Policy questioned in President’s search for new dean

Ashley Hurtado

In the first Sacramento State University Faculty Senate meeting of the 2014-2015 academic year, the Senate expressed their concerns regarding President Alexander Gonzalez’s role in nominating committee candidates for the Selection Advisory Committee.

The committee will start searching for a new dean to serve the College of Business Administration.

Chiang Wang, Administrator in Charge of the College of Business Administration, announced at the meeting Gonzales’ proposal for two committee candidates to represent each division of the CBA by Sept.12, rather than one candidate per area.

This would give Gonzalez more candidates to choose from; eight rather than the approved pool of four.

“It’s a no brainer to me,” said Christine Miller, Vice Chair of the Academic Senate for the California State University system. “The only thing I could guess is that if I were the president, I’d like to have as much choice as possible.”

This proposal violates policies stated in the California State University policy manual, which outline when a vacancy or a new position is established the president will “notify the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate.” After communication is established a committee will consult with the president on recommendations for the open position.

The committee must consist of “At least three faculty members selected by the Executive Committee, subject to confirmation by the Academic Senate. Not more than one faculty member may be from the same professional school or division, and not more than two faculty members may be from Arts and Sciences.“

The manual also states that student representation is required to sit on the committee. However, no such representation was mentioned during the Faculty Senate Meeting.

Miller, as well as CSUS faculty senate members, expressed frustration with the role Gonzalez is taking in selecting these representatives and claims that the policies highlighted in the CSU policy manual are being violated.

“The policy says the college needs to decide who is going to be their representatives,” Miller said. “The faculty determines the process for selecting faculty representatives. This is the administrator in charge determining the process.”

Miller went on to say the shared governance that is essential to Sac State is being abused by the president.

“The philosophical premise behind shared governance is that it is shared, and so both sides, the faculty and administration, share in some of the decision making processes,” Miller said. “We wouldn’t, on the faculty side, tell the president how to run his end of it, when he comes to the table. He then shouldn’t ask to be part of running our end of it.”

Despite accusation, John Kepley, Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Communications at Sac State, said Gonzalez is staying within his realm of power in gathering a slate of names to choose from to be on the Selection Advisory Committee.

“The president is following the University’s policy, which provides that the college will recommend tenured and tenure-track faculty members from the college to serve on the search committee,” Kepley said. “I can assure you the president is very aware of the process.”

When asked for comment, Gonzalez said the CBA had misinterpreted the procedure and he was going forward in his interpretation of the nominating process for the Selection Advisory Committee.

In an email Wang wrote, he was interested in meeting with the Hornet to discuss the proposed nomination process. In a later conversation, he claimed he was not authorized to speak with the Hornet and was under instruction that all questions be directed to the public affairs office.

After the president chooses the Selection Advisory Committee, the search for a new dean is slated to begin in Sept. with a decision expected by Nov.