Board Names Joe Blake Finalist for Chancellor Post
Colorado State University System
Board of Governors
May 5, 2009
The Colorado State University System Board of Governors today accepted the recommendation report by the 15-member chancellor search committee that was charged with identifying qualified candidates to lead the three-campus, 30,000-student CSU system. Also today, the board, including students and faculty board representatives, interviewed the two candidates brought forward by the committee and publicly voted to name Joe Blake as the finalist for the CSU System position.
Members of the search committee who represent a diverse and significant group of community leaders worked for the last several months to select candidates that met the position description created from input from stakeholders and approved by the board. Yesterday the committee met to interview candidates. The committee unanimously supported the forwarding of two candidates to the board for its consideration.
The search committee reviewed over 30 applications, which after several meetings and deliberation, the committee narrowed the candidate pool down to a dozen applicants that met the minimum requirements for the position. The committee pared down the pool to several extremely qualified applicants for the position. The candidates were interviewed separately by the committee yesterday. After the interview process, the committee selected two candidates to recommend to the board for consideration.
"Each member of our board knows the importance and impact a strong leader can have in directing a premier academic and research university," said Douglas Jones, chair of the CSU System board of governors. "Today marks an opportunity to redefine the leadership of a university system of CSU's caliber. The CSU System will be well served by the leadership skills and passion of Joe Blake. I have confidence he will be a great partner with the presidents of each campus."
"This is an exciting and meaningful opportunity, and I am thrilled to partner with the outstanding leaders at each campus of the Colorado State University System to help enhance the quality of this outstanding system. There is an impressive team on the campuses and by working together we can create an even more successful and brighter future for students, faculty and staff, as well as for the citizens of Colorado," Blake said. "As the first sole chancellor for the CSU System, I am honored to serve this great university."
"The board appreciates and is grateful for the thoughtful, professional and diligent work conducted by the search committee," Jones said.
"The search committee took the necessary time to search for a leader who will embrace the incredible future of this outstanding university system and work diligently to promote CSU's widespread contributions to the state of Colorado, nation and the world," said Marguerite Salazar, one of the three co-chairs of the search committee and board member.
The nearly six-month process started back in December when the board consulted with a national expert in higher education systems to evaluate various national organizational models of university systems.
At its December 2008 public meeting, the board decided it was in the campuses best interests to separate the conjoined position of CSU System chancellor and CSU Fort Collins president. In January and February of this year, the board held a series of public CSU stakeholder meetings to solicit input about expectations and desired attributes in a chancellor.
"As a public agency, the board believed it was our responsibility to have an open, thoughtful, thorough and inclusive process to reach out to as many CSU stakeholders as possible for input before launching a search," Jones said.
The chancellor will be a major resource gatherer for the campuses. Being based in Denver, the chancellor will be the face and voice of the CSU System who can meet with Colorado's executive branch, legislators, business and civic leaders, alumni and donors on a regular basis. Denver, alone, has nearly 70,000 students who attended CSU, with more than 100,000 around the state.
With dwindling state budget support, the chancellor will have an increasingly important role to look out for the financial needs of all the campuses as well as be a strong advocate for higher education in the state.
An official offer of hire cannot happen until after a 14-day public notice period as stipulated in state statute.
Joe Blake has served as president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce since 1999. His career has been focused on statewide leadership and stewardship of Colorado’s economy, competitiveness and business climate.
He currently serves as vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University system. He is a board member of The Denver Foundation, Denver Public Schools Foundation, the Metro Denver Sports Commission, Porter Hospital Foundation, Denver Police Foundation, and the Executive Committee of Colorado Concern (Past Chair). In recent years, Blake has chaired the Colorado Transportation Commission and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.
Blake’s commitment to statewide leadership was highlighted in 2005 when he served as co-chair of the statewide Yes on C&D campaign, a coalition of more than a 1,000 organizations focused on passage of Referenda C and D, also known as the Colorado Economic Recovery Act.
He served on Governor Bill Ritter’s Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel.
His past community service includes co-chairing the Denver South Platte River Commission, serving as president of the Metro Denver Home Builders and the Hospice of St. John Foundation, as trustee emeritus of the Denver Zoological Foundation, and as a commissioner on the Colorado Baseball Commission.
In recognition for his record of service and contributions to the community, he has received several awards: the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, the American Jewish Committee National Human Relations Award, the Henry M. Porter Award for Community Leadership from the PorterCare Foundation, HBA Builder of the Year Award, Public Education Business Coalition’s Champion of Education, the University of Colorado Law School’s Executive in Business Award, and the University of Colorado Graduate School of Public Affairs Public Service Award. Blake received an honorary doctorate of business administration from Johnson & Wales University.
He is a member of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s first Leadership Denver class and has received the program’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Blake was a part of the Mission Viejo Company senior management team that created Highlands Ranch in 1980 and continued with that development team until he was selected as president of the Denver Metro Chamber.
A Denver native, Blake is a graduate of Denver East High School, Dartmouth College (B.A., English Literature) and the University of Colorado School of Law (Juris Doctorate). He currently resides in Denver and is the father of two and the grandfather of four.
Governor Ritter Congratulates Blake and CSU on Chancellor Decision
Gov. Bill Ritter this evening congratulated longtime Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Joe Blake for being selected by the Colorado State University Board of Governors as the university system’s first chancellor.
"Joe has been a key partner and an important supporter of our efforts to strengthen Colorado’s economy, build a modern transportation system and improve higher education," said Gov. Ritter, who graduated from CSU with a political science degree in 1978. "We’ve made significant progress together these past 2½ years, and I look forward to continuing that partnership with Joe in his new role. There is much work ahead to continue improving educational quality and keeping higher education accessible and affordable.
“I would also like to thank Dr. Tony Frank, who masterfully led CSU Fort Collins through this transition as the interim president, and Joe Garcia, president of CSU Pueblo, who is helping to guide state education policy as co-chair of Colorado’s P-20 Education Council. I look forward to continuing to work with Joe Blake, Tony Frank, and Joe Garcia as CSU continues to support our efforts to lead Colorado forward as we position the state for a strong recovery and a sustainable future."