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Wartgow named interim UCD chancellor

Jerry Wartgow, a familiar figure in state education circles, Thursday was named interim chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver.

Although Wartgow served as superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, he has a more extensive background in higher education, including 12 years as president of the Colorado Community College System and five years in senior positions at the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. Wartgow also was director of the Auraria Higher Education Center, of which UCD’s Denver campus is a part, for eight years starting in 1978.

His previous temporary job was as acting dean of the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education in 2008-09. More recently he’s been working in Hong Kong on a Fulbright award, advising universities there on restructuring.

Jerry Wartgow
Jerry Wartgow

“Jerry Wartgow has the experience, management skills and Colorado connections to help the University of Colorado Denver address the significant challenges facing the campus, and will also help us take advantage of opportunities to move UCD forward,” CU President Bruce Benson said.

Wartgow starts Aug. 3 and replaces Dr. M. Roy Wilson, who is assuming different duties for CU.

Benson also announced that Lilly Marks, senior associate dean for finance and administration at the CU School of Medicine and executive director of University Physicians Inc., will become vice president for health affairs and executive vice chancellor at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

No decisions about a search for a permanent chancellor will be made until after completion of a national accreditation process, which starts this autumn and continues into 2011. Accreditation of the CU medical school has been in question because of concerns about student diversity, a problem that officials have linked partly to low state financial support for the school.

CU, like the rest of the state’s colleges and universities, faces serious financial challenges in the coming years as the state struggles with tight revenues and the end of federal stimulus funds for higher education.

In addition to his extensive resume of education jobs and civic involvement, Wartgow in 2008 published “Why School Reform is Failing and What We Need to Do About it: 10 Lessons from the Trenches,” a critique of faddishness in education.

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