CSU searches for new chancellor

Jay Kuklin, Government Desk Editor

The search for a new chancellor to serve the California State University system commenced on Tuesday, Feb. 7 in a livestream and in-person forum at the Dumke Auditorium in Long Beach.

The Implementation Committee for the Selection of the Chancellor hosted the forum, providing members of the CSU community an opportunity to voice their thoughts on the qualities and characteristics required for the next chancellor.

Wenda Fong, chair of the CSU board of trustees and chancellor selection committee, kicked off the meeting by thanking everyone for their attendance in the forum.

“We look forward to hearing from the CSU stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges facing the next chancellor and the qualities and experience you want to see in the next leader of the largest, most diverse and most consequential public higher education system in the nation,” Fong said.

The previous chancellor, Joseph I. Castro, resigned in February 2022 following allegations of mishandling sexual harassment complaints against a university official during his time as president of California State University, Fresno.

Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester explained why the board of trustees addresses the chancellor search with confidentiality.

“Many good people cannot disclose their interest in the CSU here if it damages where they are right now because there will be harm in the relationships that they have with their stakeholder groups with donors, boards and elected officials,” Koester said. “The board is ultimately going to appoint one individual, and it is important to not inflict damage to others’ careers in order to appoint that one person.”
Koester added that while the board is always striving to enhance its practices, she is confident that the search is in the best interest of the CSU system, the communities that they serve and the state of California.

Paula Van, an administrative assistant at California State University, Los Angeles, communicated issues of decreasing staff size, budget cuts, and low pay on campus.

“I don’t know about the other campuses, but here at Cal State LA, the way that we’re doing business is not sustainable,” Van said. “I don’t see how we can continue to function understaffed, underpaid, underfunded and underappreciated.”

Van said she hopes the next chancellor can address these issues as it “takes an outsider to see what’s wrong” to fix the issues and hold the CSU system accountable.
The open forum is expected to last two more days from noon to 2 p.m., with the next meeting taking place on Feb. 8 at California State University, Bakersfield and at San Francisco State University on Feb. 9.