A jovial Elliot Hirshman met faculty, staff, students and alumni at a welcome reception Monday afternoon.
SDSU's next president Elliot Hirshman talks with biologist Chris Glembotski, left.
More than 200 SDSU faculty, staff and students turned out for a campus reception welcoming the university’s next president, Elliot Hirshman, Ph.D.
Most who attended the two hour gathering Monday in the Fowler Family Ballroom of the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center had an opportunity to meet the man who will serve as the eighth president in the institution’s 114-year history.
He is a scholar, and he is a very friendly and outgoing individual who has some great experience in all the things we need in a president.
After an introduction by President Stephen Weber, Hirshman delivered a brief speech thanking his predecessor for his leadership over the past 15 years and expressing appreciation for the welcome he received.
In his remarks, Hirshman acknowledged the university’s accomplishments in teaching, research and community involvement and vowed to continue emphasizing those areas. He also said he was impressed with the success of increasing diversity at SDSU.
“You will hear me use the term ‘inclusive excellence,’ the incoming president announced, “and I think it is very fitting to what’s happening here at San Diego State.”
Patricia Lozada-Santone, assistant dean for student affairs in the College of Education, was among those who were encouraged by Hishman’s remarks, which were punctuated with humor and often solicited laughs from the crowd.
“I’m very optimistic,” she said. “I think he’s a good choice to lead SDSU.”
Chris Glembotski, director of the SDSU Heart Institute, said Hirshman is a great fit for the university.
"He is a scholar, and he is a very friendly and outgoing individual who has some great experience in all the things we need in a president," Glembotski said.
"He has great experience running academic programs; he has been a chief research officer, and he is a researcher himself. He has experience overseeing and implementing a capital campaign; And he has experience at universities with Division I athletics."
A people person
Trimaine Davis is officer of outreach, recruitment and admissions for SDSU’s Educational Opportunity Program. He has had two occasions to meet the next president and hear him speak.
"He seems very approachable,” Davis said, observing the line stretching halfway across the room of those waiting to greet Hirshman. “Just the fact that he wants to stay and meet everyone before he leaves tells you about the kind of person he is. It tells you he’s a people person.”
The day-long visit to SDSU was the first for Hirshman since May 11, when he was named SDSU’s next president. Both he and his wife, Jeri, were on campus the first week of May during the presidential search process.
Hirshman returned to his current responsibilities as provost and senior vice president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He will assume the presidency of SDSU following President Weber’s July 5 retirement.