Cal Poly Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) announced on May 4, following a thorough national search process, that Cal Poly Alum Michelle Crawford will be the new ASI Executive Director after serving as Interim Executive Director since Spring 2021. 

Crawford’s goals as Executive Director is to understand the community of Cal Poly and the community, as well as to provide experiences and programs that meet the needs of the students moving forward. 

“We’ve been through a lot in the past few years with the pandemic and there’s rebuilding to do, and looking forward to what ASI is really here to do, is to serve the students and attempt to connect them to their ultimate college experience, whatever that looks like,” Crawford said. 

The executive director is the highest ranking senior staff member within the ASI organization. 

The role entails being responsible for the legal, financial and administrative components of ASI, including the supervision and professional development of all full time and student staff, as well as managing the organization’s $16.5 million budget.   

The process in hiring a new Executive Director was decided by a search committee comprised of the ASI President, ASI Chair of the Board, Chair of the University Union Advisory Board, an ASI Diversity and Inclusion Committee Student Representative, an ASI Student Manager, an ASI Student Government Representative at-large, an ASI Alumni Council Representative, a Representative for the Vice President for Student Affairs, a Representative for the University President, the ASI Director of Business Services and the ASI Coordinator. 

The Cal Poly Executive Recruitment team was contracted to promote the opportunity, source candidates and facilitate the interview process. 

“The executive recruitment team recruited from across the country and I was lucky and honored enough to be the selected candidate,” Crawford said. 

The committee interviewed six first-round candidates and followed with three second-round candidates that lasted over two days for each individual. 

The second round of interviews included opportunities for interaction and feedback from a variety of stakeholders including ASI Student Government, the ASI Director Team, the ASI Student Manager Team and many other advisory teams. Additionally, candidates had an opportunity to speak in an open forum.

“Candidates presented their ideas on rebuilding the organization following the pandemic, goals and visions for moving the organization forward and supporting students through their college experience in a post-pandemic world,” Carol Brizendine, ASI director of business services, said.

After hearing all of the information from the candidates the search committee provides a recommendation to the ASI Business and Finance Committee in conjunction with the Vice President for Student Affairs, and finally the committee recommends the appointment to the Board of Directors who approve the appointment during a board meeting. 

Crawford earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration from Cal Poly.

She began working for ASI her freshman year in the Spring of 2002 and continued working with the program throughout her college career.

“I am the quintessential learn by doing story of I was learning in the classroom and then going into work and applying it in real life, and I was provided with so many opportunities to learn and grow,” Crawford said. 

Eventually, Crawford grew into the role of student manager where she supervised other students.

“I was so passionate about it and was offered to stay on full time to oversee the club and sports club and I absolutely jumped at the opportunity to stay within the Cal Poly community,” Crawford said.  

Crawford has also held other positions including temporary assistant coordinator, coordinator, assistant director, associate director and director. 

“I believe this role is here to serve the students and ensure that we are being a strong steward of student fees to create an out of classroom experience that they need and deserve,” Crawford said.