Highlights of the Career of President Heckler


  • University of Colorado Denver, 1995-2008
  • Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, 2003-2008
  • Acting Chancellor, 2003
  • Founding Dean, College of Arts and Media, 1998-2003
  • Director, School of the Arts, 1995-1998
  • Coordinator, International College at Beijing, 1996-98
  • Professor of Theatre (title later changed to Professor of Theatre, Film, and Television), 1995-present
  • Professor of Fine Arts and Director of Theatre, Siena College (Albany, N.Y.), 1979-95
  • Managing Director, Live at the Lakehouse, City of Albany, N.Y., 1985-87
  • Instructor, Freshman Acting, Catholic University of America, 1978-79
  • Narrator, “Talking Books,” Library of Congress,1977-79
  • Professional and University-Based Acting, Directing and Design, 1976-96


  • Ph.D. candidate, Educational Leadership and Innovation, University of Colorado
  • Master of Fine Arts (directing), Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.), 1979
  • Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, Pa.), 1977
  • Selected professional development experiences
  • Advancing to the Presidency, American Council on Education, 2006
  • Institute for Chief Academic Officers, American Council on Education, 2005-2006
  • Emerging Leaders Program, Downtown Denver Partnership, 2004
  • Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education: Leading Transformation and Change, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, 2001

Selected Achievements

University of Colorado Denver

  • As provost and vice chancellor, has direct academic responsibility for seven colleges/schools and shared responsibilities for schools and programs at the Anschutz Medical Campus.  Student affairs responsibilities include enrollment management, international education, student life and housing.
  • Vice chair of the team that led planning and execution for the consolidation of the University of Colorado campus in Denver with the University’s Health Sciences Center there.
  • Established an office and administrative support for the Faculty Assembly and created the Center for Faculty Development.
  • Led the University of Colorado Board of Regents Advisory Committee on Tenure-Related Processes, one of the most extensive studies of university tenure in American higher education history.
  • Guided revitalization of the university-wide undergraduate core curriculum, launched a first-year experience program and expanded university-wide honors and leadership programs.
  • Led development of the university’s first academic master plan and launched work on a comprehensive strategic plan to be completed in March.
  • Launched a $111 million Science Building project (set to open in 2010).
  • Co-founded Advance Colorado Center with a $1 million grant from the Colorado Economic Development Commission and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
  • Developed extensive campus communications systems using both print and electronic media.
  • Led development of School of the Arts into the more comprehensive College of Arts and Media and became founding dean of the new college.  Led growth in college from 250 majors and a $1.5 million budget in 1998 to a college of 900 majors and a budget of $3 million in 2003.
  • Guided fundraising efforts and planning/design for the $40 million Kenneth Kendall King Academic and Performing Arts Center, a facility with six performing spaces located on the UC Denver downtown campus.
  • Co-founder of the Starz Filmcenter at UC Denver and secured record $5.25 million gift to fund its creation.
  • Created the Digital Animation Center at UC Denver.
  • Created Colorado Film School.
  • U.S. Administrator of an accredited undergraduate liberal arts degree-granting program in economics and communications operated jointly by the China Agricultural University and UC Denver.  Grew program from 27 students to 600 by fall 1998.

Siena College

  • Created and built an undergraduate theatre program, including annual production of five plays.
  • Created and led a biennial international playwright’s competition.

Live at the Lakehouse

  • Provided administrative leadership for outdoor summer professional theatre, producing 63 nights of theatre for 80,000 patrons per summer.
  • Directed major annual productions.

Selected Publications, Presentations, Community and Professional Services

  • As professional and academic actor, director and designer, he has more than 100 academic and professional productions to his credit across the United States, in Europe and the Middle East.
  • Co-Founder and Co-Director of the annual Leadership Institute of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
  • Frequent speaker and presenter, Association for Theatre in Higher Education conferences.
  • Consultant and program reviewer in dramatic arts for colleges and universities
  • Active participant in regional and national levels for the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival
  • Board member, National Center for Voice and Speech, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 2002-present (Board chair, 2002-2005)
  • Board Member, Denver Film Society, 2001-2007
  • Member, Cultural Task Force, Denver Chamber of Commerce, 2001-present
  • Community Advisory Board Member, KBDI Rocky Mountain Public Television, 2000-present
  • President, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, 1996-98
  • Member, Colorado Film Commission, 2005
  • Member, Steering Committee, Arts to Career, Mayor’s Commission on Art, Culture and Film, Denver, 1996-98
  • Member, Earned Income Task Force, Colorado Council for the Arts, 1996