School administrator Mike Nyikos, 76, dies

Funeral arrangements are pending for Mike Nyikos, chairman of the board of the Colorado School of Mines and a former vice president for institutional advancement at Mesa State College.

Nyikos, 76, died Wednesday.

Nyikos, a Republican Party activist, was eulogized Thursday on the state Senate floor as a “wonderful person,” by Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction.

“Mike was really one of the wise people, a smart person who contributed so much to the state,” Penry said.

Nyikos was one of the first people he sought out as an adviser, former state Sen. Ron Teck, R-Grand Junction, said.

“He was a fierce defender of TABOR,” the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, and he considered it critical to the financial health of Colorado, Teck said. “And, of course, he was my go-to guy on higher-ed issues.”

Before joining Mesa State, Nyikos was vice president of student affairs and external relations at Colorado School of Mines and the dean of student affairs at Fort Lewis College in Durango.

He graduated from New Mexico Highlands University and earned his master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Michigan, where he also served as assistant director of student services.

Most recently, he was a consultant to public agencies and private business in legislative affairs, education, human resources, and management. He also had served as a congressional-campaign consultant.

Nyikos was a member of the Junior College World Series Committee, which had become “definitely a passion for him the last few years,” said his son Chris Nyikos.

He also enjoyed golf and helped arrange tournaments at Adobe Creek Golf Course, Chris Nyikos said.

Mike Nyikos and his wife, Doris, were married for 58 years and had four children: Chris of Paonia, Steve of Arvada, Maureen Kenney of Lafayette, and Michele Mason of Olympia, Wash.


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