Christian Hardigree was named regional chancellor of USF's St. Petersburg campus in May 2022. She previously served as the founding dean of the School of Hospitality at Metropolitan State University (MSU) in Denver, which is the third largest and only open-access institution of higher education in Colorado.
At MSU, Hardigree led the transition to a free-standing school and developed/implemented departmental structures, school strategic plan and initiatives, and other deliverables. She secured more than $3,775,000 in external funds to support the school and led faculty through curriculum redesign of six degrees and majors, eight minors and nine certificates.
Prior to her role at MSU, Hardigree served as the founding director and professor of the Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. She oversaw more than 260 majors with a total enrollment of more than 1,500 students. She also worked for Parnell & Associates as a senior litigation attorney and partner focusing on employment discrimination, arbitration, mediation and labor-management relations. In 2012, she was selected as a faculty institute senior teaching fellow at University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she also received the Sam and Mary Boyd Distinguished Professor for Service Award in 2011 and the Boyd Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award in 2010.
A researcher and frequent conference presenter, Hardigree received her juris doctorate from Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University and a bachelor of science, cum laude, from William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at University of Nevada Las Vegas.