CSU community pushes for change during Chancellor Search Forum

Averi Yanney, News Reporter

California State University Board of Trustees listening to commentary about what they should consider in the next CSU chancellor on Feb. 8. Photo by Jennifer Serrano Ramirez / The Runner.

California State University community members gathered in the Doré Theater to voice their opinions on needed changes in the Chancellor Search Open Forum on Feb. 8, 2023.  

According to Implementation committee members, the search for a new chancellor is going to be a process taken very seriously.  

Current CSU chancellor Jolene Koester said, “It is a confidential search, not a secret search.” 

The emphasis on confidentiality is crucial for applicants to keep their current jobs. Confidentiality is one of the key principles highlighted in the selection process found on The California State University website for all CSUs.  

The CSU community was vocal about the need for CSU stakeholders to remain accountable for the principles going into the selection process. 

Tension in the theater rose as community members reiterated comments on the lack of diversity and the need for better funding. Brave voices stood up in front of a panel of committees prompting the change they wanted in a new chancellor.  

“I would like to see a chancellor who is dedicated to the expansion of the impacted STEM and nursing programs all over in the 23 CSU campuses and giving need to the students of color who are turned away from these programs,” said Chidinma Okey-Dike, CSUB student and Associated Students Inc. director of social media and marketing. 

The lack of diversity seen in the CSU system along with the lack of opportunities for students of color was one of the most pressing issues brought to attention.  

Financial needs were another concern for students and faculty alike. Many students at CSUB look to programs such as the Educational Opportunity Program, Project Rebound, and the Food Pantry to support them in the university process. 

Students and faculty took notice of the lack of response to students’ financial struggles and how that has affected student success. 

“If you have leaders willing to listen, speak,” said Ludy Ortega, a student assistant in the Office of the President.  

Ortega stressed the importance of being involved in events such as the chancellor forum. Ortega said that the chancellor that is selected may be the chancellor when her children go to college and students should think about how their involvement affects future generations.  

“I think it’s almost empowering for students to come out and give their story,” said ASI Vice President of Student Affairs, Daisy Alamillo. “I think them listening to our opinions and issues we brought forward, hopefully the new chancellor can address them, and we see changes in the upcoming years.” 

The two-hour-long forum was comprised of effectual discussion among the CSU community and the unanimous desire for the new chancellor to take action. While the community spoke, the members of the committees sat quietly taking notes.  

The search for a new chancellor does not end with the public forum. The CSU community can continue to voice their needs and concerns by taking the online survey found on the CSU website or emailing [email protected]