The committee's first and only public meeting outlined the process for finding a new SDSU president.
The California State University Board of Trustees officially launched its search for a new president of San Diego State University with an on-campus “organizational meeting” to discuss the role of the search committee and other business related to the process. Nearly 100 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members attended the event.
President Stephen L. Weber is retiring in July and the committee’s goal is to have a new president in place by early May. The committee expects to bring two to four candidates to the campus for daylong visits in late April.
“It is a rather daunting process, and structured to be that way,” said committee chair William Hauck. “We don’t want someone here who does not have the energy, does not have the passion, does not have the desire to perform what is a very complex job.”
Confidentiality is key
Among topics discussed at the meeting were the role of the committee members, schedule of upcoming committee meetings and how candidates will be found and recruited, including the use of an executive search firm, Isaacson Miller, with input from the committee.
CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed discussed the importance of confidentiality during this process.
“If the media calls you, asking about candidates, just tell them ‘I’m not going to comment on that. Call Bill Hauck, call Charlie Reed.’ And we’ll tell them we’re not going to comment on that,” Reed said.
He explained that confidentiality is crucial to attract the best candidates. Sitting university presidents and others whose careers could be jeopardized if their interest in the position became public, he said.
The names of finalists and details of their campus visits will eventually be made public. In the mean time, committee members will be using a variety of criteria to review potential candidates.
Criteria for the new president
“From an alumni perspective, we’d like to make sure this person has an external focus, is a relationship builder and can bring the alumni back to the university,” said committee member Bob Payne.
Bill Snavely, chair of the University Senate and a member of the search committee, said the new president must communicate effectively and understand the variety of roles in which the president must participate, such as the university’s relationship with the NCAA. He also said the president must understand the university's core initiatives, such as research and study abroad.
As this was the first and only meeting that is open to the public, attendees were invited to ask questions and offer opinions. Several expressed their concerns that the new president have an understanding of and commitment to diversity on campus and access for the surrounding community.
Olivia Reynolds, a 1973 alumnus, noted that it is important that the new president is committed to SDSU's important role in providing access to higher education to local students.
CSU Trustee William Hauck chairs the Trustees’ Committee for the Selection of the President.
The other trustee members of the selection committee include:
- CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed
- Trustee Chair Herbert Carter
- Linda Lang
- Peter Mehas
- Lou Monville
Board policy requires the chair to appoint an advisory group to the trustees’ committee. The Advisory Committee to the Trustees’ Committee for the Selection of the President is composed of representatives of the faculty, students and alumni, as well as a member of the campus advisory board, all of whom are selected by the campus constituent groups.
Also on the advisory committee are a vice president or academic dean from the campus, and a president of another CSU campus, both selected by the chancellor. Both committees function as one group.
Members of the Advisory Committee for the Selection of the President include:
- Rollin Richmond, SDSU alumnus and president of CSU Humboldt
- Michael Bayliss, staff member, SDSU College of Engineering
- Mary Ruth Carleton, vice president, SDSU University Relations and Development
- Christopher Glembotski, associate dean of graduate affairs, SDSU Graduate and Research Affairs
- Grant A. Mack, student and president of SDSU Associated Students
- Isidro Ortiz, faculty, Chicana/o Studies, SDSU College of Arts and Letters
- L. Robert Payne, SDSU alumnus
- Christopher Sickels, SDSU alumnus and chair of The Campanile Foundation
- William B. Snavely, School of Communication director and chair of SDSU University Senate
- Bob White, community member
For more information about the CSU presidential search process, visit the CSU Executive Search page.
For more updates from SDSU, visit the SDSU presidential transition website.