SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The transition at the helm of San Diego State University becomes official Saturday, with longtime school executive Sally Roush succeeding Elliot Hirshman as president on an interim basis.
Hirshman announced three months ago that he accepted a position as president of Stevenson College in Maryland, and would leave SDSU after six years.
Roush, appointed by California State University Chancellor Timothy White, has been on campus for several weeks working on the transition. She is SDSU's first woman president.
"The success of San Diego State University is due to the cumulative efforts of the faculty, staff, students and alumni over the past 120 years,'' Roush said. "The people at SDSU made this great university what it is today and are building the foundation for the university's continued success.''
Roush held various positions at the school for 31 years before retiring in 2013 as senior vice president for business and financial affairs. Her responsibilities on Montezuma Mesa included budget and financial operations, intercollegiate athletics, real estate management and development, human resources, public safety and information technology.
She takes over at a critical time for the university and its football program. With the Chargers leaving for Los Angeles, the future of the Qualcomm Stadium property is in flux.
City of San Diego officials wish to close the aging facility after the 2018 football season -- and while the Aztecs are likely to play one season at Petco Park in 2019, the question of where the squad will call home in subsequent years is still to be answered.
In the longer term, university officials view the acreage as prime for future expansion. Developers who qualified an initiative for the ballot for a major project on the site were unable to reach agreement on joint use with SDSU.
The developers, led by FS Investors of La Jolla, and some city officials pointed at instability in university leadership for a breakdown in relations between the two sides. In general, SDSU officials said the offers by FSInvestors didn't fit the school's needs.
Roush is expected to serve for about one year before a new president is hired.