CCA Presidential Search

At a time of tremendous growth for the college, California College of the Arts (CCA) seeks an inspiring and visionary leader to serve as its eleventh president. Learn about the inclusive recruitment process, follow our timeline, and get involved.


Recent announcements related to the search process

June 20, 2023

Summer update from the Presidential Search Committee
The Presidential Search Advisory Committee continues its progress with the search process, including participating in two bias identification, reduction, and inclusive hiring training sessions.

May 19, 2023

Update on presidential search
Following the campus-wide listening sessions, a job profile has been created and is now posted. Regular updates will be shared with the community on a monthly basis.

April 3, 2023

Update from the Presidential Search Committee
A brief update on the search process for our next president.

March 16, 2023

Thank you for your participation
These campus-wide listening sessions are an open forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the role and share input into the job profile and search criteria.

March 14 - 29, 2023

Listening Session invitations
CCA community stakeholder groups are invited to participate in listening sessions with Isaacson, Miller (IM), the firm assisting in the presidential search.

February 8, 2023

Announcement from Board Chair Lorna Meyer Calas
President Stephen Beal announces his retirement after 25 years dedicated to growing and expanding CCA's campus, programs, and community.


Presidential search key milestones

  1. February – April: Understanding the position

    Following President Stephen Beal’s retirement announcement on February 8, a Search Committee comprised of members from the board, staff, and faculty was selected to participate in an in-depth search process led by the national executive search firm, Isaacson, Miller (IM).

    The CCA community was invited to participate in various listening sessions to offer thoughts and feedback about the position to help shape the job profile for CCA’s future president.

  2. May – June: Networking, norming, and screening of prospective candidates

    With the job description finalized, the Search Committee will further establish search goals and begin screening candidates who apply for the position. Isaacson, Miller (IM) will also utilize community referrals and their networks to recruit potential candidates.

    Ahead of candidate screening, the Search Committee will participate in an important inclusive hiring training, which focuses on bias identification and mitigation.

  3. July – September: Applicant selection

    Following a thorough process, the Search Committee aims to have a group of finalist candidates identified by the end of the summer. The Search Committee will recommend this group to the CCA Board Executive Committee, and that committee will make the final selection.

Search Details

Read about the committee and its charge

Search Partner

Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm devoted to recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations, will assist the search committee. The search will be led by Partners Karen Avery and David Bellshaw, with support from Associate Rafael Escobedo, Senior Search Coordinator Isabelle Atkinson, and Search Coordinator Julia Hochner.

Search Committee

Former Board Chair Diane Christensen is leading the search committee, along with two other board representatives of the Executive Committee (Calvin Wheeler and Kenneth Novack) and three additional board members representing the entire body of trustees (Suzanne Randolph, Abby Schnair, and Marv Tseu).

Two CCA staff members (Tricia Brand and Susan Avila) as well as two faculty members (TT Takemoto and Rachel Berger) will represent as part of the committee as well.


More information about the search from Isaacson, Miller

What does a confidential search mean?

A confidential search means that to attract the strongest candidates, individual names will not be made publicly available throughout the process. Members of the Search Committee have committed to maintaining confidentiality and will not be able to comment publicly on the search.

Why are we conducting a confidential search for the next president?

The reason for a confidential search is to attract the strongest candidates with the most experience who currently hold senior leadership roles. Preserving confidentiality allows prospective candidates to explore the opportunity and pursue the presidency without risk of compromising their current positions.

Are there any internal candidates being considered?

Internal candidates are welcome to apply for the position and will participate in the same thorough evaluation process as external candidates. Isaacson, Miller, our search firm partner, has provided a process for the submission of individuals who may be considered as candidates. If you feel someone from our internal community is a strong candidate, you can also submit nominations online.

What is the process for finding qualified candidates?

The identification of potential candidates, initial outreach and vetting, exchange of documents and information, and official interviews will be conducted by our search firm partner Isaacson, Miller.

Who ultimately decides who the next president will be?

The CCA Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees will ultimately select the next president. The Search Committee will review qualified candidates, conduct extensive in-person interviews, and then recommend the strongest and best qualified candidate(s) to the Executive Committee.

What is the presidential search timeline?

It is anticipated that the process for selecting the next president of California College of the Arts will take several months. The goal is to have a new president identified and announced by the fall of 2023.

What will be the transition process?

This will be determined once a new president has been designated

How can we provide input and/or feedback for consideration in the search?

Thank you to those who have already participated in the in-person community listening sessions or the online community survey. We continue to welcome input at our online community survey, which will be shared with the Search Committee. You can access the survey online.

What is the search timeline?

The search committee will begin their initial review of candidate information in the summer. In late summer/early fall, the Search Committee plans to conduct interviews with the semi-finalist candidates. Soon after, the Executive Committee will meet with and interview the finalist candidates. The selection of the next President of California College of the Arts will occur in the fall.

How will the CCA community be informed about the progress of the search?

The CCA community will be kept informed through periodic email updates from the chair of the Search Committee, Diane Christensen.

Get Involved

Participate in the search for CCA's next president

We’re holding an inclusive search, and the perspectives of all members of the CCA community are very important to its success. Throughout the process, students, faculty, and staff will be critical to shaping the future of the college and its leadership.

Direct input

Campus-wide listening and feedback sessions with Isaacson, Miller are an open forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the role and share input into the job profile and search criteria. An online survey is also available to share feedback.

Other questions or comments? Please contact [email protected].

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