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Search for a new chancellor

November 18, 2011

Dear students and colleagues,

As you’re probably aware, CSU System Chancellor Joe Blake announced his retirement recently, and the Board of Governors is now undertaking a search for a new chancellor to oversee the system that includes our CSU-Fort Collins flagship campus as well as CSU-Pueblo and the online CSU Global Campus.

Former Board Chair Pat McConathy is chairing the search advisory committee, and his memo below aims to solicit your input at the early stages of the search process. I want to encourage all members of our campus community to take advantage of this invitation and share your views via the e-mail link in Mr. McConathy’s message.

Thanks, and best wishes for a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving week.

Dr. Tony Frank, CSU President

Message from Patrick McConathy, Chair, Chancellor Search Advisory Committee

Dear CSU faculty, students and staff,

As chair of the 11-member Chancellor Search Advisory Committee (listed below at the end of this message), I am asking for your input in the search process for the next chancellor who will lead the Colorado State University System. The Board of Governors has charged the committee with the responsibility to recommend candidates for the chancellor position. It is the board’s duty under Colorado law to choose the chancellor who will serve as the chief executive officer for the System.

We are at the beginning of the search process and have developed the draft prospectus, or job description, below. Please assist in helping shape the future of the System and its three constituent universities – CSU Fort Collins, CSU-Pueblo, and CSU Global – at a crucial time in the System’s growth and development.

I encourage you to send us your initial thoughts on the prospectus, the desired qualifications and skills for the next Chancellor, and the issues that will challenge the next Chancellor.

Please provide feedback no later than Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 3 p.m. to

Thank you for your assistance in this very important search process.


Patrick McConathy, Chair, Chancellor Search Advisory Committee, CSUS Board of Governors

Colorado State University System

Chancellor Search Prospectus/Position Description

The Board of Governors for the CSU System invites applications and nominations for the position of chancellor. The chancellor is the chief executive officer of the CSU System.

The Colorado State University System

The Board of Governors

Colorado State University System is governed by a 13-member board with nine voting members, who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Colorado Senate. There are four non-voting board members, including one faculty and one student from the Fort Collins and Pueblo campuses.

By Colorado statute, the Board of Governors has the authority and responsibility for general oversight of the System and control of all funds of the System. As provided by state statute, the Board of Governors of the CSU System appoints the chancellor of the System and the three university presidents who report to the chancellor. The chancellor serves at the pleasure of the Board.

Three Universities

The Colorado State University System, established in 1985, is comprised of three universities – two with traditional campuses and one on-line campus.

  • CSU in Fort Collins, a comprehensive research doctoral university with over $330 million in research funding, was founded in 1870 as the state’s land-grant institution, has four statewide service entities (Colorado State Forest Service, CSU Extension, Agricultural Experimental Station (CAES) and the Colorado Water Institute), and a student body of 29,000.
  • CSU-Pueblo is a regional comprehensive state university, a designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and is one of the fastest growing universities in Colorado with a student body of 5100. 
  • CSU-Global, the newest System university, is an online university serving non-traditional adult students and has a student body of 5,000.

All three campuses have distinct and unique missions in serving the state, region, country and world, and each is independently accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.


The CSU System exists to support, enhance, and protect the unique missions of its constituent institutions and to encourage collaboration that benefits students and Colorado.


The CSU System will create the financial sustainability to fulfill its mission, while expanding its statewide presence and creating opportunities for building a stronger future for Colorado.

The Chancellor Position


As chief executive officer for the CSU System, the chancellor has general authority and responsibility to the Board of Governors for visionary leadership, advocacy and management of the System. At a time of great change, resource challenges, and opportunities for innovation and resource development throughout higher education, the chancellor shall:

