Chancellor Search

The Board of Trustees of the California State University (CSU) invites nominations and applications for the position of Chancellor. As Chancellor, the successful candidate will have the extraordinary opportunity to lead the largest, most diverse, and most consequential university system in the United States, and guide the system and its 23 universities during a significant period of change in higher education and society as a whole.

The California State University
One of three public higher education systems in California, the CSU is the largest and the most economically, ethnically, and academically diverse comprehensive public university system in the United States, offering affordable undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates and awarding more than half of the bachelor's degrees and nearly 25% of the master's degrees granted in California. In 2020-21, the CSU conferred more than 132,000 degrees with the majority of its students graduating with zero debt. One out of every 10 California employees is a CSU graduate and almost one out of every 20 bachelor's degree holders in the United States earned their degree from the CSU.

Created in 1960 with the mission of providing high-quality, affordable education to meet the state of California's ever-changing workforce needs, the CSU is a powerful driver of social and economic mobility and is committed to student success and closing education equity gaps. As a testament to the CSU's impact as a driver of socioeconomic ascent, CSU universities claim four of the top 10 positions on CollegeNET's 2022 Social Mobility Index and eight of the top 20. All 23 CSU universities are ranked in the top 100 of the index, which measures approximately 1,500 universities' impact in providing opportunities for economically disadvantaged students to graduate into well-paying jobs.

The CSU prepares the majority of California's business executives, community leaders, and policymakers to make an immediate impact in virtually every business and industry. The CSU offers more than 4,100 undergraduate and graduate degrees to students through both classroom and online instruction via its 23 universities and 7 off-campus centers serving nearly 460,000 students and employing more than 56,000 faculty and staff across the state. Moreover, the CSU offers the most affordable higher education programs in the nation and maintains one of the lowest tuition rates in the country with undergraduate tuition fees totaling just $5,742. Eighty-three percent of CSU students receive financial aid and more than 60% have the full cost of their tuition covered by non-loan aid, such as scholarships and grants. The CSU draws its students from the top third of the state's high school graduates and transfers from community colleges. It is an unparalleled resource for California's underserved communities; approximately one-half of the CSU's 460,000 students identify as historically underrepresented minority students, nearly one-half receive the Pell Grant, and nearly one-third are the first in their families to attend college. The CSU provides more than half of all undergraduate degrees granted to California's Latino, African American, and Native American students. Approximately two-thirds of CSU students are non-white, and the ranks of leadership, faculty, and staff continue to evolve to better reflect the rich diversity of California.

The CSU helps power the companies that power California's economy and plays a major role in the state's regional and collective economy, now poised to become the world's fourth largest, even surpassing that of Germany. Expenditures related to the CSU generate more than $26.9 billion in economic impact and sustain more than 209,000 jobs. In addition, for every $1 the state invests in the CSU, the CSU returns almost $7 in economic activity. Given its profound impact on the state of California and its communities, the CSU has also garnered significant support from Governor Newsom and the Legislature with an unallocated recurring state general fund increase for the CSU totaling $227.3 million dollars in the Governor's 2023-24 budget proposal. An action that is in line with the multi-year budget compact between the Governor's administration and the CSU and underscores the Governor's firm commitment to higher education and his unwavering support of and belief in the CSU's mission.

Over the decades, the CSU has continually added and adapted its universities to promote the growth and diversity of communities across California. Today, the CSU comprises 23 universities, as well as affiliated branch campuses, research laboratories, and natural lands that span from Humboldt in the north to San Diego in the south. Each CSU university has its own identity, with distinct student populations and programs, yet all share the same mission: to provide high-quality, affordable higher education to meet the evolving workforce needs of the people of California. To learn more about the California State University, visit .

CSU Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is a systemwide governing board and performs both a regulatory and oversight role, through the adoption of policies affecting academic, fiscal and human resources, oversight of the collective bargaining process, risk management, and audit. In conjunction with the Chancellor, it also oversees the government relations program for the system.

The composition of the Board is specified by state statute and consists of 25 voting members that include 16 members of the public appointed for 8-year terms by the Governor, 2 trustees who are CSU students, one CSU faculty trustee, one alumni trustee, 4 statewide elected officials who serve ex-officio (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, Superintendent of Public Instruction), and the system Chancellor who is also an ex-officio voting member of the Board.

The Board is organized into several standing committees and is led by a Board Chair who is selected by the board members for no more than two consecutive one-year terms. The Board meets six times a year. For more information on the Board of Trustees, visit .

Role of the Chancellor
The role of Chancellor of the California State University is unique - and uniquely impactful - within American higher education. The Chancellor provides visionary and strategic leadership for the nation's largest and most diverse four-year public university system, its greatest driver of socioeconomic ascent, and the pipeline for California's highly educated workforce. Fostering and sustaining a highly talented, collaborative, and mission-driven team including Chancellor's Office staff and the CSU's 23 university presidents, and with the Board of Trustees' stewardship and support, the Chancellor will chart the system's path forward during this consequential moment in higher education, one marked by great challenges, but also by unbounded opportunity to expand access and success for California students, to drive the state's future economic prosperity, and to serve as a national model for educational equity and inclusive excellence.

