Larry Penley, the president and chancellor of Colorado State University, unexpectedly resigned his position Wednesday via a letter to the system’s Board of Governors, effectively ending his five-year reign at the state’s second-largest public university.
The resignation came weeks after The Colorado Independent published an investigative series highlighting the decisions made during Larry Penley’s tenure to increase administrative and athletics funding during the last five years.
“I want to be free to pursue other leadership positions in higher education,” Penley said in a letter to the board chair Doug Jones. “This resignation will allow me the flexibility to do so.”
Rumors have been floating among university faculty ranks for a number of days that Penley was going to be asked to resign. In a public statement released through the university, the Board chair Doug Jones said:
“Today, President Larry Edward Penley announced his resignation as President of Colorado State University and Chancellor of the CSU System. Dr. Penley has served Colorado State University for five years with capable leadership and ambition helping to place CSU on the map of preeminent institutions. He has helped, in collaboration with the faculty and others, to position Colorado State University as a leader in research and education in Colorado and the nation. The Board is grateful for his leadership and direction in improving the position of the university in biomedical sciences, infectious disease, and global environmental sustainable solutions, particularly the establishment of the new School of Global Environmental Sustainability. The entire Board of Governors wishes Larry success in his future pursuits.”
In September, The Colorado Independent published a three-part investigative series on Penley’s tenure at CSU raising questions by faculty and state legislators on the probity of a directive to shift millions of dollars in state funds away from the academic colleges and library system, while beefing up the school’s athletics department and nearly tripling the budget of his own Office of the President.
Read The Colorado Independent Thursday for an in-depth report.