SF State News {University Communications}

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President Corrigan honored with leadership awards

November 20 , 2009 -- In recognition of his exemplary leadership, President Corrigan received the San Francisco Business Times' Most Admired CEO award on Nov. 19. He also recently received the 2009 Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

Photo of President Robert A. Corrigan

SF State President Robert A. Corrigan

As SF State's president for 21 years, Corrigan has transformed the learning culture -- students learn as much in the community as they do in the classroom and faculty are able to combine teaching with scholarly research. He has made the University a true partner with the city of San Francisco and has ensured that the campus reflects the diversity of California.

Corrigan was one of 14 Bay Area CEOs recognized by the Business Times for their leadership, financial stewardship and community involvement. Corrigan was named Most Admired CEO in the institution category, recognizing his contribution to the University, the Bay Area and national higher education.

Guided by a commitment to social justice, Corrigan has pioneered learning through community service and his efforts have earned the University national recognition as one of the Princeton Review's "colleges with a conscience." Nearly 300 courses include community participation, involving nearly 40 percent of students each year.

Corrigan has fostered an increased emphasis on research, reflected in the University's $50 million annual income from grants and contracts. He established the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement which applies the University's research to critical Bay Area issues such as inner city education, workforce preparation and housing.

Corrigan has also forged close links with the local business community, serving as president of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce for two terms, in 2006 and 2007. Under his guidance, the University has developed new academic programs that meet the needs of the regional economy, courses in biotechnology and digital media for example. During Corrigan's tenure, the physical size of the main campus has grown from 95 to 141.6 acres and the Downtown Campus opened in 2007.

SF State is one of the top 15 universities for campus diversity according to U.S. News and World Report 2009 rankings. In particular, Corrigan has made SF State a leader in training and educating minority students in the sciences. He supported the establishment of the Student Enrichment Opportunities office in 1992 which helps send 20 to 25 underrepresented minority students from SF State to doctoral programs each year.

The APLU recognized Corrigan for his significant contribution to increasing diversity and access in the higher education community. During the last two decades, Corrigan has opened the door to education for disadvantaged students through new scholarship programs. Most recently, he established a new partnership to serve the local community -- the SF Promise program which guarantees a place at SF State for all public high school graduates in the San Francisco Unified School District who meet admissions standards.

Corrigan has used creative hiring strategies to recruit a more diverse faculty. When Corrigan became president in 1988, he was greeted by a faculty that was primarily white and male. Today almost half of the faculty members are women and 39 percent are from ethnic minority groups.


-- Elaine Bible


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