Associated Students Executive Director Don Daves-Rougeaux has been courted away from his post at UCSB by Santa Barbara real estate investment firm the SIMA Corporation to serve as its chief operations officer.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young said he has already begun the appointment process for a temporary director and plans to search for a permanent replacement throughout Winter Quarter. More information on when Daves-Rougeaux will officially end his term will be available later this week.

“We don’t anticipate a permanent director before summer, at best early spring, but the reality is summer,” Young said.

Daves-Rougeaux did not return calls and e-mail seeking comment.

As executive director, Daves-Rougeaux oversaw A.S. fiscal matters, managed the professional staff, handled legal issues and advised student government members. He has held the position since June 2002, a time of particular financial woe for the organization which had just suffered a $1 million loss in its investments and was $340,000 in debt.

He leaves A.S. in a more auspicious condition due to the recent passage of the Students’ Initiative – his alleged brainchild, several student government officials said.

Despite his disappointment in seeing Daves-Rougeaux leave, Young said he understood the appeal of his new job.

“I hate that he left,” Young said, “But I don’t blame him.”

Young said he commends Daves-Rougeaux for coordinating “a great staff, good fiscal condition and a great relationship between student government and the administrative organization.”

“Don did an extraordinary job as the executive director of A.S.,” Young said. “There’s no way of getting around the fact that his moving on to a great opportunity is a loss to the university and A.S.”

Although he will miss working with Daves-Rougeaux, A.S. President Jared Goldschen said he expects the organization will continue to grow and succeed without him. Goldschen said he and Young will likely chair the search committee for a new executive director and will be very active during the hiring process.

“There may be a slip or two, and there always will be issues, but as in any organization, there are periods of transition,” Young said.