Skip to main content
Sign In


New Additions to Leadership Team

May 19, 2014 

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

The academy is once again in flux. New technologies are changing the way we teach and students learn and the way we carry out research and creative work. Our students will likely go on to careers in areas that don’t yet exist. 

To navigate these changes successfully requires an innovative approach, both for us as faculty and for our students, who will need a broad, multidisciplinary set of skills as they move through multiple careers and disciplinary areas. Toward that end, I am excited to announce the addition of two new members of our leadership team: John Bennett, PhD, in the newly created position of associate vice chancellor for innovation initiatives, and Jeff Franklin, PhD, as assistant vice chancellor for undergraduate experiences.

Leading our new innovation initiative since May 1, John Bennett will draw together faculty and students from disciplines across our two campuses to work collaboratively to address issues involving new technologies and innovations that are changing the university and society. John comes to us from CU-Boulder, where he was a professor in the department of Computer Science. He also served for six years as faculty director of CU-Boulder’s Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society, or ATLAS, a campus-wide program dedicated to integrating information and communications technology across a wide variety of disciplines. John will provide intellectual leadership and strong commitment in forging programs and studies that promote innovation in our teaching and learning programs and in our research and creative work. 

In his new role beginning July 1, Jeff Franklin will provide academic leadership and coordination for undergraduate programs that cross schools and colleges on the CU Denver campus. He will be replacing John Lanning, who is retiring after a long and successful career with the university. The move is a natural fit for Jeff, a professor of English who has been serving as associate dean for undergraduate curriculum and student affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) since 2010. He also led the CLAS Learning Enhancement Task Force, which took a hard look at the value and future of liberal arts and sciences education and concluded that an integrative approach will improve the undergraduate educational experience on our campus. Jeff will work with academic and student affairs units to develop innovative interdisciplinary, inter-school/college and all-campus programs, and to improve student learning, success and retention. 

I’m confident we’ve chosen the right leaders to position the university for the work ahead, consolidating the progress that has been made and leading us in new directions in the coming years. Please join me in congratulating them on their new positions.

Best regards,

Roderick Nairn
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs

© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.