Presidents Orientation

Board of Trustees Policy for the Selection of Presidents


Responsibility for Appointment of Presidents

The Board of Trustees of the California State University, in partnership with the Chancellor, is responsible for the recruitment, selection and appointment of each campus president. Ultimately the Board of Trustees is CSU's governing body, in whose hands the retention and the transition of executive leadership resides. As the system chief executive officer to whom campus presidents report, the Chancellor is responsible for designating staff to support the process. The California State University is committed to the principles of consultation with campus and community representatives and to diversity in the selection of campus presidents.

Establishment of the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President

When a vacancy is known, the Chair of the Board of Trustees shall establish a Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President (TCSP) for the campus with an impending vacancy. The TCSP shall be composed of the Chair of the Board, three Trustees designated by the Chair, and the Chancellor. The Chair of the Board shall designate one of the Trustees as chair of the TCSP. The Chair of the Board shall also add an advisory group to the TCSP, to be known as the Advisory Committee to the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President (ACTCSP). The ACTCSP shall consist of the chair of the academic senate of the campus, two faculty representatives elected by the campus faculty, one member of the campus support staff elected by the staff, one student elected by the duly constituted representatives of the campus student body, one member of the campus Advisory Board elected by that board, one alumnus/alumna of the campus elected by the campus Alumni Association, and one vice president or academic dean from the campus and the President of another CSU campus selected by the Chancellor. Each of the campus representatives to the advisory group shall be determined according to procedures established by the campus. If the campus has a standing policy on campus representation to the ACTCSP that does not call for open election by each constituency, that policy shall be reviewed at the start of a new presidential search and either ratified or amended.

Following the determination of the membership of the ACTCSP, the Chair of the Board or the Chancellor may appoint up to two additional members from constituent groups to the ACTCSP to strengthen its capacity to cope with the complex requirements of a specific search, including diversity of the campus, the service area or the state.

Duties of the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President

The Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President shall conduct the search, determine the attributes desired for a successful candidate, approve the final campus and job descriptions and advertising copy, review and interview candidates, accompany semi-finalist candidates to campus visits, and recommend a minimum of three candidates to the Board of Trustees. Although these five Trustees shall constitute the only voting members of the presidential nominating process to the Board, the process should be conducted so as to encourage consensus with the campus representatives. The Chancellor may indicate his or her ranking of the final candidates before the full Board. The Board Chair and the Chancellor are authorized to utilize executive search firms to assist the TCSP and/or the ACTCSP on specific tasks related to their assignments. The Chancellor is responsible for background and reference checks of the slate of final candidates for consideration by the Board of Trustees.

Duties and Responsibilities of the Advisory Committee of the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President

The Advisory Committee to the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President will participate in deliberations that lead to the determination of the list of final candidates. The consultative procedures should be conducted in a manner designed to generate confidence in the selection process and garner local support for the eventual appointee. The Advisory Committee to the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President will provide advice regarding the position and campus descriptions and the advertisement.

Members of the ACTCSP will suggest potential candidates having the leadership qualities, administrative ability, academic qualities and other talents appropriate for that presidency. The ACTCSP will review and comment on candidate applications, participate in candidate interviews and offer comments as appropriate before the TCSP determines which candidates to advance to the next level of consideration.

Second Panel

In order to provide additional reaction to semi-final candidates, the chair of the TCSP and the Chancellor may appoint a second panel of campus constituents to meet candidates under the rule of confidentiality. The second panel would serve as a source of additional advice to the TCSP and the ACTCSP. If a second panel is to be named, the Chancellor will inform the constituencies of the number of nominations each should forward; it is understood that the number of nominations may exceed the number of seats each of the campus constituent groups (i.e., faculty, staff, students, advisory board and alumni association) will have on the second panel. After consulting with campus executive and constituency leadership the Chair of the TCSP and the Chancellor will determine the membership of the second panel. The Chancellor may add campus and system administrators and community members to the second panel. A majority of the second panel members will be faculty from the campus.

Campus Visits

Working with the ACTCSP, the chair of the TCSP and the Chancellor will determine the nature of campus visits by the final slate of candidates. The purpose of the campus visit is to encourage candidates to remain interested in pursuing the presidency by engaging in exchange of ideas with campus constituent groups and through promotion of the campus and the community. While the campus visits are not to be used for formal evaluation of candidates, every effort should be made to shape the visit so that it generates a foundation for the new president's success on campus. The slate of final candidates who visit the campus will be announced in advance of their visits.

Confidentiality and Professionalism

To assure that the search process respects the professional needs of candidates and is conducted with integrity, strict confidentiality must be maintained by members of the TCSP and the ACTCSP, the Chancellor and staff. Only the chair of the TCSP or the Chancellor will act as spokesperson for the committees during the presidential search process. After providing a notice of violation and an opportunity for a meeting, the chair may dismiss a member of the TCSP or the ACTCSP if confidentiality is determined by the chair to be violated or if the behavior of a member is determined by the chair to be unethical, unprofessional, disruptive to the conduct of business or if a member is determined by the chair to have ignored or failed to follow the rules and procedures described for the search, recruitment and selection process.

Deviations from These Procedures

It is expected that these procedures will be followed. The Board of Trustees will normally confine itself to the names of the finalists presented by the TCSP. In rare instances and for compelling reasons, the Board reserves the right, if, in its judgment, circumstances warrant, to depart from the candidate list or from the procedures outlined in this policy.

Adopted November 10-11, 1997
CSU Board of Trustees