President's Monthly Campus Update

I often have quoted late UC Berkeley Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien, a champion of excellence in higher education, who stated, "The State gives us funding for this to be a good university, but not enough for it to become excellent." I have gone further to say that the State now no longer gives us sufficient funding to be even a good university. As public higher education in California has shifted from being "state-funded" to "state-supported," excellence at CSUB will be achieved only by an increased focus on targeted fundraising, contracts and grants, and entrepreneurial public-private partnerships. I am pleased to highlight in this issue of the Update significant grants, partnerships, and initiatives that are advancing excellence at CSUB.

CSUB Awarded $10.4 Million to Study Child Health
CSUB has been awarded a 5-year, $10.4 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study children's health and development in Kern County. In partnership with UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, and the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center, we will be an integral part of the largest longitudinal study of child health that our country has undertaken. The National Children's Health Study (NCHS) results from the Children's Health Act of 2000. Under the Act, Congress mandated a national longitudinal study to determine the links between genetics and environment which lead to premature births, birth defects, cerebral palsy, asthma, obesity, diabetes, autism, and other learning and development disorders, and health conditions. The 25-year research will follow 100,000 children from diverse ethnicities and socio-economic levels pre-natally through age 21 in 105 locations throughout the country.

The study is a public-private partnership on a grand scale, comprising a network of federal, state, and local agencies, universities, hospitals, health departments, and other health and research organizations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the NICHD are among the federal partners. Our state and local community partners include UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, Kern Medical Center, Kern County Department of Public Health, and First 5 Kern.

This study represents a golden opportunity for CSU Bakersfield to participate in high-level health research and to strengthen our engagement with the community, as well as with top-rated scientists at the University of California. The project will provide valuable research opportunities for our nursing faculty and students and will bring resources to identify health challenges in Kern County and improve the well-being of residents here and throughout the nation.

I want to thank and congratulate Julio Blanco, Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Peggy Leapley, principal investigator, and retired chair of the Nursing Department, and Robert Horton, Interim Vice President for Grants, Research, and Sponsored Programs, for the tremendous work over the last two years they put into winning this highly competitive grant. I also want to recognize Jim Swanson, principal investigator at the UC Irvine NCHS study center and my former colleague, for inviting us to participate in this landmark research. I thank, as well, Asa Bradman of UC Berkeley's Center for Children's Environmental Health Research, who is a lead investigator. Research of this magnitude with these premiere research institutions reflects the increasing recognition of the excellence of our faculty and academic programs. For more information regarding the National Children's Health Study, please visit

CSUB Receives $4.9 Million STEM Grant
CSUB is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education's College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) grant for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The $4.9 million grant will help us build institutional capacity to serve underrepresented students in the science, technology, engineering, and technology (STEM) fields. The two-year award allows us to strengthen our academic programs, including undergraduate research opportunities, to increase student enrollment in the STEM fields. Undergraduate research has been shown as one of the most highly effective academic undertakings which positively impacts student retention and success. Another critical component of the grant is the transfer and articulation of students between community colleges and four-year institutions. We will work closely with Bakersfield College to streamline the transfer process between our institutions, with the goal of gaining a 20% increase in the transfer and degree completion rate of our STEM students. CSUB is one of only 80 institutions out of 150 applicants to receive the CCRAA-HSI grant. Congratulations to Dean Julio Blanco of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Robert Horton, Interim Assistant Vice President for Grants, Research, and Sponsored Programs, on the success of the grant proposal.

Biology Professor Receives $300,000 Andrew W. Mellon Grant
Brandon Pratt, Assistant Professor of Biology, has received a three-year $300,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. His research in plant physiology, particularly the adaptability of plants to the environment, aligns with Mellon's funding priority in conservation and the environment. The grant will support his research on the recovery of Southern Californian and South African plants from fire. The implications for global ecosystems, biodiversity, and conservation in fire-ravaged areas are far-reaching. The prestigious grant will fund numerous undergraduate research laboratory students, two master's level students, and a post-doctoral fellow.

Work Force Staffing Donates $150,000 to Support Science III Building
Work Force Staffing, a locally-owned staffing company, pledged $150,000 for the purchase of computer and teaching equipment in Science III and to the School of Business and Public Administration's Environmental Resource Management (ERM) bachelor of science degree program. In recognition for this investment, Work Force Staffing will receive the naming rights to the conference room in the Science III Building. The company also will work closely with the School of Business of Public Administration and the American Society of Safety Engineers to further develop the ERM program to meet the needs of local employers. We welcome company owner and president, Brooks Whitehead, as a new community partner and look forward to a strong relationship with Work Force Staffing.

Committee Appointments
Strategic Planning Committee
This fall, we have initiated a systematic, ongoing strategic planning process based upon the five strategic goals and the objectives associated with each goal that the university approved in Fall 2006. Our strategic planning process will build upon and integrate the work that was undertaken by our Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Implementation Work Groups as part of our institutional assessment and review process. The strategic plan can be viewed on the home page at The following appointments to the University Strategic Planning Steering Committee represent full engagement of our campus constituencies:

