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Jill Tiefenthaler

Jill Tiefenthaler became Colorado College's 13th president on July 1, 2011. She was previously provost and professor of economics at Wake Forest University.

Jill Tiefenthaler

Jill Tiefenthaler

Colorado College

As president of Colorado College, Tiefenthaler spent her first year listening in order to learn the college's strengths, challenges, and ambitions. In addition to the conversations she had with community members on campus, Tiefenthaler traveled across the United States and received more than 2,000 comments concerning what makes Colorado College distinctive from other colleges in the United States. As a result of this process, Tiefenthaler was able to piece together five "themes" or "pillars of strength" that reflect a consensus as to what makes Colorado College an outstanding liberal arts institution.

Based on the pillars of strength and the challenges that face the college, Tiefenthaler is currently leading a strategic planning process that is focused on realizing the aspirations of the Colorado College community. Tiefenthaler has characterized this process as being centered around three major topics or questions:

  1. How can Colorado College further support engaged teaching and learning?
  2. How can we make the most of our location in the Rocky Mountain West as our distinctive place of learning? and
  3. What can Colorado College do to extend its reach?

Tiefenthaler is a leading scholar in the field of the economics of higher education. In 2012, she offered her expertise on this issue in presentations at the annual meeting of the Western Association of College and University Business Officers (WACUBO), at The Future of the Liberal Arts College in America conference at Lafayette College, and to the students in her Block 5 course "The Economics of Higher Education." Additionally, with research interests focused on labor economics, economics of the family, and development economics, she has published numerous articles in scholarly journals. Some of her cross-cultural academic work includes studies conducted in the Philippines and Brazil, including a study for the World Bank in the 1990s.

President Tiefenthaler is originally from Iowa, where she grew up on a farm and worked for her family's popcorn business. She earned her bachelor's degree in economics from Saint Mary's College in South Bend, IN, and obtained her master's and doctoral degrees in economics from Duke University. Tiefenthaler joined the faculty of Colgate University in 1991, eventually becoming professor of economics, associate dean of the faculty and senior advisor to the president. In 2008, she was appointed as provost and professor of economics at Wake Forest University, where she led a strategic planning process culminating in a 10-year plan to develop Wake Forest as a leading collegiate university.

Tiefenthaler is married to Kevin Rask, a college research professor at Colorado College. They have two children, Olivia, 13, and Owen, 11.