EastBay Today

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Posted February 3, 2020

A Presidential Search

California State University presidential search advisory board holds open forum

Students, faculty, staff and alumni all spoke at a public forum on Jan. 31 about what qualities they'd like to see in a new university president.
Natalie Feulner

In a packed public forum on Jan. 31, Cal State East Bay students, faculty, staff and alumni offered insight into what qualities they hope the CSU Board of Trustees will look for when searching for a successor to current university president Leroy M. Morishita. Morishita, who has led Cal State East Bay since July 2011, will retire June 30. 

After CSU Chancellor Timothy White gave opening remarks and members of the committee introduced themselves, more than a dozen students immediately stood to start the public comment portion of the event. 

“Think about what your next president needs to deliver in the coming years,” White told the room. “What makes East Bay special to you, what would you like to preserve and what would you like to change.” 

Common themes including the importance of increasing sustainability efforts on campus began emerging from speakers immediately. 

Many of the initial students who rose to speak spoke about the importance of leading the campus toward carbon neutrality and increasing its use of alternative energy sources. Others spoke about increasing academic support programs for students of color and continued support of students who are food or housing insecure. 

Several faculty and staff members spoke up as well, encouraging the committee to find a president who would look beyond graduation rates and ensure the university is setting students up for success after college. 

“[I would like to see a president who understands] what it is that we are put forth to do, not simply to get people in or out,” Assistant Professor Arnab Mukherjea said. “But how do we develop young professionals who solve problems.” 

In the coming months, the advisory committee who held Friday’s forum, along with the CSU Board of Trustees, will review candidates and conduct interviews. 

A recording of Friday’s open forum is available online  and anyone interested in providing a comment to the advisory board can email presidentsearch@caslstate.edu