The search has begun.
After the retirement announcement of CSU president Albert C. Yates Friday, the question of who is his successor going to be may now be in the forefront of the administration’s agenda. Yates’ retirement will become effective at the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
Yates said he chose to announce his resignation this week to avoid placing the burden of finding a new president on the administration in the spring semester.
“This will allow us to begin the search when the candidate’s pool is the strongest,” Yates said. “I want to assist as much as I can in finding new leadership.”
Yates will be continuing his role as chancellor of the CSU Board of Governors, the state institution that governs the university system that includes CSU and the University of Southern Colorado, for an indeterminate period of time after his formal resignation in June. Yates said he wanted to stay to help ensure the transition of USC to CSU-Pueblo continues to go smoothly.
“The board is particularly grateful he’s willing to extend his service as chancellor for a bit longer,” said Reginald Washington, president of the CSU Board of Governors, “although this willingness isn’t surprising given Dr. Yates’ unparalleled commitment to the institution and our system.”
However, the board’s intention is to have the new president of the university continue be the chancellor of the CSU system soon after that individual is hired. The president of CSU, the board’s flagship university, has traditionally co-served as chancellor.
The transition of USC to CSU-Pueblo is not the only adversity the CSU system will face in the near future. With the recent state budget crisis (the state has collected $300 million less in income tax revenues than it did last year), higher education may be appropriated a lower amount of Colorado tax dollars.
“We have to continue in (Yates’) tradition and momentum in tough economic times, which I expect to last for the next several years,” Washington said.
Search committees consisting of faculty and administration officials will be created to help interview qualified applicants similar to a process that was used in the hiring of athletic director Jeffrey Hathaway and academic provost Peter Nicholls in the past year.
“It will not be easy to replace Albert Yates,” said professor David Allen, chair of the CSU Faculty Council. “With some sorrow, the faculty looks forward to participating in the selection of a replacement who will continue Yates’ excellent rapport between the faculty and administration and his commitment to maintaining high education standards. The individual who replaces Yates will have large shoes to fill.”
The timetable on the formation of these committees is uncertain and will be determined based on the amount of applicants who seek to be Yates’ successor.
“He’s going to be a tough act to follow,” said Tom Milligan, director of CSU media and community relations.
Milligan said plans to find Yates’ successor would not be rushed.
“The thing about a change like this is that you want to do it right,” Milligan said. “We’ll move fast but we’ll be successful in finding the right person. This is a good job and there will many people who will want to apply.”
The Associated Students of CSU will also be involved the search committees for the new president.
“Being student reps, we’ve always taken a prominent role in the selection process,” said ASCSU President David Bower.
Bower expressed some surprise in Yates’ announcement.
“I know it’s been talked about for a while,” Bower said. “I can understand his reasons for leaving. The surprise comes that in the current state of higher education in Colorado it will be difficult for this institution to grow and prosper with the adversity it has. Dr. Yates’ leadership will be missed.”
-Edited by Colleen Buhrer, Shandra Jordan and Becky Waddingham