Chancellor Phillip DiStefanoChancellor Philip P. DiStefano was appointed chancellor on May 5, 2009. He joined the university in 1974 as an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the School of Education.

Dr. DiStefano has seen the university from nearly every perspective as a parent, donor, professor, dean, provost and chancellor.

Dr. DiStefano is a lifelong educator. Born and raised in the diverse working-class steel and coal town of Steubenville, Ohio, he began his education career as a high school English teacher near his hometown. A first-generation college student, he knows first-hand the benefit of education and opportunity.

He earned his doctorate in humanities education from The Ohio State University.

As chancellor, Dr. DiStefano works closely with students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors as well as government, industry, business and community leaders in extending CU Boulder’s legacy as a preeminent national comprehensive research university.

His strategic imperatives for the campus are to develop tomorrow’s leaders, be the top university for innovation and to positively impact humanity.

The chancellor serves as the Quigg and Virginia S. Newton Endowed Chair in Leadership, overseeing CU Boulder’s prestigious leadership programs. The program brings national and world leaders to campus to interact with students and advise them on leadership paths.

He serves on the  Boulder Community Health Board of Directors and formerly served on the NCAA Board of Governors and NCAA Division I Board of Directors, among other local and national organizations.

Dr. DiStefano and his wife, Yvonne, have been married for more than 50 years. They are the parents of three grown daughters and the proud grandparents of two grandchildren.

From the Chancellor 

As we enter a new decade facing a new reality with unprecedented challenges, it’s important to reflect on CU’s reach and mission. 

We have three imperatives: create tomorrow’s leaders, be the top university for innovation, and positively impact humanity.

That’s why we’re tailoring today’s degrees with tomorrow’s careers. We’re creating a holistic, safe and healthy learning environment. We’re more diverse than ever, with more international partnerships than ever, sparking breakthroughs in almost every field. 

And these innovative pursuits don’t stop with faculty. More than 2,000 undergraduate students are directly involved in groundbreaking research. They have studied the relationship between climate and conflict, created software for space exploration and tested the connection between cranial fluids and traumatic brain injury. 

Our campus community is working hard to help us get through the COVID-19 pandemic. They are 3D-printing parts of protective face shields for health care workers and developing an affordable over-the-counter test that can tell if someone has coronavirus before they develop symptoms.  

Our students, faculty, staff and alumni are Rhodes Scholars, Nobel laureates, business and political leaders, theorists, composers, historians, actors, artists, athletes, scholars, astronauts and authors. 

So it’s no surprise that we’re one of the best universities in the world for anything from sustainability and environmental law to aerospace, physics, and of course, innovation. 

We do it while adhering to the Colorado Creed: to act with honor, integrity and accountability; to respect the rights of others and accept our differences; and contribute to the greater good of the community. 

As a first-generation college graduate who benefits every day from my education, I’m committed to expanding this opportunity for anyone with the will to work for it and the passion to pursue it—wherever their dreams take them. 

Be Boulder. And go Buffs!


Signature of Philip P DiStefano

Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor
University of Colorado Boulder