Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to announce the promotion of one of our Vice Presidents and two new leadership positions at the System Office.

  • Effective October 1st, Landon Pirius, Ph.D., was promoted to Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
  • On November 1st, Diane Duffy, J.D., will join us as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
  • On November 5th, Ryan Ross, Ph.D., will start as our new Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Diversity and Inclusion

All three individuals are outstanding leaders who are committed to innovation, excellence, and the communities we serve.

As Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Diane will provide direct support to my role as the CEO and will take on developing, executing, and sustaining strategic initiatives.

In the joint role of Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Landon will provide strategic leadership related to all aspects of academic affairs, student affairs, and institutional research. He will work collaboratively with college Presidents, Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, Vice Presidents for Student Affairs, faculty, staff, and outside partners to identify and implement priorities aimed at achieving quality teaching and learning, student success, and equity and inclusion.

To support the work within academic and student affairs, Landon will be supported by four Associate Vice Presidents (AVP): Michael Macklin, AVP for Workforce Development; Ian Macgillivray, AVP for Academic Innovation and Initiatives; Sarah Heath, AVP for CTE; and the new AVP for Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion.

The new AVP position will serve as the Chief Student Affairs Officer and the Diversity Officer for CCCS, providing leadership related to all aspects of student affairs, strategic enrollment management, student technology components, and student organization functions, including the State Student Advisory Council (SSAC). In addition, the AVP will provide leadership for equity and inclusion efforts, including chairing the system-wide Equity and Inclusion Council. The AVP will work collaboratively with colleges and system staff, and support our colleges in their efforts to achieve equity in student outcomes, student success, and improved recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce.

Please join me in congratulating Landon on his promotion and welcoming Diane and Ryan to CCCS. Below are brief profiles.



Joe Garcia

System President

Colorado Community College System


Diane Duffy, J.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer

Diane Duffy

“It is my privilege to join the work of the community colleges in providing quality educational opportunities for all. Working together, we will continue to build on strategies to drive academic excellence, student success, diversity, and innovation.”

Diane brings a wealth of experience and knowledge having served in several CFO and senior leadership positions within higher education. From 2014 to 2018, she served as Chief Operating Officer for the Colorado Department of Higher Education, where she was instrumental in the development of the state’s current Master Plan goal and initiatives to increase postsecondary attainment and facilitated the implementation of the higher education funding allocation model as authorized by HB 14-1319. Prior to her work at CDHE, she was Chief Financial and Administrative Officer to the Kansas Board of Regents, a bi-partisan governing board for six state universities and coordinating board for the state’s 19 community colleges, six technical colleges, and one municipal university. Diane will join us from University of Colorado Denver, where she is currently the Business Services Director.


Landon Pirius, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

Landon Pirius“I am honored to move into this new position and I look forward to continuing collaborative efforts in support of our colleges, students, and communities. Through these efforts we aim to improve, expand, evaluate, and promote academic and student affairs that result in excellence in teaching, learning, thinking, experience, and success for all students.”

Landon began his tenure at CCCS in January 2017 and brings many talents to this position. His extensive experience in higher education, academic affairs, student affairs, and student life has made significant contribution in moving the System’s strategic plan forward, and his approach to student outcomes weaves together student well-being, academic excellence and the promotion of an inclusive campus community.

Prior to CCCS, Landon was the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at North Hennepin Community College in Minnesota, where he was committed to building a collaborative culture of student success, data-driven decision-making, strategic planning, and continuous quality improvement.


Ryan Ross, Ph.D., AVP for Student Affairs and Director of Diversity and Inclusion

Ryan Ross“I am extremely excited to join the Colorado Community College System. I believe education is the great equalizer and community college is the pathway to address the educational underachievement that has affected so many in our state and the pipeline to ensure our economy and workforce is strong. I look forward to achieving the highest levels of student success with you all!”

Ryan is no stranger to the CCCS community. In 2016, after fourteen years of educational work, he transitioned from the leadership team at the Community College of Denver to the American Petroleum Institute, based in Washington D.C., as the Regional Manager for Mobilization. Honoring his commitment to leadership development and community, Ryan simultaneously accepted an appointment by former Denver mayor, the Honorable Wellington E. Webb to lead the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado (ULFC), which focuses on diversifying boards, commissions, and C-suites while also building the next generation of African American leaders in the greater Denver Metropolitan area.

In addition to ULFC, Ryan currently serves as a trustee for J.K. Mullen High School, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver African American Philanthropy group, and owns a boutique speaking and consulting firm called Stirred UP Enterprises.