New top dog at SF State

After nearly nine months of searching, the CSU Board of Trustees appointed Leslie Wong as the new president of San Francisco State.

Current president of SF State Robert Corrigan is going on a nice, long vacation known as retirement as soon as commencement ceremonies are over. Corrigan announced his retirement at the beginning of the fall 2011 semester.

Wong has been president of Northern Michigan University since 2004. He made numerous changes at the university of roughly 10,000 students, including improving academic quality, developing a strategic plan and increasing fundraising via grants.

Wong said in a statement he is looking forward to working with a progressive campus community:

“I am pleased and honored to be chosen as the next president of San Francisco State, and look forward to working closely with students, faculty, and staff. SFSU’s commitment to social justice, its diverse student body and its position as a leader in the global educational arena make for a vibrant and forward thinking campus community.”

From 1995 to 2004, Wong was as vice president of academic affairs at Valley City State University in North Dakota. Previously, Wong held various academic leadership positions elsewhere, including University of Southern Colorado, Evergreen State College in Washington and Pierce College in Washington.

His lengthy track record made him ideal for SF State, said CSU trustee Roberta Achtenberg:

“Dr. Wong brings a strong record of accomplishments, academic experience and exceptional leadership skills to his new position as president of San Francisco State … His vision for the future of SFSU is one that incorporates the multiculturalism of San Francisco and beyond, and makes him an excellent choice to lead the university.”

Wong will begin his presidency August 1. The temperatures at SF State might about 30 degrees cooler than Michigan, the pressure of crushing budget cuts and a much larger student body could raise the heat on Wong pretty quickly.