CSU Bakersfield President's Monthly Campus Update
Horace Mitchell, Ph.D.


Super Sunday
In 2005, the CSU launched "Super Sunday," a system-wide community outreach designed to increase the enrollment of African American students in the CSU. Each February, CSU presidents, administrators, trustees, and Chancellor Reed visit numerous African American churches across southern and northern California to inform parents, students, congregants, and the community at large about the academic road to the CSU. The outreach has grown from 12 initial churches to 41 in northern California and 27 in southern California, including Bakersfield. The CSU reports an increased enrollment of African American students in the CSU from 18,429 to 22,079 between fall 2004 and fall 2007. Currently, only 19% of African American high school graduates are eligible to attend a CSU campus. The CSU's goal is to increase that percentage to at least 33%. I extend my thanks to Soraya Coley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jacqueline Mimms, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, and Keith Powell, Director of the Educational Opportunity Program, Steve Watkin, Director of Outreach Services, and Tanae Walker, Financial Aid Outreach Coordinator, for their participation in these important outreach efforts.

The Late Rev. Tyree Toliver to Receive Honorary Doctorate
At the June 13, 2009 spring commencement ceremony, we will award a posthumous doctorate of humane letters to the late Rev. Tyree Toliver. For more than fifty years, Rev. Toliver championed the cause of equal access to education, employment, financial services, and housing in Southeast Bakersfield, one of the poorest communities in California. A highly respected community and religious leader, he was instrumental in the 1960's resurgence of anti-poverty movements in Kern County.

Rev. Toliver served for fifty years as pastor of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church, the largest African American congregation in Bakersfield. During those years he led peaceful protests, marches, and demonstrations for fair employment for African Americans who, in the 1960s, were not hired to work in retail establishments in downtown Bakersfield. He mobilized the Southeast Bakersfield community in 1970 to advocate for the establishment of a permanent library in the Southeast. The Holloway-Gonzales library opened its doors five years later. Addressing the lack of access to financial services in Southeast Bakersfield, Rev. Toliver established the St. John Federal Credit Union in 1974, the first minority-owned federal credit union in Kern County. In response to the lack of housing for senior citizens, Rev. Toliver developed the St. John Senior Citizen Housing Complex, the first senior citizens' housing development in Kern County developed by a minority organization. The 79-unit, 3-story apartment complex opened in 1984 and provides affordable, independent living for low-income seniors. It remains a model HUD senior housing development.

Rev. Toliver served as a member of the President's Advisory Board at CSUB for two four-year terms under two university presidents, holding CSUB accountable to serving the needs of the underserved students of the region. He passed away in 2008. The honorary degree will be accepted on his behalf by his son, Tyree Douglas Toliver.

Dedication of Hardt Field and Baseball Inaugural Game
In August 2008, Tom Hardt fulfilled a dream of returning to CSUB to give back to the university where he earned his undergraduate degree. Outspoken advocates of the role of athletics in the character development of students, Tom and his wife, Barbara, made a $1 million donation for the construction of CSUB's baseball training and playing facility. In recognition of their donation, the CSU Board of Trustees approved the naming of the facility as "Hardt Field." The dedication of Hardt Field occurred on Friday, February 20, 2009 just prior to the inaugural game of CSUB NCAA Division I baseball. On hand for the dedication was Mayor Harvey Hall, who issued a proclamation naming February 20th as "Hardt Field Day" in Bakersfield. In addition to the generous donation, Tom served as the general contractor for the construction of the facility. I extend congratulations and thanks to Tom and Barbara Hardt and to the numerous subcontractors who made in-kind donations for the completion of the facility. Congratulations also to baseball coach Bill Kernan, Athletics Director Rudy Carvajal, Vice President for University Advancement Beverly Byl, and Vice President for Business and Administrative Services, Mike Neal and their respective staffs for their dedication and excellence in completing this project.

