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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Search for a new president begins as Mottet steps down

The+Presidents+office+is+located+on+the+second+floor+of+the+Admissions+building.+Photo+by+Shannon+Sheehan.
The President’s office is located on the second floor of the Admissions building. Photo by Shannon Sheehan.

By Shannon Sheehan

Efforts are progressing to name a new Colorado State University Pueblo (CSU Pueblo) president following the resignation earlier this year of Timothy Mottet.

A committee has been formed with the following 12 members: John Fischer, Ray Baker, Polly Baba, Nate Easley, Gavin Graham, Margie Massey, Jon Pluskota, Yaneth Correa-Martinez, Mikayla Lerch, Russell DeSalvo, Carla Garcia, and Kate Siegel-Shimko. 

The CSU Board of Governors, which oversees the CSU system, said search details will be kept confidential and within the bounds of Colorado law to ensure confidentiality for the applicants.

In preparation for the selection process, the campus sent out surveys and held listening sessions to determine the attributes desired in the new president. Most prominently, community members stressed the importance of the next president supporting “the mission of a Hispanic-Serving Institution … who supports the University’s efforts to be welcoming and inclusive, and to deliver high-quality, innovative education to people from all walks of life,” according to a summary by the Board of Governors.

Gavin Graham, the Associated Student Government President for CSU Pueblo, is a search committee member. As the representative for the student body, he said he is looking for a president who “fits the hopes of students,” as he is responsible for representing the student body in all matters of the presidential search. 

He believes the new president needs to have a “commitment to engage with every constituency, especially students and the Pueblo community, as well as a commitment to furthering our Hispanic-Serving Institution initiatives, as they are the backbone of our university.” 

Graham hopes for a president who will often be seen walking around campus and engaging with students, faculty, and staff. 

Todd Kelley, the President of the CSU Pueblo Foundation, mentioned the importance of having a president who is “the out-front face of the university, being engaged with the community and alumni … to be the face and voice of the university.” He praised Mottet for possessing all of these characteristics throughout his time on campus. 

Kelley stressed the importance of the Foundation and president sharing a common mission and values. Both the Foundation and the university’s president play vital roles in fostering a positive outlook on the campus, which correlates with increased community support. The non-profit Foundation is governed by a volunteer board and is considered what Kelley referred to as, “the fundraising arm of the university.” Community support is vital to the functioning and mission of the Foundation, so a president who can encourage a positive image of the university is essential.

Kelley envisions a president who gets people involved, “whether they’re volunteering, coming to concerts; they’re coming to art shows or athletic events. They’re coming to everything just because they feel engaged and welcomed here on campus.” 

As a new president is being considered, Mottet’s impact on campus does not go unnoticed. Graham and Kelley praised Mottet for his hard work and involvement with students. Mottet has held his position for a little over six years now, leading the university through what Kelley considers one of the most challenging times faced by the university: the COVID pandemic. Kelley also praised Mottet’s efforts to improve CSU Pueblo’s academic programs, student retention, and recruitment. 

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