Governor Appoints Two to Colorado State University Board of Governors

Note to Editors: Photos of Thomas Farley and Patrick McConathy are available with the news release at

Gov. Bill Ritter has appointed Thomas Farley, lawyer and public servant from Pueblo, Colo., and Patrick McConathy, a rancher from McCoy, Colo., to the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System.

The nine-member board had appointed McConathy in November to the position held by Jeff Shoemaker of Denver, who resigned last year. Board members are typically appointed by the governor, but the board can fill vacancies that occur mid-term. The Governor’s appointment enables McConathy to serve a full term.

"Patrick and Tom have been stalwart public servants in their communities and for the state.  Their experience will be a great value to the Colorado State University System and the state of Colorado," said Douglas L. Jones, board chairman. "We are pleased to have them serve full terms on the board to help the CSU System reach new levels of success."

"The tremendous experience that Patrick and Tom have in the political arena and as business and community leaders in southern and western Colorado will complement Colorado State’s land-grant mission to serve the needs of rural, urban, and suburban communities across our state," added Larry Edward Penley, chancellor of the Colorado State University System. "We welcome them to the board."

Farley, a former state Representative in Pueblo from 1967-1975, is an attorney and senior partner in Petersen & Fonda in Pueblo who specializes in education and health care law. While in the state Legislature, he served as House Minority Leader. He is a past member and president of the CSU System Board of Governors and the board for Fort Lewis College, once known collectively as the State Board of Agriculture.

He also has served as Community Advisory Director for the Wells Fargo Bank of Pueblo and on boards of the Colorado Forum, Public Service Co. of Colorado, Health Net, Inc., and Colorado Public Radio. He has been a commissioner for the Colorado

Division of Wildlife and served as a trustee for the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund and the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo Foundation. He is currently a regent at Santa Clara University.

Among Farley’s many honors are membership in the Pueblo Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Awards from the University of Colorado and the then-University of Southern Colorado (now CSU-Pueblo). Sierra Club awarded him the honor of "Foremost Among Fifty" in 1978. He is a graduate of Santa Clara University and the University of Colorado School of Law.

McConathy has spent most of his career in the oil and gas industry. He began working as a petroleum landman for the Placid Oil Co. in Shreveport, La., before starting McConathy Production Co., which operated wells in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Wyoming. He later purchased additional wells in those states under the name Phoenix Oil and Gas. In 2000, Phoenix, Yarmony Creek Oil and Gas and partner Castle Peak Resources began acquiring and operating oil and gas properties in California.

McConathy’s numerous community activities in McCoy and nearby Vail include serving as member and chairman of the Vail Mountain School Board of Trustees and in the Leadership Circle of U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar. He was a member and chairman of the Long Range Planning Committee of Trinity Church in Edwards and co-founded a spiritual-based retreat for men at his Yarmony Creek Lodge in McCoy.

In Louisiana, McConathy served as chairman of United Way for northwest Louisiana and chairman of Congressman Buddy Roemer’s successful campaign for governor in 1987.  He also served as the chairman of the economic development of Northwest Louisiana.  McConathy has led several capital campaigns for non-profits and schools.  He earned his bachelor’s in political science from Louisiana State University in 1975.

The Board of Governors consists of 13 members, nine of which are voting members. The remaining members represent the component universities of the Colorado State University System with one faculty member and one student leader from each campus.

Colorado State University’s two campuses, in Fort Collins and Pueblo, attract about 27,000 new and returning scholars annually. Highly skilled graduates number more than 6,500 a year, and more than 150,000 alumni live throughout the state, nation and world. As part of its mission as a land-grant university, CSU Extension has offices in 59 of 64 Colorado counties and delivers research-based information and educational programs. CSU is home to several top centers and programs, including the veterinary medicine program, which is ranked No. two in the country by U.S. News and World Report and is ranked first in the country in federal research dollars. CSU’s annual research expenditures totaled a record $296 million in fiscal year 2007.