Dr. Richard Yao named fourth president of CI

Dr. Richard Yao named fourth president of CI

By Sergio Mercado and Jordan Wehlage

During the Jan. 26 CSU Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Richard Yao was announced to be the next president of CI. This ends the presidential search process that started in October 2021. 

The search for a new president was initiated due to former President Erika D. Beck’s acceptance of the position of President of CSU Northridge, which was announced in a campus global on Oct. 29, 2020. 

President Yao is an alum of Eastern Illinois University and of Fielding Graduate University, where he received his PhD in clinical psychology, as mentioned in the CSUCI News Center release announcing his appointment. He has been a part of CI’s community since 2018, when he began serving as the Vice President of Student Affairs, following his time working at Nevada State College. 

Yao was appointed Interim President in January 2021 following the departure of former President Beck. The CI View reported further on Yao’s educational and professional background at the time of his appointment to the Interim Presidency in this article: https://civiewnews.com/news/dr-richard-yao-appointed-interim-president/

Throughout his Interim Presidency, Yao has worked closely with the campus community to advance the causes of racial equity and social justice. As a self-identified Chinese Filipino American, Yao is the first person of color to hold the title of president at CI. 

“His vision and experience and long track record of innovation make him the ideal candidate to lead Channel Islands,” Chancellor Joseph Castro shared during the announcement.  

Yao was chosen from a pool of applicants following a nationwide search for presidential candidates. These applications were reviewed and narrowed down to a group of semifinalists by the CSUCI Presidential Search Committee, a committee with representatives from CI’s community, as well as the CSU Board of Trustees and Chancellor Castro. The semifinalists were then interviewed by the same committee and narrowed down further to a group of finalists. These finalists were interviewed by the CSU Board of Trustees, who then selected Yao to serve as the president of CI.  

Yao looks forward to progressing toward the goals that he set during his 18-month term as Interim President. “While we have made progress, there is so much work to be done and emerging challenges that we face, and this includes further developing the organizational stability necessary to fully achieve our long-term strategic vision,” Yao said in a campus global.  

As the youngest university in the CSU system, CI’s leadership will be vital in shaping its future. Yao’s presidency through the pandemic and in the future will no doubt be pivotal to the legacy of CI. In the same campus global, Yao said, “I am looking forward to the work that lies ahead with all of you. Thank you again, for your past, present, and future work towards building the University we dare enough to imagine and care enough to achieve.” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *