Laura Niesen de Abruña

Degree: Ph.D.

Provost & Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Department: Academic Affairs

Laura Niesen de Abruña


Diversity/Equity Education Teacher Education


  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • HSI/Minority Serving Institutions
  • Title V and Title III Grants
  • Digital Pedagogy
  • Literature of Postcolonial Women Writers
  • Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
  • Enrollment and Retention Management
  • Fundraising Initiatives and Capital Campaigns


Laura Niesen de Abruña, Ph.D., serves as the provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her areas of expertise encompass diversity, equity and inclusion, HSI/Minority Serving Institutions, Title V and Title III grants, digital pedagogy, and literature of postcolonial women writers. Her career focus is on culturally responsive pedagogy, enrollment and retention management.

In addition to teaching, she is actively involved in several professional organizations, including the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies and the American Conference of Academic Deans. She has co-authored “Becoming a Provost.” featured in the Provost’s Handbook as well as “The Role of the Dean in Decision Making at the University Level in the American Council of Academic Deans’ Handbook.

Before joining MSU Denver, Niesen de Abruña was the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of English at Dominican University of Chicago. She was the principal investigator on a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation digital fellows project that supported more than 30 provosts at institutions around the country by implementing resources to improve undergraduate teaching and learning.

Niesen de Abruña earned her Master of Science in Education in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned both her Ph.D. and Master of Arts in English Language and Literature from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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