Joyce McConnell and graduates on the Oval at CSU

President McConnell joins CSU graduates for a physically distanced celebration on the Oval. This week, CSU is hosting a ceremonial walk across the Oval to celebrate and honor our 2020 Ram Grads. Watch the livestream here:



“As a land-grant university with a world-class research enterprise, Colorado State University has the strong foundation, clarity of purpose, and determination to address the most complex and perplexing challenges that we face in our rapidly changing world.

We know the challenges will continue to get bigger, but that’s alright: we will be bolder. That’s our commitment to the people and communities we serve. That’s the unique and lasting value of the land-grant university to our world, which needs us now more than ever.”

– Joyce E. McConnell, 15th president at Colorado State University

Tell Me More series

In a new series called Tell Me More, President McConnell will shine a spotlight on university priorities and areas of excellence in one-on-one interviews with CSU faculty and experts.

On Monday, Nov. 16, President McConnell will interview Mary Pedersen, CSU Provost and Executive Vice President, in a conversation about Student Access and Success.

Pedersen joined CSU in August 2020 from California Polytechnic State University, where she served in successive leadership roles within the Provost’s Office since 2011. During her more than 30 years at Cal Poly, she also served on faculty and as associate dean in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences.

Pedersen is the chief academic officer of CSU and works with the president, deans, vice presidents, and campus community to strengthen the university’s reputation as an internationally recognized land-grant institution of higher education.

Getting to know President Joyce McConnell

Joyce McConnell on …

CSU and COVID-19

“Our continuing focus is on assuring the health of our faculty, staff and students, while also working to maintain the economic health of the university itself.”

“The through line of our narrative is decisiveness driven by the conviction that we not only can make our world better, but we must, now more than ever. And of course, now as always, I see our students and our alumni leading the way, inspiring us all with their energy, their resilience, their wisdom, and their compassion for our world.”

Access and Inclusion

“I’m passionate about our educational access mission. But access doesn’t mean much without inclusion. If we want our students to succeed and thrive, they need to know this is an environment where they are welcome, where they are supported, and where they don’t have to endure the persistent and painful power of racism and prejudice that still exists, not just on our campus, but in our broader community, and sadly, across the country.”

Free speech

“Free speech matters, but acknowledging an individual’s right to freedom of speech is not enough.”

“Some would say institutions can promote engaged inclusive discourse by hosting controversial speakers, making available public spaces for protests, and creating opportunities for art, literature and performance that challenges the status quo. They would be right to an extent. But the university also must commit itself to the long-term and evolving mission of inclusivity and harness it to the spirit of inquiry that is the lifeblood of a university.”

President Joyce McConnell holds up a Lego minifigure of herself.
CSU President and Doug Cloud, assistant professor of English and master LEGO builder, stand in front of a LEGO rendition of Old Main in Morgan Library.

President McConnell holds up a minifigure of herself at the LEGO model of Old Main in the CSU library.

CSU President and Doug Cloud, assistant professor of English and master LEGO builder, dedicate a LEGO rendition of Old Main, created to celebrate CSU’s sesquicentennial.