President's Monthly Campus Update

As I reflect on where we are winter quarter, it is clear that throughout the campus there is a heavy workload. Faculty and staff are working very hard with new initiatives and with standard requirements of winter quarter, advancing CSUB toward the realization of our vision of excellence. Your efforts are appreciated and are demonstrated among the achievements highlighted below.

Chevron Gives $1 Million for Math and Science
As part of our vision to extend academic excellence, CSUB has received a $1 million gift from Chevron to fund our mathematics and science initiative. In development for almost a year, the grant will focus on both preparing students to succeed in math and science, and on preparing middle and high school teachers to teach math and science. Our School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and our School of Education will implement the programs. The Chevron gift is another example of public/private partnerships working to support excellence in education. It follows a $600,000 grant made by Chevron in 2005 to CSUB, the Bakersfield City School District, and Houghton Mifflin to fund a preschool literacy project. Both initiatives are geared toward raising the critical skills of students, preparing them for eligibility for and success in college.

We thank Warner Williams, Vice President, Chevron North America San Joaquin Valley Business Unit, and member of the CSUB Foundation Board, for this important donation and the continued partnership between Chevron and CSUB. Carla Musser, Public Affairs Manager, Chevron, and Mike Chertok, Vice President for University Advancement, were instrumental in developing the proposal. We congratulate Julio Blanco, Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Curtis Guaglianone, Dean of the School of Education, for their work on the proposal for this grant.

Retirement of W. Michael Chertok
Michael Chertok, Vice President for University Advancement, has announced his plans to retire on September 1, 2007. Mike has done an exceptional job in advancing CSUB. Under his leadership, our endowment fund has more than doubled from $7.29 million to over $15 million within the last 19 months. We surpassed the $6 million fund raising goal for our Athletics Division I campaign in only 16 months. Mike was instrumental in securing the recent Chevron gift of $1 million for our math and science initiative. These are just recent examples. He leaves CSUB having built the department from the ground up into an effective advancement and fundraising operation. Extended information regarding Mike's retirement and the accomplishments of University Advancement under his leadership can be found on our university website at www.csub.edu/csubnews/2007/winter/chertok.shtml. We thank Mike for his leadership, dedication, and service to CSUB. Toward the end of the academic year we will celebrate Mike's successful tenure and contributions to CSUB. More information will follow.

Nursing Grant
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Candace Meares for an award in the amount of $240,000 over two years from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development - Song Brown RN Education Program Capitation. Kathy Lewis assisted in the preparation of the proposal. The funding will allow the nursing program to add a cohort of ten new students in the new Accelerated BSN program. The Accelerated BSN program is for students with a non-nursing BA or BS degree seeking to become nurses. The award can be used to fund a nursing faculty position during the time of the grant. Of the ten proposals funded, CSUB's proposal was ranked second. This award compliments other work by the nursing faculty to raise funds from local hospitals to support the nursing program's efforts to address the nursing shortage.

American Council on Education Appointment
At the annual meeting of the American Council on Education (ACE) earlier this month, I was elected to a two-year term on the ACE Board of Directors. ACE is a national intersegmental higher education organization whose mission is to provide cross-sector discussion and collaboration on public policy issues in higher education. It is important that this campus has this significant national level of visibility. I am pleased to serve on this board.

Student Accolades
Congratulations are in order for Religious Studies major Mona Twocats, class of 2007, who just received admission to the MA/Ph.D. program at UC Riverside. Additionally, she has been awarded the prestigious Eugene Cota Robles Award. This fellowship fully funds Mona for five years of graduate work and is worth $130,000. Mona awaits news from other doctoral programs before making a decision about which program to attend. We congratulate Mona on this great news and wish her great success.

University Police Mobile Command Post Vehicle
Soon you will see a new University Police vehicle on campus, a 2007 Ford Expedition fully equipped with all the standard emergency equipment, plus a little something extra. The brand new SUV will be equipped and used as a mobile command post vehicle, also known as a mobile emergency operations vehicle. It will support field operations in the event of any emergency or disaster that may occur on campus or within the University Police Department's jurisdiction. An integral aspect of properly managing an emergency or disaster requires coordinating the response of the people, agencies, and disciplines that will work together to solve the problem. A command post is where this coordination and direction takes place. The CSUB Police Department mobile command post vehicle will be equipped with emergency communications equipment, a laptop computer, maps, and phones. It may be seen on campus as a patrol vehicle, as needed. The unit was fully funded by a grant awarded to the CSU by the Office of Homeland Security. Once the vehicle is equipped, Police Chief Claudia Neal invites anyone who is interested in seeing it to call the Police Department at 654-2111 to arrange for a closer look.

New Athletics Department Bus
As part of its initiatives to improve air quality in the county, the Kern County Board of Supervisors has donated $50,000 to CSUB Athletics Department for the purchase of a 27-passenger compressed natural gas (CNG) bus. The vehicle will be used to transport our intercollegiate athletics teams to statewide events and ultimately to replace the two 15-passenger gas-powered vans currently in use. We thank the Board of Supervisors for their stated recognition of the benefits to the citizens and economy of Kern County of our move to NCAA Division I athletics, as well as their demonstrated support for the use of clean air vehicles.

Celebrate CSUB
April 28th will mark our inaugural Open House at CSUB. The event is a new tradition for CSUB, established to allow us to better and more broadly tell the story of who we are and what we do. Academic and non-academic events and activities are designed to engage the Bakersfield community and beyond in the offerings of our campus. A few of the highlights of the day include: the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics' Chemistry Circus; the School of Education's demonstration of NASA's Mars Land Rover; the Kegley Institute's Student Research Conference; Freshman Day and Parent Orientation; Student Union Spring Carnival; 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Children's Center; the PEAK Department's 5k Alum Fun Run; the Harry Potter Club; and CSUB Idol, hosted by the Music Department. A complete list of events and details for the day can be found on March 2nd on our website at www.csub.edu/celebrate. Admission and parking are free. For further information regarding the event, please contact Evelyn Nelson in the Office of the President at 654-2241 or Robin Flores in the Student Union at 654-2494.

University Council & the President's Campus Forum
The next University Council meeting will be March 16, 2007 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the Albertson Room. The first President's Campus Forum will be the March 15th campus dialog on "Access to Excellence," mentioned in the February edition of the Update and in my memorandum to the campus dated February 27, 2007. All members of the campus community are encouraged to attend.

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