CSU President Tony Frank is doing more for students than just keep his beard looking luscious.
In an e-mail to the CSU community Monday, Frank said he will be restructuring the top-level administration by consolidating the positions of senior vice president for Administrative Services and the vice president for Finance into a single vice president for University Operations.
In addition, Frank announced he will be cutting the “senior” title from all vice president positions currently carrying it and cutting the salary increase that went along with the title due to the current financial crisis.
Overall, the restructuring will save the university about $150,000 annually.
Frank should be commended for valuing CSU’s academic core over its administrative funding — a break from the previous administration’s priorities — and making an effort to be open and transparent.
It’s a refreshing move for CSU, particularly given the budget crisis higher education is facing.
However, Frank’s appointment of Deputy General Counsel Amy Parsons to the new position of vice president for University Operations is questionable and troublesome.
While Frank has demonstrated his commitment to the student body through his lucidity, Parsons has, on multiple occasions, proven her desire to keep university administrative dealings as opaque as possible.
As a member of CSU’s legal team, Parsons protected the same administration that increased administrative funding at levels far exceeding increases to academic initiatives and continues to attempt to block student access to information they have a legal right to under Colorado’s Open Meeting Law.
But, with her new position, Parsons has an opportunity to prove to students that she cares for their rights and success more than she cares about protecting the university administration from its own mistakes.
The students are the core of this institution. Frank knows it, and Parsons would do well to remember it. We hope she does.