As much as we hate to see current CSU President Albert C. Yates go, we have to face the fact he is leaving. The two finalists for the next CSU president and chancellor made their campus visits, talking to staff, faculty and students about their visions of CSU and what they can do to make this university better.
Both candidates come with impressive credentials. Michael Martin is currently the vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida and Larry Penley is the dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. It seems to the editorial board that both men know what it takes to run a 2nd Tier university. They both seem dedicated to the commitment of diversity that Yates had.
The two candidates both acknowledge the fact that CSU needs to improve its external funding such as endowments and alumni giving and become less reliant on state dollars.
Both have proved they can bring in outside dollars at the current schools. Penley just finished a capital campaign that brought his school over $100 million and Martin has worked at UF to increase alumni giving.
While the editorial board feels either candidate would do an outstanding job as our next president, we feel that Martin is the stronger candidate.
Martin comes from a strong land-grant institution and has a good understanding of what a land-grant institution’s mission is to the state and to students. Martin said during his visit that his true passion has always been teaching. Even as an administrator, he has tried to be in the classroom as much as possible.
Penley, on the other hand, is a self-proclaimed “academic administrator and manager.” From his campus visit, it seems that Penley envisions a university more like a business than a place of knowledge.
We hope the Board of Governors of the CSU system chooses a president who best fits the profile of this university. We trust they will listen to staff, students and faculty who were able to meet and listen to what both candidates have to say.
Willow welter, visual editor