  • Be a leading voice on behalf of public higher education in Colorado to increase resources to higher education;
  • Serve as the official spokesperson for the Colorado State University System
  • Lead the System to ensure a vigorous intellectual higher education community that provides high quality education, research, and service to the citizens of Colorado, thus enabling a state, national and international reputation for the CSU System and its institutions;
  • Perform such duties and responsibilities as are customarily performed by higher education system Chief Executive Officers and as may be required or assigned by the Board;
  • Assist the Board in fulfilling its public trust and carrying out its public responsibilities by working in full partnership with the Board;
  • Provide leadership and advocacy for the System before the citizens of the State of Colorado and its elected representatives; establish and maintain excellent relationships with all constituent groups including  Colorado’s Congressional Leaders, the Governor, the Colorado General Assembly, , the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, other higher education leaders, higher education faculty, students and alumni, K-12 leaders and the agricultural, business, and community groups;
  • Provide leadership and general oversight on all governmental relations for the System and its institutions; recommend, implement and report to the Board on an annual legislative strategy for the System;
  • Recommend the appointment, reappointment, and evaluation/compensation of the constituent institutional Presidents;
  • Lead collaborative development of, communicate, coordinate and implement the strategic plan and goals of the System; recommend accountability goals for the System and each of its institutions;
  • Promote collaboration, both in academic programs and in administrative services, among the System institutions and other education entities, as appropriate;
  • Seek opportunities and initiatives to enhance the System in quality, service, influence, reputation and size including seeking dedicated funding for the System and its institutions;
  • Demonstrate leadership in promoting diversity in the System and in its institutions;
  • Have primary responsibility for securing the resources for the System and its related institutions to accomplish its goals including seeking dedicated funding for the System and its institutions;
  • Assist institutions with fundraising activities from all potential sources;
  • Develop, recommend and oversee implementation of System policies to the Board;
  • Oversee the preparation of all System budgets; and provide leadership for the System’s budget process and preparation as well as assist with Board approval and periodic reporting;
  • Exercise authority over all funds appropriated for the budget for the System Office including authority to execute contracts, agreements, grants, warrants and other binding legal instruments as necessary to secure the successful operation of the System Office, subject to applicable System policies and federal and state law, rules and regulations.

Preferred Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced degree preferred and intellectual capacity required;
  • A record of significant accomplishment as a senior leader in a complex organization, in higher education, business, public service, government, or the non-profit sector;
  • Demonstrated ability to form cohesive, high performing teams in pursuit of strategic goals;
  • Strong commitment to and passion for the importance, purpose and advancement of higher education;
  • Proven ability to create and articulate an inspiring and vibrant vision;
  • Proven ability to serve as a skilled spokesperson and advocate;
  • Proven ability to innovate to achieve success;
  • Demonstrated accomplishments as a builder of relationships with diverse internal and external constituents to advance the System’s vision, mission and strategically planned goals;
  • Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to the educational value of full access and diversity in all its forms, including women, minorities and unique populations;
  • Direct experience working collaboratively with governing boards and with institutional presidents or management leaders in bringing positive change;
  • Proven ability to increase funding.

Preferred Qualities

  • Higher education knowledge and proven familiarity with the culture of public higher education, including the drivers of and barriers to advancing change and the role of shared governance;
  • Comfort in interacting with multiple stakeholders;
  • Strong work ethic, boundless determination, unwavering integrity;
  • Self-confident and self-secure so as to know when to lead and when to support others in advancing the agenda;
  • Clarity and consistency of purpose yet with the flexibility to adjust nimbly to changing environments;
  • A resilient personality that faces successes and obstacles with equanimity and good humor.

Colorado State University System Board of Governors

Chancellor Search Advisory Committee

Board of Governors
  • Patrick L. McConathy (Chair), Managing Partner, Yarmony Energy
  • Ed Haselden, President/CEO, Haselden Construction
  • Mary Lou Makepeace, Vice President, Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado
  • Dorothy Horrell, President and CEO, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation
  • Don Elliman, Executive Director, Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology, University of Colorado Medical School on the Anschutz Medical Campus
  • Becky Takeda-Tinker, President, Colorado State University-Global
  • Anthony A. (“Tony”) Frank, President, Colorado State University-Fort Collins
  • Lesley DiMare, President Designee, Colorado State University-Pueblo
  • Jennifer Mullen, Department Chair and Integrated Communication Emphasis Director, Mass Communications Department and Center for New Media, Colorado State University-Pueblo
  • Robert Hottman, Chief Executive Officer, EKS&H, Denver, Colorado
  • Rachel Roberson, Vice President, Associated Students of Colorado State University