Monica Szakacs, News Writer-
Chancellor David Carter surprised the CSUS board when he recently announced he will be retiring March 1, which is six months sooner than planned, according to Susan Cusato, professor and president of the faculty senate at Southern.
Karl Krapek, who headed the board of trustees, announced his resignation a week earlier than Carter, and Cusato said Richard Balducci, vice chairman of the CSUS board, is now the interim chairman. She said Balducci made a comment in the CTmirror that “the selection of a new Chancellor is on hold until the governor decides when and how to move forward.”
“So, now we are all kind of waiting for the public hearing on March 3 to find out about the reorganization, the committees and what will happen,” said Cusato. “As of now, I guess everything is at a standstill.”
Michael Shea, professor and president of the AAUP committee at Southern, said the chancellor is a person who oversees the four universities and who acts as a go-between from the legislature to the universities.
“Because we are a state school, a lot of our funding has been dropping from this legislature. We still get a lot of funding, even though we don’t get as much as we use to,” said Shea. “The chancellor can be a person who is very affective in interacting with the legislature to be able to raise the profile of the Connecticut state universities and to help garner appropriations for us.”
Carter, who has been chancellor for the last five years and Krapek, who has been on the board for the last 16 years, both advocated for the four universities at the state capitol, and Cusato said she thinks it will affect CSUS, since a budget cycle is in process, and the state is in a fiscal crisis.
“The legislature and the governor are looking to make significant changes in the structure of state institutions, and it would be nice to have somebody at the helm who can provide directions,” said Cusato. “Right now with the chairman of the board and the chancellor gone, we don’t have that.”
She said she is sure that someone from the systems office will step in, but she said it will be interesting to see what is actually going to happen. There is obviously a plan, said Cusato, it is just a matter of time to wait and see.
When the search for a chancellor begins, there are certain qualifications, according to Shea. He said an applicant is usually somebody who is a top academic, a person with a Ph.D. or a doctorate in an academic field, and who has done research in their field, a person who probably has been a professor, or even moved up to administrations as a dean or president at a university.
“A chancellor is kind of like a super president,” said Shea, “so it’s the same qualifications you would want in a president— you want someone who understands how a university works.”
The search for the permanent president is also on hold until the search for a new chancellor is complete. Currently, Southern’s interim president is Stanley Battle. Benjamin McNamee, Southern student and current search committee member, said Battle is doing a good job as president.
“He seems to have the interests of the students in mind first,” said McNamee, “as is seen in his Student’s President’s council.”
McNamee said the presidential search is taking longer than expected because it was set that a chancellor must be chosen first, but McNamee said because of this, he thinks the applicant pool for president will grow and be stronger.