Rudy Carvajal to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award
CSUB Athletics Director Rudy Carvajal has been selected to receive the NCAA Division II Athletics Directors Association Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to an Athletics Director in recognition of exemplary career achievement in Division II. Rudy is CSUB's founding Athletics Director and has served since 1972, leading the Roadrunners to national recognition with an unparalleled 30 NCAA national championships in six different sports and 57 CCAA titles, and producing more than 1,000 All-American athletes. CSUB is the only university in the California State University system to have won the prestigious Sears Directors' Cup, awarded to the nation's best athletics program in its division. Rudy is the only athletics director to receive the Wang Family Excellence Award. Along with Phil Roach, former athletics director at Rollins College in Florida, Rudy will be presented the award in June at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) convention in Orlando, Florida. A well-deserved congratulations to you, Rudy.

NCAA Division I Certification Self-Study
At CSUB, we embrace a bold vision for excellence in our academic programs and in all areas of the university. In athletics, we achieved excellence as one of the best NCAA Division II institutions in the nation. Continuing this tradition of excellence in athletics, in 2005 we decided to move our athletics program to NCAA Division I status. We are in our fourth year of a five-year transition period. As part of this transition, we are now engaged in the NCAA Division I certification process -- a year-long, comprehensive self-study of our athletics program.

The self-study is intended to ensure the integrity of our athletics program, compliance with NCAA standards and principles, and to increase awareness and knowledge of our athletics program throughout the campus and community. Soraya Coley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Shelley Ruelas, Vice President for Student Affairs, are leading a broad-based group of 70 faculty, staff, students, student-athletes, administrators, coaches, alumni, and community members in an evaluation of our athletics program. This internal review team will examine three specific areas defined by the NCAA: 1) Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance; 2) Academic Integrity; and 3) Gender, Diversity, and Student-Athlete Well-Being.

An important part of our certification self-study is hearing from our community. We request your insight and recommendations regarding our evaluation of our athletics program. We invite you to read an executive summary or full report, available on our website at www.csub.edu/ncaa, then to join us on campus at a public forum we have scheduled for you on March 13th in the Student Union Multipurpose Room. You may also send us your comments via email to NCAAFeedback@csub.edu.

Alumni Hall of Fame
On Saturday, March 14, 2009, the CSUB Alumni Association will induct four distinguished alumni into the CSUB Alumni Hall of Fame. The honorees will be recognized at an evening gala to be held at the Seven Oaks Country Club. This year's outstanding alumni are:

Joel Heinrichs - CEO of Lightspeed Systems; Vice President of the Kern High School District Board of Trustees; Master's of Public Administration, 1989

Pauline Larwood - Trustee, Kern Community College District; Board of Governors of the California Community College District; Government relations consultant; Master's degree, History, 1976

Wayne Montgomery - Owner, Montgomery Insurance; Pastor, Christ Community Church in Wasco; Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, 1976; Master's degree, Education, 1978

Bill Rector - Chief of Police, Bakersfield Police Department; Master's degree in Education, 1989.

Alumnus of the Year
The Alumni Association has named Daphne Harley, Director of the Kern County Waste Management Department, its 2008-09 Alumnus of the Year. A 34-year employee of the County of Kern, Daphne earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Hampton University and a Master's in Public Administration from CSUB. She serves as an adjunct faculty member and a member of the Executive Advisory Council in the School of Business and Public Administration.

Please join me in congratulating our alumni at the Alumni Hall of Fame dinner. Reservations are $75 per person or $600 for a table of eight. Seating is limited. Social hour begins at 6 p.m. with dinner and the program beginning at 7 p.m. Proceeds from the black-tie event benefit the CSUB Alumni Scholarship Fund. For more information, please contact the Alumni Relations office at (661) 654-3211 or alumni@csub.edu.

University Council
The next University Council meeting is scheduled for March 13, 2009 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the Student Union Multi-Purpose Room.

I look forward to seeing you around campus or at an upcoming University or community event.