Hamid Shirvani

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Hamid Shirvani
Born (1950-10-20) October 20, 1950 (age 66)
Tehran, Iran

Briar Cliff University
North Dakota University System

California State University Stanislaus
Chapman University
Queens College of the City University of New York
University of Massachusetts Lowell
University of Colorado Denver
State University of New York Syracuse
Pennsylvania State University
Title Senior Fellow, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Spouse(s) Fatemeh Shirvani

Hamid Augustine Shirvani was born in Tehran, Iran and raised in London, England; was educated in the United Kingdom and attended graduate schools in the United States.[1] He holds a BA in Architecture from the Polytechnic of Central London, a M.Arch from Pratt Institute, a M.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an M.L.A. from Harvard University and both an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is a practicing Roman Catholic and has been awarded the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and has been invested in the Order of Malta.

He started his academic career as an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University and as an Associate and Full professor at the State University of New York at Syracuse.


Shirvani is the 10th President of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He took over the role after President Bev Wharton retired at the end of the 2016 academic school year.

Prior to assuming this position, he served as a Senior Fellow with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. Prior to that, he served as the Chancellor of the North Dakota University System; President of California State University Stanislaus; Provost and Executive Vice President at Chapman University; Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research at Queens College, City University of New York; Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell; and Dean of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver.

Shirvani has served on numerous public and private boards and Commissions, including: the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, the National Association of System Heads, the NCAA Presidents Council Division II, the American Council on Education (ACE) Commission on International Initiatives, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Committee on Professional Development and Workforce Development (chairman), the Governing Board of the Stockton Site Authority, the Competition Inc., and many others.[2]

North Dakota University System[edit]

On February 5, 2013 the Fargo Forum reported that State Senator Tony Grindberg (R-Fargo) will offer an amendment to the higher education funding bill that will include language to buy out the remainder of Shirvani's contract.[3] This was politically motivated according to the Bismarck Tribune[4] and was countered by the former Lieutenant Governor Omdahl.[5] However, the State Board of Higher Education expressed their “wholehearted and unequivocal support” for Chancellor Shirvani.[6] The State Board stated that “he has earned and fully deserves our gratitude and continued support.”[7] Representative Robert Skarphol (R) from Tioga, called the attempt “beyond ridiculous” and “ totally inappropriate”, “Shirvani is highly qualified and honorable man”, who “brings both the knowledge and the will to the table, and it terrifies some people within the institutions and the legislators that a real expert may finally be at the helm and the playground atmosphere at some of the campuses may be replaced with one of seriousness and accountability.”[8]

On March 21, 2013, the State Board of Higher Education passed a Resolution in support of Dr. Shirvani expressing that the Board “endorses and gives its full support to the chancellor for his dedication and perseverance in endeavoring to improve the quality of public higher education in North Dakota.”[9][10]

California State University[edit]

In April 2010, California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown, Jr. announced an investigation to accusations that the university officials including Hamid Shirvani violated public records laws when they refused to reveal the financial details of a contract with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to speak at a university fundraiser, and allegedly shredded documents related to the agreement.[11]

The contract was reportedly found in a recycling bin along with other CSU documents. These were found by two unnamed CSUS students after a tip they received stating that there was documents being shredded at the CSU on a Furlough Day. In August 2010, the Attorney General concluded his investigation and found that there was no misappropriation of funds by the Foundation and no violation of law.[12]

Awards and Recognitions[edit]

Sir Hamid Shirvani is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, Recipient of Special Commendation by the American Institute of Architects (2003) for his contributions in the fields of architecture and urban design, Recipient of the Seikyo Culture Award of Japan (1999) and is listed in the Who’s Who in the World. Sir Hamid Shirvani has lectured at 27 international and 48 U.S. universities, several dozen public and private agencies, and professional societies. He is also the recipient of grants from National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, United States Department of Education, DeWitt Wallace – Reader's Digest Fund and Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation. For his distinguished service and significant scholarly and academic achievements, Soka University (Japan) bestowed upon him the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2003. In 2007 and again in 2009, the statewide student government body of the 23-campus California State University system recognized Shirvani as “President of the Year.”[13]


Shirvani has authored three books: Design Review Process, 1981;[14] The Urban Design Process, 1985;[15] and Beyond Public Architecture, 1990.

Shirvani has also published several dozen papers in various referred and professional journals. In addition, he has authored numerous commentaries and editorials in the Times Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, Chronicle of Higher Education, and local newspapers.[16][17][18]


  1. ^ http://archive.csustan.edu/Communications/downloads/magazine/2005-Fall.pdf
  2. ^ http://www.calstate.edu/administration/bios/presidents/shirvani.shtml
  3. ^ http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/388901/group/News/
  4. ^ http://bismarcktribune.com/news/opinion/editorial/is-the-problem-the-board-or-the-chancellor/article_52624e7e-7070-11e2-bcf8-0019bb2963f4.html
  5. ^ http://bismarcktribune.com/news/columnists/chancellor-needs-more-than-nine-months/article_b90cf8e2-7154-11e2-bf5d-001a4bcf887a.html
  6. ^ http://mobile.grandforksherald.com/page/article/id/255664
  7. ^ http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/257659/group/Opinion/
  8. ^ http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/257524/
  9. ^ http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/393938/
  10. ^ http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/education/board-of-higher-ed-passes-resolution-supporting-shirvani/article_723ff2ea-927c-11e2-9259-001a4bcf887a.html
  11. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/california-investigate-sarah-palin-speaking-contract/story?id=10365656
  12. ^ http://ag.ca.gov/newsalerts/print_release.php?id=1968
  13. ^ http://www.modbee.com/2009/05/12/v-print/700646/csu-stanislaus-shirvani-named.html
  14. ^ http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=85210841&privcapId=161266
  15. ^ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-urban-design-process-hamid-shirvani/1001047533?ean=9780442280642
  16. ^ Shirvani, Hamid. "An Urban Design Prospect." Urban Design Review 5.3 (1982).
  17. ^ http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/value-added-answer/418603.article
  18. ^ http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/01/24/essay-argues-revamping-pell-grant-protect-forgotten-middle-class#sthash.MxldhKgz.dpbs

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