The SOURCE this week published a wonderful “get to know you” article about Joyce McConnell, CSU’s incoming president. Excerpt from the SOURCE article:

“Here are a few other things you should know about McConnell as she prepares to take over for Tony Frank, when he steps into the role of full-time chancellor for the CSU System on July 1:

• DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: She has been a tireless advocate for the LBGTQ community at WVU. “Twenty years ago, when Joyce was a professor in the law school, our LGBTQ students didn’t feel safe enough to meet on our campus,” said T. Anne Hawkins, clinical director of the WVU counseling center. “Joyce invited them to meet at her home. She didn’t have to do that, but that’s an example of how much she cares about all students.”

• AGRICULTURE: McConnell has long felt a special kinship with nature and the outdoors, so it was logical when Gee asked her to connect with West Virginia’s agricultural community. McConnell embraced the task while provost, reinforcing WVU’s longtime ties to agriculture. “There are very few people who have a more religious devotion to the land-grant mission than Joyce,” Gee said. “She quickly learned that the agricultural part of this state is very important, and she’s been a tenacious advocate for that community. She will do the same in Colorado.”

• ATHLETICS: McConnell appreciates and embraces the role athletics play on a college campus, particularly with a Division I program like those at CSU and WVU. She served on the search committee that brought current WVU football coach Neal Brown to campus, and serves on the powerful NCAA Committee on Infractions. “I think athletics play a really important role on a college campus, particularly one this large,” she said. “Athletics, in many ways, is very community-building – it brings people together who might not otherwise gather to celebrate. I think it’s really wonderful for our student-athletes. I like to compare them to students in the band, students in the performing arts, and all others who work hard and commit themselves to something.”

• FUNDRAISING: Gee asked McConnell to take a prominent role in fundraising, which is somewhat unusual for a provost, but she connected with many of the state’s top donors in helping WVU’s “State of Minds” campaign bring in a record $1.2 billion. Her involvement was personal: While raising funds for the law school’s renovation, she drove six hours on winding, two-lane mountain roads “through the worst thunderstorm I’ve ever seen” to meet with a WVU alum about a gift, even though she had been told the donor would never contribute. She left with a check for $1 million.”

Continue reading the SOURCE article by Tony Phifer, May 13, 2019