The Chancellor serves as the CSU's most passionate advocate, its chief spokesperson, and the principal representative for all constituencies of the system. The Chancellor has the critically important responsibility for powerfully and effectively communicating the system's extraordinary value and impact to key stakeholders, as well as reinforcing its effectiveness in meeting its academic mission. The Chancellor is the CSU's champion for securing funding and public support for its work, and expanding the educational, economic, and social opportunities it creates.

Reporting directly to the CSU's Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, working with and through the 23 university presidents, is responsible for the overall management of the CSU, as well as for the operations of the Office of the Chancellor. Through a shared governance model, the Chancellor works in a collaborative manner to sustain the excellence of the instructional program, and to ensure that the educational opportunities provided appropriately evolve to meet the changing needs of California's citizens and its business community.

The Chancellor is appointed by the Board of Trustees and serves at the pleasure of the Board. The Chancellor is the CSU's chief executive officer and is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the recommendation, implementation, and administration of the policies of the Board. The Chancellor also serves as an ex-officio member of the Board. For more information regarding the CSU administration, visit .

Well-qualified candidates will possess many of the following qualifications and characteristics:

• A transformational student-centered leader with a deep understanding of and commitment to the CSU mission and culture and who engages students, faculty, staff, and administrators in a transparent, action-oriented, and empathetic manner.
• Experience as a president or chancellor of a university campus or multi-campus system or equivalent experience as a senior executive in a complex organization outside higher education.
• The emotional intelligence and judgment to determine key factors of a complex situation and the ability to make sound, ethical, and timely decisions; the integrity, temperament, stamina, and energy to carry out the creative action needed to succeed in the Chancellor's position.
• Recognition of the significant role the CSU's 23 university presidents play within the system and at their respective institutions; the ability to nurture the leadership skills of the presidents and encourage them to pursue interests relevant to their individual university while respecting the role of the system.
• The ability to provide bold visionary leadership in planning, securing funding, and implementing actions required to accomplish goals and objectives of a comprehensive multi-university system.
• A proven record of success at working effectively with faculty, students, staff, and unions in a collective bargaining and shared governance environment; demonstrated ability to understand and use collective bargaining to advance the well-being and interests of the CSU community.
• The knowledge of and the ability to relate to multi-ethnic, culturally, and economically diverse university and state populations, and a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• A leadership style that values the contributions of faculty and staff with a commitment to supporting their professional development.
• A collaborative interpersonal style that employs active listening and clear communication.
• A courageous leader who can foster an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit across the universities and at the Office of the Chancellor.
• Demonstrated ability to recruit, retain, develop, and lead a highly effective leadership team and draw the best in leadership characteristics from the presidents, the vice chancellors, and the vice chancellors' staffs.
• Knowledge of Board and chief executive relations and communications; the ability to partner effectively with Trustees and leverage the collective impact of an engaged and dedicated Board.
• The ability to establish rapport and communicate effectively with educators, constituency groups, government officials, the business community, and the general public; the ability to build and maintain successful relationships with government officials and their staffs at the state and national levels.

Although a doctoral degree and exceptional academic and administrative experience are highly preferred, the CSU Board of Trustees is open to and encourages candidates who have achieved noteworthy success in their respective fields outside higher education to apply. These candidates must have demonstrated experience and a track-record of success working in a complex organization where success is achieved in partnership and collaboration rather than solely through direct authority.

To view the complete Leadership Profile, please visit the CSU Chancellor Search website at

Compensation and Location
Compensation will be established by the Board of Trustees in a noticed public meeting, and will be commensurate with experience and in accordance with Trustee policy. It is not anticipated that the compensation will be less than the incumbent Interim Chancellor's base compensation of $625,000. The Chancellor's principal residence will be in Long Beach, California where the Office of the Chancellor is located. However, it is expected that the Chancellor will maintain a level of visibility on the 23 CSU universities. To learn more about Long Beach, visit .

Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations
Review of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the conclusion of the search process. Applicants must submit a detailed letter of interest that addresses the priorities and responsibilities outlined in this profile and a current a curriculum vitae or resume. Nomination letters should include the contact information of the nominee. All applications and nominations will be handled with the strictest confidence.

Applications, inquiries, and letters of nomination should be submitted by email to:

Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner
Sal Venegas Jr., Partner

Refer to code "CSU-Chancellor" in the subject line

SP&A Executive Search
6512 Painter Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601

The California State University is committed to maintaining and implementing employment policies and procedures in compliance with applicable state and federal equal employment opportunity laws and regulations. Executive Order 883 prohibits discrimination, and Executive Order 927 prohibits harassment, on the basis of a protected status: race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex (including gender identity, per HR 2004-12), sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition and covered veteran status. Retaliation against individuals for complaining about this proscribed conduct, opposing such conduct, or participating in an investigation or proceeding involving such conduct is prohibited by both executive orders.

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