February 1, 2023

Good morning, Ram community,

As I begin my first day as CSU’s president, I want to share my appreciation for our faculty, staff, and students and your contributions to this great University, whose legacy we will continue to shape together. I especially want to thank Interim President Miranda for his outstanding leadership since last summer, and for agreeing to stay on as interim Executive Vice President while we undertake our search for a permanent Provost and Executive Vice President. Rick’s calm, thoughtful leadership has set a high bar, and I am grateful for his continued counsel and patience as I get reacquainted with our beautiful campuses, assess our human and physical infrastructure needs, and work with our leadership to advance short and long-term priorities.

As I’ve said previously, I will be doing a lot of listening over the coming weeks, as we fill critical leadership positions, move forward on the strategic plan, and finalize a budget for the next academic year. Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll be at the Board of Governors meeting in Pueblo, along with our faculty and student representatives, and we’ll be going over various budget scenarios keenly focused on compensation, including further plans to improve graduate student compensation. Obviously, there will be more to come on all of this, and lots of opportunities for the campus to weigh in. I’ll do my best to communicate openly and transparently, without putting too much strain on your in-boxes.

As I walked into the Administration Building this week, I was fully struck by the responsibility of serving this University and all of you. I enter this role with incredible pride tempered by a deep sense of obligation and humility. This is not an easy time in higher education, or in our world. Across our country, we’re seeing challenges to academic freedom and the right of faculty to oversee the curriculum – a right this University will steadfastly defend. Faculty and staff compensation has become a pressing challenge for nearly every public university, CSU included. And the murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis is a brutal reminder that all of us in education have a responsibility to ensure our own systems are just, equitable, and free of systemic bias.

As I begin my time as president, I commit to you that CSU will have a tireless focus on preparing students with the knowledge and skills to fully contribute to a better, healthier, and more sustainable world. We will hold fast to, and amplify, our land-grant tradition of expanding higher education access to those who are chronically underrepresented on campus. We will ensure all our operations are held to the highest standards of inclusion, integrity, and respect for all members of our community and that shared governance is respected and supported. When problems arise, we will take them seriously and do our best to respond with transparency, candor, and courage. This is a great university, and its future and character are in our hands. I’m honored to be joining all of you in this work, and I will do my best to elevate, celebrate, and support you – and this University as a whole. Thank you for the opportunity.


Amy Parsons