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Dr. Gillian McKnight-Tutein is the Department’s new chief educational equity officer

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DENVER – Oct. 24, 2023: The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) announced today it has hired Dr. Gillian McKnight-Tutein, previously Community College of Denver’s vice president of student success, and interim provost & vice president, academic affairs — to take on the position of chief educational equity officer. “Dr. McKnight-Tutein’s more than 16 years in higher education has deeply prepared her for the type of change our students need and deserve as we work to erase equity gaps in Colorado,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director of CDHE. “We look forward to Dr. McKnight-Tutein’s leadership in creating and developing partnerships with our colleges, universities and communities so all students can succeed on our campuses.”    The position supports the Department’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals and promotes the vision of a Colorado higher education community that is inclusive and deliberate in erasing the persistent equity gaps in educational attainment across all student demographic categories. The chief educational equity officer serves as a catalyst and advocate for educational equity initiatives and systemic change at Colorado’s institutions of higher education to develop quick and sustaining results that support historically underrepresented and marginalized students and close equity gaps.   “Higher education has been uniquely positioned to offer a promise to families, communities and organizations through the students we serve,” said Dr. McKnight-Tutein. “As the chief educational equity officer, I look forward to ‘locking arms’ with others in the state of Colorado who have a bias towards action and who courageously seek to fulfill the promise in transformational ways—where our underserved constituents realize outcomes beyond our students’ completion, and where they thrive socially and socio-economically post-college.” Dr. McKnight-Tutein is a veteran of implementing proven diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices and has elevated the student experience at both four-year universities and two-year colleges. Most recently as the vice president of enrollment administration and student success, and interim chief academic officer at Community College of Denver, Dr. McKnight-Tutein was responsible for strategic planning, enrollment management, developing and supporting personnel and leadership of the college’s education programs. As the vice president for academic affairs and student affairs at Front Range Community College, Dr. McKnight Tutein collaborated with the president and other cabinet members to develop a student-centered equity focus on student success, led apprenticeship efforts in healthcare and co-led guided pathways work and the developmental education redesign. While at Colorado Mesa University, she was responsible for the operational and strategic goals of distance education, including the delivery of sound educational programs and quality learning experiences for students in all modalities.   Dr. McKnight-Tutein has received numerous awards and accolades including a Top 50 Women Leaders in Colorado Award and Wiche’s Bernice Joseph Leadership Award. She also sits on the Intermountain Health, Front Range Board of Directors, and Clinical Excellence Committee. Dr. McKnight-Tutein holds a doctorate in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University, a master of science in human resources development and administration from Barry University, a bachelor of arts in psychology from Florida International University and an associate of liberal arts from Lynn University. Dr. McKnight-Tutein started in her role on Oct. 16, 2023.   Learn more about the CDHE leadership team: About the Colorado Department of Higher Education Working with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, we support students, advocate and develop policies to maximize higher education opportunities for all. The Department believes every Coloradan should have an education beyond high school to pursue their dreams and improve our communities. Read the strategic plan, Building Skills in an Evolving Economy.