Published: June 2, 2015

University of Colorado Boulder Provost Russell L. Moore today announced the appointment of Sara Thompson as dean of the Division of Continuing Education and vice provost for Summer Session and Outreach and Engagement. 

Thompson, who is currently associate provost of New Program Initiatives and dean of the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies at The Catholic University of America (CUA), Washington, D.C., will begin her duties on Aug.15.

“Sara Thompson has been an entrepreneurial academic leader for more than 20 years,” Moore said. “We’re looking forward to the innovation and collaborative leadership style she’ll bring to building continuing education and online programs.”

Thompson joined The Catholic University of America in 2002 as dean of the Metropolitan College. She went on to create the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies and was promoted in 2008 to associate provost to lead interdisciplinary program development initiatives across the university. She championed CUA’s first fully online degree programs and collaborated across the university to launch 15 new professional master’s programs over three years in sustainable design, biotechnology, business analysis, community and regional planning, materials sciences engineering and others. Enrollment in the Metropolitan School tripled under her leadership.

“It is a real honor to be appointed to this position, and as a proud alumna, I’m excited to return to the university that helped shape me,” Thompson said. “The knowledge and skills I acquired as a marketing student in the Leeds School of Business MBA program have been instrumental to my 20 years in higher education building academic programs that meet the needs of students in creative and innovative ways.”

Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eastern Illinois University, an MBA from CU-Boulder and a PhD in educational and industrial psychology from Marquette University.

Prior to her appointment at CUA, she was an assistant professor and director of the Business and Management Program at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Professional Studies in Business and Education from 1997 to 2000. From 1993 to 1997 she was the director of the Small Business Development Center for the University of Wisconsin’s Division of Continuing Education. 

Moore announced last October that Anne Heinz, dean of Continuing Education and vice provost for Summer Session, Outreach and Engagement, will retire on June 30 after 26 years at the university.

“I want to thank Anne for her many years of dedicated service to the university,” Moore said. “She has left a strong legacy and Sara is committed to working with the staff in continuing education to sustain and build on the very successful programs established under Dean Heinz’s leadership.”

Thompson noted that she is looking forward to carrying out the mission and creating further opportunities in support of its mission and its role in Flagship 2030.

“The Division of Continuing Education has been at the forefront of changing the lives of students and communities by extending the resources of the university and providing outstanding lifelong learning opportunities,” Thompson said. “CU-Boulder faculty, the Division of Continuing Education staff and Dean Heinz have built a strong and vibrant presence throughout the state and beyond through outreach and engagement.”  

Malinda Miller-Huey, 303-492-3115

Sara Thompson.