With President Jolene Koester retiring at the end of the semester, the Northridge Presidential Search Committee has been working hard to find her replacement.
The search committee consists of the Advisory Committee to the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President and the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President itself, said Liz Chapin, CSU spokeswoman.
“The trustees committee is responsible for the recruitment, selection and appointment of the campus president,” she said. “Members of the advisory group help with the selection process and provide advice and consultation regarding the position.”
Members of both committees are selected by the chair of the CSU board of trustees, she added.
“Each member of the trustees committee is selected based on their experience (and) whether or not they have previously served on a committee,” Chapin said. “But their selection is really at the discretion of the chair of the board.”
The trustees committee consists of the chair of the board, Chair Herbert Carter, Chancellor Charles Reed, and board members Carol Chandler, Debra Farar, Robert Linscheid and Glen Toney.
Below is the list of advisory group committee members who represent the CSUN community.
Amanda Flavin, president, Associated Students
Associated Students President Amanda Flavin is the student representative on the presidential selection committee. As president, Flavin is meant to serve as a voice for the student body, advocating students’ needs and defending their interests. She has been with A.S. since her freshman year and is a graduating senior studying business law with a minor in economics.
There are a number of characteristics Flavin is looking for in the future president.
“I look for someone who demonstrates a willingness to listen to student concerns,” she said in an email. “I also look for a candidate with good listening skills, an ability to work well with others, and a belief in the mission of the CSUs.”
Flavin also hopes to see a candidate who is both honest and transparent. “I would be happy to see a candidate that understands how to work in the California political environment and with the CSU board of trustees,” she said.
Dr. William Watkins, vice president for Student Affairs
Vice President for Student Affairs William Watkins provides leadership to a number of facilities on campus, including the Klotz Student Health Center, University Counseling Services, Disabilities Resources and Educational Services, Financial Aid and Scholarships, Student Outreach and Recruitment Services, the Career Center and Student Housing and Conference Services. Watkins’ duties also include oversight of the University Student Union and the Associated Students, Inc.
Watkins said he and the advisory group are looking for a candidate who has a clear vision of higher education. The future president should have the ability to build and effectively leverage external resources and relationships, Watkins said in an email. He is also looking for someone with the capacity to exercise sound judgment, courage to do the right thing and the ability to exhibit patience and effective leadership in difficult situations.
Steven Stepanek, Faculty Senate president
Steven Stepanek’s time at CSUN spans multiple decades. He has seen the campus through the eyes of an undergraduate, a staff member, a part-time lecturer and a tenured professor. He began working full-time at CSUN as a professor in the computer science department, where he currently serves as department chair. Stepanek also serves as the president and chair of the Faculty Senate, a position which automatically granted him a place on the advisory group.
In the committee’s search for a new president, Stepanek said potential candidates are likely to be compared to the current president.
“In many respects, we’re looking for someone with similar qualities as President Koester,” he said. “The campus truly appreciates the qualities she has.”
Stepanek wants a candidate who is student-centered, committed to the campus and has strong beliefs in faculty governance. With major issues such as fee increases and budget cuts continually facing the university, Stepanek notes it is important to select a president who has knowledge of how a larger campus can function and can understand how these issues are greatly affecting students.
Michael Neubauer, professor in the Dept. of Mathematics and director of the liberal studies program
Michael Neubauer is actively involved on the CSUN campus. He has worked as a professor of mathematics since 1995, and currently serves as the director of the liberal studies program. Neubauer has recently served as co-chair of the WASC Re-accreditation Steering Committee, is chair of Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Committee, a member of the Faculty Senate and serves on the board of directors of The University Corporation.
Neubauer is one of two faculty representatives on the Senate Executive Committee. He has worked closely with President Koester and is knowledgeable about what qualities a president should have.
“The president needs to be somebody who will respect the culture of the campus community,” he said. “This individual needs to have a great understanding of CSUN and the region.”