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Rhonda Epper


Trinidad State College


Rhonda M. Epper, Ph.D., is the President of Trinidad State College, which has served Southern Colorado since 1925.

Previously, she was the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs at Community College of Denver. During her tenure as provost, she guided the institution through a transformation of developmental education, a comprehensive accreditation review, program and institutional outcomes assessment, and adoption of guided pathways. She worked with internal and external constituencies, including the expansion of college level dual enrollment programs throughout Denver Public High Schools.

Epper was also Chief Academic/Student Affairs Officer at the Colorado Department of Higher Education where she engaged statewide stakeholder councils of provosts, student affairs and admissions officers, and the statewide General Education transfer council. She served as regional director of the State Authorization Reciprocity initiative at WICHE and was with the Colorado Community College System for nine years in various roles, including Assistant Provost. She also served as co-executive director of CCCOnline, a statewide online learning consortium serving 45,000 students annually. Epper also served at the California State University, office of the Chancellor. She has served as a consultant to WCET, ECS, SREB, SHEEO, and the League for Innovation in the Community College. She is a recipient of the WCET Richard Jonson award for lifetime achievement and service to the eLearning community and was a Presidential Fellow with the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program Epper serves as a board member of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) in Boulder, Colorado and a trustee of Mt. San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad, Colorado.

Education & Training

Epper received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Denver, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Denver.

Outside Interests

Since moving to Trinidad, Rhonda and her husband have enjoyed exploring the beautiful outdoors of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico, such as hiking new trails at Fishers Peak State Park, exploring the many gravel biking trails in the area, pulling their travel camper for weekend get-aways, or simply taking long walks with their dog. The scenery of Trinidad, the Spanish Peaks region, and the San Luis Valley is simply stunning. They also enjoy the burgeoning music and artistic venues of the region and participating in numerous civic organizations.

Why I Work With NCHEMS

NCHEMS sits at the nexus of state policy, higher education, and research-based decision-making. These are the areas where I have spent the majority of my career, having relied on reports and staff expertise of this organization for a couple of decades. It has been my honor to watch NCHEMS evolve over the past few years and launch into a new trajectory of leadership within the higher education policy landscape.