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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Open Forum Held to Determine the Community’s Wants and Needs for the Next Stan State President

The+Presidential+Search+Committee%2C+composed+of+faculty%2C+student%2C+alumi%2C+and+local+community+representatives%2C+sits+down+at+the+front+of+the+room+to+listen+to+what+the+community+would+like+to+see+in+CSU+Stanislauss+next+president.+%28Signal+Photo%2FNix+Carbone-Deep%29

The Presidential Search Committee, composed of faculty, student, alumi, and local community representatives, sits down at the front of the room to listen to what the community would like to see in CSU Stanislaus’s next president. (Signal Photo/Nix Carbone-Deep)

After the retirement of former CSU Stanislaus President Ellen Junn this semester, a committee has been put together to find Stan State’s next president, and this Wednesday they hosted an open forum asking the campus faculty, staff, and the local community to provide feedback on what qualities they would like the university’s next president to have.
This committee is composed of Stan State faculty, alumni, and student representatives, alongside pillars of Stanislaus County’s community and core members of the CSU administration.
A complete list of the committee members can be found here.
The committee’s chair, Yammilette “Yami” Rodriguez, opened the proceedings by informing the audience of the procedures for providing their feedback and the timeline for finding a new president.
Rodriguez stated that those who were not present could provide written feedback via the Presidential Search webpage and that they’re planning to begin interviewing candidates in early March of 2024.
“This is an open forum and all are open to express themselves,” she said to the crowd. “We want to devote our entire time to hearing your thoughts.
A large number of community members stepped up to do just that, ranging from students to faculty to alumni and even members of the Stockton community.
The first person to step up was Marlene Stante, an alumni of the class of 1972, who asked for a president who would be a proud of Central Valley and vocal about it, rather than trying to shape our campus to be like other universities.
“They don’t have to be a previous farmer,” she joked. “Would be nice!”
Other speakers did request widespread change, however, like Stan State’s Chair of Ethnic Studies, Dr. Mary Roaf, who advocated for a candidate who would help reverse the trend across the CSU system of the under-enrollment and low graduation rates of black students.
Dr. Roaf noted that there are a number of troubling statistics that show “troubling anti-blackness throughout the CSU system.”
Two members of the Stockton community, former California State Senator Patrick Johnson and former San Joaquin Delta College president Kathy Hart, pushed for a president who would be communicative and address Stockton Campus’s needs.
“Over the subsequent years, now about 25, there’s been ups and downs about levels of support,” Johnson said.
They commended former President Junn for her commitment to Stockton Campus’s success and said that they would like to see that trend continue.
Dr. Dave Colnic, the Chapter President of CFA Stanislaus and a Political Science professor at Stan State, stepped up to advocate for the campus’s faculty who have experienced a number of financial burdens and workplace environment issues over the years.
“When directives from either the state or the system are counterproductive, be honest and share that. Do that in a way that reduces the chronic pay and workload issues we face on campus,” Colnic said.
He lamented the number of quality instructors who have left due to these persistent issues.
“We are in danger of losing some of the best and brightest,” Dr. Colnic said. “We already have.”
After almost two hours of listening to and taking notes on the community’s suggestions, the committee adjourned the open forum and thanked the audience for their participation.
Rodriguez asked those in attendance to encourage their acquaintances with ties to the campus and its community to continue providing their feedback, and said that the future presidential candidates will be watching the recording of the open forum and reading the written feedback.
Therefore, this feedback will be vital to setting the tone and the expectations of their job.

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Open Forum Held to Determine the Community’s Wants and Needs for the Next Stan State President