Celebrate! CSU Milestones: Jim Francis, 45 years

Jim Francis, director of the Center for Professional Development and Business Research in the College of Business — and Colorado State’s faculty athletic representative to the NCAA — is celebrating his 45-year milestone with CSU.


Francis obtained his B.A. in economics from Central College of Iowa and holds two degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in management/organizational behavior (Ph.D.) and industrial relations (M.A.). He is a native Iowan who spent his adolescent summers in Colorado. It was through his graduate school advisor, who always talked up Colorado A&M, that he became interested in Fort Collins and found his home.

“For being a large university, CSU maintains a culture that supports personal touch very well. It is an incredibly dynamic environment that is lively and intellectual, and provides so many opportunities for personal advancement and endeavors,” Francis said.

Celebrate! Milestones

Colorado State University employees achieving a decade of service or more this year will be honored at the annual Celebrate! CSU Milestones event, which recognizes those faculty and staff who have reached major milestones. Celebrate! CSU Milestones will take place on Thursday, April 28, 2016, at 4 p.m. in the LSC Grand Ballroom.

Francis has spent an immense amount of time working to better resources and opportunities on campus, and has helped to create exceptional programs and funding for his departments in doing so.

Undoubtedly one of Francis’s most noted progressive endeavors was the creation and development of the Beverage Business Institute, which delivers management education and research specific to the beverage industry, including the Certificate in Beverage Business Management. This program caters to the business needs of employees in areas like wholesale, operations and distribution. BBI is relatively “beer-centric,” according to Francis, as the main founders of the program are Odell Brewing, High Country Beverage, and New Belgium Brewing. But the program also provides education in other beverage areas and attracts participants from across the nation.

As a forward-thinking leader on campus, Francis continues to have an incredible presence within all of his roles, and works hard to help create and enrich the culture and environment within both the College of Business and CSU Athletics. One of his greatest passions is his current role as the faculty athletic representative.

“Knowing that we have progressed so much in terms of support for student-athletes, and knowing how much better off our student-athletes are for it, is an incredible notion,” Francis said.

He loves seeing students do well in their careers, and is incredibly proud of CSU Athletics and all they have done to support their students. Student-athletes are high achievers both in and outside of their sports and are one of the most diverse student groups on campus.

In addition to all Francis does on campus, he also serves on the Colorado Senior Sports Development Council and coaches track for Special Olympics and Masters Athletes. He holds his own All-America honors in outdoor pentathlon and 400 meters, and is actively involved in the Fort Collins community. An outstanding trailblazer on campus, and an influential member of our CSU community, it is people like Francis who help to make Colorado State the incredible institution it is.