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Martin set to leave LSU: talks to News2

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BATON ROUGE-  LSU is now searching for two top leaders.

Chancellor Michael Martin is leaving for a job at Colorado State University.  He says the move will fulfill personal career goals and avoid uncertain leadership changes at LSU.  He'll remain at LSU until August.  His new job has a five year contract and it pays $375,000 a year, a little less than what he makes at LSU.

Martin says he was actually offered this same job ten years ago, but the timing wasn't right.  Now, he says, it is.

"This isn't about running away from anything," said Martin, "I've said many, many times, I'll never leave for a push, I'll only leave for a pull and this is a very good pull."

Martin says the move is what that university needs and what he wants.

"I have been everything from a dry waller, to a university president and everything in between except a system president," he said, "So this is a chance for me to be a part of building a system that's on the ascent in a place that's pretty nice to live at a time in my career when I think I can actually bring something to the roll."

But he doesn't like leaving LSU behind.

"I owe this place a great deal so I plan to stay to get us into the fiscal year because I know a lot about the budget. Colorado faces similar challenges," he said.

The CSU system, like LSU, is staring down millions in budget cuts and leaders there say they've got to have Martin to get through it.

"It's going to require talent and creativity and leadership and we believe that Dr. Martin has those skills and will be a vital asset to our system as we move forward," said CSU System Board Chairman Joe Zimlich.

How LSU goes forward without him is a concern for Martin, but he's committed to fighting for its future as long as he's here.

"I hope that the citizenry and those that represent them understand that a serious loss of the stature and the progress of LSU will set back all of higher education in this state and that's way too high a price to pay, not just for the contemporary folks here, but for future generations, so I hope that message gets out there and I'm going to try to send it at every turn," said Martin.

CSU leaders say the formal offer and contract should be wrapped up in the beginning of next week.  William Jenkins, the Interim LSU System President, will also take over as interim chancellor.


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