On April 21, David A. Tandberg, Ph.D., was selected by unanimous vote of the Adams State University Board of Trustees as the twelfth president, to take effect after finalizing contract terms, already agreed to in principle with all finalists.
Dr. Tandberg has guided Adams State through the last 10 months as interim president. His dedication and strong leadership skills and practical management style stood out among the finalists.
Dr. Tandberg holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Penn State University: “To say that I am excited to accept the position of Adams State University president, would be a great understatement. Since this summer, my wife and I have deeply connected with the campus and community. It strengthens my resolve to be a strong leader who knows how to listen, when to take action, and can visualize a path for a successful future.”
Co-chair of the Adams State University Presidential Search Committee Mark Martinez, Class of 2013, said the hard work by the committee has paid off. “We worked with a national search firm WittKieffer, and developed an original pool of nearly 60 applicants; David Tandberg is the best candidate to be 12th president of Adams State University. Jonathan Marquez (Class of 2013 and co-chair of the search committee) and I appreciate the due diligence of the entire committee, campus and community to help select Dr. Tandberg.”
Dr. Tandberg, the only Adams State alumnus in the final pool of candidates, remembers overcoming challenges as a student and the mentors who saw a potential in him, he hadn’t seen for himself. “I’ve said it before, I wasn’t a strong student academically, but that didn’t prohibit Vice President of Student Affairs Frank Sanchez or Dr. John McDaniel (emeritus professor of history) from providing guidance and opportunities for me. Through their, and others, belief that I was worthy of attention and could reach my potential, not only in academics but throughout all aspects of life, I started on a path that has brought me full circle.”
Dr. Tandberg has been in higher education for nearly 20 years. His latest position as senior vice president for Policy Research and Strategic Initiatives for the State Higher Education Executive Officers Associates (SHEEO) provided experience working with other executive leaders involved in all aspects of leading the organization. He led SHEEO’s policy evaluation and research initiatives and efforts to connect empirical research to state practice and policy.
Board of Trustees Chair Michele Lueck believes President Tandberg has proven his experience and leadership qualities are a perfect fit for Adams State. “I have the utmost confidence that Dr. Tandberg will continue to demonstrate his commitment to this campus and community. He has a solid understanding of what it takes to be a successful leader.”
As a data-driven and evidence-based decision maker, Dr. Tandberg has the confidence to make decisions to increase enrollment and retention of students. “I will move Adams State forward with broad collaborative initiatives that focus on public leadership, student success, policy design, strategic planning and program development.”
Over the past 10 months, Dr. Tandberg has established four strategic priorities to guide the work of the executive team; implemented an inclusive, rigorous budget development process, aligned with the University’s strategic plan; made strategic investments in student recruitment and financial aid efforts and programs; actively engaged the campus in improving morale, culture, and climate; and reached out to the San Luis Valley to improve town-and-gown relationships.
“With the support of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Team, faculty and student leaders, I have laid groundwork to move Adams State into a successful and vibrant University as we enter our second century,” Dr. Tandberg added. “I am so grateful to continue this meaningful work in a place I consider home.”
Dr. Tandberg has been the interim president of Adams State since July 2022. “Over the last 10 months I have witnessed the commitment to Adams State from faculty and staff. They inspired me to apply for the position as president. I look forward to working with the campus and community to create a stronger institution that as an Hispanic Serving Institution continues its mission to serve all students.”
Dr. Tandberg served as a senior vice president of Policy Research and Strategic Initiatives at SHEEO since 2016. Prior to joining SHEEO, Dr. Tandberg was a tenured professor of higher education and co-founded the Center for Postsecondary Success at Florida State University. Before joining Florida State, Dr. Tandberg was special assistant to the secretary of education in the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Dr. Tandberg earned a Bachelor of Arts in history/social studies education from Adams State in 2002 and was elected president for the Associated Students & Faculty while a student. He earned a master’s degree in political science and Ph.D. in higher education from Penn State University.
Dr. Tandberg’s wife, Darin, is also a graduate of Adams State, Class of 2002. They have three children Allyson (22), Bryce (20), and Kai (15).