Office of the President

About the President

Presiden Gayle Hutchinson signing a paperGayle Hutchinson is the 12th president of CSU, Chico (Chico State) and the first female to hold the position in the university’s 133-year history.

Dr. Hutchinson began her career in higher education at CSU, Chico, joining the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology in 1990. She taught in the classroom for 17 years earning tenure, promotion, and the rank of full professor. She chaired the department from 2002-2007. She also served as principal investigator and co-director of the Northern California Physical Education-Health Subject Matter Project (1995–2002).

Dr. Hutchinson’s scholarship and grant writing focused on teacher socialization, social psychology of sport, comprehensive school-based wellness programs, and equity in sport and physical education. As a faculty member, she was highly engaged in the Academic Senate and CSU Statewide Senate. She also co-chaired the Chico State Diversity Scorecard Committee that was responsible for drafting the University’s Diversity Action Plan in 2010.

After participating in the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows program (2005-2006), Hutchinson applied for and earned the position of Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (2007-2013) at Chico State.

Prior to her presidency, Hutchinson served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at California State University, Channel Islands (CI) (2013–2016), the newest campus in the CSU system. Hutchinson was instrumental in helping to develop CI as one of the fastest growing and more innovative campuses in the CSU.

In the years since taking office as President of Chico State, Hutchinson has conducted a campus-wide listening tour, conducted two campus climate surveys, successfully completed an institutional WASC re-accreditation, developed a new university strategic plan, and developed a new campus master plan. She also led the University’s response and recovery efforts to the devastating Camp Fire of 2018 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

She holds a bachelor’s of science degree in physical education teacher education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; a master’s degree in teaching analysis and curriculum development from Teachers College, Columbia University; and an EdD in teacher education and staff development from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The scaffold that supports her leadership style is collaboration, shared governance, diversity, innovation, institutional accountability, transparency, trust, and respect.