SEPT 11, 2001
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

University Day 2001

California State University, Bakersfield faculty members were touted for their commitment to the community and the university during CSUB's annual University Day on Tuesday.

University Day annually inaugurates the new academic year the week before CSUB's first day of classes. It's a day where new faculty members are introduced, and CSUB President Tomas Arciniega addresses the faculty and staff, setting the university's goals for the coming year. The day also features various workshops and discussions.

In his opening remarks, Arciniega praised the faculty for their accomplishments during the previous academic year. "Even with their heavy teaching responsibilities, our faculty were remarkably productive," he said.

Arciniega noted the achievements of several faculty members in his address. He cited achievements by CSUB centers and institutes, including:

• The Applied Research Center, under the direction of professors Ken Nyberg and Dan McMillin, which conducts behavioral and organizational research. During the past year ARC signed several contracts with Kern and other counties worth several million dollars to help assess children's programs statewide. Proposition 10 provided social service agencies with significant new resources, but they lacked the technical expertise to carry out the required professional assessments. ARC is filling that need.

• The Geotechnology Center, which is a resource not only for Bakersfield and Kern County but also California and the Western United States, thanks to the efforts of geology professor Jan Gillespie and recent donations from major energy companies. The center's sophisticated computers allow petroleum geology students and professionals to explore subsurface oil-bearing zones using three-dimensional maps. CSUB is the only university west of the Rocky Mountains to have the complex data sets used in subsurface mapping.

• Center For Economic Education And Research, which, under the direction of Abbas Grammy, economics professor and chairman of CSUB's economics department, undertook a number of initiatives, including:

- Kern Economic Summit - Grammy co-organized the inaugural Kern Economic Summit held this past spring on the CSUB campus. The summit, jointly hosted by CSUB and the Kern Economic Development Corp., provided a vehicle for better understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the local economy, and to discuss the ways to bring about and sustain economic prosperity to the region. The summit brought together the leaders of the region's major corporate, government and non-profit organizations to consider these issues. The summit is planned as an annual event.

- Kern Economic Journal, a quarterly publication that provides the community updates on local economic trends and developments. Grammy is the journal's editor. The journal provides the community with economic information produced by the center.

- Urban Sprawl Study - Economics professor Sriram Khe, a principle in the Center for Economic Education and Research, has completed a study on one of Bakersfield's biggest concerns: urban sprawl. Urban sprawl, or increasing housing at a rate faster than the population growth, is one of the major initiatives of Bakersfield's Vision 2020 project.

Arciniega also pointed to the faculty's work to develop new programs to meet community needs, citing, among others, the:

• CSUB Art Center - Art professor Ted Kerzie has initiated an important project in downtown Bakersfield: the development of a CSUB Art Center. The plan is to have a teaching facility which will house visiting resident artists and students, and that will serve as a hub for art activities, artists and aspiring artists.

• Sports Management Program - A new sports management concentration - including an emphasis in golf management - within the bachelor's degree in business administration has been approved at CSUB, and classes will begin this fall. The new concentration is the first of its kind offered at any business school in California. Business professor Brian McNamara played a key role in developing the program.

• Master Of Arts In Secondary Math Program - CSUB Mathematics professor Joe Fiedler worked to develop this program. The program is in response to a community need for better math instruction at the junior high and senior high school level.

• E-Business Concentration - This concentration within the management and marketing major addresses the need for expertise in a rapidly growing business sector. The program was developed by business professor Mohsen Attaran.

Arciniega said the achievements demonstrate CSUB's commitment to the community. "We should feel very proud of the distance traveled by our university in the 30 years of its existence," he said. "And most importantly, each year from now on this community can expect this level of achievements ... from this faculty - a most significant and important record indeed.

"... What the accomplishments of our faculty and staff make very clear is that we are indeed rising to the challenge," Arciniega said.

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