BATON ROUGE -- LSU Chancellor Michael Martin is leaving Baton Rouge for Colorado State University. A statement from LSU confirmed that Martin has decided to take the chancellor position for the Colorado State University System.
“LSU is a great university, and I’m honored to have been your chancellor over the past four years,” said Martin, who plans to begin at CSU in August. “(Martin's wife) Jan and I have made so many friends during our four years here, and LSU will always hold a place in our hearts.
In a statement from LSU, Martin commented on the repeated budget cuts that universities such as LSU have faced in Louisiana in recent years.
"“We have been faced with a lot of uncertainty lately, but know that despite all of the lingering economic concerns, LSU’s place as the Flagship institution of Louisiana is more important than ever. I’m hoping and trusting that wise and committed leaders across this state will find solutions to alleviate budget concerns and help LSU to be the kind of place that the state of Louisiana needs.”
Earlier, Colorado State University governing board members called Martin a visionary and proven leader who can build strong relationships with civic leaders, lawmakers and businessmen. Martin was recommended to the board by an 11-member committee after an eight-month search.
"I'm confident that the CSU System and broader state of Colorado will greatly benefit from Dr. Martin's strong track record of successfully championing public higher education and building strong relationships among civic leaders, state and federal lawmakers, the business community and the general public," Joseph Zimlich, chair of the CSU Board of Governors, said in a statement.
It is LSU's second high-profile departure within a month. The LSU Board of Supervisors fired university system President John Lombardi in April after criticism that he didn't work well with campus leaders or state lawmakers.
Martin, 65, a former president of New Mexico State University, has a year remaining on his LSU contract. Since he was hired in 2008, he has been charged with leading a university that has faced repeated budget cuts in recent years -- with more slashing on the horizon.
Martin's base salary at LSU is $400,000 a year, but his contract included deferred payments that would increase his total compensation to $525,000 per year, if he stayed at LSU through 2013.