Laura Niesen de Abruña, Ph.D. is the sole finalist for the role of University provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Metropolitan State University of Denver, President Janine Davidson, Ph.D., announced this week.

Open forum

Faculty members, staff members and students will have an opportunity to meet Niesen de Abruña at an open forum on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 10:15 – 11:30 a.m. in the Jordan Student Success Building, room 400. Community members can also join the session remotely. 

During the forum, Niesen de Abruña will discuss her academic and leadership experience and her vision for the role. Forum attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions in person, and community members can submit questions in advance through this form. 

Niesen de Abruña currently serves as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. She previously served in similar leadership roles at York College of Pennsylvania, Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Niesen de Abruña is also director and principal investigator for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Digital Fellows Project. 

Niesen de Abruña holds doctoral and master’s degrees in English Language and Literature from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as well as a master’s degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in English from Smith College. She has taught English at a number of universities around the country and has served as a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at Université de Liege and Universitaire Instelling Antwerpen in Belgium and Centre Universitaire de Luxembourg. 

Davidson selected Niesen de Abruña following a highly competitive national search in which the Provost Search Committee vetted more than 100 applicants, 13 highly qualified semifinalists and five finalists. The committee was committed to a confidential process throughout the seven-month search. Confidentiality is integral to recruiting and evaluating the highest-quality candidates.   

MSU Denver’s commitment to shared governance was equally important to a successful search. The  Provost Search Committee included representatives from the faculty, staff and administration who brought the perspectives of their constituents to the committee’s deliberations.