Crum on Graham, be more transparent

Some of the first stadium-related news was released by CSU Friday when it announced that David Crum has been hired as the associate athletic director for development.

What that (overly long) title means is that Crum has the high-pressure, low-visibility job of making sure that fundraising for the on-campus stadium meets its goal. Estimates for the stadium’s cost are between $250 and $300 million.

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Crum, who will earn $125,000 a year at CSU, was part of the team that raised more than $90 million for the University of Minnesota stadium — a process often cited as a success story during the on-campus stadium deliberation process.

It’s easy to criticize Crum’s hiring as unnecessary, but what his presence as a dedicated stadium advocate means is that the fundraising efforts of Brett Anderson, the vice president for university advancement, can remain focused on academic areas such as scholarships.

It’s good to see that CSU is moving forward with its plans for an on-campus stadium and doing it so visibly, but not every aspect of the on-campus stadium fundraising effort should be celebrated.

In today’s news story regarding Crum’s hiring (page 1), Athletic Director Jack Graham states that the fundraising campaign will not be of the “thermometer” variety, saying that there will be no status reports on a regular basis as he believes they would be counterproductive.

This attitude falls in line with the university’s approach to the on-campus stadium discussion so far. Since the stadium announcement was handed down Oct. 2, CSU has remained remarkably mum. This approach includes the announcement of Crum on Friday, a day often used by public relations departments for announcements that they would rather go unnoticed.

“Being Bold” isn’t just about hiring coaches, building stadiums and partnering with Under Armour — it’s about exciting your audience and making them believe in the big-picture vision.

The best way for CSU to do that is to communicate with the campus community through the updates that Graham thinks are counterproductive and engage in active conversation to make sure that the CSU community is up to date on on-campus stadium.