Dr. Pam Shockley-Zalabak: Committed to Student Success
“We have always been – and will continue to be – a university focused first and foremost on our students, and on the delivery to them of educational quality, excellence and opportunity.”
- Pam Shockley-Zalabak, Ph.D.
Dr. Pam Shockley-Zalabak is the 10th leader in University of Colorado Colorado Springs’ 50-year history. Known as a tireless champion of improving student success and opportunities, Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak is a collaborator, visionary leader and innovator.
Since 2001, Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak has guided the University of Colorado Colorado Springs through unprecedented growth. Under her leadership, UCCS has been transformed from a small commuter-based campus of approximately 6,500 students to a full-fledged collegiate hub with enrollment approaching a record 12,000 undergraduate, graduate and online students. UCCS offers 45 bachelor’s, 22 master’s and five doctoral degrees, featuring such innovative programming as bachelor’s degrees in Innovation, Inclusive Elementary Education and Exercise Science.
The campus offers full-service residence halls, an active university center, a LEED-certified recreation and wellness center, a state-of-the-art library and a new veterans and military student center. Thanks to collaborations with key community organizations forged by Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak, the campus is building the $70 million Ent Center for the Arts and is a key player in the creation of the new National Cybersecurity Center.
Today, UCCS is a top-ranked university by U.S. News and World Report.
In 2012, Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak led a comprehensive strategic planning effort involving thousands of UCCS stakeholders and more than a year of work and study. In April 2016, a mid-point update to the UCCS 2012-2020 Strategic Plan received unanimous approval from the University of Colorado Board of Regents. Through the strength of this plan and with the continued leadership of Chancellor Shockley-Zalabak, UCCS is poised to reach even more students and broaden its community impact.
Professor of Communication, wheat farmer, grandmother, author, television producer, student advocate. These are some of the words used to describe the Chancellor of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Dr. Pam Shockley-Zalabak.
Born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, Dr. Shockley-Zalabak can still describe in detail dry land, no-till farming practices. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in communication from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. Later, she earned a PhD. in Organizational Communication from University of Colorado Boulder.
Dr. Shockley-Zalabak continues to teach and research with students. The author of nine books and more than 100 articles about organizational communication, Dr. Shockley- Zalabak's research focuses on organizational trust. Her latest book is the 2015 "Fundamentals of Organizational Communication."
Dr. Shockley-Zalabak’s involvement and impact is not limited to academia. Throughout her career, she has been involved in a number of organizations dedicated to the betterment of Colorado Springs and the state of Colorado. In 2013, she was appointed by the Mayor of Colorado Springs to the Airport Air Service Task Force to improve air service in the region. In 2016, Dr. Shockley-Zalabak was selected to be a trustee of the Boettcher Foundation.
She is the recipient of several awards, including the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Faculty, the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Women in Business Award, the Student Choice for Instructor of the Year, the Colorado Springs Business Journal Women of Influence Award, the Pikes Peak Range Riders Silver Spur Award, the S. Jerrard Smith award for contributions to the community and the American Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award.
At UCCS we value inclusive diversity as a foundation for teaching and scholarship that prepares students, faculty, staff and community members for both local and global multicultural realities. We provide an open, safe and supportive campus environment based on mutual respect, engagement and learning for everyone, including those from full spectrum backgrounds, social identities, abilities, cultures, perspectives and university roles.
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is here to serve a diverse, low income, often first-generation, excellent student body. We have always been-and will continue to be-a university focused first and foremost on our students, and on the delivery to them of educational quality, excellence and opportunity.
Our faculty and our staff are innovative, intelligent and dedicated. They create an academic environment that is intellectually exciting and emotionally supportive. They embrace new teaching and learning methodologies, engage students in new discoveries, and provide access that introduces students to new knowledge and rewarding opportunities. These efforts have been underscored by our personal commitment to welcome and work individually with every student who walks through our doors.
We are absolutely committed to keeping the public in public education, and to providing access to an excellent regional, comprehensive research university for all of southern Colorado-and beyond.
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs campus exists because of its community's advocacy and in turn is committed to Colorado Springs and the southern Colorado region. Innovation and collaboration, two of our core values, reflect this commitment. The former speaks to our role as a catalyst for economic, social and cultural change in our communities and the latter to our search for opportunities to collaborate, to build partnerships and to engage with external organizations. Crucially, our goal is to "build mutually beneficial cultural, civic, economic and system-wide collaborations with external partners and organizations to advance UCCS and the southern Colorado region." While keeping its educational mission as its primary focus, UCCS engages extensively with its external communities.
At the University of Colorado Colorado Springs we talk a lot about reaching higher. It's not just a slogan, it's based on what we know about our diverse and inclusive student body and where the University is going. Our students are serious about their futures and realize UCCS is the first step to accomplishing their dreams. They are focused. They are passionate. They know what they do here will define who they become and how they will impact the world. They reach higher. And they achieve. (read more)
UCCS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accrediting body for universities. Accreditation is vital for UCCS' continued ability to attract high quality students and faculty.
An HLC team visited UCCS November 14-15 as part of the current accreditation process. The team consisted of faculty from other universities with experience in evaluating campuses on a set of criteria. The visit by that team was part of an overall evaluation process to ensure the quality of the degrees and programs offered by the university. The visit also provided an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to revisit the UCCS role, mission and plans for the future.
Campus community members are encouraged to become familiar with the research and documents prepared for the HLC accreditation process.
Student retention is more than just a buzzword; it's an important piece of the mission of colleges and universities nationwide. At the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, student retention is engrained into nearly everything that we do from our student-centered teaching and learning to our outstanding research and creative work that is to serve our community, state, and nation.
These goals were formulated based on comments submitted by members of campus at the October 20, 2011 Strategic Planning 2020 Conference. Within each document, you will find comments critiquing each goal submitted by members of campus.
As the chancellor of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, I support and am governed by the Constitutional principle of free expression and its protection of both our faculty and our students. This value is shared by the UCCS community and is rooted in the Laws of the Regents and other university policies that define the educational process at the University of Colorado. (Read more)
With regard to the recent controversy surrounding Humanities 3990, I want to affirm that UCCS does not condone censorship nor will we engage in censorship. UCCS leaders, faculty, and staff are committed to upholding academic freedom for faculty and students and will be responsive to public concerns with regard to discussions of academic freedom, First Amendment rights, and censorship. Principles of free expression are a shared value of the UCCS community. (Read more)
As the national and the campus continue to absorb the results of Tuesday's election and celebrate Veteran's Day, I write to underscore the University's values and our responsibilities as members of the UCCS community. (Read more)
The current challenge to academic freedom results from UCCS’ Humanities 3990 course entitled “Resistance and Revolution.” This course explores various constructs of resistance and revolution historically and sociologically by examining in varying degrees social, economic, political, religious and cultural movements, and examines lessons of both past and present and their applicability for students moving forward. (Read more)
It is up to us to ensure UCCS remains inclusive, safe, and committed to our values. As I prepare for December commencement ceremonies and reflect on the events of the past several weeks, I turn to the words and actions of CU President George Norlin who led CU from 1917 to 1939 for guidance. I am pleased to share those thoughts with you today. (Read more)
A response to elected officials concern over the rhetoric Milo Yiannopoulos: I absolutely reject this type of rhetoric. The statements that Mr. Yiannopoulos has made at other campuses are clearly in opposition to the values of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and its commitment to creating an inclusive community that welcomes all. (Read more)