Office of the Provost
Colorado College’s provost is the college’s chief academic officer and its second-ranking officer with strategic responsibilities that span the entire institution. The provost is a member of the president’s cabinet, takes a leadership role in the annual budget process, and implements the college's strategic plan.
About the Provost
Alan R. Townsend became Colorado College’s provost and professor of environmental science on June 1. Townsend has served in leadership positions at university, national and international levels, including Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research at CU-Boulder, Director of CU-Boulder’s Environmental Studies Program, Director of CU-Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Director of the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation, and Co-Director of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program.
Townsend received his bachelor’s degree in 1988 from Amherst College, and a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University in 1994. He is an environmental scientist who studies how ecosystems work, how they are changing and what those changes might mean for society. He is a highly cited author of more than 120 peer reviewed articles, on topics that include the biogeochemistry of tropical forests and global-scale analyses of human impacts on major element cycles. Townsend is a strong advocate of academic engagement beyond the ivory tower; he was an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in 2001 and one of the inaugural Google Science Communication Fellows in 2011.