Campus: CSU Chico -- August 23, 2002

President Esteban to Step Down at End of 2002-2003 Academic Year

California State University, Chico President Manuel A. Esteban announced Thursday, Aug. 22, during his annual fall Convocation address, that he will step down at the end of the 2002-2003 academic year.

Esteban told the faculty and staff members gathered in Harlen Adams Theatre that he had planned at the outset of his presidency to stay in office only eight to 10 years. This spring will mark his 10th year as president.

Esteban said he is proud of what he has accomplished and plans an active year to finish his presidency. He said he and his wife, Gloria, plan to stay in Chico. "We love this institution and community," he said. "You have made us feel a part of you."

The surprise announcement came at the end of Esteban's 50-minute address on the past year's accomplishments and future plans of the university. A hush fell over the standing-room-only audience as he said he planned to leave his post as president. As he concluded his remarks, he received a standing ovation, and faculty and staff came to the front of the stage to wish Esteban well and thank him for his contribution to the university.

CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and the CSU Board of Trustees will appoint a Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President in the near future that will be chaired by a trustee. The selection process traditionally takes approximately six months.

The committee is composed of the board chair, three trustees designated by the committee chair, and the chancellor. There also is an advisory group, called the Advisory Committee to the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President, which includes the chair of the CSU, Chico Academic Senate, two faculty representatives, a staff person, a student, a University Advisory Board member, an alumni member, one vice president or dean from the campus and a president from another campus. The chair of the board or the chancellor can appoint up to two more members.

Esteban assumed the position of president of CSU, Chico in August 1993. Prior to coming to CSU, Chico, Esteban was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Humboldt State University for three years. From 1987 to 1990, he was dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at California State University, Bakersfield.

Esteban is a professor of French and Spanish. He began his teaching career at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in 1973. In 1984, he was named associate dean, Arts, Sciences and Letters. He served as acting dean from 1986 to 1987.

Esteban received his bachelor of arts degree in French in 1969 and his master's degree in Romance studies in 1970 from the University of Calgary. He received his Ph.D. in French from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1976.

He has served or is serving in several national organizations (the American Council on Education, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the U.S. Distance Learning Association) and regional organizations (the CSU Commission on Extended Education, the CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning, and the California Joint Policy Council on Agriculture and Education). He also is a member of the Sierra Health Foundation in Sacramento and the Enloe Medical Center Hospital in Chico.

He also is a member of Chico Rotary and has been a director of the Chico Chamber of Commerce for four years.

Among the accomplishments during his presidency:

  • Successful reaccreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • University Strategic Plan developed
  • Center for the Excellence in Teaching and Learning established (Faculty and staff collaborate on designing successful and innovative instructional strategies.)
  • $2 million Nettleton Stadium completed (Home to Chico State Wildcats and Chico Heat, a Western Baseball League team.)
  • University Research Foundation created
  • University Advisory Board expanded (Membership doubled with many important community and philanthropic leaders included.)
  • President's Scholars Program established (Top high-school seniors compete for $12,000 scholarships to CSU, Chico.)
  • Warner Street Project completed (University worked with City of Chico to widen main street through campus and build a parking area and bridge over Big Chico Creek.)

Esteban is the 17th top administrator at CSU, Chico since it was founded as the Northern Branch State Normal School of California in 1887.

Esteban, 62, is a U.S. citizen and native of Spain. He and his wife have a daughter and two granddaughters.

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