Michael V. Martin Named CSU System Chancellor – New Chancellor Takes Helm of Three-Campus, Statewide System in August

The Colorado State University System Board of Governors today announced that Michael V. Martin has been appointed the next chancellor of the three-campus, statewide system.

“I’m very proud to announce that Dr. Mike Martin has been selected as the next chancellor of the CSU System,” said Board Chair Joe Zimlich. “Dr. Martin is a proven and visionary higher education leader who is respected across the country. Throughout his nearly 40-year career, he’s been a tireless advocate for building world-class higher education systems that maintain access, preserve affordability, reach out to underserved communities and promote excellence.”

Martin, 65, will officially start in August. He comes to the CSU System from Louisiana State University, where he has been campus chancellor since 2008. He is also the past president of New Mexico State University. Martin was recommended to the Board by an 11-member committee that 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.

“It’s a great honor to accept the chancellor position with the Colorado State University System,” Martin said. “The CSU System is one of Colorado’s most vital engines of educational opportunity and economic growth, and I look forward to working with the Board of Governors and the strong leadership teams at each institution to continue to build upon the System’s reputation for excellence in teaching, research and service.”

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 about 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. The university also serves 60 Colorado counties through Extension, delivering a wide variety of community-oriented, research-based informational, educational and 4-H programs.

• CSU-Pueblo: A regional, comprehensive university in Southern Colorado that serves about 5,000 students and offers 26 baccalaureate and six master’s 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 about $950 million and research expenditures of more than $330 million. The CSU campuses educate nearly 37,000 new and returning students annually; graduates number more than 6,800 a year.

“By any measure, the institutions of the CSU System have seen remarkable growth and success in recent years, despite the economic downturn and trend of declining state funding,” Martin said. “But there are clear signs that the challenges facing the System and the broader higher education community are becoming more acute, and there’s a very real possibility Colorado could be the first state in the nation to privatize its public higher education system. From the first day, my focus will be to hit the ground running and engage lawmakers, the business community and the people of Colorado in a discussion about how best to preserve and enhance Colorado’s world-class public higher education system.”

A formal contract will be finalized in the coming days, but Martin and the Board have agreed to an annual compensation package that includes a $375,000 base salary, $75,000 in deferred compensation and option for up to $50,000 in incentive payments.

“We’re very fortunate that Dr. Martin has agreed to come to CSU for about the same compensation he earned at LSU,” Zimlich said. “This is a case where the incredible Colorado quality-of-life enhanced the compensation package. Dr. Martin is among the nation’s most accomplished higher education leaders, and we believe he will bring tremendous value to the CSU System and to the state of Colorado.”

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.

Martin 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.