CU President Todd Saliman has welcomed new members to his leadership team to help coordinate, implement and elevate external strategies and activities for the CU system. He named Danielle Radovich Piper to the newly created position of senior vice president for external relations and strategy. Additionally, Saliman elevated current Assistant Vice President Tony Salazar to the role of vice president for engagement and outreach.
The changes reflect the Board of Regents’ and Saliman’s priority of connecting to Colorado by strengthening CU’s ties to communities throughout the state, as well as advocating for the university among its key constituents. The move will also support work to celebrate and promote each campus’s strengths and to show Coloradans there is a place at CU for people from all of Colorado’s communities.
“The regents and our system administration team engage key audiences outside the university to help advance CU’s campuses, as well as the state’s entire higher education community,” Saliman said. “This updated structure will foster more collaboration and help ensure we are not only responsive to Colorado’s needs, but also effectively communicating our value and all we have to offer.”
System administration will be organized into internal operations and external relations and strategy. Saliman made room for the moves by permanently eliminating two vacant senior-level administrative positions at system, vice president for administration and associate vice president/chief business officer.
“Danielle has substantial experience as a coalition builder and a problem solver with deep experience in Colorado and beyond,” Saliman said. “She will be a great addition to the dedicated team of people working to ensure CU continues to meet its mission of serving our state’s students and communities while we work to reflect the diversity of Colorado.”
Radovich Piper, now chief of staff to retiring U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, will be responsible for coordinating and advancing external efforts for system administration in communications, marketing, government relations, fundraising operations, and outreach and engagement. She will begin her duties on Jan. 3.
“Danielle has been my Chief of Staff, trusted adviser, and right-hand person for more than two decades. She has led my team in management, communications, personnel and policy, and is respected by her peers,” Perlmutter said. “She was especially helpful in work we've done for the university and across the four campuses. As a Double Buff, I can say there is no one better suited for this job. President Saliman and the CU Team will benefit from her leadership and management skills and are lucky to have her.”
Radovich Piper said she looks forward to bringing skills she honed in public policy and constituent engagement to CU.
“I am incredibly excited to join President Saliman and the entire University of Colorado system team. I look forward to bringing my passion for solving complex problems by building coalitions and bringing communities together to further the goal of the CU system to be a university for all of Colorado,” she said. “I am confident I will bring experience and relationships, a fresh perspective and strategic ideas to CU and to President Saliman’s leadership team.”
Current Senior Vice President for Internal Operations and Chief of Staff Leonard Dinegar will oversee internal operations in areas including IT, Employee Services, Procurement and the Office of Policy and Efficiency. The Office of the Controller will continue to report to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Chad Marturano, while the Office of Risk Management reports to Chief Compliance Officer and System Title IX Coordinator Valerie Simons.
Salazar, the CU system’s outreach and engagement leader since 2019, was elevated from assistant vice president to vice president in keeping with the focus on the areas by the Board of Regents, president and campuses. It also reflects the great strides CU has made in the area.
“Tony has done a great job working with the regents, campuses and me to connect CU to people around our state and he has built relationships and networks that allow Coloradans to tell us what people and communities need from the university,” Saliman said. “Outreach and engagement are a priority for the CU Board of Regents, the campuses and for me, and Tony’s work has positioned us well to take important next steps to enhance our efforts.”
Salazar established a series of outreach tours around Colorado to connect leadership and campuses with residents, educators, elected officials and business and community leaders. The tours have included communities including Pueblo, Fort Morgan, Grand Junction, Ignacio, the Southern Ute, Lamar, and the San Luis Valley, among others. Additionally, Salazar serves as point person for CU’s engagement with metro-area business, nonprofit and community organizations, including the South Metro Chamber of Commerce (whose board he chairs), the Latino Leadership Institute, the Colorado Business Roundtable and the Latin American Education Fund (whose board he previously chaired), among others.
Salazar’s work on behalf of CU was recently recognized when southern Colorado advocacy and public policy group Action 22 awarded the university its Dentros Award in part for its engagement in southern Colorado and its partnership with the Pueblo Hispanic Education Fund.