Fresno Unified to decide on interim Superintendent this week

The decision comes as the district has dealt with public outcry and controversy over its plans to select a permanent superintendent.

Fresno Unified School District will choose an interim superintendent on Friday ahead of Superintendent Bob Nelson’s exit from the district. 

The district’s Board of Trustees met in closed session Wednesday morning to discuss the selection and said the pick will be made on Friday. 


The backstory: Nelson is leaving for a teaching position at Fresno State at the end of the school year, a move that was announced in January. 

  • That announcement was accompanied by the district saying Deputy Misty Her was the anticipated pick to fill in as interim superintendent while the board conducted a search for Nelson’s permanent replacement. 
  • But reports shortly followed that Her had the inside track for the job, with the board initially deciding to only consider internal candidates for the job. 
  • That led to Board President Susan Wittrup leading a press conference of bipartisan community leaders calling for a national search, and public outcry convinced some on the board to flip their positions and open the search up. 

The big picture: While Her had been anticipated to lead the district in the interim, her position as the presumed replacement for Nelson now has the board taking multiple days and meetings just to decide on an interim superintendent, moving the district past what was thought to be a shoo-in decision. 

  • The board held a closed session meeting on Monday following a facilities workshop, with Wittrup saying after that the trustees were developing a plan to select an interim superintendent. 
  • Wittrup also said the district will have a status report in early May. 
  • The board scheduled Wednesday’s board meeting at an unusual time for the district: 9:30 a.m. Fresno Unified usually holds its board meetings in the evenings. 

What we’re watching: Following Wednesday’s closed session meeting, the board said it will make its decision in a special meeting on Friday. 

  • That meeting is scheduled to start with closed session at 5 p.m., followed by open session at 5:30 p.m. 
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