About Interim President Brad Baca
Brad Baca became the Interim President of Western State Colorado University in July 2013. He joined Western in 2002 as vice president for Finance and Administration. In 2012, he was appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Baca holds a BA degree in Government from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. He also earned an MA in Public Policy from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
During his time as VPFA and COO at Western, Baca has been instrumental in re-establishing financial and programmatic stability. Notably, Baca guided Western as the university’s education and general fund went from a negative balance to a build up of more than $5 million in reserves. During his decade at Western, university net assets have increased by more than 50 percent.
Baca also worked to prioritize a reinvestment in the university’s mission. Western has invested in academic programs, bolstered operating and professional development budgets, and significantly closed the faculty salary gap with national peers, which makes Western more competitive in recruiting and retaining top-quality staff.
Baca also helped prioritize an investment in Western’s capital assets. The University is completing more than $128 million in construction and controlled-maintenance activity, supported in large part by approximately $80 million in bond financing. This includes the construction or renovation of several academic buildings and student housing complexes, the replacement of Western’s University Center, and the construction of a recreation center and multi-purpose field house.
Prior to joining Western, Baca served more than three years as director of budgets for the Colorado Community College System, where in 2001 he received the regional Business Officer of the Year award from the national Community College Business Officers Association, for his work in establishing a new systemwide financial allocation model. He also served as a budget and policy analyst on the staff of former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer.
Baca lives in Gunnison with his wife and two sons. He is an avid outdoorsman, and enjoys spending time with his family mountain biking, skiing, camping and bow hunting.