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Presidential Announcement

February 12, 2014

Dear Mountaineer Nation,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Western State Colorado University and the seventeen members of the Presidential Search Committee, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Gregory B. Salsbury as the 14th President of Western State Colorado University.

Culminating over seven months of conversations, interviews, written submittals and evaluations of dozens of talented individuals, this appointment marks the beginning of a great new era for Western. Our search process has accomplished much more than just the selection of a new colleague. This journey has evaluated the mutual respect and understanding of the many stakeholders in our institution and served to solidify and focus our collective vision and objectives.

Dr. Salsbury brings to our institution 37 years of professional experience including executive management of a multi-billion dollar business enterprise, teaching engagements at eight different institutions of higher learning, nearly two dozen publications, multiple masters degrees and his Ph.D. in Organizational Communications from the University of Southern California. While Dr. Salsbury has an impressive past and an effective command of the present, our appointment of him to lead this great institution was made for his vision and enthusiasm about the future of Western State Colorado University. Dr. Salsbury demonstrates a passion for leading the institution toward a unified vision of success which is balanced throughout the enterprise, and a steadfast commitment to improving student outcomes while holding the institution accountable to our values: quality, achievement, innovation, fiscal responsibility and growth.

In addition to welcoming Dr. Salsbury to the Mountaineer Nation, the Board of Trustees wishes to extend a heart-felt welcome to his family, wife Marian, son Colton and twin daughters Amelia and Bailyn, all of whom are truly excited about this next chapter in their family’s life and looking forward to living in the President’s residence on campus.

A special thank you to all the students, faculty, staff and community members who participated in this process and who committed their time, intelligence and hard work to make this process effective, transparent, open and very successful. We further extend our thanks to all the candidates interested in our position and specifically to Mr. David Morgan, and his wife Alisa, for their extraordinary efforts and consideration in pursuit of this appointment. Western wishes the Morgans all the best in their lives and careers.

Go Mountaineers!

Todd M. Wheeler

Chair, Board of Trustees

January 15th, 2014 Update

Dear Campus Community,

The Board of Trustees of Western State Colorado University is pleased to announce two finalists for the next President of the University. Both candidates will be visiting campus in the next several weeks.

Dr. Gregory Salsbury will visit campus January 24th and January 25th. Dr. Salsbury has worked for the Jackson National Life Insurance Company since 1997. He has functioned as Jackson National Life’s Executive Vice President of Distribution, Head of Sales, Executive Vice President of Jackson National Life Distributors, and Senior Vice President for Resource Development. Among other duties, these positions involved responsibility for marketing, corporate communications, recruiting, and career development.  Dr. Salsbury holds a PhD in Organizational Communication from the University of Southern California, a MA in Communication Management from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, a MA in Communication from the University of Illinois and a BS in Speech Communication and Psychology from Southern Illinois University.

Mr. David Morgan will visit campus January 31st and February 1st. Mr. Morgan is currently Vice President of the Perkins School for the Blind and General Manager of Perkins Products, both located in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Daniel Webster College. In Mr. Morgan’s capacity at the Perkins School for the Blind, he is responsible for a $70 million budget. He also is responsible for strategic planning, finance, new product development, operations, engineering, consulting & training, sales and marketing for the Perkins Products Division. Mr. Morgan has written numerous papers related to Braille literacy and innovation, and has presented at numerous conferences.

We have posted resumes and answers to interview questions from both candidates on our website at western.edu/presidential-search.

As I reflect on the eight-month process that led us to this moment, the hours of dedication from seventeen committed champions of the institution and Gunnison Valley and the purposeful and prudent guidance from nine highly engaged Trustees; I am filled with enthusiasm for the future of Western.  These two finalists are highly intelligent, passionate men who embody the essence of what it takes to lead the Mountaineer Nation.  Both have proven their business acumen and have demonstrated a knowledge of and passion for academia.  They both have a passion for teaching that is rivaled only by the great educators currently setting Western State Colorado University apart from other institutions.  The ability of these finalists to listen, process and organize information, build consensus around principled strategy and then lead by example, lead through passionate promotion of the amazing talent that currently exists and that they know they can foster and build – this is the stuff that sets these men apart from an extremely professional and qualified group of candidates.  Our Board is honored to have these gentlemen come to the top of the mountain and share with us and listen and ultimately complete the transformation that began eight months ago.

