Like most of the Colorado Mesa University trustee board members, Kelly Brough believes that the students come first. She was born and raised in Montana and attended Northern Montana College her first year.
“It made all the difference for me both financially and emotionally,” Brough said. “I was able to be close to my family and gain their support that first year as well as save money before finishing my undergraduate degree at Montana State University.”
She has a B.S. in sociology, with an emphasis in criminal justice and a master’s degree in business administration, which she received from the University of Colorado at Denver.
Brough moved to Colorado to the Denver Metro area in 1986. Her first job at Excelsior Youth Center in Aurora brought her to Colorado.
She has served as a legislative analyst, ran a leadership program, mediated disputes, negotiated union contracts, plowed snow, ran a human resource department, served as chief of staff for the City of Denver under Mayor John Hickenlooper, and is currently running the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.
“I am a strong believer that education changes lives and serves as one of the strongest economic drivers for a community,” Brough said.
She has been on the CMU trustee board for two years and was appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature.
“Our trustees bring diverse views, skill sets and backgrounds, which are invaluable when setting the course, priorities and strategic direction of an organization,” Brough said.
One of the most important priorities of the board to her is to review and approve the annual budget. She explained that the annual budget is a document that establishes the priorities of the institution.
“We help develop the strategies that support the growth and success of the university and the students,” Brough said. “We focus on outcome metrics to ensure the strategies are accomplishing our goals.”
The goals, she explains, are making sure that students complete their degrees, advocating for university funding and overall community support.
The largest goal for the board is to represent the students.
“I think students at CMU would be inspired by the board of trustees and its commitment to the students at CMU,” Brough said. “The focus of the board is to help students be successful.”
Putting the students first can be challenging due to all the different decisions that have to be made. Brough explained that they are sensitive to tuition increases.
“We are committed to making decisions that help deliver an excellent education for every student,” Brough said.
Brough explained how the university plays a role in making the region more competitive, attracting good jobs and growing the economy.
“I am personally honored to serve in this role and committed to helping every student achieve their potential and ensuring the economy in Grand Junction reaps the economic benefits of having an educated, smart workforce.