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CSUCI’s Richard Rush Receives California State Student Association President of Year Award

By Nancy Gill for CSU Channel Islands |

CSU Channel Islands has announced that CI President Richard Rush has been named the 2014 California State Student Association’s Robert C. Maxson President of the Year.

Richard Rush
Richard Rush

This is the second time Rush has received top honors from the organization. He held the title previously in 2008.

The President of the Year Award recognizes a CSU president who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the CSSA and its goals regarding higher education. The association advocates for CSU students in the areas of access, affordability, quality and overall student experience.

Rush was nominated this year for his “unconditional support of statewide student leadership, his proactive stance on specific CSSA policy agenda goals and his willingness to support student engagement in advocacy, both emotionally and financially,” CSSA Executive Director Miles Nevin said.

“Dr. Rush is a stand-out president to our student leaders and staff at CSSA,” Nevin said. “During the past year, he has supported sending a student representative to Washington, D.C., to lobby on behalf of CSU and has stood in solidarity with students at a Trustees’ meeting. When our leadership team meets at CI, he invites us to his home, providing an opportunity for genuine interaction with him and his wife, Jane.  He is a true friend and ally of our organization and is very deserving of this honor.”

As the founding president (2001) of California State University-Channel Islands, Rush led the transformation of the CI site from a dilapidated state hospital facility into a state-of-the art campus serving more than 5,000 students. A strong advocate for students at all stages of their educational journey, he co-founded the Ventura County P-16 Regional Council to reduce achievement gaps and improve the academic preparation of students throughout the county.

“The CSSA plays a vital role in the Cal State system,” Rush said. “Its members continually push boundaries to remove impediments and improve our students’ learning experience. I am pleased to support their efforts and honored to receive this award.”

Prior to CI, Rush spent nine years as president of Minnesota State University. He holds a doctor of philosophy degree in English Renaissance literature and a master of arts degree in English literature from UCLA.

Established in 1958 to support students throughout the CSU system, CSSA is a nonpartisan, membership-based advocacy organization composed of representatives from each of the 23 CSU campuses. The President of the Year Award is named after Maxson, a former president of CSU Long Beach, who received the award three years in a row.

CSSA President Sarah Couch announced the award at this month’s CSU Board of Trustees meeting.

— Nancy Gill is the director of communication and marketing for CSU Channel Islands.




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