It’s official: UCCS has a new chancellor.
Venkat Reddy, dean of the College of Business, had been acting as interim chancellor since the February retirement of Pam Shockley-Zalabak and will officially continue to lead the university. Reddy was one of three finalists for the position, which also included Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, the retiring superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Reddy began his career at UCCS as a finance faculty member in the College of Business, according to a University of Colorado news release.
“After rising through the faculty ranks he became dean of the College of Business, a position he held for almost 13 years,” the release states, adding Reddy also served as the associate vice chancellor for online education and initiatives, responsible for on-campus, cross-campus and CU system-wide programs.
“I’m honored and humbled to serve as the chancellor for this wonderful university. I very much appreciate the support of our campus citizens, President Benson and the Board of Regents,” Reddy said in the release. “I look forward to working closely with our faculty, staff, students, alumni and our business and civic leaders, in advancing UCCS’s mission. Together, we will advance the frontiers of knowledge and foster the intellectual growth of generations of young men and women who will go on to become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and empowered future leaders in our community and beyond.”
Reddy earned his doctorate in finance and master’s in agricultural economics from Pennsylvania State University. At UCCS, his primary teaching and research were in corporate finance and investments. According to the release, Reddy was recognized twice with the Outstanding Teacher Award in the College of Business.
“He collaborated with faculty, staff, campus, community and CU system leaders on a variety of initiatives, including advancing innovative academic programs; renovating Dwire Hall; building and strengthening alumni and community relations; launching the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative; expanding career development and study abroad opportunities; taking the College of Business twice through the maintenance of international accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; ranking of several programs in the US News and World Report; and launching and promoting five fully online undergraduate degree programs on the campus,” the release states.
Bruce Benson, the president of the University of Colorado system, issued the following letter announcing Reddy’s appointment:
Dear Members of the UCCS Community,
I am happy to share with you that I have selected Dr. Venkat Reddy to be the next chancellor of UCCS. Dr. Reddy has the experience, skills and vision to build on the strong foundation in place on campus and to advance the institution to the next level. His deep knowledge of the campus and community, and the respect he has earned from both, will make him an ideal leader for UCCS.
I have every confidence in Dr. Reddy’s abilities, yet I would note it was still a difficult decision. I want to thank the search committee for its work and commend it for bringing forward a strong pool of candidates and an even stronger finalist group. I particularly want to thank Regents Kyle Hybl and Steve Ludwig, both of whom have strong connections to the campus, for serving on the committee. I also want to thank my Chief of Staff Leonard Dinegar for chairing the search committee. I appreciate the substantial engagement in the process from the UCCS community. I received a significant amount of feedback on the finalists and have closely reviewed all your comments. I appreciate the thoughtfulness, insight and passion you brought to the process.
Dr. Reddy’s 25 years as a member of the UCCS community make him ideally suited to advance the campus. His experience in teaching, research, administration and cross-campus and system-wide initiatives will serve him well. He fully understands the challenges we face, but more important he sees the opportunities in front of us and has good ideas on how to capitalize on them. He has a strong commitment to our mission in teaching, research and service and understands how they must intertwine to provide a first-rate education for our students and important contributions to our state.
I firmly believe Dr. Reddy has the leadership qualities that will serve the campus well. He is thoughtful, decisive, open and collaborative. He knows how far the campus has come, but he also knows it cannot be content with recent successes. UCCS is poised to become an even greater part of the educational landscape in Colorado and beyond, and Dr. Reddy is the person who can lead us there. I have had conversations with him about this imperative and I am confident he is the right person for the job.
I hope you will join me in welcoming Dr. Reddy to this important position and in doing all you can to help him succeed. UCCS is a special place with a strong sense of community. It also has an important and growing place in the wider University of Colorado community. In its first half-century, UCCS has set a standard for excellence in Colorado Springs, throughout the state and beyond. I firmly believe we have a leader who will work tirelessly to build on that and successfully advance UCCS to ensure our students and our state succeed. Thank you for all you continue to do toward that end.