Our History


The Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960 brought the individual California State Colleges together as a system. It was in 1982 that the system became The California State University system. In 1987 California State College, Bakersfield officially obtained university status, changing its name to California State University, Bakersfield.

The athletics program at CSUB was at its prime during the early 1980s. Joe Seay, head wrestling coach, led his teams to four straight NCAA Division II Wrestling Championship titles.

However, the future of the four-year university looked grim. Enrollment was less than 3,000 and public criticism mounted over the lack of courses offered to attract students. There were rumors of possible tuition increases and even school closures. Many people blamed Proposition 13 for the economic uncertainty. This was a difficult time for the faculty and President Jacob Porter Frankel.

With fewer resources available than in past years, Frankel had many challenges to face during this time of economic upset. One of these challenges forced tenured faculty to be laid off due to cutbacks. The future looked unclear for this relatively young university.

Thankfully, the dedicated people of Bakersfield and Kern County stepped up to help with support for CSUB. The community had worked hard to bring a university to the San Joaquin Valley, and they were determined to keep the doors open and operating. The community got involved and raised funds through donations to help keep the university alive during this economic crisis. Their efforts proved worthwhile, as CSUB flourishes today.


Tomas A. Arciniega July 1983
Tomas Arciniega Named 3rd President of CSCB
May 1984
California Well Sample Repository moves to CSCB
Sept. 1986
Computer Science major added
California State College, Bakersfield obtains university status, becomes California State University, Bakersfield
Feb. 1989
Activities Center (known today as Icardo Center) opens