May 3, 2004
CONTACT: Contact: Colleen Bentley-Adler, (562) 951-4801, or

The California State University today named three finalists for the presidency of California State University, Bakersfield.

The three finalists, and the dates they will visit the campus for all-day meetings with campus groups are:

Each of the three will spend a day on the campus, meeting faculty, staff, students, alumni and the community. An open forum will be held daily for the campus community from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Union multi-purpose room. An open reception will be held daily from 4:40 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Albertson Room in the Doré Theatre. (There will be daily media access from 11:10 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. in the Administration building's provost's conference room 101.)

"These are three eminently qualified candidates, any of whom would make an outstanding president for CSU Bakersfield," said CSU Trustee Roberta Achtenberg, chair of the presidential search committee. "Their experiences in California higher education will give them a head start as the California State University continues to deal with the major issues of quality, access and affordability in these times of a state budget crisis."

The new president will succeed President Tomás Arciniega, who is retiring at the end of June after 21 years at the campus and 31 years with the California State University system.

The CSU Board of Trustees will interview the three finalists on May 17 and name the new Bakersfield president later that week. The new leader would assume the presidency in early July. The trustees will set his salary no later than the July board meeting.  

Smith, a professor of accounting, has been the vice president for academic affairs at Cal State Fullerton since 1998, where he also served as dean of the School of Business Administration and Economics. Previously, he was dean, Nance College of Business Administration, Cleveland State University; dean, School of Business, Shippensburg State College; and a faculty member and chair of the accounting department at the University of Rhode Island.  

His degrees are all in accounting: his Ph.D. is from the University of Illinois; his master's degree is from the University of Massachusetts; and his bachelor's degree is from Providence College.  

Mitchell, who is an affiliated professor, African American Studies, at UC Berkeley, has been the vice chancellor for Business and Administrative Services at UC Berkeley since 1995. Previously, he was vice chancellor, Student Affairs and Campus Life at UC Irvine, where he also had served as the associate dean for Student and Curricular Affairs in the College of Medicine. At UC Irvine, he also served as an associate clinical professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and as the special assistant to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs. At Washington University, he had been the chair of the Black Studies Program, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and an assistant professor of Education and Black Studies.

His degrees are all from Washington University in St. Louis. His bachelor's degree is in psychology, his master's is in counseling, and his Ph.D. is in counseling psychology.

Haight, who has been the dean of the College and Business and Economics at Cal State L.A. since 1998, previously was the department chair and a professor of Finance at Towson University in Maryland. He has been a consultant at Aerosol Monitoring and Analysis, Inc., the Middendorf chair and professor of finance at the University of Baltimore, and an associate professor of Finance at Loyola College.

His bachelor's and master's of business administration are from the University of Dayton, and his doctorate of business administration is from George Washington University.

The CSU presidential search committee is composed of three trustees plus the board chair, the CSU chancellor, a CSU president, Bakersfield faculty, staff, student and alumni representatives and community members.

For more information on the candidates, go to executivesearch.calstate.edu.  

California State University, Bakersfield was founded in 1965 and has been offering classes since 1970 at its 375-acre campus. It has evolved into a comprehensive regional university providing quality education to area residents. Located in the heart of the West Coast's oil production region, it has the only public university petroleum geology program west of the Rockies, an extraordinary level of student-faculty interaction and a highly personalized learning atmosphere. It offers 31 bachelor's and 22 maste0r's degree programs. The Roadrunner sports teams have won national championships in men's basketball, swimming, wrestling, and soccer, and women's volleyball, tennis, and softball. CSUB's Antelope Valley satellite campus serves the Lancaster and Palmdale areas. See www.csub.edu.  

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, nearly 409,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees, about 77,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to0 excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.  

See www.calstate.edu.