Dean of the College of Public Service set to retire next fall

After eight and a half years in his position, George Reed, dean of the College of Public Service, is retiring in November.

Reed reflected on his career, his accomplishments as dean, the growth of the college and the unique impact of UCCS in the community. Previously known as the School of Public Affairs, CPS has seen significant growth and innovation during Reed’s time that he hopes continues after he’s gone.

“We have brought in two new social work programs in the middle of the pandemic. Bringing on one program is hard — bringing on two programs is exceptionally difficult and bringing on two new degree programs in the middle of a pandemic is almost impossible,” Reed said.

Reed believes the focus of CPS is the public good, noting that all of the career paths in the college share the perspective that the collective good is a noble pursuit.

“When our graduates leave here and enter government, when they enter the criminal justice when they go to to work in the agencies providing behavioral health, they’re carrying the university with them,” Reed said.

George Reed. Photo via UCCS Website.

Reed mentioned that UCCS is a public regional comprehensive university, meaning it holds a very important role and deep connection in local communities.

He believes CPS needs to listen to and invest in the people of the local region so the college can be focused on their needs. To Reed, the work faculty do in the region, particularly research, is very important.

“The point is when we focus our intellect and when we focus our effort on southern Colorado, we have an impact that’s bigger than a published paper. And that is a virtuous cycle: university providing service to the community — community investing in the university,” Reed said.

Reed will have served as the Dean of CPS for nine and a half years when he retires in November, and he plans to move to St. Louis to live by his grandchildren after retirement.

“The way I look at being the dean is you come into an organization, you try to make it better. You take it from wherever it is, to wherever you can where it needs to be. Then you get out of the way, and you let someone else who is younger with more energy and different perspectives, come in and take it to the next level,” Reed said.

Thomas Aicher, dean of the College of Business and Administration, is chairing the search committee for a new Dean of CPS. The committee is comprised of students, staff, faculty and community members. They make their recommendations to the Provost, who is the final hiring authority.

The search committee has selected three candidates who will be visiting UCCS in the upcoming weeks. Reed plans to make the transition for the new dean as smooth as possible.

Photo via UCCS Photography Database.