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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Stella: Miranda’s Fall Address reflected on our past, looked to future

Interim+President+Rick+Miranda+gives+the+Fall+Address+at+the+Oval+to+a+crowd+of+made+up+of+students%2C+faculty+and+alumni

Collegian | Reiley Costa

Colorado State University Interim President Rick Miranda gives the Fall Address on The Oval to a crowd of students, faculty and alumni Sept. 29.

Michael Stella, Collegian Columnist

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

The Presidential Fall Address and University Picnic returned to The Oval on the Colorado State University campus for the first time since 2019 after its cancellation in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and being held on the West Lawn of the Lory Student Center in 2021. A lot has changed for CSU since this speech was last given, including the person giving the speech. 

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Rick Miranda is the interim president of CSU. Miranda started his speech with a reflection on the beginnings of the fall tradition.

To understand the speech Miranda gave, you have to first understand who Miranda is. He is not your typical large university president. 

He has a much more laid-back presence than his predecessor Joyce McConnell, and if you passed him on campus you would likely not realize he is the current leader of Colorado State University. 

This was the 25th anniversary of the Fall Address, a tradition that started under President Albert Yates after the flooding in 1997. The Spring Creek Flood of 1997 wreaked havoc on Fort Collins and the university. Miranda said the CSU grounds crew ultimately pumped 5 million gallons of water from university buildings. 

From that dark and challenging time in CSU history, Yates challenged CSU to come back stronger, and if they were able to, their recovery efforts would be considered a success.

In a parallel fashion, 25 years after that speech from Yates, we now have an interim president leading us out of a pandemic and into the first year of university operations largely unaffected by COVID-19 in three years.

“Too often in society, leadership positions are filled by individuals who clamor for attention in spite of actual service. Often our best leaders are those who do not want to lead, but when they are called to lead, they answer.”

Miranda touched on a number of issues the university faces and what is being done to address them.

Equity received a lot of attention, as it should, but it is one thing to mention improving equity, and it is a very different thing to actually do it. Equity among the student population and staff is certainly a goal CSU should strive for, but it is also one that is hard to put into practice.

The outrageous amount of fees graduate students have to pay was addressed by Miranda — which was a promising sign — but it was disappointing that the interim president did not mention trying to lower tuition prices for undergraduate students.

CSU’s tuition has increased year after year, and it appears the university has done little to lower costs. 

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Miranda ended his speech by mentioning the importance of the CSU presidential search, and he said the hiring team will deliver the best for CSU.

The CSU System Board of Governors made a mistake in ending McConnell’s tenure, and it is disappointing they will not hire Miranda to be the next president of CSU.

Too often in society, leadership positions are filled by individuals who clamor for attention in spite of actual service. Often our best leaders are those who do not want to lead, but when they are called to lead, they answer.

That is exactly what Miranda did, and through his Fall Address and leadership, he deserves to lead the institution he has been part of since 1982. 

Reach Michael Stella at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @Michaelstella_.

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