Amy Parsons

CSU selected Amy Parsons, longtime university leader and CEO of Mozzafiato, as the sole finalist for its presidential position Friday.

Colorado State University Fort Collins named longtime university leader Amy Parsons the finalist in the university's search for its 16th president, the university said Friday.

The announcement comes after a highly competitive nationwide search. 

Parsons is currently the founding CEO of global e-commerce company Mozzafiato LLC. Prior to her CEO role, Parsons held senior executive leadership roles at CSU and in the CSU system for 16 years.

She served as deputy general counsel and associate legal counsel from 2004 to 2009, as vice president for university operations from 2009 to 2015, and as executive vice chancellor of the CSU system from 2015 to 2020. She also taught in the Student Affairs in Higher Education master's degree program.

Some of her notable accomplishments during her time at CSU include navigating fiscal challenges during the Great Recession, leading the first comprehensive salary equity survey, and overseeing construction and renovation of state-of-the-art classroom buildings, parking structures, research facilities, and a stadium.

Parsons graduated from CSU with a Bachelor of Political Science in 1995 and, in 1999, earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado. 

"There is only one job that could entice me to leave my current role, and that's this one," Parsons said. "It would be an immense privilege to be able to serve as the chief advocate and champion of this great university and to safeguard the success and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and alumni."

The 31-person search committee represented key stakeholder groups, including university faculty, current students, alumni and others. 

The committee was chaired by Board of Governors Vice Chair Armando Valdez.

"Amy has a deep personal commitment to CSU as an alumna and parent, and she's held a series of critically important roles at CSU," Board of Governors Chair Kim Jordan said. "She understands the budgets, the legal landscape, the importance of academics, and the role of the university in the state, the System, and in students' lives."

Parsons was born in Colorado and grew up in Wyoming. She dreamed of attending CSU and recalls working two jobs in the Lory Student Center to help pay for her undergraduate degree. 

Colorado law requires a 14-day notice and waiting period after the announcement of a finalist before the Board of Governors can enter into an employment agreement and announce a start date. 

If Parsons is approved by the Board, she will succeed former President Joyce McConnell, who left in June. Dr. Rick Miranda, CSU provost and chief academic officer for the CSU system, served as interim president and did not apply for the permanent position.

CSU had its largest and most diverse first-year class this fall as it fully re-opened for in-person education after the COVID-19 pandemic, the university said. If approved, Parsons will step into the role during a time of rebuilding. 

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