Michael V. Martin Named Finalist for CSU System Chancellor

Note to Reporters: A photo of Martin and his curriculum vitae are available with the news release at www.news.colostate.edu.

The Colorado State University System Board of Governors today announced that Michael V. Martin is a finalist for the chancellorship of the three-campus system.

Martin, 65, currently chancellor of Louisiana State University and past president of New Mexico State University, was recommended to the Board by an 11-member committee that has spent nearly eight months conducting a nationwide search for the next chancellor of the CSU System, which includes CSU in Fort Collins, CSU-Pueblo and the 100 percent online CSU-Global Campus.

“I am honored to announce that Mike Martin is a finalist for chancellor of the CSU System,” said Joseph Zimlich, chair of the Board of Governors. “The CSU System is home to three amazing institutions, each with a unique role and mission, and in Dr. Martin the Board has identified a visionary and proven leader who has the skills, experience and energy to build upon each institution’s reputation for excellence in Colorado and beyond. I’m confident that the CSU System and broader state of Colorado will greatly benefit from Dr. Martin’s strong track record of successfully championing public higher education and building strong relationships among civic leaders, state and federal lawmakers, the business community and the general public.”

As finalist for the position, Martin will now enter into discussions with the Board about the chancellorship and possible terms of employment. More than 450 higher education, business and nonprofit executives from across the country were contacted as part of the search process. The search committee reviewed dozens of applications and interviewed five candidates before forwarding Martin’s name to the Board.

“While there were certainly many excellent candidates, Dr. Martin quickly rose to the top of the committee’s list because of the clear record of leadership and results he has demonstrated throughout his career in public higher education, particularly at multi-campus systems,” said Pat McConathy, who chaired the search committee. “In addition, Dr. Martin truly has a steadfast commitment to building a stronger Colorado through the CSU System’s core mission of learning, discovery, access and engagement.”

Based in Denver, the chancellor is the chief executive officer of the CSU System, responsible for working with the Board of Governors to lead the system’s operations, set legislative strategy, serve as the primary spokesperson and increase engagement among alumni, donors and the business community. The chancellor oversees three distinct institutions:

  • CSU: One of the nation’s premier research universities and the System’s flagship campus in Fort Collins. Founded in 1870, CSU is a land-grant institution with approximately 30,000 students. It is the “university of choice” for Colorado residents – 30 percent of all Colorado science, math, engineering and technology majors pursue degrees at CSU.
  • CSU-Pueblo: A regional, comprehensive university in Southern Colorado that serves approximately 5,000 students and offers 26 baccalaureate and six master degree programs. In 2002, CSU-Pueblo was designated an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • CSU-Global Campus: The nation’s only 100 percent online, independently accredited public university, providing bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to more than 5,600 nontraditional students and working adults in Colorado and beyond.

The CSU System has annual operating revenues of approximately $950 million and research expenditures of more than $330 million. The CSU campuses educate nearly 37,000 new and returning students annually, and graduates number more than 6,800 a year. The CSU System also serves 60 Colorado counties through Extension, delivering a wide variety of community-oriented, research-based informational, educational and 4-H programs.

“Dr. Martin’s academic background and professional experience in higher education dovetail very well with the CSU System’s academic, research and engagement focus,” Zimlich said. “In Colorado and across the country, institutions of higher education are working diligently to maintain quality in the face of decreasing public funding. Dr. Martin understands the dynamics that are driving that trend, and I’m confident he would be a tremendous asset to the CSU System as we work with a variety of stakeholder groups to build a sustainable higher education system to serve the state of Colorado now and in the future.”

Martin was named chancellor of Louisiana State in August 2008. Located in Baton Rouge, LSU is a nearly 150-year-old, land-grant institution that is home to more than 28,000 students. During his time at LSU, Martin has improved graduation rates, increased research awards, fostered a strong working relationship with the business community and strived to build a diverse campus environment. Prior to his appointment at LSU, Martin served four years as president of New Mexico State in Las Cruces – like CSU-Pueblo, a designated Hispanic Serving Institution – where he successfully worked to bolster fundraising and increase enrollment.

Before joining NMSU, he served for six years as vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the University of Florida, leading the school’s Institute of Food Safety and Agricultural Sciences. Previously, Martin was vice president for agricultural policy and the dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota. Martin began his academic career as a faculty member at Oregon State University, where he also served as president of the faculty senate.

A native of Minnesota, Martin is an economist by training. He completed his bachelor’s degree in business and economics and a master’s degree in economics at Mankato State College. He went on to receive a Ph.D. in applied economics from the University of Minnesota in 1977. He has been widely published in academic journals, trade publications and the mainstream media.

In 2007, Martin was awarded the Justin Smith Morrill Memorial Award, named for the author of the bill creating land-grant universities, which honors outstanding service on behalf of the land-grant mission of teaching, research and extension service. Only six individuals have received this award since it was first given in 1980.

The next chancellor of the CSU System will succeed Joe Blake, who stepped down as chancellor in December. Blake, who holds the title chancellor emeritus, continues to work for CSU in donor development, alumni relations and teaching.

The CSU System Board of Governors has nine voting members, 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 the CSU System universities – Fort Collins, Pueblo and the online Global Campus. More information: www.csusystem.edu.