Saffold New ASI Director

Aldrin Bulayo

Stephanie Spearman

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New Executive Director for ASI Randy Saffold is excited by the challenge to improve existing programs and create new projects to better serve students.

“I am incredibly excited to work with this AS board and really put students first,” said Saffold.

Saffold, who worked as the Associate Executive Director for the last two years of his nine year stint at San Jose State, was ready for the move to CSU East Bay for a few reasons.

Living just past Tracy, Saffold was spending two hours a day commuting to SJSU, so his “quality of life” and desire to spend more time with his family were  big factors.

Additionally, the chance to expand and improve his skill set was an opportunity he “just couldn’t pass up.”

Saffold is a UC Berkeley graduate, who specializes in IT and, while he plans to incorporate technology into his new position, he enjoys the more personal experience of working with ASI.

“Industry doesn’t allow you to serve students first,” said Staffold. “Working with AS, our job is to work for the students, so I am excited for the chance to do that.”

As technology and social media rapidly become essential to running a successful business, the new Executive Director has big plans to utilize his tech background to make ASI more efficient.

“We can use technology to have more quality within our services, help meet our standards, measure our impact and process our improvements,” he explained.

“We need to analyze how we get things done, how efficient we are, what skills and procedures are already in place and how we can make them better.”

Saffold adds that the current ASI board has been a good program for 12 years, but he wants to strive for a great program.

“No one ever wants to fix what is ‘good,’” said Saffold. “But students have new needs now. I want to make this a great program that serves everyone better, and the current staff is coming along with me on this journey.”

Indeed, it will be a journey. Saffold is CSUEB’s fourth Executive Director for firing of Robert Lara in late January, the current ASI Board had been essentially on their own trying to implement programs for students.

While ASI professional staff was doing their best to aid the board in whatever way they could, the void of an Executive Director was evident.

“It’s clear that this board has been through a lot,” said Saffold. “I am really, really encouraged by the spirit of this board. They are entering this new phase with a positive attitude. The first thing we need to do is make quick strides toward stabilization. After we are stabilized, deep planning can start.”

While Saffold missed the recent controversy surrounding ASI heading toward a business-like model, as opposed to a student representative model, he feels confident that the board still has every intention of putting students first.

“Students influence everything that happens within ASI,” he said. “A move towards limiting student representation does not match anything I’ve heard since I’ve been here.”

Saffold is excited about the Executive Director position because he can act as an “ambassador” for the board to help them tackle the “day to day business side of things.”

“My management style is really that you don’t work for me. I work for you,” he said. “It’s my job to give you the time, tools and skills you need to work with me and meet goals. I want to work with administration, facilities and other departments so that I can be the action arm for the board.”

Saffold aims to help the board with their vision and do everything he can to help make it happen.

“I want to help them make everything run as smoothly as possibly the keep it moving in the right direction,” he said.

As ASI elections fast approach, Saffold is also anxious for the opportunity to work with a “new crew” of students, but will also miss the bonds he built with students last quarter.

“What we need to do with the new board is fix the learning curve so the board doesn’t spend two quarters learning their positions and one quarter implementing it,” he said. “It’s another opportunity to use technology. For example, we can have orientation classes with videos that explain the position before the students actually run for a position so they will know what is expected of them should they be elected.”

The hopeful and optimistic attitude Saffold has towards improving ASI is certainly music to the campus community’s ears.

A new Executive Director who doesn’t want to compromise on better serving students definitely sounds good.

“I’m hoping I can work at a level where people can see my heart,” said Saffold. “I really want to work for students and I have no intention of being the fourth Executive Director on his way out.”