Lynnette Zelezny Appointed President of CSU Bakersfield

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Lynnette Zelezny, Ph.D. to serve as president of California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB). Zelezny currently serves as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fresno State University.

“CSUB provides an excellent education for its students, affording them, their families, and indeed the entire Kern community, the opportunity for a vastly better future,” said Zelezny. “I look forward to engaging with the CSUB campus community and university supporters in making that outstanding educational experience even more accessible.”

Zelezny becomes the fifth permanent president of CSUB and the first woman to serve in that role. She will join the campus in her new capacity in late June. Zelezny succeeds Horace Mitchell, who will retire from the university at the end of the 2017-18 academic year. 

“Dr. Zelezny has been a transformational leader who has championed student success throughout her exemplary career,” said CSU Trustee John Nilon, chair of the CSUB search committee. “She demonstrates a thorough understanding of the unique opportunities available for higher education in the Central Valley and has extensive knowledge of the CSU. She is perfectly suited to serve as the next president of CSUB.”

Zelezny has been provost and vice president of academic affairs for Fresno State since 2014. In that capacity she is the campus’ chief academic officer.

She joined Fresno State in 1988 and has served in a variety of roles including associate provost, dean and associate vice president for the division of Continuing and Global Education, associate dean for the Craig School of Business and chair of the psychology department where she was also a lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor and professor. She has served as a visiting professor at the University of Stockholm in Sweden, an American Council of Education Fellow at Towson University in Maryland, and as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany. She was a nominee for the U.S. Professor of the Year awarded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

A product of the CSU, Zelezny earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Humboldt State University, a Ph.D. in applied social psychology from Claremont Graduate University and an MBA with distinction from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. She has also earned professional certificates in management from Harvard University and in executive leadership from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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