Colorado State University President Amy Parsons continues to build her presidential leadership team with key hires at the administrative level. National searches are underway for a new provost and vice president for research.

Derek Dictson

Derek Dictson joined CSU as vice president for University Advancement May 1, charged with directing the University’s fundraising, alumni relations, and other advancement efforts.

He came from New Mexico State University where he served as vice president of university advancement and president of the NMSU Foundation. Prior to that, he worked in development leadership roles at Auburn University and Texas A&M, as well as in management positions in the private and nonprofit sectors. 

Dictson earned his master’s degree in public service and administration from Texas A&M and his bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and economics from NMSU.

Kyle Henley

Kyle Henley became vice president for University Marketing and Communications May 1. Prior to rejoining CSU – he served first as director of Denver PR and then as assistant vice president for strategic communications until 2015 – Henley was senior vice president and chief communications officer for the University of Southern California. During his career, he has also been vice president for university communications at the University of Oregon and corporate communications manager for CoBank. 

Henley is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and Harvard’s Kennedy School Executive Education Program in Crisis Leadership in Higher Education.

Christa Johnson

Christa Johnson became interim Vice President for Research July 1. She is the first woman to lead the entity that oversees CSU’s research enterprise, which now totals $498 million in expenditures annually, about 38% of University revenues.

Johnson has served in the VPR’s office for the past eight years as senior associate vice president, chief of staff, and a liaison between the office and stakeholders. Prior to joining CSU, Johnson spent 16 years in higher education, including as associate vice chancellor for sponsored research services and interim associate vice chancellor for integrity and compliance at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and associate dean for research at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. 

She earned her doctorate in humanities and German studies from Stanford University and an MBA from Washington University and is a leader in national research organizations.

Eric Ray

Eric Ray began in the role of vice president for Human Resources June 1, responsible for talent acquisition; employee and labor relations; HR business partners; classification and compensation; talent development; benefits; HR service center; HR information systems; payroll; and operations resources. Ray has served in leadership positions on the CSU human resources team since 2020, most recently as executive director of strategic partnerships and employee relations. He has more than 20 years of HR leadership experience in a wide range of specialties, including 18 years with JBS USA. 

He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Tennessee Technological University.

Allen Robinson 

Allen Robinson will be joining CSU as the new dean of the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering in October from Carnegie Mellon University. He is the director of Carnegie Mellon University-Africa in Rwanda; associate dean for international programs in Africa for the College of Engineering; director of the EPA-funded Center for Air, Climate, and Energy Solutions; and professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy. 

Robinson previously held a joint appointment as professor in the Departments of Atmospheric Science and Mechanical Engineering at CSU.

Robinson received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in mechanical engineering and his B.S. in civil engineering from Stanford University. He is also an elected fellow of the American Association for Aerosol Research.

Colleen Webb 

Colleen Webb has been the vice provost for Graduate Affairs and dean of the Graduate School since March 1, where she served as associate dean since 2019. She was also director of the interdisciplinary Graduate Degree Program in Ecology.

Webb received her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from the University of Chicago, her master’s degree in biology from the University of Oregon, and her Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University.