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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

The “Value” of a College Degree

A recent study by two researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows that college is a great investment. In fact, the monetary value of a bachelor’s degree is near an all time high. One big reason is that the opportunity cost (foregone earnings) of going to college is declining as good jobs for high school graduates are harder to find. You can find the study here and a nice summary of it in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Meaning of Ferguson

Tomorrow, the Race and Ethnic Studies (RES) Program and The Butler Center are co-sponsoring a roundtable on “The Meaning of Ferguson.” Speakers include Claire Garcia (RES), Paul Buckley (Butler Center), Anusha Kedhar (Theater/Dance), Rashna Singh (RES) and Moktar Sakho (French, Italian, and Arabic Studies).

I plan to attend and look forward to joining students, faculty and staff in this important discussion, which starts at noon in Slocum Commons.

Rock the Block

Today is the third day of classes, but the very first chance to ROCK THE BLOCK. No, Llamapalooza is not early this year. ROCK THE BLOCK is a year-long series of skill-building workshops designed to help first- and second-year students transition successfully to the Block Plan. A great new innovation to make the Block Plan even more effective for this generation of students. Thanks to all those in The Wellness Center, The Colket Center, Accessibility Resources, The Career Center, the Dean’s Office, and Student Life who collaborated to create this program!

2014-15 Rock the Block Poster

Fall Convocation

Yesterday, we opened the 2014-2015 academic year with Fall Convocation. As is our tradition, we honored several alumni with honorary degrees. Introducing our new students to successful alumni is a great way to welcome them to our community and inspire them to make the most of their time at CC. This year’s honorees (pictured below with their faculty sponsors, CCSGA President Alejandro Salazar, and me) are:

  • Charity Cereen Shouse Haygood ’96, Doctor of Humane Letters. Charity, who co-founded the Glass House when she was a student at CC, is principal of B.R.I.C.K Avon Academy, a public school in Newark, New Jersey. Faculty sponsor Kris Stanec.
  • Joseph Henry Auner ’81, Doctor of Humane Letters. Joe is Professor of Music at Tufts University. Faculty sponsor Michael Grace.
  • Woodward William Fischer ’00,  Doctor of Science. Woody is Professor of Geobiology at Caltech. He gave the convocation address titled “No prospect of a beginning, no vestige of an end.” Faculty sponsor Christine Siddoway.



Fall 2014 Welcome

Welcome back to campus for the 2014-15 academic year! I’m excited to get another year started with all of you.

I hope each of you enjoyed some relaxation and adventure with friends and family over the last few months. My family and I took a page out of the CC travel book this summer, visiting several regular block break destinations. After we explored all five national parks in Utah, including Canyonlands and Arches, we travelled to Lake Powell to soak up the sun for a few days. What a great trip!

Welcome to the Class of 2018! This talented group of students from the largest applicant pool in the institution’s history brings a diverse set of experiences and ideas that will invigorate life at Colorado College.

In addition to our incoming first-year and transfer students, we also welcome many new staff and faculty to CC. In particular, I wanted you to know about two individuals who are great resources for you and your families. Paul Buckley joins the college as assistant vice president and director of the Butler Center (formerly OMIS). Paul previously served as assistant dean of undergraduate students at Dartmouth College. Paul’s expertise will be so helpful as we continue to support inclusivity in our increasingly diverse and dynamic learning community. Though she’s not new to campus, Debra Zarecky takes on a new role as director of parent and family relations. Debra will bring her experience working in student life and the Chaplain’s Office to helping parents and families stay connected to CC.

Over the summer, we made a number of campus improvements; perhaps most notable is the renovation of Spencer Center. Students will now find many services — financial aid, student accounts, human resources — conveniently located on the first floor of the Spencer Center. The rest of the space in this historic building will be occupied by finance and administration, the President’s Office, Information Technology Services, advancement, and communications.

We also made a few other changes around campus, including installing solar arrays at Cornerstone, Spencer, El Pomar, Dean Edmond’s house, and Synergy House; renovating the basement and first floor of Packard Hall; placing a solar, thermal, hot water system in Worner; adding numerous new concrete bike racks; resurfacing the Schlessman Natatorium; installing a 3D art canopy, and putting up a new fence at Stewart Field. Additionally, we made several upgrades in various residence halls.

Finally, as we embark on another academic year, please take care of yourselves and others. This includes being responsible for your actions and showing respect for all members of our community. This summer, we finalized a new sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct policy. I encourage you to look at this policy.

Over the last several years, we created a shared vision for Colorado College. This year we focus on putting our ideas into action, including: continuing to integrate sustainable practices into the life and work of the college; preparing the architectural design for a new library at the center of campus; and growing robust summer and half-block sessions. CC wants and needs your continued engagement, ideas, and energy to make our plans a reality.

Please do not hesitate to approach me with any questions, thoughts, or concerns you may have. If you cannot make it to Perkins Lounge in Worner for my regular student open office hours (, feel free to contact me via email, or stop by my office (now on the second floor of Spencer Center). I also receive regular input from the CCSGA and the President’s Council. These student groups serve as your representatives; be sure to reach out to them to voice your thoughts and opinions.

It is wonderful to have all of you back on campus!  I look forward to a great year!