Our view: Why now, Penley?

Nov 052008

How did it come to this?

On Wednesday, in a move that shocked the campus, CSU President Larry Penley announced his resignation from the university.

Penley, who will be taking vacation leave until his resignation becomes effective on Nov. 30, leaves the university in the hands of Senior Executive Vice President and Provost Tony Frank until the CSU System Board of Governors can find a replacement.

To say this announcement came as a surprise would be an incredible understatement.

Since his inauguration in 2004, Penley has overseen a dramatic expansion of activities at our fair university.

During his tenure, CSU saw not only a drastic increase in enrollment but also an explosion of exposure that was thanks, in part, to the highly successful “green” campaign and a new university record for private fundraising. By all accounts, Penley seemed to be on top of his game.

So why the sudden departure?

According to his resignation letter, Penley’s decision comes from a desire to “pursue other leadership positions in higher education.” What position he may be seeking, however, remains unclear.

While it is not atypical for a university president to leave after only a few years at an institution, it does seem strange for Penley to leave without a concrete plan for his future.

Something seems to be missing here.

If there’s something else going on, the student body has a right to know. We’ve paid Penley’s salary for nearly five years now.

The students deserve an explanation. We’re waiting.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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