Dr. Landon Pirius portrait

Pictured above: Dr. Landon Pirius, 2018-2019 Aspen Fellow

April 26, 2018 – Colorado Community College System is proud to announce Dr. Landon Pirius has been selected as one of only 40 nationwide for the 2018-2019 Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, a leadership program aimed at preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions across the nation to help students be more successful both in college and in the workforce.

The fellowship is awarded by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. that aims to advance higher education practices, policies, and leadership that significantly improve student outcomes.

Dr. Pirius is the Vice President for Organizational Effectiveness, Student Affairs, and Strategic Initiatives for CCCS.

Dr. Pirius is one of only two higher education leaders from a community college in Colorado to be selected for this fellowship. His abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access make him an ideal candidate.

– Dr. McCallin, CCCS president

Dr. Pirius and the 39 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2018. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the Fellows will be mentored by community college leaders who have had outstanding results for their students, learn from national experts about ways to use data to make their students more successful, and learn how to create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, and employers in their community.

I am honored and excited to be selected as an Aspen Fellow. This program will provide me the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded leaders as we aim to transform community colleges and pursue equity, greater access, and improved student outcomes for our students and communities.

– Dr. Pirius

The Aspen Fellowship responds to a growing need for a new generation of leaders who are well-equipped to meet the challenges facing community colleges:

  • Nationally, nearly 80 percent of sitting presidents plan to retire in the next decade.
  • Traditionally, the path to college presidency has excluded women and people of color: Currently, 71 percent of sitting community college presidents are white and 64 percent are male.
  • The incoming class of Aspen Presidential Fellows is composed of 65 percent women, 43 percent people of color and represents institutions of varying size and geographical spread.

The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.