His name may not be known to every student, but his absence will certainly be noticed.
Al Yates, the president of CSU, announced his intention to retire next June on Friday. He has been at CSU for 12 (going on 13) years, the third-longest president our institution has seen, and certainly one of the most effective.
In his years as the leader of CSU, he has changed the way the nation looks at out university, improving our reputation as a leading research university as well as a serious academic institution.
Yates led the university after the devastating1997 flood that caused more $140 million in damage. He has set records for fundraising and enrollment, increasing both by several percentages every year.
Last January he was the first African American recipient of the Citizen of the West Award from the National Western Stock Show.
Not all students talk about him everyday, but maybe that’s a good thing. His changes have been subtle and easy to accept, but CSU would be a very different place without them.
One of Yates’ biggest accomplishments has been creating a more diverse campus. He has made huge strides toward this goal and the campus has improved for his effort.
“The hopes and the dreams I’d had for CSU are now a part of the institution,” Yates said at the press conference where he announced his retirement.
His hopes and dreams are certainly an integral part of CSU now, something every staff member and student tries to make a part of his or her experience here. Whoever follows in Yates’ footsteps has big shoes to fill, but they’ve got a very good start.