OCT. 28, 2002
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

James H. George Jr. has been named provost and vice president of academic affairs at California State University, Bakersfield. George has been serving as provost on an interim basis since June 2001 when he replaced Robert Catlin, who retired after two years in the post.

CSUB President Tomas Arciniega made the announcement of Georgeís appointment last week.

"I am delighted that Dr. George is our new provost," Arciniega said. "In looking for a new provost it turns out we didn't need to look any further than our own campus for the right person. Jim is extremely capable, and we are fortunate to have him. He's earned the confidence of the faculty and staff, and I'm convinced he'll do a terrific job.î

George came to CSUB in 1970 as one of the university's founding faculty immediately after earning his doctorate in history from the University of Wisconsin. He earned a master's degree in history also from Wisconsin in 1967, after receiving his bachelorís degree from Westminster College in Pennsylvania where he was named outstanding graduating senior.

In addition to being a history professor at CSUB, George served as the program chair for the liberal studies major from 1977 to 1991; dean of the division of general studies from 1977 to 1984; assistant vice president for academic affairs from 1984 to 1992; and associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of undergraduate studies from 1992 to 2001.

George is excited about CSUBís future and the opportunity to help shape it. ìWeíve reached a new plateau,î he said. ìWeíve grown at 10 percent a year for the past three years and we donít anticipate that changing. Itís a very exciting time at CSUB, and Iím looking forward to working with the faculty and staff to help CSUB reach its potential as a comprehensive regional university.î

That growth is fueling new and diverse needs for the university in the near future. ìI really see great challenges in the coming two to three years,î he said. ìWe will need to add new faculty and provide the instructional space which are central to providing a high-quality education. This year for the first time we had more first-time freshmen than transfer students. Iím delighted to see that weíve become the school of choice for so many students from this area.î

Planning for the new buildings to accommodate the continued influx of students will be an important part of Georgeís job. ìNew buildings are central to our goal of providing high-quality educational opportunities in this area,î he said. ìThe next new building planned for campus is the math and computer science building, which, if things go according to plan, should be under construction sometime around 2004 or 2005. Then right after that, a humanities complex is planned for the northwest part of campus. Weíre all right now,spacewise, but weíll need those new buildings to accommodate our future growth.î

And before the decade is out, George wants to see engineering as part of the universityís curriculum. Engineering has been part of CSUBís plan for some time, and twice before almost became a reality before state budget woes submarined the plans. ìOur goal is to become a comprehensive regional university, and weíll need that program to do that,î he said. ìBy the end of the decade weíll need engineering.î