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President Davidson announces MSU Denver’s new COO

The candidate was selected for his vision, leadership experience and commitment to University values.

By Lindsey Coulter

April 8, 2019

Larry SamplerLarry Sampler, Metropolitan State University of Denver’s new vice president of Administration and Finance and chief operating officer, will officially join the campus community April 15. Sampler most recently served as president of the One Earth Future Foundation in Broomfield, an organization “seeking to promote peace through networked governance in conflicted countries around the world.” In that role, he led nearly 100 employees and managed an annual budget of almost $15 million, with a mandate to create a corporate culture, structures, policies and procedures that would allow the foundation to grow deliberately but rapidly to become a world-class organization.

During his tenure, Sampler instituted new policies and procedures for operational management and safety; revised the organization’s human resources practices to make diversity a core value; increased the organization’s budget by 70 percent; leveraged programmatic successes and internal control and management models to secure nearly $20 million in external funding; and created an empirical monitoring and evaluation system called “Impact, Learning and Accountability,” among other accomplishments.

“Larry Sampler will be an incredible advocate and champion for our students and the entire MSU Denver community,” said President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. “His breadth and depth of experience will be invaluable as we work to further develop an inclusive and engaging workplace culture and ensure that the University is in a financial position to continue its critical work on behalf of students.”

Sampler is also a former deputy assistant administrator and assistant administrator for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development. In that role, he helped institute broad recruitment efforts to promote diversity; initiated a performance evaluation system that identified potential leaders; created departments that had clear responsibilities, objectives and deliverables; and built the reputation of the office both internally and externally. Sampler also established staff Task Teams: self-led groups of staff that were empowered to identify operational problems and then seek, propose and defend solutions. This system of bottom-up problem solving was recognized by the agency in 2015, and, in addition to winning an innovation award, Sampler was asked to train other leaders in the management approach.

“At this stage of my professional career, I can’t think of a better use of my humble skills and abilities than helping to further the vision, goals, and objectives of President Davidson and MSU Denver,” Sampler said. “In a world where reality and truth are often challenged, and where education is essential to social and economic mobility, MSU Denver truly does contribute to ‘Lives Transformed!’ I’m happy to join the MSU Denver team and look forward both to learning from and contributing to the campus environment.”

Sampler holds a Bachelor of Science in applied physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also completed graduate studies in technology and science policy. He later earned a Master of Arts in international diplomacy from Norwich University, and also served in active and reserve duty in the U.S. Army before accepting an honorable discharge and a State Department assignment to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Topics: President’s Cabinet

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