The California State University Board of Trustees has decided to look no further for top leadership at Turlock's CSU Stanislaus campus. The trustees appointed Joseph F. Sheley the permanent president of California State University, Stanislaus; Sheley has held the position as interim since June 2012.
After spending nearly a year getting to know the campus and people, Sheley has big plans for Cal State Stanislaus. He promises to create a more engaged community within the university and strengthen its regional advocacy.
“It feels great,” said Sheley. “It’s a genuine compliment not only to me but the whole campus community. One of the things I learned after being here 11 months is that this is a very good university. It is considerably better than the public realizes. The faculty is quite strong and very committed to the students. They strive to make sure they have a worthwhile experience at this university. We also have good students that are willing to work hard for their degree. It is a beautiful campus.”
Sheley said he wants the university to strengthen its connections with alumni. He believes that students will benefit with the relationships by gaining networking opportunities once they graduate.
“I would like to get our alumni who are about 50,000 strong reconnected with the campus and serve as a networking connection with our students,” said Sheley. “They key is to re-engage our students and strengthen their relationship with the university.”
With Proposition 30 eliminating further drastic cuts to the state’s higher education system, Sheley is focusing on making a plan to stabilize the university’s budget situation.
“We need to develop a practical approach with issues of budget and enrollment which is my main concern,” said Sheley. “It is very nice that we are not in a situation where we had to make the cuts that others had to make. We need to be on our toes. We need to be very practical.”
Prior to his return to CSU, Sheley served as a faculty member in sociology for 21 years at Tulane University where he also held the positions of chair of the Department of Sociology and faculty head of the University Senate. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and has published extensively in his general area of interest, criminology, and his particular field of expertise, patterns of acquisition and use of firearms by juveniles.
Sheley returned to his alma mater in 1996, serving in a variety of senior leadership positions with Sacramento State including as executive vice president, director of alumni relations, and dean of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies.