Although the three potential president candidates who visited in spring had excellent credentials, they were not the right fit for the campus, said Claudia Keith, assistant vice chancellor of the California State University (CSU) system.
“San Luis Obispo has a wonderful reputation, and Dr. Glidden as an interim president will maintain the momentum of the campus,” Keith said.
Glidden served as president of Ohio University from 1994 to 2004, where he oversaw more than six campuses. He headed strategic planning efforts that integrated the community and helped revive the institution to become one of America’s top 100 research universities.
As president of Ohio University, Glidden was a member of the Governor’s Science and Technology Council in Ohio and chairman of the Ohio Aerospace Institute. He also served as a professor and dean of the College of Music at Florida State University from 1979 to 1991 and as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs from 1991 to 1994.
Keith said Dr. Glidden’s experience at several other four-year, comprehensive universities will allow him to “hit the ground running and keep moving the campus forward.”
Glidden wasn’t actively seeking the position of becoming a CSU president, but he had previously agreed to become an interim president if needed.
“I was surprised to receive the chancellor’s call last week,” Glidden said. “In this case, my high regard for Cal Poly led me to say ‘yes’ after just a few days of consideration.”
After reading about Cal Poly, Glidden said he was impressed with the strategic planning efforts, academic ability of the students, retention and graduation rates and national and regional program rankings.
To help maintain Cal Poly’s reputation, Glidden said he will work with the faculty and staff who have brought the university to this level and figure out ways he can be helpful.
“I want to work with them to analyze what the priorities for discussion or action should be for the immediate future, and then take action to help the university prepare for a new permanent president,” he said.
Glidden said he is confident in Cal Poly’s motto and knows there are opportunities to effectively learn in this manner.
“‘Learn by doing’ is a most appropriate concept for a polytechnic institution,” he said. “It’s a hands-on, practical application of theory which tends to produce more confident, ready-to-work graduates.”
Glidden is currently receiving a crash course about Cal Poly, and after he visits the campus, he will assess the major issues. Glidden plans to be careful when making any changes, he said.
“My job will be to help the institution progress along its course, not to change its course,” he said.
The CSU presidential search committees will reconvene in September and begin reviewing resumes in fall before beginning the interview process again.
Although there is no set time frame, Keith said it is anticipated that a permanent president will be hired by the end of the school year or the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year.
“I will do my best to help provide a seamless transition from a longstanding, outstanding president to a new one, whom we hope can be identified and in place in a few months,” Glidden said.