Both candidates will visit campus and meet with students, faculty, staff, community members and the Board of Trustees. We will host several open sessions where you can meet the candidates and ask questions. We will communicate these meeting locations as soon as they are available. We hope you will then share your feedback with us. The best way to provide this feedback is via email at presidential-search@western.edu, or by phone at 970.943.2007.

You will find the itineraries for both candidates attached as the third page of this letter. Please join us in welcoming both candidates to Gunnison, and we look forward to your feedback.

Sincerely,

Todd M. Wheeler

Chair, Board of Trustees

December 9th, 2013 Update

Dear Campus Community,

On December 5th and 6th, the Presidential Search Committee met on campus to interview, by video, nine fantastic candidates for the next President of Western State Colorado University.  Candidates were asked seven consistent and pre-determined questions designed to enlighten the committee on each candidate’s experience, leadership characteristics, knowledge of key topics and critical thinking skills.  Additional questions were asked based on individual committee member’s concerns or interests.  The purpose of these interview sessions, and the hours of discussion that followed, was to proceed with one of the following courses of action:

  1. Recommend a short list of potential candidates to the Board of Trustees for interviews;
  2. Develop a list of potential candidates that the Presidential Search Committee will interview in person in early January before completing a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

The committee overwhelmingly felt that a list of semi-finalist candidates should be immediately recommended to the full Board of Trustees for in-person interviews to occur on January 10th and 11th at Denver International Airport.  Once the Board of Trustees has the opportunity to personally interview each semi-finalist candidate, a determination will be made by the board as to which of those candidates are considered finalist candidates and what process will then be engaged for disclosure of those individuals and the anticipated procedure to provide interaction and feedback with the campus community. 

Please continue to provide feedback via email at presidential-search@western.edu, or leave us a voice mail at 970-943-2007.  The members of the search committee have read and listened to each and every message and we appreciate the Mountaineer Nation stepping up to provide their support.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Western State Colorado University, I would like to thank all the members of the Presidential Search Committee for their respectful and productive work.  All stakeholders should be proud of the effort put forth by their representatives!  Thank you all for your support and commitment to Western and have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Go Mountaineers!

Todd M. Wheeler

Chair, Board of Trustees

November 22nd, 2013 Update

Dear Western Community,

On November 15th, the Presidential Search Committee met on campus to review nearly two-dozen applications and comprehensive answers to questions provided by Wheless Partners, our professional search consultants.  The committee discussed candidates and evaluated them based on experience, accomplishments, education, performance and the content and style of their responses. The candidates were asked questions designed to evaluate their beliefs, thought processes and leadership style. 

While there were constructive discussions around the experience, traits and skill sets of several candidates, the committee, comprised of 17 stakeholders from the university community, did a fantastic job of listening to one another and demonstrating understanding and support of the many different facets that make our institution such a special place. 

On December 5th and 6th, a smaller group of candidates will be invited to participate in video interviews with the search committee. Following those interviews, the committee will meet to discuss, evaluate and proceed with one of the following courses of action:

1.     Recommend a short list of potential candidates to the Board of Trustees for interviews.

2.     Develop a list of potential candidates that the Presidential Search Committee will interview in person in early January before completing a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

Once the committee has made its recommendation to the Board of Trustees, the Board will decide whether those candidates are considered finalists and what process is required for disclosure and transparency.  Depending on how many candidates are involved and their individual needs, the Board of Trustees will establish a process by which candidates will meet with the Board of Trustees and, at the appropriate time, with members of the campus community so that they may provide feedback to the Board.

The Presidential Search Committee has received 29 emails and 6 voice mails with nominations, comments and desired traits in a new President.  The members of the search committee have read and listened to each and every message and we appreciate the Western Nation stepping up to provide their support.  On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee and the Board of Trustees of Western State Colorado University, thank you all for your support and commitment and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Go Mountaineers!

Todd M. Wheeler

Chair, Board of Trustees

November 1st, 2013

The search for Western's next president is well underway. The position has been advertised and the search committee is currently reviewing a pool of candidates to consider for interviews. 

September 2013

The official presidential prospectus is being advertised and applications are being accepted.

August 2013

The presidential search committee has officially been seated. The committee consists of a group of 18 carefully selected individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Meet the committee. 

Summer 2013

Western State Colorado University has contracted with executive search firm Wheless Partners to assist in the search for Western's next president.