About Karen Riley, Ph.D.

Karen Riley is Provost (chief academic officer) at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Before joining Regis in 2021, Riley was was dean of the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver for seven years. She also served as the university’s strategic director for health initiatives, an effort to nurture signature research programs.As dean, Riley was successful in doubling the college’s grants, increasing scholarly productivity by 150 percent, and achieving a 30-position rise in U.S. News rankings.

“I am excited to join Regis, a university that is committed to making a difference in the lives of its students, and where there is a true sense of living the Jesuit and Catholic mission” – Karen Riley.

Riley is an internationally recognized expert in neurodevelopmental disorders, and her scholarship focuses on interdisciplinary and intersystem approaches to addressing the complex issues of today’s society and improving the lives of children and families affected by Fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome.

A lifelong Coloradan, Riley graduated from Lutheran High School in Parker before earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Colorado State University. She earned both her master’s degree in early childhood special education and her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Denver. She also completed a two-year, post-doctoral fellowship at the Children’s Hospital in Denver in the Fragile X Treatment and Research Center and subsequently worked at the Child Development Unit within the hospital.

Riley began her career by serving 11 years as an early childhood specialist and an early childhood special education coordinator in the Adams 12 School District based in Thornton, Colorado.

Karen Riley

Office of the Provost
800.388.2366 x1843