New university president to be announced in January

Sonoma State Universitywill be announcing the university’s next president on Jan. 27. The presidential selection process is an extensive and private process according to the Board of Trustees Policy for the Selection of Presidents. California State University Chancellor Timothy White and the Board of Trustees are searching for a well qualified applicant with much experience and outstanding leadership skills to fill current Sonoma State President Ruben Armiñana’s shoes.

“The CSU Board of Trustees is conducting the search for our next president, not Sonoma State,” said Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications Susan Kashack.
“This was a surprise to us as we expected to be heavily involved in the process, but found that is not how hiring new presidents is handled in the CSU.”

The Chair of the Board of Trustees designates a Trustees Committee for the selection of the president. The members on the presidential search committee are obliged to keep any information about the search under confidence, according to the Chair of the Faculty and Academic Senate and Professor of anthropology Richard Senghas. Those serving on the committee can’t mention any applicants, the amount of candidates, or how many people advanced into the semi-final stages.

Candidates advancing to the next level of consideration were decided on Dec. 1 by the Trustees Committee for the selection of the president. No information about the candidates can be released in order to keep the search professional.

Associated Student President Brandon Mercer said “The search committee is very strong and brings with it such a diverse group of minds to critically analyze every candidate,” said Associated Students President Brandon Mercer.

Although, Mercer said the committee lacks student representation, and the students are the majority. He is the only student in the room, and represents the student population with his voice. Mercer is happy with the candidates that have advanced thus far.

“We are getting closer everyday, to finding a fantastic candidate to lead Sonoma State,” said Mercer.

The search process consists of many meetings, some open to the public and others private. According to the Board of Trustees Policy for the Selection of Presidents, the Trustees Committee meet together to go over Sonoma State’s campus needs and the expectations or desired qualities or characteristics of the new president.

After these meetings and discussions, applications were accepted and the candidate pool developed.

“The Sonoma State presidential search process is on target with the goal of appointing a new president before the close of the academic year,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor of Public AffairsLaurie Weidner.

“I think our students deserve a president that is heavily integrated into everyday campus life.  Our students deserve a great leader moving forward that they feel comfortable stopping and talking to on their way to class or running into them in the student center,” said Mercer. “After all, Sonoma State has over 9,000 students, we are the absolute majority and the primary reason this institution exists; a new president must realize who the primary stakeholders in thisuniversity really are.”

The final decision and responsibility for the new president is up to the board, and the chancellor selected a staff to back the process.

Armiñana will retire June 30, 2016 and the new president will take office on July 1, 2016.
Armiñana has been with Sonoma State for 24 years by the time of his retirement, making him the longest serving president in the CSU.

“President Armiñana has been such a great ally of mine this year and an invaluable mentor.  Even throughout this search process, I have sought his guidance as to strategies to effectively serve all our students in a room where I have the least seniority,” said Mercer.  “I am so thankful for his warm greetings every time I meet with him and his unwavering love for this university and its students.”

For more information on Sonoma State’s presidential search, visit sonoma.edu/presidentialsearch.