May 202003
 
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

For Larry Penley, the first step to become the new CSU president

is learning.

The Board of Governors of the CSU System formally announced

their decision to select Penley as the president of CSU and

chancellor of the CSU system Tuesday.

“I’m not from a land-grant institution. I have a great deal to

learn,” Penley said to reporters. “My first step is to get an

understanding of what’s going on, to really learn about a

land-grant institution… There is the responsibility to think

about the tradition of a land-grant institution and how you use

that outreach as a way to do really great new things. The first

step is learning.”

Don Hamstra, president of the Board of Governors, made the

announcement in room of filled students, faculty, staff and

reporters inside Ammons Hall.

“We thought about doing this last week but we didn’t want anyone

skipping class,” Hamstra said jokingly. “We waited a few days. This

is a proud day for CSU. We have had a lot of things happening in

the past year with not a lot of chances to celebrate and this is a

chance to celebrate.”

Hamstra, who was recently selected as president of the board,

replacing Reginald Washington, spoke about the search. For the

majority of the search, Hamstra served as the board’s vice

president.

“When the search started we thought ‘oh we’ll do our work in

private and this will be really easy and we’ll have an

announcement’ but people wouldn’t let us do that so we got

interesting,” he said. “This was a little more difficult job than

we planned when we started. We had a good process and a great group

of people. We did some tough work and I think they did a great job

and we had some fun doing it.

Penley and the board are still in discussion finalizing the

details of Penley’s contract. It is still unsure when Penley will

come onboard as president and chancellor. It is scheduled for CSU

President Albert Yates to retire as president as of July 1 and to

hand over the responsibilities of chancellor in September.

“It really makes Ylonda and I feel very good to be welcomed at

Colorado State with such a great crowd on such a wonderful day.

Even if it isn’t 100 degrees, it’s still a fine day!” said Penley,

who is currently the dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at

Arizona State University.

“The board didn’t just look at the candidates they looked at

this university and what this university needs. They thought about

what Colorado needed and what the future of this great institution

really had in front of it and that to me made this an especially

great opportunity,” Penley said.

Mayor Ray Martinez was present to see the new president talk

about his commitment to CSU’s land-grant mission and how the city

and CSU can work together to strengthen the city’s economy.

“As the president of the university and the mayor of the city we

have to work together on a lot of things,” Martinez said. “For

example we are going to take advantage of the resources at the

business college to help build our economy, which is suffering

right now.”

Zach Collins, a sophomore studying construction management, said

he is excited to see the direction Penley is going to take CSU.

“I am excited about the prospective of him being able to develop

the university through any means, I know he did wonders for ASU’s

business college and I’m hoping he can do that for our entire

university.”

While dean at ASU, Penley raised over $100 million dollars for

the business college.

Collins expressed concerns regarding how much the board listened

to faculty, staff and students when making the decision.

“I know there was concerns expressed by the student

representatives and the faculty representatives on the board of

governors that they felt somewhat left of the process for the past

month and a half,” he said. “I am somewhat concerned that the

student voice and the faculty voice may have gone somewhat

neglected.”

C.W. Miller, the faculty representative on the board, said he

and Dave Bower, president of the Associated Student of CSU and

student representative for the board, had plenty of opportunity to

talk to Hamstra about their views, but they both serve on the board

as non-voting members.

“They probably looked at (the feedback from students, staff and

faculty) but more than likely they didn’t have too many options,”

Miller said.

Hamstra said the board did look at feedback on the two

candidates.

“We reviewed the feedback of students and other people and a

number of the board attended the public meetings,” he said. “I

think we are also very cognitive that, as a board, this is the most

important decision we make, ever, possibly. We certainly listened

but we knew in the end it was our decision that we had to

make.”

Without reporters or spokespeople or board members, Penley

walked from his hotel room at 6 a.m. and took a look how campus

looked in the early morning.

“Walking around campus and peeking in buildings made me feel

good about the institution,” he said. “Even though (my wife and I)

have been Sun Devils for a long time, we are prepared to be

Rams.”

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