Michael Martin to receive U of M's Outstanding Achievement Award


A staunch advocate for and leader of land-grant universities will be honored Sept. 25 with a presentation of the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Michael Martin, a Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Applied Economics, former vice president for agricultural policy and dean of one of CFANS' predecessor colleges, is currently chancellor emeritus of the Colorado State University System and chancellor emeritus and senior fellow of CSU’s Colorado Futures Center.

The Outstanding Achievement Award is conferred on graduates or former students who have attained unusual distinction in their profession or in public service and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership.

As Colorado State University System chancellor, Martin, 68, led three campuses that educate more than 40,000 students per year, including the state’s only land-grant university in Fort Collins. Throughout his career, he’s led systems and universities in Louisiana, New Mexico and Florida, after beginning his administrative career at the University of Minnesota. He’s a native of Crosby, Minn., and began his academic professional career in teaching roles in Oregon and Minnesota.

He’s known for being an approachable, inspirational innovator who appreciates the value of land-grant universities to the agricultural and natural sciences and to industry. He’s been a strong advocate for increased engagement of traditionally underserved communities in higher education and in the agricultural and natural resources industries.

All the while, Martin, whose academic expertise is in prices, international trade, public policy, transportation and business logistics, has maintained an impressive research agenda and publication record. He is the author of numerous book chapters and articles for academic journals, trade publications and the popular press. He’s a member of numerous professional groups and has received many national awards for his teaching and advocacy. He’s one of only six people to be awarded the Justin Smith Morrill Award, which honors outstanding service on behalf of the land-grant mission and is named after the author of the bill creating land-grant universities.

“Mike has done many wonderful things for many valued institutions but it is his steadfast role as guardian and promoter of the land-grant mission that is his lasting, outstanding achievement,” said Brian Buhr, dean of the U’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. “Ensuring that our universities’ historic legacies of learning, discovery and service to citizens remain relevant for each new decade and each new century is the great gift that Mike has given us and it is deserving of our thanks and recognition.”

The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), based on the U of M’s St. Paul campus, includes a dozen academic departments and 10 research and outreach centers across Minnesota. As the university’s most visible example of the land-grant mission, CFANS takes pride in its responsibility and role in research, outreach and education for Minnesota’s future.