June 29, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu
Or Kim Sherlock, (661) 664-2138, or ksherlock@csub.edu

John Hultsman, director of partnership for community development and professor of recreation and tourism at Arizona State University West in Phoenix, has accepted the position of associate vice president at California State University, Bakersfield’s Antelope Valley campus.

“The demand for higher education in that area grows with each year that passes, and he’ll bring many facets of developmental abilities to the campus,” said Mark Evans, interim dean of CSUB’s Extended University.

“In addition to being successful in the areas of strategic planning and campus accreditation, Dr. Hultsman has been involved in curriculum, program and facilities development for many years now,” Evans continued. “He’s been a great resource for technological expertise and was really the vehicle behind the Partnership for Community Development that he directed at ASU West. It is essential that we have a high level of academic leadership on campus – someone who has optimism combined with a realistic perspective.”

For his part, Hultsman is excited about the opportunity to lead the fast-growing center. “First of all, I believe the Antelope Valley campus needs to be a student-centered center,” he said, laughing. “It may sound redundant, but it’s true. I would really like to create a student advisory board so I can get a pulse as to how the students are feeling on a regular basis. Second, the campus needs to reflect the needs of the community.”

Hultsman said he will learn the desires of the region by immersing himself in the community, a task he plans on undertaking the first few months of his tenure.

“We need to be community-driven,” he said. “I am ready to listen to what their needs are. I believe strongly in the informed/informing managing style. That way I can make informed decisions and let others know what we’re doing and why.”

Hultsman was one of the first tenured members of the faculty at ASU West, where he obtained grants, implemented and evaluated programs, and assisted in public relations. The American Association of State Colleges and Universities has ranked ASU West first in community engagement in the nation.

Previously, Hultsman was the recreation planner and program coordinator for the Tennessee Valley Authority and was also a tenured faculty member at Purdue University.

He currently holds fellow status at both the Academy of Leisure Sciences and the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration, where his primary focus is the effects of technology on leisure and at-risk youth.

Hultsman will assume his position in mid-August. The position, recently created out of the necessity for developing the CSUB’s Antelope Valley campus into a full-service campus, entails gathering financial support from the state and as well as external support from the community, Evans said.

CSUB’s Antelope Valley campus is part of the Extended University Division of CSUB, and offers a wide variety of professional development programs. The branch campus, whose mission is to provide the region with access to a four-year state university, serves Antelope Valley’s population of 400,000. More than 1,000 students are currently enrolled at the campus.