Michelle A. Marks, PhD

Chancellor, University of Colorado Denver

Michelle Marks

Michelle Marks has been chancellor of CU Denver since July 1, 2020. A longtime leader in higher education, Dr. Marks has the business acumen of an experienced senior administrator as well as the spirit of an academic. She is known for developing innovative programs that help students succeed, attract new student populations, facilitate research opportunities, and drive new revenue growth.

At CU Denver, Chancellor Marks has quickly established herself as a leader of action. While steering the university through the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Marks spent her first 100 days on the job listening to the CU Denver community and in January 2021 launched a strategic planning process. She’s undertaken significant initiatives in diversity, equity, and inclusion and is revitalizing the university’s efforts in economic development, community partnerships, and digital learning, among other areas.

Dr. Marks is a frequent speaker to national audiences on innovation, partnerships, and other emerging trends in higher education and to audiences closer to home on various matters specifically affecting CU Denver.

Prior to being named CU Denver’s next chancellor, Dr. Marks served as vice president for academic innovation and new ventures at George Mason University. She led strategic partnerships designed to deliver online programming at scale, create pathway programming for international students, and support adult degree completion. She also forged critical relationships with businesses, government, and education institutions to support the university’s mission.

Dr. Marks has extensive experience in the academic arena, having previously served as Mason’s vice provost for academic affairs and associate provost for graduate education. As a professor of management in Mason’s School of Business, Dr. Marks’ research focused on organizational leadership development and teamwork. She has published studies illustrating the dynamic nature of the collaborative processes used by organizational teams and the critical roles of team leaders. Among the numerous awards she’s received are the George Mason University Alumni of the Year Award (2017), Executive MBA Professor of the Year award (2008 and 2011), and Teaching Excellence Award (2006).

She holds a BS in psychology from James Madison University and an MA and PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from George Mason University.

In addition to her chancellor role, Dr. Marks is also a tenured professor in CU Denver’s Business School. She currently serves on the boards of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and the Denver Education Compact.