Since January, the Cal State University system has been searching for presidents for two of its campuses — and it may soon add Cal State Long Beach to the list.
On Monday, the Presidential Search Committee at Louisiana State University recommended CSULB President F. King Alexander to become the next president of the LSU system.
"This is an exciting period at a difficult time for higher education," Alexander said in an LSU news release. "LSU has developed a great reputation due to the work of its faculty and staff and the quality of its students, and I would be honored to be part of that cohesive team as it moves into the future."
The LSU Board of Supervisors will vote on March 27 on whether to accept Alexander’s candidacy for the position. Alexander did not respond to the Daily 49er’s request for comment.
According to LSU Director of Media Relations Ernie Ballard, LSU has seen cuts to state funding in recent years. For example, the budget for the system’s main campus previously relied 70 percent on state funding and 30 percent on tuition; however, in the past year, the split was 34 percent state funding and 66 percent tuition.
Ballard also said via email that LSU is “going through a reorganization process,” as the Board of Supervisors along with the new president will make decisions on a new structure and makeup of the entire LSU system.
The restructuring aims to bring the various components of the LSU system — including multiple universities, a law school and two medical schools — together into a single collaborative unit, according to the LSU website.
In the LSU news release, Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee R. Blake Chatelain said Alexander has the qualities necessary to lead the LSU system through its transition and changes.
“Our goal was to find a candidate that understands the traditions and practices of higher learning, but also embraces the changing market place and is willing to lead our great university through those changes,” Chatelain said. “We are looking for a proven professional who is a collaborative leader, a great listener and an optimist about the future of LSU. We think we have found that individual.”
CSU Spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said that if Alexander moves to LSU, the following national search for a new CSULB president would likely parallel ongoing searches for presidents at Cal State Fresno and Cal State Los Angeles.
Uhlenkamp said these searches started in January and that the CSU hopes to have them concluded in May.
“These processes tend to take about six months,” he said.
According to Uhlenkamp, the search would compose of two committees: a search committee, composed of CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White and other members from the CSU Board of Trustees; and an advisory committee, composed of faculty, staff, students and members of the Long Beach community.
The committees would start their search by holding a public meeting on CSULB’s campus to determine which qualities and characteristics are necessary for the next president, according to Uhlenkamp. He said these choices differ from campus to campus within the CSU.
Ulhenkamp also said that White would appoint an interim president for CSULB while the search is ongoing.
Douglas Robinson, vice president for student services at CSULB, said Alexander’s current leadership would benefit the university even after his leaving.
“I think based on my experience, the university will continue to move forward because of the momentum gained from President Alexander’s leadership,” Robinson said.
Staff Writers Gemma Matin and Elizabeth Schmidt contributed to this report.