Apr 242003
Authors: Becky Waddingham

Michael Martin, one of two finalists for the next president of CSU, is also a candidate for that position at two other major institutions: Oregon State University and the University of Florida.

Martin said via e-mail Thursday that he was invited only a month ago to be considered for the position here after a head-hunter, Chuck Knapp, contacted him. He stopped in Denver to meet with the search committee in late March after returning from vacation in British Columbia.

Martin is currently the vice president for agriculture and natural resources at UF.

Though he has no current ties to the university, Martin expressed interest in CSU, saying he has worked with CSU faculty in the past and come to respect them as well as the university.

He outlined several reasons CSU is appealing to him.

“It’s a land grant (institution), and I believe deeply in the importance of land grants in the 21st century,” he said in the e-mail. “It is a very good university with the capacity and desire to get even better … (and) it appears to care about students and serving the broader Colorado citizenry though research, education and extension.”

Asked about the restrictions placed by TABOR and state budget woes, Martin said he felt he would be able to meet CSU’s future challenges if he were to become president.

” I have struggled with tight budgets elsewhere-including here at UF-and believe I can lead during tough as well as good times,” Martin said.

He added that he is interested in the position because “the needs and challenges at CSU seem to align well with my experience and capabilities.”

The fact that Martin and fellow candidate Larry Penley are both candidates for president at other schools may raise questions about what CSU would do should both applicants decline the position.

In an interview with The Collegian Wednesday, Board of Governors President Reginald Washington indicated that the board might return to the other, as-yet-unannounced, three candidates from the final five, instead of reopening the pool to new applicants.

“We wouldn’t start from scratch,” he said. “We would keep all options open.”

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