Colorado State University president Joyce McConnell will leave her post at the end of the month, CSU’s governing board announced Thursday morning, and she’ll receive a $1.5 million separation payment.
McConnell and members of the governing board “have decided to part ways” and she will leave June 30 — after working toward a smooth transition, an official statement from the board members said. They wished her “all the best in her future endeavors” and thanked her for leading CSU “during challenging and unprecedented times.”
McConnell has served since July 2019 as CSU’s 15th president, the first woman to hold that job. Under her leadership, CSU, a so-called land-grant university, drew more than $400 million in research funding.
She’ll also resign from her position as a tenured full professor at CSU’s college of natural resources, according to a separation agreement reviewed by the Denver Post. Under that agreement, she’ll receive a total $1,572,725 as consideration for “an early termination” of her contract.
CSU Chancellor Tony Frank, who runs the CSU system including CSU-Pueblo and the CSU Global online campus, announced the decision jointly with McConnell at board members’ regularly scheduled meeting.
“We want to thank Joyce for her efforts,” Frank said at the meeting. “The board will be working over the next couple of days to name an interim president as they begin the work to set up a national search that will include, as in past searches, broad faculty, staff and community participation.”
McConnell sent an email to colleagues Thursday morning. Leading CSU “is the highest accomplishment of my career in higher education,” she said.
“This is a truly great, world-class institution with significant statewide and global impact. I thank each of you for making this one of the top universities in the world.”