Published: Feb. 15, 2021

University of Colorado Boulder Provost Russell L. Moore has announced that Mary J. Kraus, vice provost for undergraduate education and professor of geology, will retire in summer 2021.

“Mary’s career has focused on students and student success initiatives at CU Boulder, which has made us a better university than we would have been without her. She is simply one of those indispensable people who comes along once in a great while and whose work is essential and transformational,” Moore said.

Vice Provost and Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education Mary Kraus

In her role as vice provost, Kraus oversees diverse campuswide programs, among which are the Undergraduate Enrichment Programs, Education Abroad, the First Year Seminar Program, International Student & Scholar Services, Presidents Leadership Class, Program in Exploratory Studies, ROTC, and the Student Academic Success Center..

She also leads key campus student success initiatives and is involved in the development of recruitment and student support strategies that enable CU Boulder to enroll and retain a highly competitive and diverse undergraduate student body.

“Mary’s leadership of our Foundations of Excellence initiative and its follow-up projects to examine and improve all elements of the first-year undergraduate experience are transforming how students experience CU Boulder. She’s left her mark on generations to come,” said Moore. 

Prior to her current position as vice provost, which she has held since 2016, Kraus was chair of the Department of Geological Sciences from 2003 to 2009 and associate dean for Natural Sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences from 2012 to 2016. She joined the faculty at CU Boulder in 1983 after earning her PhD in geology.

Kraus is a sedimentary geologist whose research focuses on using sedimentary rocks to interpret ancient climates and past climate change. Her particular interests lie in understanding changes to the paleohydrologic cycle in response to geologically rapid episodes of dramatic global warming that took place 55 million years ago. Kraus served as president of the Society of Sedimentary Geology in 2007-08 and as a member of the governing board of the Geological Society of America from 2015 to 2019.

“You could say my career has been both an immersion in the lessons of the past and a long exercise in crafting a better future,” Kraus said. “There is no better combination of work for a scholar, in my view, and I’m gratified to have carried out that work at CU Boulder.”

Kraus holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Yale University, a master's degree in geology from the University of Wyoming and a doctorate in geology from CU Boulder. 

A search for Kraus’s successor is underway.