Steamboat Springs Stan Jensen, the new president of the Colorado Mountain College system, liked what he saw under the big top in Steamboat Springs on Friday afternoon.
Hundreds of faculty and staff members from the nine CMC campuses gathered in a big tent in the parking lot of the Alpine Campus for a luau and performance by a faculty rock 'n' roll band. After 1 1/2 days of professional seminars, there were flower leis, roast pig and much laughter.
"I'm real proud of them," Jensen said. "There are lots of good people here. We're looking forward to serving them and to serving the community."
Jensen could be viewed as a nontraditional candidate for president of a community college system. He comes to Colorado's Western Slope not from his last campus, but from a 20-year career as an educational consultant based in Des Moines, Iowa.
"When I interviewed for the position, I was warned that it involved a lot of travel," Jensen said. "But I'm accustomed to visiting another college in a different state every week."
Jensen and his wife, Teresa, ran their own consulting firm, Leadership Enterprises, specializing in workshops in process management - studying the way things are done on a daily basis - at community colleges. Jensen said he conducted a leadership program at CMC almost two years ago.
Jensen, who earned a doctorate in the history and philosophy of education from the University of Iowa, said in his consulting business he worked to build effective teams and to help community colleges adopt a system that resulted in continuous improvement. He also worked to put in place processes that would better serve the broader community.
The Aspen Daily News reported Jensen was the unanimous choice of a committee of trustees and staff that visited North Essex Community College, outside Boston, Mass., where Jensen had worked as a consultant.
Nancy Genoa, dean of the Roaring Fork Campus, told the Daily News that Jensen "will be a good and balanced ambassador for Colorado Mountain College in our communities and throughout the state."