Governor names Arnold Salazar to ASC Trustees


Governor Bill Ritter recently appointed Alamosa resident and Adams State alumnus Arnold Salazar to a three-year term on the Board of Trustees for Adams State College. He replaces Alamosa CPA Tim Bachicha, whose term expired. The Governor reappointed trustees Charles Scoggin and Steve Valdez to another term on the board.

"Higher education in this state is at a real crossroads," Salazar said. "We need to figure out how we're going to make higher education a state priority and budget for it. While this is a challenge, it is exciting. The state needs to figure out how to sustain higher education funding, so that it's not subject to the peaks and valleys of economic fluctuations. It's important that we create opportunities for people to earn a college education."

ASC Trustee Arnold Salazar

ASC Trustee Arnold Salazar

Salazar is Executive Director of Colorado Health Partnerships, an organization covering 43 counties, mostly in rural Colorado. With a budget of $69 million, Salazar is responsible for coordinating the activities of the partnership of eight mental health center providers with ValueOptions, the management services provider, and the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, the contracting agency for the mental health capitation contract.

Adams State President David Svaldi said: "Arnold Salazar is a highly successful community leader who is passionate about his beliefs and values. He is an excellent addition to the ASC Board of Trustees, and I look forward to working with him."

Salazar explained he brings a unique perspective to the ASC board. “I'm a local person who has an extensive network of statewide contacts; I'm connected to three-quarters of the state with my job. I'm from the San Luis Valley and have lived here all my life, but though my work I've spent a significant amount of time working in Denver with various state agencies."

From 1995 to 2004, Salazar served as Executive Director of SyCare, L.L.C., managing a budget of $18 million and providing services in 19 Counties in Southeastern Colorado. He also formerly served as Executive Director of the San Luis Valley Mental Health Center and as a para-legal Investigator for the Public Defender, working in the Colorado State Penitentiary.

He graduated from Adams State in 1975 with a degree in social welfare, followed by an MSW in Social Work Administration from University of Michigan.

Salazar has an extensive record of service at both the local and state levels, particularly concerning health and mental health. He is a Past President of the Colorado Mental Health Centers and Clinics Association and has served with the Caring for Colorado Foundation, Colorado Health Institute, the Governor's Advisory Council on Mental Health, the Colorado Rural Health Center, and the Governor's Commission on health care reform (Colorado Care). He also worked with the Colorado Children's Campaign and the Colorado Commission for High School Improvement.

Salazar has served as chairman of the Colorado Conservation Voters Action Fund and of the Colorado Wildlife Commission, as well as on the board of Great Outdoors Colorado.

His local service involvements include participation with the San Luis Valley Hispanic League, San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center, the Alamosa County Democratic Central Committee, and Alamosa's community radio station, KRZA, at one point serving as board president. He was also active with the Alamosa Community Economic Development Corporation and was the San Luis Valley Representative for the Colorado Hispanic Agenda Project.

By Julie Waechter