President Todd Saliman names Justin Schwartz, Ph.D., chancellor of CU Boulder

Academic leader set to begin new role July 1
By Staff

University of Colorado President Todd Saliman on Friday named Justin Schwartz, Ph.D., chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder, effective July 1. The University of Colorado Board of Regents unanimously approved a three-year contract for the new campus leader. 

President Todd Saliman names Justin Schwartz, Ph.D., chancellor of CU Boulder
Justin Schwartz, Ph.D.

“CU Boulder will have a dynamic new leader with an outstanding vision who will build upon an impressive foundation already in place,” Saliman said. “He appreciates our deeply held commitment to our mission of serving Colorado, Coloradans and society. Justin had engaging discussions at forums with students, faculty, staff and community groups during his CU Boulder campus visit. With every group, the conversations demonstrated his knowledge of the opportunities and challenges on the horizon for the institution. The feedback from forums was overwhelmingly positive.”

Schwartz has more than 30 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member, dean and executive administrator. He most recently served as executive vice president and provost at Pennsylvania State University, where he previously was the Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering. Prior to that appointment, Schwartz served on the faculty at Florida State University and as department head at North Carolina State University.

He earned a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“It is an incredible honor to serve the University of Colorado, our students, faculty, staff and alumni, and the people across our state,” Schwartz said. “CU has incredible momentum, and we will carry the torch into a new era for the institution, elevating every aspect of our university. It was clear throughout my conversations with members of the Search Committee and my engagements during my public visit that the CU community has a deep passion for the university, the city of Boulder and the state of Colorado. I am thrilled to be a part of all with my family.”

President Saliman named Schwartz as the finalist for the position on April 2. Since then, Schwartz participated in open forums on the campus with faculty, staff, students and the community. The announcement followed a search process that began in November 2023 after Chancellor Phil DiStefano announced his plans to retire after nearly 15 years in the role and 50 years on campus. Chancellor DiStefano will return to the faculty in the School of Education, where he began his CU Boulder career in 1974. 

“We were in a strong position to recruit an excellent new chancellor because CU Boulder has thrived under Phil’s leadership,” Saliman said of Chancellor DiStefano’s leadership. “I am deeply grateful.”

The CU Boulder Chancellor Search Committee was chaired by CU Senior Vice President for External Relations and Strategy Danielle Radovich Piper. The search committee included 21 members, 13 of whom were from the CU Boulder campus community, with the remainder closely connected to CU. The university engaged AGB Search to assist in recruiting, interviewing and advancing a highly qualified, diverse pool of candidates.

For more information about the CU Boulder Chancellor search, including Saliman’s full announcement, Schwartz’s curriculum vitae and search committee composition, visit