CSU Chancellor Blake’s contract posted; meetings lawsuit settled

In a year of record budget shortfalls, the Colorado State University board created a new top executive spot at the university and filled it with board Vice Chairman Joe Blake. The new chancellor’s contract is now posted online at Face the State’s Reading Room. The upshot is that, as land-grant CSU continues to wrestle with its shrinking budget by laying off faculty and staff across departments, it will now pay $625,000 per year in combined salary to Blake and CSU Fort Collins President Tony Frank. Last fall the university paid a $389,000 salary to Larry Penley, who served, like all of the men who held the position before him, as both system chancellor and Fort Collins campus president.

Blake will receive $275,000 per year, a $9,000 annual vehicle allowance, plus up to $50,000 a year in performance-based bonuses.

CSU-Fort Collins President Tony Frank will make $350,000 plus a $42,000 allowance for housing and automobiles. Frank’s benefits include up to $25,000 annually for a performance-based bonus.

Meantime, CSU and The Colorado Independent, The Fort Collins Coloradoan and the Pueblo Chieftain, which sued the university for breaking state open-meeting laws, have settled.

Negotiations had been underway for weeks after Larimer County Judge Stephen Schapanski ruled that the CSU board had violated the law and that the university must release additional minutes of the May 5 closed-door meeting in which Joe Blake, then-board vice chairman, had been selected as the sole finalist for the university’s new chancellor position.

Blake assumed office July 1. His employment contract was finalized last week.

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