Colorado State University President Tony Frank, who has also served as chancellor of the CSU System since 2015, will transition to a full-time role as chancellor of the three-campus system on July 1, 2019. Frank is entering his 11th year as Colorado State president, and he will continue to serve in the dual role until then.
Frank announced his plans in an email to the entire campus community on Sept. 30.
“It’s now time for the next step in our university’s trajectory – and that will require the articulation of a new vision for Colorado State,” he wrote. “As we prepare to embark on our second 150 years in 2020, it’s time to bring that vision into focus. I believe the person leading those discussions and serving to articulate and lead the implementation of that vision should be someone who will be here to see us through that next decade. In short, it is time for us to find the next president for Colorado State University.”
The Board of Governors of the CSU System praised Frank’s decade of leadership for the Fort Collins university, which has included the transformation of the physical campus; record levels of enrollment, research funding, student diversity, and student satisfaction; and a dramatic increase in alumni and donor support, including the successful completion of the university’s first major fundraising campaign in 2012 and the current $1 billion “State Your Purpose” campaign.
“Tony Frank is one of the most respected leaders in higher education today, and his leadership for our flagship CSU campus has been extraordinary,” Board Chair Rico Munn said. “We believe our System will benefit most if he now is able to focus on the larger issues and opportunities facing all of our CSU campuses.”
Opportunities at System level
The presidency of the Fort Collins campus and the chancellorship of the Denver-based CSU System have sometimes been combined and sometimes held by two different people. Munn said the opportunities at the System level now require full-time leadership, and the Board felt strongly about Frank continuing on in that role. While Munn said Frank has succeeded well in balancing the demands of the dual role, a set of large-scale projects at the System level – including the development of the new National Western Center – now require full-time focus.
“I really do believe this is the right move at an opportune time for our campus and the System as a whole,” Frank said. “Our Fort Collins campus deserves a full-time president who is deeply engaged in the life and future of this institution. All three of our CSU System campuses are on a great, positive trajectory, and the Board wants to ensure there is support at the System level to continue to build on that momentum. I’m grateful to be in a position to continue, I hope, to add some value and move our System forward in ways that will truly benefit the people and future of Colorado and, ultimately, make it a stronger partner for our System campuses.”
The Board will announce details of the presidential search process in the next few weeks.