Pretty big news from the mesa today; or should we say, from Long Beach about the mesa:
California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy P. White has appointed Sally Roush as interim president of San Diego State University (SDSU). Roush will begin in her position on July 1, 2017, and serve in that capacity until a new president, selected by the CSU Board of Trustees, arrives in early summer 2018.
Wow! Boom. There she is, the first woman president, interim or otherwise, in the 120 years of San Diego State being a college-university educating place. This is significant not just for the historic first the hire represents. For our degraded sportsball interests, the hope is this hire can provide stability and credibility as the school tries to gain a foothold in its losing struggle for Mission Valley.
The rumor – a rumor – of late had been that former president white guy before the current one Stephen Weber would be tapped as placeholder president, what with his presidenting experience and stately white beard. That perhaps baseless or at least now-wrong rumor seemed to gurgle up from sports radio, or maybe just this tweet from a local alum and loyal fan of the blog:
Give @SDSU_Alum2003 this much: he nailed the date. And in fairness did call it a rumor, with which internet persons illustrious and otherwise ran with. So really, an online success story all around.
I’m personally glad to hear it wasn’t Weber or some other continuation of the unbroken line of Caucasian male presidents. Roush has a long history as an administrator at SDSU and is respected in the Cal State system, so on paper is a logical choice to lead the university as transitional president. We previously chronicled SDSU’s lack of diversity in its leadership hiring, which you can view in chronological picture form here.
Also this from the SDSU announcement is kind of interesting:
Adam Day, vice chair of the CSU Board of Trustees who will also lead the search for the next campus president on behalf of the trustees, applauded her appointment.
Day is former SDSU president Thomas B. Day’s son. Adam Day is also chief administration officer of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, and was chairman of the Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group that proposed a Mission Valley stadium for the Chargers in 2015. In years prior he served in staff leadership roles for Republican members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
Local weekly fishrag The Reader did its usual public-records hack job on Roush back in 2013. Under the muckraking headline ‘Double-dipping SDSU pensioner gets $270,000 CSU job‘ the Reader’s Matt Potter called her ‘the scandal-plagued vice president of business and financial affairs at San Diego State University.’ The story lists various embarrassments Roush was tangentially related to.
The positive flip side of those drive-by swipes is Roush’s strong record of administrative support to SDSU athletics. She knows the community and how to work the business side, experience that can only help in the crucial months ahead.
In other news, Nike extended their agreement as the official uniform supplier of San Diego State athletics through 2023-24. Unfortunately cold water was already thrown on the one thing I hoped re-upping could theoretically mean: multiple alternate uniforms for the football team. Not because some of them wouldn’t look bad; they definitely would. But kids (i.e. recruits) LOVE the Oregon Ducks thing of wild alternate unis. No dice, says the Wicker man:
Something that you won’t see: SDSU joining the growing trend of teams wearing a different uniform for virtually every game.
“Yeah, you won’t see us going with five different helmets and 3,000 different uniform combinations,” Wicker said. “I’m more apt to believe in creating a consistent brand. You want people to be able to turn on the television, see the uniform and say, ‘That’s San Diego State.’ It happens on a regular basis that you turn on the TV and have no idea who’s playing.
Translation: We’re not paying for extra uniform sets and neither is Nike.
Whatever! Good luck to new interim president Roush, good luck to the Aztecs in their Nikes, and good luck to us all. God Bless America.