Skip to main content area Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

President's Bio & CV

Jill Tiefenthaler

Jill Tiefenthaler became Colorado College’s 13th president on July 1, 2011.

During her first two years, she began the extensive process that led to the strategic plan titled “The Colorado College Plan: Building on the Block.” Over the course of her first 12 months, which she referred to as “The Year of Listening,” she met with students, faculty, staff, and community members, and heard from hundreds of alumni and parents nationwide about their aspirations for the college. In year two, President Tiefenthaler worked with the community and Board of Trustees to finalize a strategic plan that focuses primarily on supporting engaged teaching and learning, strengthening the college’s definition and profile as a distinctive place of learning, and extending the reach of the college.

Her third year at Colorado College revolved around implementing the recommendations of the strategic plan. Tiefenthaler worked with the college’s community to launch a set of pilot programs for the new Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching; the production of an “Innovation Showcase” to envision an Innovation Institute; the design of a new library that will serve as the academic hub on campus; and revamped Half Block and summer programs focused on helping students develop valuable skills and professional experiences prior to graduation.

Tiefenthaler is a leading scholar in the field of the economics of higher education, and is also regularly called on to speak about the value of the liberal arts. Her essay on the economic challenges for liberal arts colleges appears in “Remaking College: Innovation and the Liberal Arts” (Johns Hopkins University Press, October 2013), and she has offered her expertise on this issue in numerous presentations across the country. Tiefenthaler's talks on the importance of the liberal arts includes her speech, "Innovation and Collaboration: A Liberal Arts Education as a Catalyst for New Ideas," which she delivered to several universities throughout China. As professor of economics at the college, she regularly teaches a block class on the economics of higher education.

After receiving her Ph.D. in economics from Duke University, she joined the faculty of Colgate University in 1991, also serving as department chair, associate dean of the faculty, and senior adviser to the president. Before becoming president of Colorado College, she served as provost and professor of economics at Wake Forest University, where she led the implementation of the university’s strategic plan and key initiatives, including diversity in admission, establishing new models for enhanced interdisciplinary research and collaboration, and integrating the university’s undergraduate and graduate business schools.

President Tiefenthaler is originally from Iowa, where she grew up on a farm and worked for her family’s popcorn business before attending Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana. She is married to Kevin Rask, a research professor in economics at Colorado College. They have two teenaged children, Olivia and Owen.

Jill Tiefenthaler's Curriculum Vitae (PDF)