PERSONAL STATEMENT (July 7, 2003):
Although I had started a change to this page less than five years ago, as time would have it I appear to be writing these statements in five year increments. Much has happened in these five years. All has been good, though occasionally I have wondered about my choices and whether I should stay at CSUB. The latter as a result of a conflict between the faculty and administration at CSUB. As you might imagine, if you know me, I was in the middle of the conflict. This led me at one point, about a year ago, to begin looking for alternative employment. In fact, I actually applied for a job at a sister campus and was give the standard "good luck with your career letter". This was good!

The above latter fact aside, I am just completing the fifth year of my term as chair. I think that it has been a successful run, though admittedly I have not secured as much space for the department as I might have liked. However, I think that the department continues to have the respect of the campus and the department faculty tend to think I am a "good" chair. The former is due to the great faculty within the department and the latter due to the great faculty in the department. I think of my job as to pursue, obtain and protect the wishes of the faculty. This is not to say that there are not occasion in which I exert my influence, but for the most part the department determines the course that is followed. My job is to act as the navigator once the course has been determined.

Since I became chair, we have had two people move on to greener pastures. Dr. Mary Allen has moved to the chancellor's office where she runs the ITL. Dr. Richard Noel has retired, though he still teaches an occasional course for us. There are others in the department that are close to retirement, but more importantly the department has hired new faculty to take us into the 20s and 30s of this century. Dr. Marianne Abramson has joined us in cognitive and Anne Duran in social, both of whom are beginning their third year in the fall). More recently, Dr. Isabel Sumaya (a former student) has been hired in Neuroscience, Tanya Boone in Family Relations, Dr. Maryam Allahyar in Cognitive and Dr. Mark Akiyama in Social/Personality. The latter two are founding faculty at our Antelope Valley Center. Thus, as we loose good faculty to other jobs and retirement we have begun the process of insuring the future of the department.

As I stated five years ago, I would not have predicted that I would have been chair. Now, I have finally come to the realization that this move was inevitable. Looking back over my life, I seem to also elevate myself to a position of supervision in some fashion. In those restaurants I have worked, I have also been elevated quickly beyond the position for which I was hired. In each case reaching a position of supervision, even at the age of 16. When I worked for Jager Bread at the tender age of 21, I was supervisor before 22. And in grad school, I was at my best once I was the senior grad student (actually before) when I was able to help coordinate the activities of the lab. I have always been involved in change, and the politics that follow with advocacy for change. In retrospect then, it only seems natural that I would become chair of the department at some point. Note that this is a radical departure from statements of the past. With this realization also comes the realization that I will probably do something similar in the future, whether it be as an administrator of a member of the governing body of the faculty. It just seems to be natural.

Whether I remain chair for another term will be decided in the fall. Regardless of the outcome, let me say this. I still play volleyball, though now twice a week with one of those times involving league play. I still ride my bike, though less often due to the fact I own a '67 CJ-5. I play basketball 3 - 5 days a week, in an effort to keep in shape. I am trying to stay young! And I still love my wife as much today as on day one!

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PERSONAL STATEMENT for the second 5 years(July 15, 1998 to July 7, 2003):
Five years ago if someone asked me what I would be doing today, I am sure the prediction would not have included being Chair of the Psychology Department. I am also equally positive that my colleagues would not have made this prediction. However these predictions aside, it is because I Love my job and the department that I have agreed to take on the chairship, at least for the next three years. This means that from the Fall of 1998 until the Spring of 2001 I am the so called leader of the department. This is not to say that I determine other people's jobs, but merely that I act as the liaison between the administration and the faculty, staff and students in psychology. I am the one that signs paperwork, communicates the wishes of the campus to the department and communicates the wishes of the department to the campus. I am not anyone special nor do I want to be seen as such. I am just another person in the department with slightly different responsibilities for a short period of time.

There is an old proverb (or maybe a future one, depending on your perspective) that says "The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the one" (guess where this is from). Simply put, I think that at this point in my life the department is best served by me being the chair. This means that I have less time for research and teaching, but this also means that others who might have been the chair can concentrate on their particular endeavors. The department does not operate based solely on one person's behavior and thus the responsibility of the proper functioning of the department is not just mine. Each in the department contributes to the proper functioning and my job is to help coordinate the individual tasks that my colleagues perform.

In terms of my personal endeavors outside the position of chair, I do not see that I will be less effective in the laboratory because I have never really been the diving force in the lab. The students determine what happens in the lab and, again, I simply facilitate their actions. I do not see me as being less effective in the classroom either, because I do receive some compensation in terms of time commitments for my actions as chair. In addition, in terms of the latter area (teaching) I learned last quarter that there is a limit to my abilities. I will never take on that many obligations again (my apologizes to the students in the Spring of 1998).

I look forward to the next few years as the department move to complete the implementation of the changes in our curriculum, which have been in the works for the last three years. I am sure that the department will be even more successful in the coming years, despite the fact that I am the chair. I look forward to the commencement each of the coming years as I have the GREAT HONOR of calling the students forward to receive their degrees. I am an alumnus, an instructor and now the chair of the BEST department at the Best campus in the CSU System. The bottom line is that I look forward to being the Chair of the Psychology Department at CSUB.

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PERSONAL STATEMENT for the first 5 years (1993-1998):
I first want to say that I am at CSUB because I believe in the campus and its students. I think that many people see CSUB as second rate in comparison to other larger campuses, especially the UCs. I know that this is a perception that is erroneous, because my success at a UC as a graduate student, was due largely to my experiences here at CSB. One of the best characteristics of life at CSUB is the fact that the students can have personal contact with professors. This was one of the major factors that made me choose CSUB as the place I would pursue my hobbies: research and teaching. I look forward to each day in the lab and in the classroom. I realize, of course, that I have a reputation for being hard, but I have found few students who fail to meet the challenges I present. The students here are as good if not better than students anywhere, given the chance to prove their worth.

I know what it is like to be a student and attend classes full-time. Although now it is just my wife (Gigi) and I in Bakersfield, when I was here as an undergraduate I worked full time, took a full load (and sometimes more), helped my wife raise our three sons (Mike, John and Rod) and worked on research projects. In fact, my first year at CSB I also commuted from Kernville.

My Original goal was to become a clinician (yuk!), but I saw the light after being in the Vision Lab. I now view clinicians as necessary evils (just kidding). Today life seems much easier in comparison. The kids are grown and on their own. And I get paid to be at CSUB, which gives me time to begin to pursue other activities: Volleyball every Saturday with friends, bike riding (outside of transportation to school) and helping my wife with the yard (I hate yard work). Life is good!

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