Student government Senate struck down a resolution Wednesday night that would have officially endorsed Interim CSU President Tony Frank as permanent university president.
The resolution, written by student government president Taylor Smoot and vice president Quinn Girrens, was added to the Senate’s agenda last-minute in an attempt to show campus support for Frank before the CSU System Board of Governor’s meeting next week.
The Senate voted 9-7-5 in favor of the endorsement — two votes short of the needed majority to pass the resolution.
Senators in support of the resolution said though it would have expired at the end of the Senate session in May — likely before university presidential candidates are announced — they were hopeful it would urge the BOG to skip the process of selecting and reviewing any other potential candidates.
“We need someone who knows the university like the back of their hand, ” Girrens said. “The relationship we’ve had with Tony Frank has been amazing, and he would make an excellent president.”
Senators who opposed the measure urged their colleagues to delay and re-think their premature endorsement.
“I don’t think we should be taking a stance before the search has begun or candidates have been announced,” senator Conrad Miller said. “It’s like a football team saying ,’We want that person as our coach.’ We don’t know what could happen in the future.”
Senator Whitney Ruffin agreed, saying she was concerned that a student government endorsement would be seen as representative of the student body as a whole, though individual students have not yet had a chance to voice their opinions.
The BOG, which is scheduled to hold meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday, has not indicated it will hire a CSU-Fort Collins president in the near future, as Frank holds two-year contract as interim president. It has so far moved forward only in gathering CSU stakeholder input regarding the system’s future chancellor thus far.
Girrens said the term of Frank’s contract as interim president leaves the impression that the appointment of a permanent replacement for former CSU President Larry Penley, who resigned Nov. 5 of last year, may be far off.
Wednesday’s proposal, she said, was drafted and pushed forward after she and Smoot received word that faculty, alumni, administration and students were writing letters of support for Frank to the BOG.
ASCSU beat reporter Shelley Woll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CLARIFICATION: To pass the proposed endorsement, 11 votes in its favor were needed (half of all the votes cast, including abstainers), said Seth Walter, ASCSU director of legislative affairs. The resolution did not pass, as it garnered nine votes in its favor.