Dr. Peter R. Decker was the first chairman of the Board of Trustees of Fort Lewis College when the board was created in 2002. He served as a Trustee until January 1, 2005, and was integral in helping establish the course of the College during its initial years of independent governance.
He has a long history of meritorious service to Fort Lewis College and a demonstrated dedication to the liberal arts. Dr. Decker’s own experience in higher education included being an Assistant Professor of History and Public Policy and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Duke University from 1974-80. He was also a lecturer at Columbia University from 1972-74, and served as Assistant to the President at Middlebury College from 1964-67.
As one of Colorado’s most distinguished statesmen, Dr. Decker has a long career of service to the state. He served on the Colorado Commission of Higher Education under both Governor Richard Lamm and Governor Roy Romer. He filled the post of Commissioner of Agriculture and was director of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust. Additionally, Dr. Decker has served as a director of the National Western Stock Show in Denver since 1989.
Dr. Decker has extensive experience in journalism and public relations. He served as a staff member and policy analyst for U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was a speech writer during Kennedy’s presidential campaign, and served as a correspondent for the Associated Press in Vietnam and Laos. Major publications by Dr. Decker include Old Fences, New Neighbors and "The Utes Must Go!: American Expansion and the Removal of a People".
Dr. Decker currently is President of Decker & Associates, an agricultural consulting firm. He and his wife, Deedee, are owners of the Double D Ranch in Ridgway, Colorado.
Amidst all this, Dr. Decker is perhaps best known for his heart of service, his philanthropic spirit and his tireless dedication to the people of Colorado and Fort Lewis College. Dr. Decker will serve on the Board of Trustees for Fort Lewis College through December 31, 2014.
Read Celebration of a New Era, speech given by Peter R. Decker, at Fort Lewis College, November 6, 2002.