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CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich at 661/664-2456 or
Or Josephine Crisostomo, Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, 617/618-2720,

Tomas Arciniega of California State University, Bakersfield Selected to Serve as National Leader in Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention

The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention announced that Tomas A. Arciniega, president of California State University, Bakersfield, has been selected to serve on the Presidents Leadership Group, a body of higher education presidents and chancellors who have made student substance abuse prevention a priority on their campuses. Nine new members joined the Presidents Leadership Group Thursday, representing a diverse group of campuses from around the nation. The expansion of the Presidents Leadership Group marks the continued commitment by the Higher Education Center to highlight and promote the critical role of presidential leadership in collegiate alcohol and other drug prevention.

With support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Presidents Leadership Group was formed to bring national attention to alcohol and other drug issues on college and university campuses. Representing a broad array of institutions of higher education, officials from 45 campuses from 27 states now participate in this effort. The expanded Presidents Leadership Group will build on the leadership efforts of its 36 previous members. Officials serve as prevention spokespersons, change agents, and models for other presidents; they also support statewide and regional alcohol and other drug prevention efforts, adopting leadership roles in existing regional initiatives or taking the lead in states where statewide efforts have not yet taken hold.

“Presidents are in a unique position to invigorate and influence prevention efforts on their campuses and in their communities,” said Higher Education Center Director William DeJong. “We look forward to working with the new members of the Presidents Leadership Group as they continue to demonstrate how presidents may best serve this critical role, drawing upon campus resources and enlisting both campus and community constituencies in prevention.”

The new Presidents Leadership Group members were chosen based on their previous alcohol and other drug prevention efforts as well as their future plans for leadership in this area. The rigorous selection process required applicants to submit personal statements, letters of support from people within their institution and their surrounding community, and their campus’s biennial review reports – a federal reporting requirement under the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations.

"I am proud of the substance abuse prevention work we have done, but I am certainly aware that much remains to be done,” Arciniega said. "I am pleased and honored to serve on the Presidents Leadership Group of the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention."

Arciniega has been a leader in California in working to prevent alcohol and drug abuse on college campuses. In November 2000, he was appointed to the Alcohol Policies and Prevention Programs Committee of California State University presidents and students by CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed to review the university system's alcohol policies and prevention programs with a goal of strengthening them so fewer students are injured or die as a result of alcohol abuse.

That committee’s work lead to the adoption in July 2001 by the CSU Board of Trustees of a system-wide, comprehensive approach to curbing student alcohol abuse at its 23 campus. The policy, the first in the country to be adopted by an entire university system, calls for consistent enforcement of policies, additional education on alcohol issues, intervention and treatment, a limit on alcohol vendor advertising, and support funding from the CSU Chancellor's Office.

Additionally, CSUB’s campus-sponsored “Oksoberfest” in 2001, in conjunction with the National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, received a $1,000 award from the Automobile Club of Southern California and the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention for its 2001-02 alcohol awareness program. "Oksoberfest" was chosen as one of the best alcohol prevention campaigns in the western region.

“Oksoberfest” activities included a barbecue and rally, speakers on alcohol awareness, simulated drunk driving tests and non-alcoholic smoothies. Students, faculty and staff worked together to provide information and statistics about alcohol abuse, responsible drinking options, and demonstrated non-alcoholic options for having fun.

The following college and university leaders have been selected to be part of the Presidents Leadership Group:


Alvernia College
California State University, Bakersfield
Central Washington University
Northwest Missouri State University
Southeast Missouri State University
University of Iowa
University of Miami
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire


Laurence W. Mazzeno
Tomas A. Arciniega
Jerilyn McIntyre
Dean L. Hubbard
Kenneth W. Dobbins
David J. Skorton
Donna E. Shalala
John T. Casteen III
Donald J. Mash



The Higher Education Center formed the original Presidents Leadership Group in 1997. That year, the six-member Presidents Leadership Group published an alcohol prevention report urging college presidents to become more active leaders on this issue on their campuses and in their surrounding communities. Copies of the Presidents Leadership Group report, “Be Vocal, Be Visible, Be Visionary: Recommendations for College and University Presidents on Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention,” and its companion video can be obtained by visiting the Higher Education Center’s Web site at Leadership Group/prod

The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention serves as the national resource center for institutions of higher education concerned with reducing alcohol and other drug use. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, with supplemental funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Higher Education Center offers training, technical assistance, publications, and other information to assist those who want to take an active part in changing the environment in which students make decisions about alcohol and other drug use. The Higher Education Center is based at Education Development Center, Inc., an internationally known nonprofit educational research and development organization located in Newton, Massachusetts.

For additional information, contact the Higher Education Center by telephone (800-676-1730) or through the Internet ( . The Higher Education Center's Web site ( provides one-stop shopping for alcohol and other drug prevention in higher education.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grantmaking in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to quality health care at reasonable cost; to improve the quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse – tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.

The following presidents and chancellors will continue to serve as members of the Presidents Leadership Group:


Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
California State University, Fresno
California State University System
Clarkson College
Coker College
College of Santa Fe
Edgewood College
Frederick Community College
Illinois College
Lehigh University
Miami-Dade Community College
Medical Center Campus
North Idaho College
Prairie View A & M University
Raritan Valley Community College
San Antonio College
San Diego Community College District
San Diego State University
Southeastern Louisiana University
SUNY, Potsdam
University at Albany, SUNY
University of Bridgeport
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Delaware
University of Kentucky
University of Michigan
University of Missouri, Rolla
University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
University of Puget Sound
University of Rhode Island
University of San Diego
University of Wyoming
University System of Maryland
Vanderbilt University
Weber State University
West Virginia University, Parkersburg
Western Washington University


Jessica Kozloff
John Welty
Charles B. Reed
J. W. Upright
B. James Dawson
Linda Hanson
James Ebben
Patricia Stanley
Axel Steuer
Gregory Farrington

Kathie S. Sigler
Michael Burke
Charles Hines (retired)
G. Jeremiah Ryan
Robert E. Zeigler
Augustine Gallego
Stephen Weber
Randy Moffett
John Fallon
Karen Hitchcock
Neil Salonen
Henry Yang
David Roselle
Lee Todd
Mary Sue Coleman
Gary Thomas
Frank Cassell
Susan Pierce (retired)
Robert Carothers
Alice Hayes (retired)
Philip Dubois
William Kirwan
Gordon Gee
Paul Thompson (retired)
Erik Bitterbaum
Karen Morse



Joan Canfield
Director of Web Services
California State University Bakersfield
(WSL304) 661-665-6056