Former UCCS chancellor 'integral' to early growth

July 9, 2014 Updated: July 9, 2014 at 7:50 am
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Donald Schwartz, former chancellor of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, died July 4 in Colorado Springs. He was 86.

Schwartz accepted the job as the university's second chancellor in January 1978, after earlier that month turning down an offer to become president at the University of Alaska.

Schwartz had been chancellor of the Indiana University-Purdue University campus in Fort Wayne, Ind., for three years before relocating to Colorado Springs.

At the time, he said he decided to take the leadership position at UCCS because of its growth potential.

During his tenure as chancellor, campus enrollment increased from 2,850 students to 3,150, according to university records. Enrollment is expected to top 11,000 students this coming school year.

Schwartz was also credited with helping set high undergraduate admission standards, securing state funding for construction of the Engineering Building and for expanding the university's mission to include more graduate and doctoral degree programs.

"Don Schwartz was integral to the early growth of the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs," Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak said Tuesday. "He provided a foundation upon which we have continued to grow and expand."

Schwartz resigned as chancellor Dec. 31, 1982, and then taught chemistry until retiring Jan. 31, 1993.

Schwartz also held administrative positions as acting president and vice president of academic affairs at the State University College, Buffalo, N.Y.; dean for advanced studies at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Fla.; and associate dean of the graduate school and director of research at Memphis State University.

His teaching career included positions at North Dakota State University, Fargo, Moorehead State College and Villanova University.

He also worked as a research chemist for Esso Research Laboratories and as a science adviser for Central America under a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the American Chemical Society and the National Science Foundation.

He earned his doctorate from Pennsylvania State University, master's from Montana State University and bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri.

Survivors include his wife, Lois; three sons, Mark, Scott and Brad; and a daughter, Leanne.

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