President Frank announces formation of President’s Council on Culture to guide change efforts

Tony Frank at 20th anniversary of Commission on Women and Gender Equity

President Tony Frank has announced the formation of a new President’s Council on Culture – a leadership group he will chair – to guide university efforts to promote equity, inclusion, and cultural change at Colorado State University.

“We have many different groups now working in the area of equity, inclusion, and overall campus climate, and we continue to have a strong sense of urgency and opportunity, but we don’t have a guiding coalition composed of people with position power, experience, and expertise that can consistently plan, prioritize, and drive cultural change around these issues,” Frank said. “The goal of the PCC will be to provide strong, senior leadership and coordination to create a culture that truly welcomes and elevates all people.”

Mechanical Engineering Professor Sue James and Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes will serve as co-vice-chairs of the council.

Other members of the PCC will include:

  • Sonia Adame, At-Large Student Representative
  • Zahra Al-Saloom, ASCSU Student Representative
  • Tom Biedscheid, At-Large Member
  • Barry Braun, Chair, Health and Exercise Science
  • Dan Bush, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
  • Tim Gallagher, Chair, Faculty Council
  • Pam Jackson, Assistant Vice President for University Communications
  • Laura Jensen, Vice Provost for Planning and Effectiveness
  • Lynn Johnson, Vice President for University Operations
  • Kelly Long, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs
  • Rick Miranda, Provost and Executive Vice President
  • Tonie Miyamoto, Co-Chair of the President’s Commission on Sustainability
  • Jenny Morse, Faculty member, Chair of the Committee on Non-Tenure Track Faculty
  • Cara Neth, Director of Presidential & Admin Communications
  • Mary Ontiveros, Vice President for Diversity/Co-Chair of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion
  • Vance Payne, President’s Multicultural Student Advisory Committee
  • Diana Prieto, Associate VP for Human Capital
  • Shalini Shanker, At-Large Member
  • Kathy Sisneros, At-Large Member
  • Megan Skeehan, Chair, Classified Personnel Council
  • Shannon Wagner, Administrative Professional Council
  • Beth Walker, Dean, College of Business
  • Ben Withers, Dean, College of Liberal Arts
  • Cori Wong, Co-Chair of the President’s Commission on Women and Gender Equity
  • Toni Zimmerman, Faculty member and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar

Council charge

The council will be charged to:

  • Coordinate efforts among groups engaged around University culture and organizational development (including but not limited to issues of identity).
  • Identify, celebrate, and scale units that are succeeding in modeling equitable, accountable, and engaged organizational cultures.
  • Inform and guide efforts to make CSU among the best universities for everyone to live and work and improve the climate for current and future generations.
  • Serve as an umbrella voice to prioritize institutional efforts and resource requests.
  • Serve as consultant and/or convener as requested for commissions, committees, councils, and units that seek other University partners or assistance from the Council in their efforts to help improve culture at CSU.
  • Identify areas in need of improvement and help foster improvement and track progress in those areas.
  • Ensure the University is accountable and transparent in its efforts to transform and improve institutional culture and effectiveness.
  • Provide an annual report to the University and community on the work of the PCC.

The Council will identify issues and initiatives and hold individual members of the Council accountable for effective follow-through and reporting back to the larger group and institution. The Council will post a public report of its activities following each monthly meeting, and an annual report from the Council will be provided to the University community by June 30 each year.

Recommendations and initiatives of the council will be operationalized and overseen through normal institutional processes, and various members of the Cabinet and Council of Deans will interact with the Council at different times around particular issues as they arise.


Members of the Council are appointed by the University President and will meet each month for two hours, and additionally as needed. Members are appointed to function as part of an institutional team on behalf of the University as a whole, rather than representing the needs and views of individual areas or identities within the institution.

The council will begin convening later this fall, with minutes and information posted regularly on the PCC website.