University of Colorado President Todd Saliman discusses future goals to strengthen four-campus system


Whether Todd Saliman knew it before now or not, his career path helped guide him to exactly where he sits today — as the president of the University of Colorado’s four-campus system.

Even after he was named interim president of CU in June 2021, Saliman wasn’t always sure he wanted to apply for the permanent position. But those who have worked with Saliman throughout the course of his evolving career recognized the connection between his experience and what was needed in CU’s next president.

“(Saliman) knows how to do the work and the vision,” said Tanya Mares Kelly-Bowry, CU’s former vice president for government relations. “Usually when you have a numbers guy, they’re not visionary. I think that’s the great leadership he will bring to CU. I am excited to see where we are going in the next few years.”

Saliman, 55, who graduated from CU Boulder in 1989, did eventually change his mind and tossed his hat in the ring to run for the president position and was unanimously selected by the University of Colorado Board of Regents to be the next leader earlier this year.

Now everything has come full circle, said Kelly-Bowry, who has worked with Saliman in various capacities for about 30 years.

“When I became the youngest Hispanic vice president in the history of CU, Todd Saliman was one of the guys who helped convince my higher-ups that they could promote me as both a woman and a woman of color,” Kelly-Bowry said. “He has always had a long track record of working on diversity issues and supporting women in powerful positions.”

Kelly-Bowry said she has worked with seven CU presidents, but not one has had the financial knowledge that Saliman has.

“He knows the ins and out, and he knows the money, and I think that makes him a critical asset in his role,” Kelly-Bowry said.

Strategically planning

Before Saliman took the reins as interim president and now president, CU and the Board of Regents created a strategic plan with former President Mark Kennedy who left the position July 1, 2021, after he failed to demonstrate leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion and shared governance.

University of Colorado President Todd Saliman speaks during an interview in Denver on July 11. Saliman became president of the University of Colorado System following his appointment by the Board of Regents. (Matthew Jonas ??

Now that Saliman has taken over as president, Lesley Smith, chair of the CU Board of Regents, said she looks forward to picking up that work again and tackling strategic plan goals with Saliman.


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