The CSU Board of Trustees is conducting an open search to find a qualified candidate to succeed President Leslie E. Wong, who announced last fall he would be retiring at the end of July.
It’s the beginning of what is a long road ahead in the search for the next SF State president.
“This can be a challenging place to be a president and I think that it’s not for everybody,” Academic Senate President Nancy Gerber said. “I want to make sure that somebody who might look good on paper is really right for our campus.”
Adam Day, chairman of the Board of Trustees, will appoint two committees to assist in the search: the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President and the Advisory Committee to the aforementioned group.
The Advisory Committee comprises nearly a dozen members including Gerber, faculty representatives Robert Keith Collins and Mary Beth Love, staff representative Shae Antonette Hancock and ASI President Nathan Jones, among others. Its role is to help winnow the candidate pool by providing feedback, reviewing applications and interviewing candidates.
The Trustees Committee is a much smaller group that includes Day, four members of the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Timothy P. White. They will make the final hiring decision.
The search is closed to the public in order to maintain the confidentiality of the candidates, which, according to Gerber, has received some pushback because candidates will not be on campus as they vie for the job.
“I will say that the student, staff and faculty representatives have spoken about this, and we strongly believe that it is our responsibility to make sure that those two to three finalists from whom the Board of Trustees will choose the next president are all two to three excellent choices,” Gerber said. “Basically, no matter who the trustees choose, we want to make sure those people are exceptional to our campus and would make an excellent presidential candidate.”
Gerber said the Advisory Committee hopes to get as much input from students, faculty and the community as possible, and a report based on a survey given to students on what they want in the next president will be submitted to the search committees.
“One trend I’ve noticed is that students want someone who is more student-oriented and someone who is not so much big corporation- and donation-oriented,” Jones, the AS president, said. “Obviously that is a job of the president. They want to raise money for the university, they want people to donate to programs at the university, but I also feel like this other big part of your job as a president of the university is to be an advocate for students — a champion for students.”
An open forum will be held Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at McKenna Theater in the Creative Arts Building on campus and will be livestreamed. A closed meeting will follow. Two additional forums will be held Feb. 27, from noon to 2 p.m., and March 13 from noon
to 2 p.m.
CORRECTION: A portion of the article ‘Hit-and-Run: SF State student’s ‘promising future’ cut short’ published on Jan. 29 was mistakenly added to the end of the print version of this article. The Xpress regrets this mistake.