Published: Nov. 15, 2023

Provost Russell Moore has appointed Fernando Rosario-Ortiz, associate dean for faculty advancement in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS), to be the interim dean of the School of Education effective Jan. 1, 2024. 

Fernando Rosario-OrtizRosario-Ortiz will succeed Dean Kathy Schultz, who announced her resignation on Sept. 28 and will remain as dean of the school through the end of the calendar year.

“Throughout our campus search for an interim education dean, Fernando’s name came up multiple times, in multiple circles, and within and outside of the school,” Moore said. “People expressed enthusiasm for his record as a conscientious leader consistently supportive of faculty, staff and students, and as a capable administrator with a keen grasp of policy and processes. They also recognized his strong leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion within CEAS.”   

Moore noted Rosario-Ortiz’s efforts to increase transparency in faculty recruitment, hiring and promotion in CEAS, alongside his service to the campus community as a part of the IDEA Council and the Academic Futures Committee

CEAS Dean Keith Molenaar said, “Fernando has been an exceptional leader in faculty recruitment and faculty development across all career stages. As a member of our senior college leadership, he has been a reliable listener and wise counselor to me and his CEAS colleagues on a wide range of issues. He will be a fair, effective and energetic interim dean.” 

“I look forward to working with faculty, staff and students in the School of Education,” Rosario-Ortiz said. “I plan to improve the processes and procedures that support faculty, staff and students, and to continue the school’s strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, while at the same time valuing the counsel of the school’s community as we work together.”

Moore said he was charging Rosario-Ortiz with “community-building within the school, creating further stability in budgets and operations, and setting the stage for new leadership via a national search,” which Moore will announce later in the spring semester. 

Moore also thanked Schultz, who is continuing to serve as dean of the school until Rosario-Ortiz takes over on Jan. 1. “I’m grateful for Kathy’s continued service and her compassionate and committed leadership of the School of Education,” Moore said. 

Rosario-Ortiz is a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering whose research focuses on environmental chemistry, including examining the effects that wildland and urban fires can have on water quality and degradation of contaminants in environmental and engineered systems. He put that expertise to work in a personal way in 2019 when he earned a federal grant to study the effect of Hurricane Maria on water systems in his native Puerto Rico.  

He was selected as a Research & Innovation Office fellow at CU Boulder in 2017–18; was a trustee for the Water Quality and Research Division of the American Water Works Association from 2017 to 2022; serves as executive and associate editor for the journal Environmental Science and Technology; received the NSF CAREER award in 2015; and received a CU Boulder Provost’s Faculty Achievement Award in 2016, among many other awards and honors. 

Rosario-Ortiz has been a member of the CU Boulder faculty since 2008. He earned a doctorate in environmental science and engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles; a master’s in chemistry from California Institute of Technology; and a bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico.