Rico Munn, executive director of the state's Department of Regulatory Agencies since 2007, is Gov. Bill Ritter's choice to be the new executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
Munn, who in his most recent role managed the business side of Colorado's government and ensured consumer protection, will assume his new duties Nov. 2.
"Rico has done an outstanding job leading and improving the Department of Regulatory Agencies," Ritter said. "He also has a passion for education and the strong management skills necessary to help us build the best higher-education system in the country."
From 2002 to 2007, Munn represented Colorado's First Congressional District on the State Board of Education, which provides oversight for Colorado's K-12 public schools. He also served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Denver's Sturm College of Law. Munn earned his law degree from DU in 1996 as a Chancellor's Scholar; he earned a bachelor's degree from Midland Lutheran College.
"The Governor is committed to ensuring the long-term success and stability of our system of higher education. I share that commitment," Munn said. "I'm honored that he has asked me to lead the department forward as we create a system of higher education that expands opportunities for Coloradans in every corner of the state."
CU President Bruce Benson said he has had initial discussions with Munn, and looks forward to working with him further.
"He has the skills and experience to be an effective leader who will work with all of Colorado higher education to ensure that it meets the needs of our state and its citizens," Benson said.
The Colorado Department of Higher Education is home to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education; it oversees 27 public institutions of higher learning, where 220,000 students are enrolled. The department also oversees several student loan programs.
Greg Ferland, currently deputy director at the Department of Regulatory Agencies, will serve as DORA's interim director.