May 072009
Authors: Emily Johnson

The CSU System’s governing board is holding public meetings today to gather community input regarding criteria for a permanent replacement for former university President Larry Penley.

The meetings will occur two days after the board became embroiled in a legal battle with two Colorado newspapers for holding private interviews with System chancellor candidates.

The purpose of the meetings is to obtain ideas from the campus community regarding what attributes a university president should have, and the board said now that the new chancellor is in place, they will be focusing on hiring a permanent president as soon as possible.

However, political science professor John Strayyer said he is unsure what impact the stakeholder meetings will have on the president selection, nor does he have much faith in the process as a whole.

“I was surprised that the board president issued his memo announcing another round of “stakeholder” sessions. In view of the entire chancellor/system set up, and the process of hiring, I am perplexed as to the effect of the ‘stakeholder’ meetings in that instance, so I guess I am beyond suggesting that I know anything about how and what this board is thinking, much less what it is likely to do,” Straayer said.

Board Chair Doug Jones will facilitate the meetings, which will be held at the Lory Student Center’s Grey Rock Room. All meetings will be recorded and transcribed and six separate sessions will be held to accommodate staff, faculty, students, alumni and the public.

“The Board wants to hear from the entire community about what attributes and characteristics they’d like to see in a permanent president,” Michele McKinney, spokesperson for the BOG, said. “It could be that the community likes how things are going or maybe they might want to see some change.”

Associated Students of CSU President Taylor Smoot said the meetings are “great” and are an important forum for the CSU community to contribute to the process.

McKinney stressed the importance of holding the meetings now before the summer break in order to reach a maximum number of people and expedite the process.

“There has been a transition in leadership with Interim President Tony Frank. It’s time to start the process to search for a permanent president,” McKinney said, citing that waiting until everyone comes back in the fall would prolong the process.

The new president’s duties have not been determined yet, she said, adding that the system is in the early stages of determining exactly what those responsibilities will be, starting with the community’s input.

McKinney said the process will take as long as is needed.

“There is no time frame for choosing the permanent president. Now that the chancellor search has been successful, the Board can concentrate on this,” she said.

Straayer said he is satisfied with Interim President Tony Frank and would like to see the university remain on its current course.

“CSU’s president should have a strong academic background and be experienced in this or a similar institution. Were you to list the characteristics of Tony Frank, you’d have just the right collection of qualities,” Straayer said.

“We are in good shape in these post-Penley days with the fine leadership of Dr. Frank and, in my judgment, the Board should have made him permanent president months ago,” he continued.

All members of the community are welcome to share their opinions at the meetings today. If unable to attend their specific session, there is an open session at the end of the day, or comments can be submitted online via the Board to

Staff writer Emily Johnson can be reached at

BOG Meeting Schedule

8 – 8:45 a.m.: State Classified and Administrative Professional staff

9 – 9:45 a.m.: VP Cabinet

10 – 10:45 a.m.: Faculty and faculty council

11 – 11:30 a.m.: Students and student government

11:35 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.: Luncheon with invited guests

1 – 1:30 p.m.: Meeting with Deans Council

1:40 – 2:20 p.m.: Alumni and Athletics staff and supporters

2:30 – 3 p.m.: Agricultural and outreach constituents

3:10 – 3:30 p.m.: Open session

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