Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D.
President, Metropolitan State University of Denver
|President Stephen M. Jordan, Ph.D.|
Stephen M. Jordan has been president of Metropolitan State University of Denver since July 2005.
Since taking the helm, President Jordan has led MSU Denver on a rapid trajectory toward becoming one of the preeminent public urban universities in the nation. Under his leadership, MSU Denver has achieved university status, launched its first master’s degree programs, experienced undergraduate enrollment increases at record levels, and seen plans for a new Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center and the Student Success Building come to fruition. Amid deep budget cuts, President Jordan has led nationally recognized initiatives to retool and reposition the University for the future.
Jordan has overseen a number of projects to improve retention and graduation rates among students of color. Statistics show a clear correlation between student retention and the number of full-time faculty teaching lower-division classes; Jordan has added nearly 200 full-time tenure-track faculty—49 of whom are of color—since 2004. He has established a First Year Success Program, a learning community with support services that are offered to all incoming freshman. In addition, he has established a goal for the University of achieving Hispanic-Serving Institution status within the next decade. Jordan and MSU Denver recently received a NEWSED Community Development Corp. Civil Rights Award for institutional initiatives on behalf of students of color, including the decision to establish the Colorado High School/GED Non-resident Tuition Rate.
|Stephen and Ruth Jordan|
As chair of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II Presidents Council in 2008 and 2009, Jordan led the charge for collegiate athletics to return to their fundamental purpose with the appropriate balance between academics and athletics and for student-athletes to be involved members of their communities. For instance, MSU Denver received the NCAA Division II Community Engagement Award in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) for its “Building Bridges to the Community” program. The program began in the fall of 2007 when the women’s softball team “adopted” the Denver West High School girls’ softball team. This partnering between the two teams is an ongoing relationship that is building bridges between the University and Denver Public Schools.
Jordan serves on the boards of the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Foundation and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver.
Jordan began his 30-year career in higher-education administration at the University of Colorado as the assistant secretary to the Board of Regents and an attendant instructor in the Graduate School of Public Affairs. From there, he took increasingly prominent positions as an assistant vice chancellor, then vice chancellor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, before becoming the deputy executive director for finance and planning for the Arizona Board of Regents and an adjunct professor in the Center for Educational Leadership at Arizona State University. In 1994, Jordan was named executive director of the Kansas Board of Regents and in 1998 he became president of Eastern Washington University, a position he held for seven years.
Jordan was named one of the nation’s most innovative and entrepreneurial higher education leaders in the book, “The Entrepreneurial College President,” by James L. Fisher and James V. Koch (2004: Praeger Publishers). The authors describe Jordan and 16 others as leaders who “appreciate, but are not anchored by, the past and who readily question the status quo, generate innovative ideas, and find ways to prevent organizational structure from discouraging change.”
Jordan grew up in Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a master’s degree in public affairs and a doctorate from the University of Colorado Denver.
He and his wife Ruthie have two sons, a daughter and six grandchildren.