Alongside a number of students graduating this May, one face most familiar with the current campus population will also be ending his stay at SF State.
The presidential search advisory committee announced recently the finalization of candidate reviews in the search for a successor to President Robert A. Corrigan when he retires from his position at the end of this semester. The new president will be announced next week following final candidate reviews May 7 by the California State University Board of Trustees, concluding the almost three-month-long search process.
“I’m super excited about this and I feel like students should be, too,” said ASI President Andrew Gutierrez III, the sole student on the advisory committee. “I think that the board wouldn’t pick a person they know SF State wouldn’t react positive to because our campus, it doesn’t react like every other campus. They want to please us.”
“However, as of right now, because we signed a confidentially form, we cannot talk about it until it’s announced,” he added.
The announcement is expected to come soon after the closed-door Board of Trustees meeting, no later than May 9, according to Gutierrez. While he is confident in his ability to address the needs and questions of students during the process, he, along with the rest of SF State campus, won’t find out the selected candidate until next week.
The names of candidates have been kept under wraps throughout the process to maintain applicant confidentiality. In the only open forum regarding the presidential search in February, CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed said this ongoing effort was to protect the relationships and future of candidates with their current employers.
Reed said that this was a decision to be left up to the committee. However, at this point in the selection process, even in the last stages, finalists will not be scheduled for on-campus meetings. Instead the appointed successor will be scheduled to visit the campus as soon as possible after the announcement.
“The campus advisory committee could make the decision not to hold candidate visits since they do not want to jeopardize any of the good candidates in the pool,” Leticia Hernandez, spokeswoman for the Chancellor’s office said. “The CSU wants to maintain a candidate’s confidentiality as some candidates won’t apply if they have to reveal publicly that they are looking for a new job.”
An additional aspect of the process that has brought about some controversy is the compensation allotted to the incoming president.
Subsequent to the $100,000 raise for new San Diego State University president Elliot Hirshman, who is presently one the highest paid presidents in the system, the Board of Trustees adopted a payment policy for new CSU presidents. Under the policy, newly-hired presidents will be capped at a 10 percent increase on top of their predecessors salaries.
According to Gutierrez, the public announcement of finalists for the San Diego State president was among the reasons for such secrecy around the search. As a member of the committee, he was required to sign a confidentiality agreement.
President Corrigan has headed SF State since 1988, the longest tenure of any president in University history. He is earning $298,749 for the 2011-12 academic year, meaning his replacement could potentially receive a $29,000 increase.
To provide a smooth transition for the incoming president, a number of University vice presidents and deans, alongside the Chancellor’s office, will work together, according to University spokeswoman Ellen Griffin.
“In addition, the newly appointed president will likely have thoughts on how others can best introduce him or her to the campus,” she said. “And all faculty and staff will be eager to help out in any way they can.”
The incoming president will also meet with the new ASI president for next semester, Adenike Hamilton, who has not been involved in any discussion surrounding Corrigan’s successor. In a meeting facilitated by Gutierrez, he hopes that all three can make an unofficial meeting in order to discuss moving forward in the Fall.
“I really wanted her to be in my position because I know I’m the president but I am also leaving,” said Gutierrez, who is graduating this semester. “We decided on the advisory board in December before elections though, and President Corrigan felt adamant about me being on the committee because he knows what I’ve done on campus. He said that I know the students and I’m the right representative.”
Corrigan’s 24-year history on campus has seen the growth of the University campus, including the establishment the College of Extended Learning in 2007. Since he was appointed president, a number of buildings have been added to campus including Humanities, Fine Arts, Student Services, the Village at Centennial Square, Ethnic Studies & Psychology, and the Cesar Chavez Student Center buildings. The newest completed addition, the J. Paul Leonard Library, is the largest construction project in CSU history, according to President Corrigan, passing Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Poly Canyon Village.
Amid the budget cuts and a possible future strike of the California Faculty Association, the new president is set to have a lot on his plate.