President's Cabinet

Cheryl Barbour, Senior Advisor for Institutional Effectiveness & Strategic Initiatives

Cheryl Barbour

Cheryl Barbour has served Naropa University for more than twenty years. She first started at Naropa as a financial aid counselor. In her current role she oversees the areas of admissions, financial aid, registration, tuition payment, and student affairs. Cheryl came to Naropa with several years of previous higher education experience with Syracuse University and SUNY at Buffalo. Cheryl's interest is in providing access to education for those who could not otherwise afford it and in ensuring student success.


Tyler Kelsch, Vice President for Operations

Tyler Kelsch NaropaMr. Kelsch brings more than 25 years of experience in higher education operations and administration. Prior to joining Naropa, Tyler served as the Vice President for Administrative Services at Northeastern Junior College, as the Vice President for Finance and Operations at Carlow University, and as the CFO and Vice President for Finance at Becker College. He is a Colorado native, and received his undergraduate degree and his MBA from Regis University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.




 Regina Smith, Executive Director for Mission Integration and Student Affairs

Regina Smith, NaropaRegina Smith, MFA, MA, is a spirited educator committed to serving the Naropa community in a way that is inspired by poetic vision and grounded in heart-and-body-centered clarity and compassion. She currently serves as the Executive Director for Mission Integration and Student Affairs and teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate psychology programs.



Ashley Chitwood, Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Management

Ashley ChitwoodAshley has over 13 years of experience in higher education marketing, communications, operations, enrollment management, and CRM implementation. She has worked in advertising agencies, as well as private and public Universities across the nation. Previous to leading the marketing and enrollment for Naropa University, she served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Northern Arizona University. She received her undergraduate from the University of Kansas, and is a Colorado native. Ashley seeks to support the offering of higher education in a manner that connects the need for hard skills with the contemplative, human connectedness and training necessary for well-rounded success in the career world.

Joy Valania, Special Advisor to the President

Joy ValaniaJoy Valania has served as the Special Advisor to the President at Naropa University since 2012. As Special Advisor, Joy oversees institutional policy development and interpretation, manages university compliance with federal and state regulations, directs risk management programs and consults with campus leadership, faculty and staff regarding legal and risk management best practices within their functional areas. Joy serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet, the Student of Concern and Threat Assessment teams, and the Exception to University Policy Committee. She is also the Secretary to Naropa’s Board of Trustees. Raised in Pennsylvania, Joy holds a B.A. in Journalism from The Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, DE. Joy is happily married and, together with her husband, is busy raising three daughters.


About the Cabinet

The purpose of the President's Cabinet at Naropa University is to be an executive management body that provides informed, effective and responsive leadership for the university. The cabinet shall advise the president on such matters as university-wide policy, establishment of priorities, and the evaluation and creation of institutional objectives on matters of broad significance and strategic relevance to the university. The cabinet's responsibility also includes the following:

  • Ensuring that timely, accountable progress is made toward the strategic goals and objectives of Naropa
  • Cultivating a contemplative institutional climate that reflects integrity, openness, responsiveness and accountability
  • Safeguarding the university's financial, legal and reputational integrity
  • Establishing ethical standards and appropriate institution-wide performance expectations;
  • Evaluating matters that have long-term, broad institutional consequences—e.g., affects the university's reputation, strategic planning goals/objectives, financial viability, etc.

The cabinet reports to the president, who has the ultimate decision-making authority. The cabinet's ultimate purpose is to further the mission of the university. The cabinet serves as an advisory body to the president on all areas related to the university programs and operations. The cabinet provides a forum for discussing institutional strategy and issues. The cabinet reviews the University's progress in meeting articulated goals.