Mar 9, 2016 10:52 PM
It didn't take long for the news to spread on campus that the California State University Board of Trustees had appointed Gayle Hutchinson, Ed.D as the successor to current President Paul Zingg who is set to retire at the end of the spring semester.
"It's very exciting to have Professor Hutchinson back. She was away for a while, I am little biased, I am a kinesiology student," said Jordan Van Norman.
Hutchinson taught kinesiology and was chairperson of the department as well as dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences during an initial 23-year run at Chico State. She left the campus three years ago to serve as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at California State University Channel Islands. "I am honored, but I also want to be mindful and thankful for the men and women who have been my mentors and sponsors in my life who have helped in my professional development," said Hutchinson.
Joe Wills, the Director of Public Affairs for Chico State worked with Hutchinson for 16 years, during her first tour of duty at the school.
"She's a dynamic person, just interested in a lot of things," said Wills. "I would imagine that she's going to be looking at areas where we can grow, innovate, become better known for programs we've had for a long time."
With Hutchinson being named the schools 15th president, she becomes the first woman to take the job in the school's 129 year history.
"I feel like a woman being president means a lot to a lot of women here on campus," said student Shonnell Hill.
Hutchinson no doubt appreciates student support, but said for the university to continue to thrive, regardless of gender, everyone must be on the same page. "We have outstanding faculty and outstanding staff and outstanding students at Chico State and finding a way to unite the campus and bring everyone together, having us all strive toward our potential so that we can provide students with the best education possible."
Hutchinson officially takes over as president on July 1.