NewsCovering Colorado


CU Boulder Chancellor Phillip DiStefano announces retirement after nearly 15 years in role

cu boulder chancellor phillip distefano.JPG
Posted at 6:18 PM, Sep 26, 2023

BOULDER, COlo. — The head of University of Colorado Boulder is retiring after serving nearly 15 years in the top role.

CU Boulder Chancellor Phillip DiStefano’s announcement during his State of the Campus address Tuesday morning was met with a standing ovation, according to spokesperson Nicole Mueksch, who said a nationwide search for his successor will begin in the coming weeks.

“It has been such a rewarding and humbling experience to serve as chancellor of Colorado’s flagship university for the past 15 years,” DiStefano said in the speech. “I am so proud of our faculty, staff and students and all that you have accomplished, and I also will treasure the many alumni, donors, parents and friends of the university I was lucky enough to meet. Finally, I want to thank my family for their support and for allowing me to miss birthdays, anniversaries and holidays because of my duties to the university.”

DiStefano will remain chancellor until the position is filled, at which point he intends to return to the faculty in the School of Education, where he first began his CU Boulder career as an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in 1974, Mueksch said.

Starting in fall 2024, his primary duties will include serving as the senior executive director at the Center for Leadership and the Quigg and Virginia S. Newton Endowed Chair in Leadership.

Mueksch said DiSfetano will continue to engage with major donors and highly engaged alumni across the university landscape.

“DiStefano has dedicated his career to making CU Boulder a nationally recognized research institution that shapes tomorrow’s leaders, is innovative and has a positive impact on humanity,” Mueksch said. “He is a proud supporter of Buffs athletics, a champion of democracy and a believer in the value of town-gown partnerships.”

A national search will be launched for DiStefano’s successor and University of Colorado system President Todd Saliman will share more information on the search process in the coming days and weeks.