Board of Governors Names Two Finalists to Lead Colorado State University System; Campus Visits to be Scheduled

Two respected leaders with broad experience in public higher education today were named finalists to become the next president of Colorado State University and chancellor of the university system.

Michael Martin of the University of Florida and Larry Penley of Arizona State University have been named finalists by the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System and will visit the Colorado State campus to meet with students, faculty, staff and the community as part of the selection process. The visits, not yet scheduled, are planned to take place within the next two weeks.

Following the campus visits and input from university constituents, the board will make a final selection. The new leader will begin at Colorado State this summer.

The Board of Governors made the selection of finalists after receiving recommendations from an advisory committee comprised of faculty, staff, student and administrative representatives from Colorado State and the University of Southern Colorado, the two institutions that comprise the university system.

"This has been a thorough process, and we as a board have worked very hard to get input from a wide range of constituents. We have two finalists that we can be very proud of – two outstanding individuals who will be able to provide the vision and leadership necessary to lead the university and the system," said Reginald Washington, president of the Board of Governors.

"The quality of these two finalists speaks to the overall quality of the pool of applicants for this position," Washington said. "As a board, we can be pleased with the integrity of this process and with the outcome. These are two candidates with the experience, vision and character that this position demands."

The two finalists each have a strong record of academic achievement, as well as a proven history of leadership.

Martin currently serves as the vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida and leads the university’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. In this role, he oversees 17 academic departments and 17 research and educational centers as well as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the School of Natural Resources and Environment and a variety of other academic and research offerings. He was appointed to this position in 1998.

Prior to that, he served in a variety of capacities at the University of Minnesota, including professor, associate dean and dean of the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, associate director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and ultimately as Vice President for Agricultural Policy. Prior to his tenure at Minnesota, Martin served as a professor, faculty senate president and interim department head at Oregon State University. Martin received his bachelor’s degree in business/economics and his master’s in economics from Mankato State College (now Minnesota State.) He earned his doctorate in applied economics from the University of Minnesota.

"It is truly an honor to be considered for this position. Colorado State is a very good institution with tremendous potential to be even better. I’ve been very impressed with the enthusiasm and energy of the people that I have met from the institution," Martin said. "Colorado State is a university that I respect and its role as a land-grant institution is something that I value."

Penley is currently dean of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State, a position he was appointed to in 1991. Previously he had served as professor of management and chair of the Department of Management at the university. He received his doctorate in management from the University of Georgia and his bachelor’s degree in psychology and his master’s degree in communication from Wake Forest University. Following graduate school, Penley joined the faculty at the University of Texas at San Antonio as assistant professor of management and served as associate dean of the College of Business and associate professor of management at that institution.

Penley’s research has focused primarily on the skills required of effective managers, including communication and career-related behaviors. He also has investigated the relationship between organizations and their employees. He has published in journals such as the "Journal of Management," "Journal of Organizational Behavior," "Academy of Management Journal," and "Management Communication Quarterly." His executive training experience and his consulting have brought him in contact with industries ranging from manufacturing to banking to health care.

"I am honored and flattered to be considered for such an important position as leader of Colorado State University and the university system," Penley said. "I believe that Colorado State is an institution that serves its constituents well. Indeed, its excellence in research, its distinctive high quality undergraduate education and its importance to the economy and well-being of Colorado make it especially attractive. I’m looking forward to coming to Fort Collins and Pueblo, to meeting everyone and learning more about the people and the institutions."