Colo. higher-ed chief leaving for Louisiana post

Author: Mark Harden - April 19, 2018 - Updated: April 19, 2018

Kim Hunter Reed (Courtesy of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office)

Kim Hunter Reed, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, will step down after 16 months in the post to become commissioner of higher education in Louisiana, her longtime home, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office announced Thursday.

Reed was appointed acting executive director of CDHE in February 2017, succeeding interim director Diane Duffy, and gained the job permanently a month later.

Reed plans to exit her Colorado post in mid-June. She is one of several high-level officials in the Hickenlooper administration who are exiting as the governor’s final term nears its end.

“Kim’s hire was one where no matter how long she was on the team, we knew she was going to make us stronger,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Kim has accomplished much in her (time) with us and strengthened the department through first-class leadership. Her energy and passion for education is known throughout the state.”

Reed, 52, has spent most of her career in education administration in Louisiana, including serving as chief of staff of the Louisiana Board of Regents, which oversees higher ed there, from 2008 to 2012. She also served in the Obama administration as deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education.

The Board of Regents picked her for the commissioner’s post over two other finalists.

Both Colorado and Louisiana have grappled with shortages of state funding for public colleges and universities.

The statement from Hickenlooper’s office said Reed “led the effort to refresh Colorado’s education roadmap Colorado Rises and strengthened alignment with K-12 (schools) and workforce to improve talent development in the state. Reed brought long-needed attention to improving Colorado’s attainment rates, closing equity gaps in education, and addressing the teacher shortage.”

A search for Reed’s successor in Colorado is under way, the statement said.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.