CSU’s new ag dean hopes to make college more visible
For The Fence Poast
FORT COLLINS – Craig Beyrouty is not quite settled into his office at Shepardson Hall, but that has not prevented him from getting out in the state to get acquainted with people and get introduced as the new dean at the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences.
Nor has Rick Brase, who came to CSU at about the same time as Beyrouty to become the new director of development for the college.
And they both know they have some work ahead of them, but neither are backing down from the job.
Beyrouty was named the new dean and came to CSU in mid-July. He had served as a professor and head of the department of agronomy at Purdue University and has also been a professor and held leadership positions at the University of Arkansas.
He has been married to his wife, Valerie, for 32 years and they have three grown children.
“The college needs to be more visible,” Beyrouty said in an interview last week. He said one of several reasons he came to CSU was because the new administration, from President Tony Frank on down, recognizes CSU as the state’s land grant institution “and wants CSU to be a world-class land grant institution. You can’t do that without a college of ag sciences.”
He had no longer landed in Fort Collins before he joined Frank and other administrators on a tour of the Western Slope. Since then, Beyrouty has attended several county fairs, including an afternoon at the Weld County Fair, getting to know the people involved in agriculture in the state.
Beyrouty said his focus since arriving at CSU is getting acquainted with the faculty and staff of the college, learning what programs they are involved with and what programs they would like, or should be involved with, getting to know the college’s stakeholders throughout the state and discover what they think the college should be doing, and then develop a shared vision for the college.
“We need to explain what we are, what value that has to the citizens of the state, which then should convince them to keep investing in what it is we are doing,” Beyrouty said. He added that he has come to realize that the college has strong faculty and staff who are committed to the students who come to the university and who are conducting research that is a benefit to the state as a whole.
“You can come to a beautiful place (Colorado) to live, but if you don’t like your job what good is it?” Beyrouty asked.
Brase is a 1968 graduate of CSU with a degree in ag business and spent time in Greeley with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Home Administration in 1970 where he met his future wife, Judy, a native of Julesburg. Brase grew up in southeast Colorado.
Most recently he had been involved in commercial real estate and had come back to CSU for an alumni gathering when George Seward of Yuma told him Doug Mayo had left as the development director and Brase should look into the job.
“George said, ‘You know you can do it, but would ya?’ I said no, but then got to thinking about it. Real estate got pretty crappy at the time, so I talked to Lee Sommers (interim dean) and told him I was interested and now, here I am,” Brase said.
He said it is the university’s goal to raise $500 million for scholarships, improvements and other projects, and the ag college’s share of that is $45 million. There are about 300 ag college scholarships available worth some $600,000, but in addition to increasing those, the college wants to improve the facilities that house animal sciences and the college itself.
One of the areas Brase is working with other CSU fundraisers are endowed chairs and personal giving.
“In the next 20 years, 50 percent of all the ag land in the state is going to be transferred. Either family members will get that land, or maybe it will be sold to neighbors or some new investors. We can help with that process and protect the heirs at the same time,” Brase said.
He and the director of development for the university are putting together two-day seminars statewide that will explain that process. Brase said they are basically planning for retirement with financial advisors.
“There won’t be any sales pitch from us. We just want to help with the planning process and explain some options,” Brase said.
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