Horace Mitchell, President
Soraya Coley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mike Neal, Vice President for Business Administrative Services
Shelley Ruelas, Vice President for Student Affairs
Beverly Byl, Vice President for University Advancement
Evelyn Coyle, Executive Assistant to the President
Provost's Council
Mustafah Dhada, Associate Vice President for Academic Programs
John Hultsman, Associate Vice President for Antelope Valley Center
Clarke Sanford, Assistant Vice President for Information Technology Services
Laura Hecht, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment
John Emery, Dean, School of Business and Public Administration
Julio Blanco, Dean, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Craig Kelsey, Dean, Extended University, and Interim Dean, School of Education
Ed Sasaki, Special Assistant to the Provost for Planning, and Interim Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Rod Hersberger, Dean, University Library
Rudy Carvajal, Athletics Director
Jess Deegan, Academic Senate Chair
Vandana Kohli, Academic Senate Vice Chair
Joseph Fiedler, Academic Senate Chair for Budget and Planning Committee, Academic Senate "At-Large" member
Jacqueline Hughes, California Faculty Association (CFA) President
Edna Molina, Faculty Diversity Group Representative
Vetta Uraine, Staff Forum Co-Chair
Kenny Simpson, Staff Forum Co-Chair
Patrick Choi, Academic Professionals of California (APC) Chief Steward, Bakersfield Campus
Ray Finnell, California State University Employee's Union (CSUEU) Chapter President
Kelly Sawyer, State Employees Trades Council (SETC) Chief Steward, Bakersfield Campus
Carlos Ortiz, Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) President
Ali Zanial, Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Executive Vice President
Doug Ross, Student Organization Club Council (SOCC) President, Graduate Student Representative
Strategic Planning Work Group Chairs:
1A - Faculty Excellence and Diversity
Jacquelyn Kegley, Professor, Dept. Chair, Philosophy & Religious Studies, Co-Chair
Beth Rienzi, Assistant Vice President for Faculty Affairs
1B - Academic Program Excellence and Diversity
R. Steven Daniels, Professor, Public Policy and Administration, Co-Chair
Mustafah Dhada, Associate Vice President for Academic Programs, Co-Chair
2A - Student Experience
Manny Mourtzanos, Dean, Student Life
2B - Campus Life (Retention)
(to be named)
3 - Community Engagement
Jane Evarian, Director, Career Development Center, Co-Chair
John Hultsman, Associate Vice President for Antelope Valley College, Co-Chair
4 - Staff Excellence and Diversity
Jacqueline Mimms, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
5 - Campus Culture
Edwin Sasaki, Special Assistant to the Provost for Planning

Sustainability Committee
Last year, with the encouragement of more than 200 faculty, staff, and students, I signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Letter. As a charter signatory, our campus committed to taking specific actions to reduce our carbon footprint over the next several years. While multiple university-wide commitments delayed the start of our ACUPCC initiatives, we now are able to move ahead at full speed. I recently appointed members to the President's Sustainability Committee, an advisory body that will develop an annual set of goals and planned actions designed to advance an institutional culture of sustainability. The committee will communicate, promote and publicize to the campus and the external campus community CSUB's past, current, and future energy-saving and sustainability initiatives. It also will coordinate various sustainability planning efforts across divisions on campus. I am pleased to announce the following appointments to the Sustainability Committee:

For further information regarding our sustainability efforts, contact Douglas Dodd at 654-6815 or or Pat Jacobs at 654-2483 or The university's sustainability website is in development.

Public Affairs and Communications Advisory Committee
For the last two years, the CSUB Image Committee has met to explore possible actions to enhance the university's image and increase our visibility in the community. The committee representation included a cross-section of faculty, students, staff, and administrators. Their work included the re-design of the university's webpage, the creation of Celebrate CSUB!, and the drafting a set of visual standards for logo usage. Their efforts are greatly valued and have contributed to our progress toward excellence. To advance the next phase of our image work, a new committee is being formed to build on the foundation laid by the Image Committee. The membership of the newly formed Public Affairs and Communications Advisory Committee is as follows:

Assisted Technology Initiative (ATI) Steering Committee
In follow-up to my announcement in last month's issue of the Update of the forthcoming appointment of an Assisted Technology Initiative (ATI) steering committee, I am pleased to announce the following appointments:

The committee will support our efforts to ensure that all students are able to access instructional materials, information resources, and technologies. For further information about ATI accommodations, please contact John Hultsman at 654-5000 or

CSUB Alert
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve communication in case of an emergency, the university has implemented a campus-wide emergency alert system. The system consists of two mass notification processes. One allows us to send time-sensitive notifications via voice, e-mail, and text messaging. The other allows us to broadcast specific information and instructions via an external public address system. Additional information and updates will be distributed through the CSUB website, university e-mail and phone systems, campus emergency hotline, departmental phone trees, and building marshals.

Critical to the success of our emergency alert system is the contact information you provide. Please access CSUB Alert website from our home page at and provide us with the telephone numbers, e-mail address, and mobile telephone number at which you can be notified of an emergency.

Other than an occasional test of the system, CSUB Alert will be used only to contact you in case of a very serious incident or situation, a university closing, or other event that requires rapid, wide-scale notification to the community. Examples of such events would be a campus shooting, bomb threat, hazardous materials spills, flood, earthquake, or fire. Thank you for your cooperation in making our emergency alert system effective.

University Council
The first meeting of University Council for the academic year, held on October 17, 2008, focused on the university's Community Service Cooperative (CSC). Aligning with our strategic goal to strengthen community engagement, the CSC was formed in January of this year to more fully engage students in community service. CSC President Mike Butler and Michelle Jackson, Director of the Center for Community Partnerships and Service Learning, discussed available community service scholarships and funding for service projects. In addition, they opened for discussion the feasibility of a Student Community Engagement Center for coordination and centralization of community service opportunities and community engagement.

University Council meets on the third Friday of each month. The next University Council meeting is scheduled for November 21, 2008 from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the Albertson Room.

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