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Ajay Menon, who has served Colorado State University as a dean since 2002, will be stepping down as dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at the end of August, the Office of the Provost has announced. Menon will remain part of the CSU community, moving into a new role as president and CEO of the Colorado State University Research Foundation.
“We’re delighted that Ajay will continue to contribute his talents and energies in service to the CSU community as CEO of CSURF,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda. “He will bring his unrivaled University experience in faculty and administrative roles, and his extensive network of external relationships, to this new role.”
Since July 2015, Menon has served as dean of the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Colorado Agriculture Experiment Stations. Prior to this most recent leadership role, he served for 13 years as the dean of the College of Business.
Menon began his CSU career in 1991 as a member of the Marketing Department faculty in the College of Business. In November 2011, then Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed him as the state’s first Chief Innovation Officer, a role that he filled for two years.
As dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Menon was involved in moving the college toward a vision of unquestioned global preeminence, recognizing the critical role of agriculture in Colorado’s economy. He also oversaw the implementation of the College of Agricultural Sciences Strategic Plan 2018–2025, which focuses on student success and research and engagement excellence.
Earlier this year, the college opened the second phase of a major expansion of the Animal Sciences Building. This state-of-the-art facility is home to the JBS Global Food Innovation Center in Honor of Gary & Kay Smith and is dedicated to supporting teaching, learning, and advancing how meat processing is done around the world. The college’s next renovation project is Shepardson Hall, home to the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and administrative offices.
“We are grateful to Ajay for the leadership and vision he has shown throughout his time at CSU,” said President Joyce McConnell. “His extensive background in innovation and entrepreneurship made him a transformative force in two colleges. Moreover, he has played a critical role delivering a quality education to thousands of students.”
The university will launch a national search for a new dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences this fall. Miranda anticipates naming an interim dean in the next few weeks.