Frank Becomes Full-time Chancellor

Shift enables more focus on the CSU System and its projects

Dr. Tony Frank this summer will transition from dual roles as president of Colorado State University and chancellor of the CSU System to focus solely on his leadership role with the three-university System that encompasses the flagship campus in Fort Collins, CSU-Pueblo, and CSU-Global Campus.

The change will allow Frank to further strengthen ways the three institutions work together to serve students and the state. He also will have more time to guide increasingly robust System partnerships and initiatives from the CSU Denver Center, where the chancellor’s office is based.

Foremost among these critical System initiatives is the National Western Center, which in coming years will remake the grounds of the National Western Stock Show in north Denver into a major year-round hub for events, entertainment, education, research, and agribusiness innovation. CSU is a lead partner in the redevelopment, along with the city and county of Denver, the Western Stock Show Association, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and History Colorado. CSU programs at the National Western Center will concentrate on health, water, energy, the environment, and food systems.

Rico Munn, chair of the Board of Governors of the CSU System, described Frank as “one of the most respected leaders in higher education today.”

Large-scale projects at the System level, including the National Western Center, require Frank’s full-time attention as chancellor, Munn said.

“We believe our System will benefit most if he now is able to focus on the larger issues and opportunities facing all of our CSU campuses,” he said.

Frank’s transition becomes official on July 1, 2019. He will have been CSU president for more than 10 years.

Tony Frank, Chancellor and President of CSU
Dr. Tony Frank transitions to full-time chancellor of the Colorado State University System this summer. Frank is in his 11th year as president of CSU in Fort Collins; during five of those years, he also has led the three-campus System as chancellor. Photo by Mary Neiberg

As Frank anticipates a new role, CSU in Fort Collins is celebrating a number of remarkable gains under his leadership:

  • The physical campus has transformed with nearly $1.5 billion in recent construction. Enrollment during the 2018-2019 school year totals 33,877 students, with 11 consecutive years of record-breaking freshman classes.
  • More than 20 percent of that population is made up of students with diverse backgrounds, a marked improvement in diversity over a decade; achievement gaps also have notably improved.
  • Research activity has grown – evidenced by total campus research expenditures of $375 million in Fiscal Year 2018 – even as overall federal research funding has declined.
  • And, remarkably, CSU has surpassed its ambitious fundraising campaign goal of $1 billion nearly two years early, with additional gains expected by the University’s 150th anniversary in 2020.

Those achievements and others make this a good time to move fully into the role of chancellor, Frank said. A new president will take over in Fort Collins riding a wave of unparalleled momentum as the University enters its next era, he said.

“I really do believe this is the right move at an opportune time for our campus and the System as a whole,” Frank said as he announced the move.

“Our Fort Collins campus deserves a full-time president who is deeply engaged in the life and future of this institution. All three of our CSU System campuses are on a great, positive trajectory, and the Board wants to ensure there is support at the System level to continue to build on that momentum,” he said. “I’m grateful to be in a position to continue, I hope, to add some value and move our System forward in ways that will truly benefit the people and future of Colorado.” – Tony Frank

The System’s Board of Governors is directing the search for a new CSU president and will hire the next person to fill the role.

A comprehensive Presidential Search website providing information about the search for Colorado State University’s next president serves as a resource for presidential candidates while also providing information about CSU for the general public.