About President Rush
Richard R. Rush became president of California State University Channel Islands in June 2001. As head of the 23rd and newest campus in the California State University system, Dr. Rush has hired the faculty and senior administrative staff and overseen the creation and development of the University’s strategic, academic and physical master plans, the budget and financial structure, infrastructure and road improvements, the acquisition of adjacent land, as well as successfully leading the University’s efforts to achieve Initial Accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Before arriving at CI, Dr. Rush spent nine years as president of Minnesota State University, Mankato where he established public-private partnerships that led to the first buildings in the State University system to be constructed using private financing. Similarly, Dr. Rush established ties between MSU and regional industry, the local community, and civic leaders who lobbied the Minnesota State Legislature on behalf of Southern Minnesota interests.
Prior to that, Dr. Rush played a key role in the founding of CSU San Marcos while serving as Vice President in Charge during site selection and program establishment. Subsequently, he served as Executive Vice President with responsibilities for accreditation, academic programs, student affairs, finance and administration, and fundraising.
The CI president attended Gonzaga University, where he was graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree after pursuing studies in English, classics, and philosophy. He has a doctorate in English Renaissance literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed his dissertation while a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at The Huntington Library in region San Marino, California. Subsequently, he joined the faculty at San Diego State University.
Dr. Rush serves on the boards of the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce, Channel Cities Club and Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, among others. He chairs the P-16 Council of Ventura County which focuses on improving the college-going rates of students, particularly from communities with historically low participation. He also serves as Vice Chair of the National Campus Compact, a Presidential organization of more than 1100 members, and the statewide board Chair for the California Campus Compact. Dr. Rush lives in Camarillo with his wife, Jane.
- Honorary Base Commander, Naval Base Ventura County, 2009
- Who's Who in Business Leadership, Pacific Coast Business Times, 2009
- Dr. James F. Cowan Award of Excellence in Education, Ventura County Economic Development Association, 2008
- President's Award, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators - Region VI, 2008
- Statewide President of the Year, California State Students Association, 2008
- Educator of the Year Award, Camarillo Chamber of Commerce, 2008
- President’s Award, NAACP, 2007
- Inducted into the Athletics Hall of Distinction, Minnesota State University, 2006
Community Involvement and Board Memberships
- Board of Directors, Channel Cities Club, 2009-Present
- Chair, P-16 Regional Council, 2008-Present
- Vice Chair, Board of Directors, National Campus Compact, 2008-Present
- Founding Trustee, California International Theater Festival, 2006-Present
- Regional Community Advisory Committee, Ventura County, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, 2006-Present
- Honorary Member, Camarillo Rotary Club, 2005-Present
- Board of Directors, National Campus Compact, 2005-Present
- Chair, Board of Directors, California Campus Compact, 2004-Present
- Advisory Council, San Buenaventura Foundation for the Arts, 2004-Present
- Board of Directors, Camarillo Chamber of Commerce, 2001-Present