Case Study

Colorado State University




Colorado State University (CSU) is one of the nation’s leading research universities with world-class research in infectious disease, atmospheric science, clean energy technologies, and environmental science. It was founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, six years before the Colorado Territory became a state. CSU is the “university of choice” for Colorado residents – 30% of all of Colorado’s science, math, engineering and technology majors pursue degrees at CSU. It offers among the very best professional programs in the United States in veterinary medicine, occupational therapy, journalism, agriculture and construction management.

When Megan Price was placed in the interim role as Executive Director of Advancement for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, she sought out professional development as she acclimated to her new leadership role. Her supervisor suggested ongoing coaching would prove more effective than a one-time conference. As a result, Kathy Drucquer Duff was hired to provide coaching services.

Process of Working with KDD Philanthropy

Megan and Kathy began working together in fall 2017. They met monthly via a phone conversation. Megan took the lead preparing an agenda in advance of the meeting and was responsible for reporting on progress from the last coaching call. Megan left each coaching session with action items and takeaways to put into practice.

Megan appreciated Kathy’s direct approach, and that she did not hesitate telling Megan if she needed improvement in certain areas. Megan also appreciated Kathy’s affirmations in areas where she lacked confidence and helped her see if she was on the right track to success.

“She communicates kindly but with clarity. I understand my action items and what I need to do better or doing well.”

Kathy’s robust history in advancement provided a wealth of knowledge in helping Megan become a more effective leader. Megan also admits that Kathy’s directness is appreciated in the coaching process.

“Kathy has been a life vest for me. My team and I would not be growing like this if I’d simply gone to a conference. I really appreciate knowing that in this period of uncertainty or change, I have a wonderful resource who can help me navigate these situations. It’s also really helpful to have an outside perspective and lens that is tailored for my issues.”


As a result of working with Kathy, Megan has become a more effective leader and manager, and has the confidence to take on a high level role. Additionally, Kathy helped Megan navigate her team’s transitions and staff changes, and helped her identify common goals and values in order to determine a future course for the department.

“Kathy helped me understand that one of the biggest changes I needed to face was managing up and not just leading my team. She helped me find clarity on what that looked like and how to best interface with my vice president and dean, and get them what they need.”

“Kathy has been fantastic in helping me navigate a series of issues like engaging our dean in the fundraising process, motivating low performing employees, and helping to understand how performance expectations are realistic.”

Megan credits Kathy as the reason she’s been successful in this new role and responsibility for leading the biggest fundraising arm on campus with a $45 million annual goal.

“Kathy helped me navigate all the anxieties and addressed them on a case-by-case basis. She helped me have clarity, identified stressors and how to de-escalate them. That was transformational for me.”