The Adams State University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the appointment of David A. Tandberg, Ph.D., as interim president, effective July 1. The interim appointment is for one year, giving the Board ample time to conduct a comprehensive and inclusive search for a permanent president.
Dr. Tandberg brings both a deep knowledge of higher education and personal ties to Adams State and the San Luis Valley. A nationally recognized expert on higher education who has been invited to consult with and present at The White House, U.S. Senate, and U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Tandberg served as senior vice president of policy research and strategic initiatives at State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO).
Dr. Tandberg earned a Bachelor of Arts in history/social studies education from Adams State in 2002. While a student, he was elected president of Adams State’s student government (Associated Students & Faculty) and competed as member of the cross-country and track teams. Dr. Tandberg earned a master’s in political science and a Ph.D. in higher education from Penn State University. “I want to thank the Board for entrusting me with this undertaking,” noted Tandberg. “I was born in Leadville, grew up in Colorado, and consider Alamosa my second home. I am truly honored and can’t wait to be a part of the community again.”
Dr. Tandberg joined SHEEO in July 2016, leading SHEEO’s policy evaluation and research initiatives and SHEEO’s efforts to connect empirical research to state practice and policy. He also directs SHEEO’s strategic direction and partnerships. Dr. Tandberg is the lead editor of a book dedicated to the investigation of the state higher education executive officer that was published in July 2018 by Teachers College Press. While at SHEEO, Dr. Tandberg led or assisted in securing over $8 million in grant funding and contracts. Since joining SHEEO, the operation has doubled in size and opened a second office in Washington, DC.
Dr. Tandberg previously served as a tenured associate professor of higher education and co-founded the highly successful Center for Postsecondary Success at Florida State University. As an academic researcher, he was published in numerous peer-reviewed outlets and quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, and appeared on multiple national news programs. Before joining Florida State University, Dr. Tandberg was a special assistant to the secretary of education in the Pennsylvania Department of Education, focused on postsecondary policy development and implementation.
“We look forward to Dr. Tandberg leading Adams State during this critical time,” said Board Chair Michele Lueck. “He is the right person to guide this university as we explore Adams State’s long-term success through a comprehensive national search for our next leader. I want to thank Vice President Kent Buchanan for serving as acting president and leading the university over the past few weeks. The Board is committed to reinvesting in campus climate and student success.”
Colorado Governor Jared Polis appointed Dr. Tandberg to the Adams State Board of Trustees for a two-year term in 2021, expiring December 31, 2022. Dr. Tandberg stepped down from the Board in order to apply for the interim position. Additionally, he will take a leave of absence from SHEEO.
Dr. Tandberg is married to Darin (née McGinnis), also a 2002 graduate of Adams State and native of Manassa. Daughter Allyson (21) and son Bryce (20) were born while the Tandbergs were undergraduates. They are parents of another daughter, Evanie (14). The family is rounded out with three dogs (Rio, Rocco, and Ruby).
Board members Amanda DeLaRosa and Jennifer Mueller co-chaired the search for the interim president. Details of the search for a permanent president, co-chaired by Board members Mark Martinez and Jonathan Marquez, will be posted in August. Dr. Tandberg will not be considered in that process.