Editor’s note: The following message was sent to the CSU community on June 13.
Thanks to all of you who have reached out in the last few days about the announcement that I’ll be coming in as interim president following President McConnell’s departure at the end of this month. While I’m grateful for the opportunity to be of service to CSU – and grateful to the Board of Governors of the CSU System for their confidence in me – I also recognize that many on campus are surprised, disappointed, and concerned that this transition is happening at all. Others may simply be wondering what this change in leadership means for ongoing initiatives and programs.
I wanted to write this morning to assure you that the University is in excellent hands with its very capable leadership team – vice presidents, deans, and department and unit heads – and with all of you who are teaching our classes, supporting our students, and keeping CSU running smoothly and well. Presidents are highly visible representatives of the University, but they are not the lifeblood of the University. The University is the entire community of scholars whose work, commitment, and love for learning give this place its heart and its purpose. I am proud to have been part of this academic community since 1982 (and in the classroom teaching as recently as this past spring semester), and I believe whomever the Board selects as the next president will be fortunate to join a campus that is successful, sound, and focused on the future.
To that end, we all want to ensure a smooth, stable, and (ideally) uneventful transition while the national search is underway. I will be meeting with members of the Executive Leadership Team over the next few weeks to get up to speed and working closely with the President’s Office staff to ensure that calendar commitments, searches, and various deadlines move forward with minimal disruption. Personally, I want to turn over a well-functioning university to the next president, one that is clearly on the path to greater heights!
During my tenure as interim president, I will communicate as seems needed and appropriate about developments that arise, and you are always welcome to reach out to me with questions, comments, and concerns. It likely won’t be my style to bombard your inboxes with frequent less important matters – we have a great communications arm, complete with a multiplicity of social media channels, to help with that.
I look forward to joining you full time July 1, and I’ll be available as much as needed between now and then to assist the team and President McConnell as she wraps up her last couple of weeks in the office. I hope to approach my time in the office with humor and humility, with optimism for the future undergirded with an urgency to serve our students well, and by listening more than talking. I am aware that the job will resemble that of an elevator engineer – it will have its ups and downs – but I’m confident there will be more of the former than the latter, and I can assure you all that I’ll be working very hard in the coming months to make that happen, for all of us.
Thanks, in advance, for your patience and support.
Professor of Mathematics, Colorado State University
Chief Academic Officer, CSU System
Incoming Interim President, CSU