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


December Commencement Suspended
In response to numerous inquiries regarding December commencement, this is a reminder that I announced at our February 11, 2010 campus-wide budget forum that December commencement would be suspended in response to current and long-term projected shortfalls in state funding. Students who complete requirements for their degrees at the end of this quarter will be awarded their degrees effective November 24, 2010. They will be formally recognized during our Spring 2011 commencement exercises. I look forward to seeing you either at the graduate hooding ceremony on June 7 in the Icardo Center or at one of the undergraduate commencement ceremonies on June 10 and 11 in the CSUB Amphitheatre. For ceremony specifics, please visit our commencement website at www.csub.edu/commencement.

Board of Trustees Votes to Raise Student Fees
At its November meeting, the CSU Board of Trustees voted to approve a mid-year 5% student fee increase, effective January 2011, as well as a 10% increase for the 2011-12 academic year, effective Fall 2011. The increases amount to $105 and $444, respectively and were necessary to maintain enrollment, classes, and student support services amid a decrease in state funding. One-third of the revenue from the tuition increase is set aside for financial aid and will fully cover the increase for almost half of all CSU undergraduates. The board will request that the governor and legislature buy out the 2011-12 increase by adequately funding the CSU in the state's 2011-12 budget. The buy-out would allow the CSU to rescind the 10% increase. Even with the increases, the CSU remains among the least expensive higher education institutions nationwide, ranking second lowest among 15 comparison institutions and one-third below the comparison average.

Candidates' Forum
Last month, I failed to recognize an excellent faculty/student collaboration. Associated Students, Inc., in conjunction with the CSUB Political Science Department, held an outstanding half-day Candidates' Forum in preparation for the November 2nd mid-term election. Students, faculty, and staff had the opportunity to engage informally with candidates over lunch, after which each candidate presented his or her political platform. A question-and-answer period followed during which candidates responded to questions on issues including the state budget, jobs, the DREAM Act, and Proposition 19. Present at the forum were candidates: Jim Costa and Andy Vidak for U.S. Representative, District 20; Michael Rubio and Tim Thiesen for State Senator, District 16; Jean Fuller and Carter Pope for State Senator, District 18; Fran Flores and David Valadao for State Assembly, District 30, and Shannon Grove for State Assembly, District 32. Dean Flores represented Jerry Brown, candidate for governor. Moderating the forum was Kent Price, Lecturer in Political Science. Congratulations to the ASi Executive Board: President Stephen Muchinyi; Executive Vice President Ahmad Rafah; Vice President for External Affairs Jesus (J.R.) Perez, Vice President of Finance Erika Madrigal, and Vice President of Programming and Publicity Nancy Solis for presenting an exceptional event for our campus.

Director of Computing Services Appointed
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Soraya Coley and I are pleased to announce Mr. Kallya Shenoy as Director of Administrative Computing Services. Kallya joined us on Monday, November 8. He holds a bachelors degree in engineering from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India and brings more than 25 years of experience from a range of technology-related positions. He specializes in PeopleSoft ERP, Oracle database administration, and disaster recovery planning and management.

The Provost and I also take this opportunity to thank Dr. Steve Herndon who has served as Interim Director of Administrative Computing Services since the retirement of Irene Leung, as well as Director of the Common Management System (CMS). The search for a new Director of CMS continues as Steve will be retiring after that appointment is secured.

National Association of Student Personnel Administrators' President's Award
It was my honor to receive the President's Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region VI at its awards ceremony in Portland, Oregon earlier this month. The recognition is given to a college or university president who has had direct involvement in advancing the quality of student life on campus by supporting student affairs staff and programs. Enhancing the quality of the student experience is central to our vision at CSUB. Our faculty, staff, and administrators work collaboratively and diligently to provide students with a rich academic experience, quality support services, and a vibrant campus life. The award recognizes our involvement of students and student life staff in institutional governance and our impact on the student life profession beyond our individual campus. On behalf of all who work toward this end, I was pleased to accept the President's Award. I extend my thanks to John Hultsman, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, for nominating me.

Holiday Receptions
First Lady Barbara Mitchell, the Academic Senate, Staff Forum, and I invite you to CSUB's holiday reception on Wednesday, December 1, 2010. The campus reception will be held from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. in the Runner Café. From 5:30 - 7:00 p.m., members of the community are invited to a reception in the Stockdale Room. Light refreshments will be catered by Aramark for both holiday gathering. You are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or unwrapped toy to donate to the Golden Empire Gleaners or Toys for Tots. Kindly respond with your reservation via email to rsvp@csub.edu or by close of business today, November 22nd, by calling 661-654-2136. We look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you to Staff Forum for hosting its annual Thanksgiving luncheon this past Thursday, November 18th, as they have done for many years.

University Council
The next University Council meeting will be held on January 21, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in the Albertson Room. All members of the campus community are welcome to attend.

First Lady Barbara Mitchell and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving in the company of family, friends, and loved ones. Take care.