CSU Chancellor Joe Blake Honored by Board of Governors

Blake to Step Down at Year’s End

Campus Presidents, Board Chair Will Take on Chancellor Duties During Interim

FORT COLLINS – The Colorado State University System Board of Governors today recognized Chancellor Joe Blake for his distinguished service to the System and state of Colorado.

Blake will step down as chancellor on Dec. 31. He will continue to work for the university in the CSU Denver Center office and focus on ambassador functions, donor and alumni relations, guest lecturing and special assignments.

“Joe has been a tremendous leader for the CSU System, and all of us on the Board of Governors are certainly pleased that he will continue to serve CSU and wish him the very best as he transitions into this new role,” board Chair Joe Zimlich said. “I’d like to formally thank him for the service he has provided to the CSU System and to the state of Colorado.”

“I want to thank the board members for accommodating my desire to move into a new transitional opportunity,” said Blake, who joined the board in 2005 and was named chancellor in May 2009. “This is the last board meeting that I will attend, and it is a wonderful opportunity for me to look back and say what an amazing and wonderful institution Colorado State is. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve.”

Joe Blake was the first stand-alone chancellor of the CSU System, which includes the CSU campus in Fort Collins, CSU-Pueblo and the CSU-Global Campus, a fully accredited, 100 percent online university. During his tenure at the CSU System, Blake helped spearhead expanded relationships with the Colorado business community and played a leadership role in developing a variety of innovative programs. Key achievements include:

• Launching the CSU-Global Campus in 2007 with the central goal of meeting the educational needs of adult learners in Colorado and beyond. CSU-Global had about 200 students in 2008 and today has grown to more than 5,000 students.

• Helping promote Commitment to Colorado, a groundbreaking program at Colorado State that helps assure that qualified middle- and lower-income Colorado students can afford an education at one of the nation’s top research universities.

• Developing the first strategic plan for the CSU System, which sets a roadmap for improving student success, expanding the System’s statewide visibility, achieving financial stability and expanding the System’s role in the Colorado economy.

The CSU System will host a private reception honoring Blake on Dec. 14 at the CSU Denver Center.

A Colorado native, Blake was president and chief executive officer of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce for nearly a decade. Prior to that, he spent nearly 20 years as part of the senior management team that created the community of Highlands Ranch, Colo., home today to nearly 100,000 residents.

An 11-person search committee is conducting a nationwide search for a new chancellor and expects to begin accepting nominations before the end of the year. An interim chancellor will not be named during the transition process. Zimlich and the three CSU System campus presidents – CSU President Tony Frank, CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare and CSU-Global Campus President Becky Takeda-Tinker – will split the duties of chancellor.

“The board certainly looks forward to selecting a vibrant and effective leader who can be a strong advocate for the CSU System and its individual campuses in Colorado and beyond,” Zimlich said.

The CSU System has an operating budget of more than $900 million and annual research expenditures of more than $330 million. CSU’s campuses educate about 37,000 new and returning students annually; graduates number more than 6,800 per year. The CSU System also has Extension offices in 59 of the 64 Colorado counties that deliver a wide variety of community-oriented, research-based information, education and 4-H programs.

The chancellor is responsible for leading the System’s operations, setting legislative strategy, serving as the chief spokesperson and working to increase engagement among the CSU System’s more than 200,000 alumni.

“This is a vital position for the CSU System and the state of Colorado, and search committee members are committed to a rigorous and comprehensive process that thoroughly assesses and evaluates candidates for the role of chancellor,” said Pat McConathy, chair of the search advisory committee and a member of the CSU System Board of Governors. “We’re looking for a proven leader who understands and values the CSU System’s role and mission as well as someone with demonstrated business acumen and a solid reputation for ethics and integrity.”


• Chair: Pat McConathy – Member of the CSU System Board of Governors
• Lesley Di Mare – President of CSU-Pueblo
• Donald Elliman Jr. – Member of the CSU System Board of Governors
• Tony Frank – President of Colorado State University
• Ed Haselden – Member of the CSU System Board of Governors
• Dorothy Horrell – Member of the CSU System Board of Governors
• Robert Hottman – Chief Executive Officer of EKS&H
• Mary Lou Makepeace – Member of the CSU System Board of Governors
• Jennifer Mullen – CSU-Pueblo faculty member
• Rachel Roberson – CSU student and Vice President of Associated Students of CSU
• Becky Takeda-Tinker – President of CSU-Global Campus


The CSU System Board of Governors has nine voting members, each appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate and four non-voting members who are faculty and student representatives from CSU and CSU-Pueblo. The board provides oversight to ensure effective management, accountability and leadership at all CSU System campuses – Fort Collins, Pueblo and the online Global Campus.

The CSU System educates nearly 37,000 students annually, with about 6,800 new graduates each year. There are more than 200,000 living alumni worldwide. The system involves a total operating budget of more than $800 million, with annual research expenditures totaling more than $300 million.

More information: www.csusystem.edu.