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Colorado State University hires new provost, vice president of communications

Kelly Lyell
Fort Collins Coloradoan
Published 7:27 PM EDT Jul 2, 2020
Mary Pedersen was hired Thursday, July 2, 2020, as Colorado State University’s new provost and executive vice president.
Renoda Campbell/Courtesy of CSU

Colorado State University filled two key administrative positions on its Fort Collins campus Thursday, naming a new provost and a new vice president for communications.

Mary Pedersen, the interim provost at Cal Poly, will replace Rick Miranda as CSU’s provost and executive vice president, university President Joyce McConnell said.

Yolanda Bevill, currently the chief public affairs officer at Prairie View A&M, an historically Black college in Texas, has been hired as the VP for communications. Bevill replaces Tom Milligan, who resigned in December 2018. That position had been filled on an interim basis by Pamela Jackson, who will now serve as the associate vice president for university communications.

As provost, Pedersen will serve as CSU’s chief academic officer. She is expected to work in concert with the president, deans, vice presidents and campus community to strengthen the university’s reputation as a land-grant institution, school officials said in a news release announcing the hiring.

Pedersen’s academic background is in world food and security systems. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and both a master’s degree and Ph.D. in public health and nutrition from UCLA.

She had served in successive leadership positions with Cal Poly’s provost’s office since 2011 after previously serving as a department head and associate dean. She led Cal Poly’s efforts to fulfill university and academic affairs strategic plans, and helped revise the general education curriculum, expand student scholars’ programs and create a more diverse and inclusive campus through updated curriculum and programs, CSU officials said.

“The integration of teaching and research together is what has drawn me to and kept me engaged with the land-grant mission,” Pedersen said. “You are on the leading edge of discovery, and it is very exciting to be part of that. I am so very excited to continue this work at Colorado State University.”

Yolanda Bevill was hired Thursday, July 2, 2020, as Colorado State University’s new vice president of communications.
Courtesy of CSU

Bevill brings a wide range of professional experience to her new position at CSU, where she will lead the university’s marketing, public relations, creative services and website functions. She has worked as a television producer, in corporate positions at Key Bank and Lexis-Nexis, and in governmental roles at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, the mayor’s office in Cleveland and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office in Houston. She has a law degree from South Texas Law College and a degree in public communications from Syracuse University.

She accepted the position at CSU without ever visiting Colorado — as McConnell did when she was hired as president in March 2019.

“Everybody tells me how beautiful it is,” Bevill said of Colorado. “I’m really looking forward to seeing it for myself.”

Coloradoan reporter Kelly Lyell can be reached by email at You can follow him on Twitter @KellyLyell and Facebook at Help support Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today. 

This content was originally published here.