Press Release

Three Finalists Named for San Diego State Presidency




(April 29, 2011) - The California State University Board of Trustees today announced three finalists for the presidency of San Diego State University.  The finalists and the dates they will visit the campus for all-day meetings with various groups are: 

  • Elliot Hirshman, provost and senior vice president, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, will visit the campus on Monday, May 2.
  • Steven Leath, vice president for research and sponsored programs, University of North Carolina system, will visit the campus on Tuesday, May 3.
  • Paul J. Zingg, president of California State University, Chico, will visit the campus on Thursday, May 5.

Each of the finalists will spend a day on campus meeting faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community.  There will be daily media availability during the campus visit each day from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Montezuma Hall.  Media, please contact Gina Jacobs, (619) 594-4563.  An open forum will be held each day for the campus community from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. also in Montezuma Hall.  The complete schedule is here.

"Each of the three candidates has the strong leadership skills, vision and academic experience to head a large, vibrant university like San Diego State," said CSU Trustee William Hauck, chair of the presidential search committee. 

The new president will succeed President Stephen L. Weber who is retiring after serving as president of the university since 1996.

The CSU Board of Trustees will interview the three finalists on May 9 and name the new San Diego State University president later that week.  The new president would begin in the summer.

Hirshman has served as provost and senior vice president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, since 2008 where he is responsible for all aspects of the academic program, including instruction, research, academic support services, as well as enrollment management, admissions, financial aid and Division I intercollegiate athletics. Previously, Hirshman served as chief research officer at George Washington University from 2005 to 2008, where he also served as chair, Department of Psychology from 2002 to 2005.  He was also chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Denver (2000 to 2002); special assistant to the provost, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1998-1999) and an American Council on Education Fellow in the office of the Provost and President at Arizona State University. 

Hirshman received his bachelor\'s degree in economics and mathematics from Yale University, and his master\'s degree and Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.  He was also a New York University post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship.

Leath has served as vice president of research and sponsored programs at the University of North Carolina system since 2007.  In this capacity, Leath promotes research and sponsored programs across the full spectrum of academic disciplines and interdisciplinary activities carried out by UNC\'s 16 university campuses.  From 2005 to 2007, he served as associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as well as director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service (NCARS) where he also held positions including director and professor.  Previously Leath was a research leader and plant pathologist at the USDA, as well as an assistant professor of plant pathology at North Carolina State University, Raleigh.

Leath received a bachelor\'s degree in plant science from Pennsylvania State, a master of science in plant science from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Illinois.

Zingg has been president of California State University Chico since 2004, and from 1993 to 2004 served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.  He also served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at SLO.  Prior to joining the CSU, Zingg was the dean, School of the Liberal Arts at Saint Mary\'s College of California from 1986 to 1993.  He also served as executive assistant to the president at the University of Pennsylvania, and as an American Council on Education Fellow in Academic Administration.  While at the University of Pennsylvania, Zingg also served as vice dean for undergraduate studies and admissions in the College of Arts and Science, as well as an assistant dean for academic advising. 

He earned a bachelor\'s degree from Belmont Abbey College, a master\'s degree from the University of Richmond, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, all in history.

For more information on the candidates, go to executive search.


About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 412,000 students and 43,000 faculty and staff.  The CSU awards about 90,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.6 million.  Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces.  The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California.  With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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