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Questions continue over pending retirements


By William J. Dagendesh

The stepping down of a dean and the retiring of senior administrators at the end of the semester at CSU-Pueblo has people asking why these events are happening simultaneously.

In December Michael Fronmueller stepped down as dean of the Hasan School of Business. Russ Meyer and JoAnne Ballard, the provost, and the vice president of finance and administration, will retire at the end of the semester. The announcements were made after Julio Leon assumed duties as interim president of CSU-Pueblo last November.

People believe controversy surrounds the retirements and stepping down. Some believe the unannounced departure of former business school adviser Stig Jantz at the start of the fall 2010 semester figured in Fronmueller’s decision to step down.

Meyer is retiring because the university needs change, he said, and that it is time for him to help with that change.

“Typically, when a university hires a new president, the provost and vice presidents submit their resignation,” Meyer said. “I’ve been here 11 years and they’re (university) not going to get the chance (for change) if I’m the one here.”

Some people believe Meyer should wait until the new university president assumes office before retiring. However, many universities are hiring non-academic presidents, Meyer said, and that he doesn’t want to “break in” a new president with this kind of background. Meyer might have stayed longer if Joe Garcia remained president, he said, but that he would have retired just the same.

“If they (board) hire somebody who has a lot of university experience, it would be a matter of the president directing me,” Meyer said. “But, if they have someone who doesn’t have a lot of academic experience, then it’s a tough job to move them into the academic culture.”

CSU-Pueblo presently is searching for a new provost, Meyer said, and that an interim provost will be named prior to his departure.

“The new president should have a say in who the new provost will be,” Meyer said.