in any way she can after her retirement.

The search for Rodriguez’s replacement is already underway. More updates to come on that soon.

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