Mar 112009
 
Authors: Stephen Lin

CSU Interim President Tony Frank and CSU System Board of Governors Chair Doug Jones gave Fort Collins Rotary Club members a detailed explanation of CSU’s new chancellor position, which they plan to fill as soon as possible.

After former President Larry Penley’s abrupt resignation last November, the BOG split the roles of CSU chancellor and president of the Fort Collins campus to allow one person to focus solely on the separate duties in each position.

Jones said he hopes the search committee will find a suitable person for the job by June 1.

When Frank learned that the new chancellor position was created, he said his reaction was, “When can they start?” saying that he would describe both the chancellor and presidential positions as full-time jobs that require equal commitment and energy.

The future chancellor will be responsible for overseeing the presidents of both the CSU-Fort Collins and CSU-Pueblo campuses and will act as chief executive officer of the CSU System, which includes the Fort Collins, Pueblo and CSU Global campuses.

The chancellor, who Jones said will have to “wave the flag for CSU,” will be stationed in Denver, lobbying legislators and advocating for the university.

Last month, BOG spokesperson Michele McKinney said the chancellor will work to secure resources for the CSU system and that this person has to be a “good diplomat.”

Compared with the chancellor, Frank explained that the president of CSU has two roles: to act as the public face of the university and to be engaged with the campus.

The Rotarians did not object to the creation of the new position and asked Frank and Jones questions concerning a variety of other subjects, from the university budget situation to questions surrounding former President Penley’s situation.

One person asked how the stimulus would affect the university. Frank said that he was only “cautiously optimistic” that the university would receive aid from President Obama’s Economic Recovery Package passed by Congress late last month.

Perhaps the most pointed question was posed by Robert Lawrence, a political science professor at CSU, who asked Jones, “When will (the Fort Collins community) find out why you fired President Penley?”

“That’s a personnel matter, and we can’t comment,” Jones said. “No, it probably won’t be discussed.”

“(Penley) wasn’t fired, he resigned,” Jones told the Collegian later.

After the new chancellor position is filled in June, Jones said he wants to start the search for a permanent president right away.

“We’ll move quickly,” Jones said, saying if the university picked a chancellor by June 1, they would start looking for a president the next day.

Staff writer Stephen Lin can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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