Three seasoned higher education luminaries are soon joining the ranks of CU Denver’s leadership team, bringing a cumulative 80+ years of deep and varied education experience. These positions will focus on leading academic innovation and advancement, enhancing student success, and fortifying strategic partnerships, setting CU Denver up for long-lasting success. In recent weeks, the university announced Constancio Nakuma, PhD, as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Monique L. Snowden, PhD, as Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Enrollment and Student Success, and Anthony E. Graves as the inaugural Managing Director of Partnerships and Innovation.
Constancio Nakuma: Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs
An accomplished, multilingual scholar with nearly 30 years of higher education experience, Constancio Nakuma joins us from Clemson University where he currently serves as associate provost for academic affairs. Throughout his 19-year tenure at Clemson, he held the title of associate dean of academic affairs, department chair, and professor in the Department of Languages prior to becoming appointed to his current role.
Before joining the Clemson community, Nakuma was an associate professor and program director at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also served as a lecturer at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Educated in Africa, Europe, and North America, Nakuma has spent great time advancing his scholarship overseas, bringing a multicultural, erudite approach to CU Denver.
“I was impressed with Constancio’s core belief that leaders of academic institutions must rethink and re-establish the university with a clear focus on lifelong learning,” said Chancellor Michelle Marks, PhD. “As the world adapts to the changes brought on by the pandemic, it’s vital to have a team that understands the importance of evolving to keep up with the changes and even create a new mold to better serve our students..”
Holding a deep commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, Nakuma has spearheaded several initiatives to bolster higher education inclusion policies including attracting and retaining more faculty of color, diversifying curriculum, and leading a subcommittee of Clemson’s President’s Social Justice and Equity Taskforce.
“My outlook on life has been shaped by experiences of diversity,” said Nakuma. “As provost, promoting campus-wide dialogue on difficult subjects like race and social justice will be a high priority. I do not aspire to be a voice for equity—I intend to be its very embodiment by my presence, actions, and advocacy, and I am thrilled to begin enacting that at CU Denver.”
He begins his role as provost on July 1 and will report directly to Chancellor Marks.
Monique L. Snowden: Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Enrollment and Student Success
Effective July 1, Monique L. Snowden will join CU Denver as the Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Enrollment and Student Success. Bringing 30 years of experience attracting and supporting diverse student populations, the first-generation college student will play an integral role in holistically shaping the student experience, from pre-enrollment through graduation.
Beginning her higher education journey in 1995, Snowden has vast experience in numerous university areas including enrollment and student success technologies and analytics, strategic enrollment planning, and student affairs. She has served in key academic administrative positions at Texas A&M University, Northwestern University, and most recently Fielding Graduate University, a private nonprofit institution in Santa Barbara, California. Her true passion for strategic enrollment management is clear, as she is a nationally recognized leader, speaker, and author on this very topic.
“I am honored to be chosen to lead CU Denver’s strategic enrollment and student success division and initiatives,” Monique said. “During my extensive interview process, I was inspired by the expressed and demonstrable commitment of university senior leaders, faculty, and staff to its students. It is evident that Chancellor Marks is building a senior leadership team with complementary knowledge, skills, and experience to propel CU Denver toward a stronger future with greater impact, locally and globally.”
As the former assistant dean of enrollment management at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies and the founding director of enrollment research and technology at Texas A&M University, Snowden has led innovative change initiatives for public and private universities. Her specific expertise lies in utilizing technology, data, and analytics for organizational success.
“CU Denver is hungry for leaders who are forward-thinking,” said Chancellor Marks. “Monique has led and supported the development, implementation, and assessment of strategic enrollment plans and strategies for on-campus and online undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education. This will be critical for shaping CU Denver’s future and ensuring student success is seen no matter where someone is in their academic journey.”
She will join CU Denver’s Cabinet and report to Provost Nakuma with a dotted line to Chancellor Marks.
Anthony E. Graves: Managing Director of Partnerships and Innovation
Anthony E. Graves enters CU Denver with more than 20 years of experience in economic development and public affairs strategy at a local, regional, national, and global level. As CU Denver’s inaugural Managing Director of Partnerships and Innovation, he will develop an all-encompassing partnership strategy that propels equity, quality of life, and economic development, while simultaneously discovering synergistic opportunities that will move the needle in terms of CU Denver’s reputation and relevance. Additionally, Graves will heavily focus on addressing societal challenges and fulfilling Colorado’s workforce pipeline.
“CU Denver’s diverse research portfolio, arts, and academic programs represent infinite possibilities for partnership, collaboration, and the advancement of equity,” said Graves. “I can’t wait to create wins that benefit both the university, and the broader Denver community.”
As a consultant, government official, corporate manager, economic developer, non-profit volunteer, and university leader, Graves has worked in a myriad of environments that will aid in his tenure at CU Denver. Recently, he served as Director of External Affairs for Economic Development for the City and County of Denver and as the Mayor’s former Director of Regional Affairs. In both roles, he played a critical role in resolving complex challenges, developing consensus, and synthesizing it all into actionable information for external audiences.
While Graves served as Denver’s regional affairs chief, he managed high-value economic relationships and created agreements with neighboring jurisdictions on a variety of topics, including sustainability goals and gender equity. He was involved in negotiating an expansion of Denver International Airport, and developed a statewide coalition to advance funding for the National Western Center development. A champion of economic equity issues, he supported the Mayor’s Race and Social Justice Initiative team that led city-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion planning for over 13,000 employees across all city agencies.
As an educator and strategic advisor in higher ed, Anthony has served as an adjunct professor and on numerous advisory committees to local universities since 2006, including strategic and institutional planning.
“Anthony is a highly experienced and deeply connected civic leader,” said Jennifer Sobanet, Senior Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance. “CU Denver will be strengthened by his ability to serve as both a strategist and a connector, and Anthony’s two decades of private, non-profit, and public sector experience, coupled with his passion for collaboration, will bring great benefit to our community.”
Graves will serve as a member of the Cabinet and will report to Sobanet. His role begins on May 10.