Presidential Search

Central State University is pleased to invite qualified submissions of interest and nominations of candidates to become the next President of this outstanding University. The next President will bring a depth of leadership and management experience to capitalize fully on the remarkable talent and commitment of Central State University staff and faculty, inspire CSU students, and encourage CSU alumni and supporters, by promoting a strong sense of community.

Previous announcements

Click on the accordions below to view previous updates for the Central State University Presidential Search.

  • Central State University names Ohio higher education veteran to serve as Interim President

    The Central State University Board of Trustees today appointed Dr. Alex Johnson as Interim President, effective July 1, 2023. 

    “Dr. Johnson is a proven leader in higher education and an expert in institutional transformation,” said Board Chair Jacqueline Gamblin. “He has a passion for transformation and excellence in higher education. He’s the right person to lead us through this time of transition, and we look forward to his leadership as we search for a permanent president.” 

    With nearly 30 years of experience as a college president, Johnson is a nationally-recognized educator, author, and expert in institutional transformation. Most recently, he served as president of Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), a position he held from 2013 through 2022. There, he focused on strengthening the institution’s longstanding mission to provide high-quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services. 

    Johnson has also served as president of the Community College of Allegheny County, a multi-campus college in and around Pittsburgh; chancellor of Delgado Community College in New Orleans; and president of Tri-C’s Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland; and served a two-year term as president of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.

    His books include "Change the Lapel Pin: Personalizing Leadership to Transform Organizations and Communities" (2018) and "Capturing Change: Creating Systems of Transformation Through Continuous Improvement" (2021), which provide insight into how leaders can create lasting systems of transformation.

    Johnson’s work on local, statewide, and national boards has focused on workforce development, institutional innovation, and accountability. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his vision and leadership in higher education. 

    Johnson has agreed to serve as Interim President for one year. He will serve upon the departure of President Dr. Jack Thomas, who did not seek renewal of his contract and will step down when it expires on June 30, 2023.

  • Central State University Board of Trustees forming committee for nationwide Presidential search

    The Central State University Board of Trustees held its regular meeting on June 1-2, 2023, at which time it began forming a committee to oversee a nationwide search for a new University President. The board also chose an outside search firm to aid the committee during the process.

    Trustee Mark Hatcher announced he would step down as Chair of the Board and begin serving as Chair of the presidential search committee. The Board elected Trustee Jacqueline Gamblin to succeed Hatcher as Board chair.

    “The Board is excited for the future of Central State University,” said Gamblin. “In our search for a new president, we’ll be seeking an individual whose vision and values align with ours – innovation and advancement of STEM education that prepares our students and communities for a globalized future driven by technology.”

    In addition to Hatcher, the search committee is made up of Trustees Linda Matthews, Dr. Marlon Moore, Natalia S. Harris, and Richard C. Perry. Individuals representing students, faculty, staff, alumni, and key community stakeholders will be named soon to join the search committee.

    The Board selected AGB Search to assist the committee with a nationwide search for the 10th University President and hopes to select a new president within a year. Current President Jack Thomas will step down at the end of his term on June 30, 2023.

    The CSU Board of Trustees will work directly with three AGB executive search consultants: Managing Principal of AGB Search Dr. Roderick (Rod) J. McDavis, who has been with AGB since March 1, 2017, after serving 13 years as president of Ohio University; Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, former president of Alabama State University who also spent over three decades serving the students at Johns Hopkins University; and Dr. Carlton Brown, executive search consultant and senior fellow for AGB Consulting focusing on Business Strategy. He stepped down from the presidency of Clark Atlanta University (GA) in June 2015 after seven years of service preceded by one year as executive vice president and provost.

    The Board is currently finalizing a decision on an interim president and will have a final decision by June 30. Updates regarding the Presidential search will be posted online at