Ajay Menon, a two-time dean at Colorado State University, has been named the next leader of the Colorado State University Research Foundation, the CSURF Board of Governors announced this week. Menon, who currently serves as dean of CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences, will step into the new role Oct. 1, following the retirement of longtime CSURF leader Kathleen Henry.
“CSURF is extremely lucky in that we have had a real superstar in Kathleen, and we are hiring a real superstar in Ajay. We look forward to a dynamic future,” said CSURF Board Chair Don Marostica.
As president and CEO of CSURF, Menon will be responsible for the protection, management and commercialization of intellectual property resulting from research at CSU and will oversee the services that CSURF provides to both CSU and the CSU System. These services include the coordination and management of non-campus real estate holdings on behalf of CSU, CSU-Pueblo, CSU-Global and the CSU System and the provision of debt financing expertise and capabilities to those entities.
Dean of two colleges
Menon has served as dean of CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Colorado Agriculture Experiment Station since July 2015. Prior to this appointment, from 2002 until 2015, he served as the dean of the CSU College of Business.
From November 2011 to August 2013, as appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, Menon served in a dual role as the state’s first Chief Innovation Officer. In that role, he helped establish and lead the Colorado Innovation Network to develop an ecosystem in Colorado that cultivates entrepreneurial and innovative activities.
In his role as Dean of the College of Business, Menon led the college’s transformation to a high-performing and entrepreneurial school within a large land-grant state university. While leading the College of Agricultural Sciences, he was involved in guiding the college toward a vision of unquestioned global preeminence.
“I want to recognize and thank Kathleen Henry for her outstanding service to CSURF and our University community – and to congratulate the CSURF Board for persuading Ajay Menon to step into the role with her retirement,” said CSU Chancellor Tony Frank. “Ajay is a respected and visionary leader who has a remarkable capacity to work thoughtfully with a wide range of constituents and industries. Having led two of our most publicly engaged colleges and served in the Governor’s Cabinet, his experience, reputation, and deep knowledge of the university and state have prepared him exceptionally well to head up the innovation arm of the University.”
Menon holds a Ph.D. in Marketing and joined CSU in 1991 as a member of the Marketing Department faculty. His teaching and research expertise lie in the areas of International Marketing, New Product Development and Management and Strategic Market Planning. His research interests lie in the areas of customer loyalty, new product management and strategy implementation. Menon’s research has appeared in numerous preeminent publications in the field, including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science and Journal of Business Research.
In addition to his academic and administrative work, Menon has served as a management consultant to local and multinational companies on issues related to customer satisfaction and loyalty. He has also served on the Boards of Directors or Advisors to for-profit and nonprofit organizations including the Colorado Innovation Network; Junior Achievement – Rocky Mountain, Inc.; Colorado National Bancorp; World’s Fresh Waters, Chile; Convera Corp.; Women’s Vision Foundation; Envirofit Corp.; and the Better Business Bureau of Northern Colorado.
Menon has received numerous teaching awards, including “Professor of the Year” from the CSU College of Business.