Dorothy Lechowicz-Edwards didn’t set out to work in higher education, but her path led her to the University of Denver’s accounting department in 1985.
“I went to San Jose State University for a home economics degree and pursued master’s courses in psychology while I worked for a nonprofit think tank,” Lechowicz-Edwards said. “But eventually, genetics got me.”
Accounting was in her DNA. Her father worked in public accounting and sisters all became accountants as well. She earned her bachelor’s in accounting from George Mason University in 1981 and started her accounting career at KPMG Peat Marwick’s Washington, D.C., office.
Lechowicz-Edwards moved to Denver in 1984. Former KPMG colleague Craig Woody was DU’s controller—today he’s vice chancellor of business and financial affairs—and hired her as an accounting manager. As much as she enjoyed the job, she left after a year to become an assistant controller in the real estate group at Columbia Savings and Loan. After that, Lechowicz-Edwards worked at Resolution Trust Corp. She returned to DU in 1994 to the then-named College of Business Administration.
“I loved my time in accounting and wouldn’t change one thing,” said Lechowicz-Edwards, who served as finance officer and executive director of finance and administration before becoming an administrator. Lechowicz-Edwards was named assistant dean of finance and administration in 1998 and associate dean later that year. From 2009 to 2012, she was associate dean of college operations, overseeing facilities, risk management, payroll and human resources.
A passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, Lechowicz-Edwards was involved with the DU Center for Multicultural Excellence and co-chair of the Daniels Inclusive Excellence Committee. Daniels Dean Emeritus Christine Riordan appointed her associate dean of diversity and inclusive excellence in 2012. “It was a wonderful opportunity to embed inclusive excellence throughout Daniels and definitely the highlight of my career,” she said. “To work with faculty, staff, students, alumni, Daniels Corporate Partners and others who were so dedicated to diversity and inclusion was an honor and so much fun.”
Lechowicz-Edwards grew the Daniels Inclusive Excellence Case Competition into a premier student competition and event that brought Denver-area companies to campus and raised awareness about inclusive excellence challenges faced by companies. She was a regular presenter at DU’s Diversity Summit on Inclusive Excellence.
Another highlight of her Daniels career was her selection by Dean Emeritus James Griesemer, director of the University’s Strategic Issues Program, for the 2015 Strategic Issues Panel, which examined legislative accountability in Congress, Colorado and other states. An annual convening of 15 to 20 business and community leaders in Colorado, the panel has explored a wide range of public policy issues.
In January 2016, Lechowicz-Edwards retired after what she called “22 fantastic years” at Daniels. “I’m happy to think that I might have had an impact on people and that colleagues and students could see on my face how much I enjoyed being there,” she said. “I consider myself
extremely lucky to have built relationships with some beautiful people … at DU, Daniels and the companies that supported us. I really did love it.”