Students expressed mixed reactions to CSU president Albert C. Yates’ plans to retire this June, which he announced Friday morning.
Many students conveyed surprise, saying they had no idea Yates planned to retire anytime soon.
“He’s taken a lot of initiative to promote unity,” said Ryan Miccio, the Assistant Director of Student Empowerment with the Associated Students of CSU.
Miccio said he appreciates Yates’ involvement at the university, and said the president has always been “pleasant” to him.
“I’m kind of intrigued at his announcement, though,” Miccio, a sophomore political science major, continued. “He’s started so many big projects that he isn’t necessarily seeing through. But I’m sure he set them up so they can be taken over by his successors.”
Yates, along with the chancellor at Denver University, launched the yearlong “Bridges to the Future” program last month. The “Bridges” events are designed to promote an evaluation of American values in light of Sept. 11.
Yates said he was retiring to spend more time with his family.
Luke O’Dell, the Associate Senator at ASCSU, shared Miccio’s thoughts on programs Yates has begun. O’Dell expressed his belief that these programs are beneficial and positive for our university, and that Yates’ retirement left him concerned.
“I’m concerned with the well-being of our institution, despite recommendations being handed down from the panel,” O’Dell stated. “(I’m concerned with) issues of higher education, regarding credit caps and increasing tuition, because I know he’s been a strong advocate of keeping the price of education down.”
Some students have not experienced much interaction with Yates, and expressed surprise over his sudden announcement.
“I’m pretty shocked,” said Kathy Plate, a junior biology major. “There wasn’t any type of forewarning.”
It took a few hours for the news to spread around campus. Some students said they did not know who Al Yates was, others said they had personal experience with him, and some said they had encountered him once or twice.
“I’ve met him once,” said Becky Crissinger, a senior psychology major. “I served him at a restaurant, and he was a pleasant man. He was very genuine; a good person to be running the school.”
A couple students said they wanted more details about why he was resigning.
“It’s out of the blue,” said Chad Laszlo, a senior economics major. “I wonder if anything happened to his family that caused this.”
Chris Bowers had similar questions.
“It makes me wonder if there’s something else personal going on,” Bowers, a junior business management major, said.
-Ben Koerselman and Josh Hardin