California State University, Fresno
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Feb 02, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

California State University, Fresno

Presidential Search

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees invites nominations and applications for the position of President of California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), to succeed Dr. Joseph I. Castro, who now serves as the Chancellor of the CSU. 

Fresno State

As one of 23 campuses comprising the California State University system, Fresno State is the premier regional university serving Central California’s diverse and growing community. The University, as an anchor institution, plays a pivotal role in shaping and strengthening the Central Valley economy. Nestled in the center of California, in one of the richest agricultural valleys on the planet and one of the most culturally-diverse regions in the country, Fresno State is a place where students grow from high-impact practices and unique community partnerships. The University’s roots date back to 1911, when the doors of the then-Fresno State Normal School, opened to 150 hopeful students. Today, Fresno State has come a long way from its modest beginning and is a minority-serving institution, a federally designated Hispanic-serving (HSI), and an Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander-serving (AANAPISI) institution, reflecting the ethnic and cultural richness of Central California. The University is home to nearly 1,500 faculty that serve a student population of over 25,000 pursuing degrees in 70 bachelor’s, 44 master’s, and three doctoral subject areas housed within its eight schools and colleges.

Each year, academics at Fresno State steadily garners more attention with the release of national rankings. Recent reports from Washington Monthly Magazine, placing the University among its top 25 national universities, and Money Magazine, ranking the University 35th on its Best Public Colleges list, put Fresno State in league with University of California campuses and Ivy League institutions. In addition, Fresno State has recently won five national awards from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) for: Leadership Development and Diversity (2014), the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education (2014), International Education (2015), Student Success and College Completion (2017), and Civic Learning and Community Engagement (2019). Fresno State is the only university in the country to have earned AASCU’s Civic Learning and Community Engagement distinction for five consecutive years. The University has also been recognized as an engine of social mobility due to its success in educating diverse students with Money Magazine recently placing Fresno State among its Best Colleges for Your Money and Top 50 Best Public Colleges listings.

Deeply committed to the success of its students, Fresno State admits, enrolls, and graduates in larger numbers than ever before and the hard-working student body comes from families of all income levels. Nearly 65% of Fresno State students are the first generation in their families to earn a college degree, changing the future trajectory of their families and a statistic virtually unparalleled among doctoral universities in the United States. Over 80% of Fresno State students receive assistance through grants and scholarships and Fresno State has improved its first-year student retention to over 82.5% with the goal of increasing the 6-year graduation rate to 70% by 2025. 80% of recent Fresno State graduates remain in the San Joaquin Valley to become the next generation of leaders; however, to date, more than 180,000 alumni have migrated to every state in the nation and across the globe. They are prominent leaders, innovators, and critical thinkers in every industry, transforming our region and communities across the world.

Service to the region is an important part of Fresno State’s mission and “learning by serving” is at the core of the University’s identity. Community service, coordinated by the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning, is a hallmark at Fresno State. Students, faculty, and staff have annually contributed over a million hours per year for the past 11 years, enriching the area and driving approximately $40 million of economic impact every year. The prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded the University its Community Engagement classification, acknowledging its extensive partnership with Central California. Through transformational applied research, technical assistance, training and other related public service activities, the University builds meaningful partnerships and linkages with community benefit organizations, arts programs, business, education, industry, and government. For more information about Fresno State, please visit

Fresno and the Central Valley Region

Boasting approximately 300 days of sunshine a year, Fresno is the fifth largest city in California, and the 10th most diverse city in the United States. The San Joaquin Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the world. The University is within a two-hour drive of three national parks – Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon and Fresno is within easy driving distance of San Francisco, Los Angeles, the Monterey Peninsula, and Lake Tahoe. Beaches, sailing, lakes, camping, fishing, hiking, and ski resorts are nearby. Fresno itself offers a wealth of cultural arts events, unique shopping and restaurant destinations; parks and bike/running trails that promote a healthy lifestyle. And, unlike other major metropolitan areas within California, Fresno and the Valley offer some of the most affordable housing markets in the entire state.

Fresno State is located in California’s Central Valley Region—home to breathtaking natural scenery, including the San Joaquin River and Shaver and Huntington Lakes set against the Sierra Nevada Mountains; a vast agricultural bounty with nearly 8.9 million acres of the world’s most productive farmland; fresh farm-to-table experiences and ample dining cuisine from all around the world; a vibrant art scene alive with the creative talent of local artists who showcase a wide array of art forms and styles of expressions; and the amenities of a large city as well as the charms of nearby small towns.

Position Summary

The President is appointed by the CSU Board of Trustees and serves as the university’s chief executive officer responsible for setting the vision, strategy, and related institutional goals and objectives. The President oversees the university’s administration and operations and implements the policies and procedures adopted by the CSU System. The President, with their strong leadership team, will focus on achieving the university’s core mission in a culture that champions student success, service, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Fresno State’s next president will be an exceptional leader who will foster collaborative and effective relationships with students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, business and community partners, legislative leaders, and other campus stakeholders. In doing so, the President will actively engage with campus colleagues and the community to spearhead the university’s efforts in setting an ambitious trajectory for Fresno State’s future.


Leading candidates for the Fresno State Presidency will be visionary and inspirational leaders who possess the passion and determination to lead Fresno State toward achieving new levels of excellence. This will require a personal commitment to the mission, values, and culture of the university and an appreciation for the Central California community the University serves.

Fresno State seeks a president with exceptional communication and leadership skills coupled with the ability to develop highly effective teams and foster a culture of innovation and collegiality. The next president will possess a record of success driving a complex and dynamic organization that embraces excellence, community engagement, collaboration and creative problem solving.

Although a terminal degree and exceptional academic administrative experience are preferred, the CSU Board of Trustees also welcomes 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 full position profile and list of qualifications and desired qualities and characteristics, please visit 

Application / Nomination Process

The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately. Applicants must submit a current curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience. Submission of materials via e-mail is strongly encouraged. Nomination letters should include the name and contact information of the nominee. All nominations and applications will be handled in confidence.

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

Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner

Sal Venegas, Principal


Refer to code “FresnoState-President” in the subject line

SP&A Executive Search

6512 Painter Avenue

Whittier, CA 90601

California State University, Fresno is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, or protected veteran status.


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