News: Usrey Named Vice President of Academic Affairs

Usrey Named Vice President of Academic Affairs; Changes to Schools Announced

International lawyer, former university president, and Colorado Christian University professor of International Business, Law and Ethics, Dr. Kyle Usrey has been named vice president for Academic Affairs in the College of Undergraduate Studies, it was announced today by CCU president Donald W. Sweeting. Dr. Usrey succeeds Dr. Cherri Parks, who will retire at the end of June this year.

Dr. Usrey, who will assume his new role on June 11, 2018, brings broad professional and academic experience to this position. He was president of LCC International University in Lithuania (2009-2012), dean of Faculty, dean of the College, and professor of International Business at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas (2007-2009), and dean of the School of Global Commerce and Management, and professor at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington (2001-2007). He has also been a visiting scholar of International Business and International Business Law at the University of South Australia and at Yanshan University in China.

Dr. Usrey has worked for many Christian nonprofits globally in missions, and has been retained by the governments of several nations to draft laws and policies in international trade. He was also a former administrative law judge in Washington state, and was appointed by Governor Gregoire as the only at-large statewide member of the Executive Ethics panel.

During his time at CCU, Dr. Usrey has served in both the School of Business and Leadership in the College of Undergraduate Studies and in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. Dr. Usrey was instrumental in coordinating the visit of the late Antonin Scalia (former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court) to CCU in 2014.

"We are thrilled that Dr. Kyle Usrey is joining the leadership team at CCU. In addition to his academic credentials, Dr. Usrey has worked on six continents, and served as a former missionary to China. He has an extensive professional background in the public and private sectors," said Sweeting. "He is a seasoned builder - a leader who is in alignment with CCU's Strategic Objectives. He will have a pivotal role as we move into another season of accreditation."

Sweeting added, "We are extremely grateful to Dr. Cherri Parks for over twenty years of service to the University, both as a faculty member and as an administrator. Cherri has a gentle and wise spirit, and her mentoring and people skills blessed the lives of many students and faculty. She will be greatly missed," he said.

As vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Parks led focused efforts toward greater academic excellence and rigor and faculty professional development. She led the undergraduate faculty through two presidential transitions and a subsequent redefinition of the University's identity initiated by the Board of Trustees. During her tenure, CCU's general education core curriculum was realigned to focus on six key areas of the liberal arts: Composition, Literature, U.S. History, Economics, Mathematics, and Science. CCU's core curriculum now consistently ranks in the top 2% of all colleges and universities, nationwide.

Colorado Christian University has also announced the formulation of a new school in the College of Undergraduate Studies. Due to unprecedented and sustained growth in CCU's Natural Sciences and Mathematics department, the University has announced the creation of a new School of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Dr. Mark Parker has been appointed dean of the new School of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Parker currently serves as an associate professor of Biological Sciences and chair of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics department at CCU. Dr. Parker was influential in obtaining accreditation and approval for CCU's Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering, which launched in the fall of 2017.

As a result of the launch of the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, the School of Humanities and Sciences will be renamed the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, effective July 1, 2018.

Colorado Christian University is also pleased to announce that Dr. Ryan Hartwig will return to CCU's Communication department and serve as the dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Hartwig '00, a CCU alumnus (B.A. Communication; B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies) returns to the University after serving for seven years at Azusa Pacific University. While there, he was an associate professor of Communication, the chair of the Department of Communication Studies, the chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies programs, and the chair of the University Chairs' Advisory Council. Dr. Hartwig has taught courses in group, organizational, and leadership communication for over a decade, and he has led, trained, and developed teams for more than fifteen years in universities and churches. Dr. Hartwig previously served on both the faculty and staff of CCU, as an assistant professor of Communication and director of Residence Life.

Current dean and esteemed professor, Dr. William Saxby, has been named dean emeritus and will assist the university president with crucial projects. An outstanding leader and spiritual mentor to both students and faculty, Saxby was instrumental in completing CCU's ten year accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission. He also led the initiative to incorporate CCU's Strategic Objectives into the University's general education courses. In addition to serving as dean emeritus, Saxby will be transitioning out of the dean role of the former School of Humanities and Sciences to return to the classroom full-time as professor of Psychology in the fall of 2018.

Colorado Christian University is grateful to all those who worked to make these transitions possible, and believe they will serve to build our academic program and deepen the traditional undergraduate academic experience.