Mar 212004
Authors: Jason Kosena

Soon CSU President Larry Penley will not be the only

administration official with connections to both CSU and Arizona

State University.

Penley, who took over the president’s office in August 2003

after being the business dean at ASU, recently appointed a former

colleague to fill a new administration position.

John Lincoln will be the new special assistant to coordinate

diversity and improve enrollment management at CSU.

Penley’s appointment of Lincoln, the executive director of the

Office of Youth Preparation, Project PRIME and the American Indian

Institute at ASU to the position raised eyebrows around campus (see

letter to the editor on page 4).

The new position is one for which Penley posted no job

announcement and conducted no search or interview process before

hiring Lincoln.

A job announcement, followed by a search and interview process,

is a common practice for the appointment of high-level

administration officials in higher education. The process is not

required, however, for positions paid through the budget given to

the president’s office.

Lincoln’s annual salary will be $115,000, which will come from

the president’s office administrative budget.

“I am here to do my job. I will work very hard to accomplish the

goals of this university,” Lincoln said during his visit to campus

over Spring Break. “I am here because the president has asked me to

come here and help out with diversity and enrollment


Penley said the need for immediacy in filling the position and

Lincoln’s qualifications for the position were the factors he

considered when making the appointment.

“I was looking for somebody good and John is good,” Penley


Lincoln’s fast-paced appointment is an advantage to CSU, Penley

said, because now his expertise in diversity and enrollment

management will begin to benefit CSU as soon as April 1, Lincoln’s

first official day on the job.

“It was my feeling that I needed to take some action to move

ahead because of the needs of enrollment management and the needs

of improving diversity,” Penley said. “I knew John Lincoln was very

well-qualified to do that.”

Lincoln’s job description will be to work with minority students

and faculty to improve campus diversity. He will also manage

enrollment in terms of high retention rates and better


Lincoln said there is a social class in America that has a

tradition of attending higher education institutions. There is also

a class that has no tradition of attending higher education. It is

this group of people in which Lincoln is interested.

“I’m concerned about how we find ways to bring kids of all

colors, of all classes, of all communities to have a chance to come

and be educated here at CSU,” he said. “Access is not my only

concern though. I also want to concentrate on what kind of

environment is needed to be in place for kids to have the best

chance to succeed here.”

Penley said Lincoln’s long career and experience in education,

which began in K-12 education and led to his 15-year duration with

ASU, will aid him at CSU.

“He has experience not only in college-level programs but also

in K-12,” Penley said. “He’s been a principal, so he can aid us in

the kind of outreach we need in high schools in helping build a

pipeline of a diverse set of students to come here.”

Talking to students as early as the eighth grade about college

opportunities at CSU is another goal of Lincoln’s.

“We need be talking to students very early on in their education

process to tell people how to prepare for (any given school or

department) at CSU,” Lincoln said. “We want them to be thinking

about what they want to be in their dreams and how they can best

accomplish it.”

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