President: CMU poised to serve as human-scale university

Phil Castle, The Business Times

John Marshall, President, CMU

John Marshall keeps in his office a scale model of a barn, one built by an Ohio carpenter to show his new design.

Marshall said his great-grandfather developed the design to provide more space inside barns and in turn offer his neighbors something better.

Colorado Mesa University similarly could serve as a model for what the United States could become as a more respectful, humble and just place, said Marshall,  the new president of CMU. 

“We are poised to be that human scale university,” he said

Marshall delivered the keynote address at the Western Colorado Economic Summit in Grand Junction, outlining his vision for CMU.

Too many universities have become what Marshall described as idealogic monoliths that have given up on welcoming diversity and instead operate as duplication machines in producing similar graduates.

At the same time, graduates of all sorts are needed to solve problems. That includes graduates Marshall called diamonds in the rough. “We need all of them.”

Rather than offer large classes of students taught by teaching assistants, CMU offers small classes of 20 to 40 students taught by professors with doctoral degrees, Marshall said. Moreover, those professors know their students by name. And vice versa, he said.

CMU is comprised of what Marshall called amazing individuals who come together in a common mission, including students, faculty and staff.

In answering questions following his presentation, Marshall said he expects CMU to offer more degree programs even as the Grand Junction campus expands.
“I think you should assume we’re going to continue to grow.”

Student debt remains a concern as college tuitions continue to rise, he said. “We’re still too expensive.”

Marshall encouraged business owners and managers attending the summit to hire CMU graduates. “They have grit. They know how to work.”