As transparency lawsuit advances, Blake to assume CSU chancellorship July 1

Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce President and Vice Chairman of the Colorado State University Board of Governors Joe Blake won’t become chancellor of the university for more than another month, even though today is the last day of the 14-day waiting period legally required to pass between his selection for and appointment to the position.

According to CSU spokesperson Michele McKinney, Blake is set to take office July 1, but the details of his contract with the land-grant university, including his compensation and benefits, are apparently being worked out and will be available for review after the CSU board meets publicly to offer him the position. The board has yet to schedule the public meeting, which will be held sometime between now and June 30.

The slowed pace the CSU board has adopted in completing the hire contrasts with the frenzied days that led to Blake’s selection for the chancellorship two weeks ago. His selection as sole finalist came months before the July 1 deadline established for the hire and in the shadow of a late-session bill introduced by state lawmakers looking specifically to pry open the CSU search process.

The announcement of Blake’s selection came within hours of the bill’s passage in the House and its introduction to the Senate. The bill was later killed by co-sponsor Senate Majority Leader Brandon Shaffer, who said he didn’t have time to build sufficient support to ensure its passage and that the urgency to do so dissolved once Blake was selected by the CSU board, effectively ending the controversial search.

The Colorado Independent, The Coloradoan and the Pueblo Chieftan have sued CSU to gain access to closed-door executive sessions related to the search, maintaining that the search violated transparency laws.

Blake met privately with the head of the CSU board, Chairman Doug Jones, April 29, the same day he submitted his application for the chancellorship. Colorado open-meeting laws likely forbid such private meetings concerning public institution board members.

Today, the CSU board posted notice of a special meeting to discuss the lawsuit (pdf). The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday May 20, at 9 a.m.

The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System will hold the following special meeting @ 410 17th Street, Suite 2440, Denver, CO via teleconference:
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 @ 9 a.m.

The public session portion of this meeting may be attended in person or by dialing 866-866-2244 and entering participant code 4706725.

Executive Session may be held at these meetings pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-6-402(3) (a) (II) to discuss the pending court action captioned “Multimedia Holding Corp., et al v’ Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System.”


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