While campus was almost activity-free over break, university officials were busy finishing the search process for a leading administrative position.
Keith Ickes, longtime financial administrator for CSU and former director of the Office of Budgets and Institutional Analysis (OBIA), was selected from a national search to fill the position of vice president for administrative services March 14.
"I think anytime an individual goes out and competes against other colleagues across the country and is chosen, it's nice reinforcement," Ickes said. "I feel some satisfaction knowing that I am doing good things (for CSU)."
Ickes, who has been the interim vice president since he replaced Gerry Bomotti at the beginning of the fall 2004 semester, will now oversee the OBIA, Business and Financial Services, Central Receiving, Environmental Health Services, Facilities Management, Human Resource Services, Purchasing, University Parking Services and the CSU Police Department.
While Ickes said some of his responsibilities will change, he is ready to take on the challenge.
"I have been the interim since August so in that regard I will be continuing to do what I've been doing, it's not a radical shift in general," Ickes said, "compared to the pervious position there are a lot of new areas for direct reporting responsibilities that haven't reported to me in the past."
After being at CSU for 16 years, first as director of the Office of Institutional Research, which became the OBIA in 1991, and then adding the title of associate vice president for administrative services in 2002, experience was a key factor in choosing Ickes for the position.
"Keith brings strong experience in higher education to the role, along with extensive knowledge of our state's complex financial situation and the critical challenges facing higher education in Colorado," said CSU President Larry Penley in a university press release. "Keith also possesses the strong character and long-term vision that are essential to the leadership of this institution."
Ickes said he thinks his knowledge of how the institution works and of the current budget situation helped prepare him for the position.
"I have been working on the Executive Budget Committee for 13 years, trying to work our way through good, reasonable and bad financial times and make sure the budget cuts keep the institution as less affected as possible," Ickes said.
With this new position Ickes wants to focus on the service aspects of administrative services. He said his first priority is to look at the training that is provided within the division with an increasing emphasis on funding for training over the next year or two.
" We have had a lot of bad (budget) cuts which can affect the service of the university, or at least appear that way," Ickes said. "I have talked to the directors about what we might do to provide service on campus, that's key."
Ickes said the financial state of higher education is the biggest challenge he has to face in this position.
"Finances are going to be difficult. We are not in a situation where money is abundant so we have to make sure the money we get is used as well as possible for the good of the institution."
Before coming to CSU Ickes held administrative positions at Cornell University and Indiana University-Bloomington and the State University of New York-Buffalo.
"I believe Keith will bring a strong, customer-focused approach to his leadership of the division. He is a thoughtful and collaborative leader who will work well with other university leadership to assure the ongoing integrity of institutional operations and to support the academic strength of Colorado State University," Penley said in a press release.