Salsbury brings 37 years of professional experience, including executive management of a multi-billion dollar business, teaching engagements at eight institutions of higher learning, nearly two-dozen publications, several master’s degrees and a PhD 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,” says Todd Wheeler, chairman of Western’s Board of Trustees. “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.”
“Western is a remarkable institution, with equally remarkable people behind her,” Salsbury says. “The deep level of commitment of the multiple stakeholders – the foundation, board of trustees, faculty, staff, administration, alumni and community – was evident in the extraordinarily thorough due-diligence process. I am both honored and thrilled to be joining the team and look forward to contributing.”
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 and Head of Sales for Banks and Warehouses. Earlier in his career Salsbury was an instructor at several institutions, including: University of Southern California, California State University, Fullerton, University of California Los Angeles, Santa Barbara City College, and St. Mary’s College in Moraga. Salsbury holds a PhD in Organizational Communication from the University of Southern California, a master of arts in Communication Management from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, a master of arts in Communication from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor of science degree in Speech Communication and Psychology from Southern Illinois University.
An 18-member presidential search committee, including university faculty and staff, a Western student, Western alumni, business owners and elected officials from the Gunnison Valley, and members of the Board of Trustees, began meeting in August 2013 to consider potential candidates. In December, the committee interviewed nine people who had applied for the position and recommended four candidates to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees interviewed the candidates in person in January and then selected two to visit campus. Salsbury and David Morgan visited Gunnison in late January, where both candidates met with Western faculty, staff, alumni and community members.
The Board of Trustees officially appointed Salsbury as president during its Feb. 12 meeting.
Wheeler says he’s proud of the inclusive search process.
“A special thank you to all the students, faculty, staff and community members who participated in this search,” he says. “So many people committed their time, intelligence and hard work to make this process effective, transparent, open and very successful. Go Mountaineers!”