Richard Rush, an educator known for his community outreach and prolific fund-raising, was named president of Cal State Channel Islands on Tuesday.
The 58-year-old president of Minnesota State University at Mankato brings to the job extensive experience in building and expanding college campuses and an intimate knowledge of the Cal State system, where he served as a faculty member and administrator for nearly 20 years before assuming the top job at Mankato in 1992.
He will step in at a crucial time in development of the Camarillo area campus, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2002 if enrollment goals are met.
The academic program at the budding university is still under development, and the first faculty members have yet to be hired.
Rush, who replaces outgoing President Handel Evans, will hire about 25 faculty members by August to help plan educational programs and course content. Evans had agreed to stay only temporarily.
“I feel very honored that I have been entrusted with this project,” Rush said. “I felt I had the background they were looking for.”
Rush, who grew up in Los Angeles and holds a doctorate in English Renaissance literature from UCLA, was one of three finalists for the position.
Chancellor Charles B. Reed praised Rush’s fund-raising and community outreach at Mankato, where he spearheaded drives for a privately funded $18-million arena and student center, and a $3-million performing arts center.
He also said Rush could draw from his familiarity in starting up a Cal State campus. In the late 1980s and early ‘90s, Rush served as executive vice president of Cal State San Marcos, assisting with development of the then-fledgling campus. He was also a dean and director of a San Diego State University satellite center that was discontinued when the San Marcos campus opened.
As part of its effort to provide first-rate educational offerings, Channel Islands, which Cal State Northridge now uses for extension courses, plans extensive fund-raising.