Collegian Editor in Chief Ben Koerselman has taken a medical leave of absence from his position and will not be finishing the semester.
Koerselman, a Collegian employee since January 2000, stepped down Friday as a result of physical injuries stemming from an October car accident and mental health issues. Koerselman also withdrew from school for the rest of the semester, but intends to return and graduate next spring.
Collegian veteran Josh Hardin will act as interim editor in chief through the semester’s conclusion.
“I think I’ll miss the camaraderie of going in (the newsroom) everyday,” Koerselman said. “I wish that I could have finished my term, but I have every confidence in Josh Hardin as acting editor in chief and in Becky Waddingham, who’ll be taking over in the spring.”
Koerselman believes the Collegian’s two main triumphs under his leadership were an increased focus on local issues and staff accountability.
“I think it was great for the Collegian to get back to the campus issues and the campus events,” said David Bower, president of the Associated Students of CSU. “(Koerselman) brought the focus of the Collegian back to CSU.”
Jeff Browne, the Collegian newsroom adviser, believes Koerselman helped make the Collegian more efficient.
“Ben took a newsroom that had seen some difficult times last year and infused it with discipline and purpose,” Browne said. “You can never have enough really dedicated and talented people in our newsroom. We’re down one now and that’s never good.”
Hardin said Koerselman will be missed on a professional and a personal level.
“In the two years I’ve known him he’s been a great friend and I’ve admired him as a journalist and an editor,” Hardin said. “He was always concerned about what was going on in the lives of his employees and I think that concern is what I’ll miss most. Obviously there’s a void in the newsroom now.”