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

This year marks an historic milestone for CSUB. It is the 40th anniversary of our opening for classes as the 19th campus in the California State University system. We have much to be proud of and many accomplishments to acknowledge in our 40-year history. We have grown from "California State College Bakersfield" with an initial enrollment of 971 students, to a regional comprehensive university with an enrollment of more than 7,800. Our presence in the southern San Joaquin Valley has afforded tens of thousands of students the opportunity to improve their quality of life through higher education. We are an economic driver and an intellectual and cultural center for our region.

At a time when we are facing serious budgetary deficits, it is easy to focus only on the challenges that lie ahead. The year will be challenging, to be sure. But we have a history rich in achievements upon which we continue to build and a campus community which remains strong in its commitment to education, community, partnerships, and excellence. I look forward to a year of increased campus engagement as we take the opportunity to remember the last 40 years, and to strategize and synergize for the next 40. Welcome to the 2009-10 academic year.

I am pleased to announce the extensions of the following administrative appointments through the 2009-10 academic year:

Please join me in thanking John, Craig, and Ed for their willingness to continue to serve in these important interim roles.

CSUB Foundation Board
It is my pleasure to welcome the incoming chair and vice-chair of the CSUB Foundation, Geoff King and Morgan Clayton, respectively. A CSUB alum ('76), Geoff is a partner at Barbich, Hooper, King, Dill, Hoffman certified public accountants. He also serves as chair of the Foundation's Athletics Committee and is a member of the NCAA Division I Self-Study steering committee. Morgan is president and founder of Tel-Tec Security Systems, Inc. He is a 2005 recipient of the CSUB President's Medal and the John Brock Community Service Award.

The CSUB Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the mission, vision and priorities of CSU Bakersfield and to enhancing the educational and cultural environment of the University and the community it serves. Please join me in welcoming Geoff and Morgan and also in thanking outgoing chair, Rogers Brandon, president of American General Media, for his leadership and service.

President's Community Advisory Council
Major General James Whitehead (ret.) will succeed Ed Taylor, senior vice president & community bank president, Wells Fargo Bank, as chair of the President's Community Advisory Council. Bryan Burrow, a CSUB alum ('00) and vice president and senior client manager for Bank of America, will serve as vice-chair. The council provides the president with various community perspectives on the University's strategies and activities to achieve its mission and realize its vision, and brings to the president's attention matters of community concern. Members are appointed by the president and serve three-year terms.

Associated Students, Inc. Officers for 2009-10
Congratulations to the new slate of officers elected to Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) for 2009-10: president, Stephen Muchinyi, a biology major; executive vice president, Ali Zanial, also a biology major; vice president for external affairs, Ruth Leon, a political science major; vice president for finance, Erika Madrigal, a political science major, and vice president for programming, Nancy Solis, a master's student in public administration.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accreditation
We continue to move forward in the reaffirmation of our accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSAC). The four-year process involves three phases: 1) the Institutional Proposal; 2) the Capacity and Preparatory Review (CPR); and 3) the Educational Effectiveness Review. The WASC Proposal Review Committee accepted our institutional proposal in June 2007 with a number of accolades. I am pleased to report that we submitted our CPR report on August 11 and now are preparing for a site visit by the WASC CPR team from October 26-28, 2009. The educational effectiveness review will take place in spring 2011. An overview of the WASC process, timelines, and our institutional reports, supporting documents, and resources, are available on our website at http://www.csub.edu/wasc/.

The accreditation reaffirmation process is a comprehensive undertaking which involves broad-based campus participation and engagement. I wish to thank Dr. Soraya Coley, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Ed Sasaki, special assistant to the provost for planning and interim dean of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences; and the members of the WASC steering and planning committees, and work groups for their tremendous efforts in preparing the university for the accreditation process. I am now in my second three-year term on the WASC Commission. I will, of course, recuse myself when the review of CSUB is undertaken by WASC.

NCAA Division I Certification Self-Study
In addition to reaffirmation of our academic accreditation, CSUB also is engaged in the NCAA Division I certification self-study as part of the transition of our athletics program to Division I. The self-study is part of a five-year transition process designed to ensure the integrity of collegiate athletics programs, compliance with NCAA standards and principles, and to increase awareness and knowledge of the athletics program to the broader campus and community. A cross-functional team of faculty, staff, students, and community members conducted an internal review over a one-year period of three areas defined by the NCAA: 1) Governance and Commitment to Rules Compliance; 2) Academic Integrity; and 3) Gender, Diversity, and Student-Athlete Well-Being.

After completing our review, we submitted our 178-page institutional report in April 2009. As with WASC, we now will host an NCAA peer review team who will evaluate our athletics program during a campus visit over a four-day period from October 4-7, 2009. Again, I thank Dr. Soraya Coley, provost and vice president for academic affairs, for her leadership, as well as Rudy Carvajal, athletics director; Gloria Friedman, senior associate athletics director; Dr. Jacquelyn Kegley, professor and department chair of Philosophy & Religious Studies, and the faculty athletics representative, and the more than 70 faculty, staff, students, and community members who have worked tirelessly on the self-study subcommittees. Our executive summary and final institutional report are available on our website at www.csub.edu/ncaa.

Week of Welcome (WOW Week)
We usher in the fall quarter and the new academic year with a variety of events during our Week of Welcome. Following are key events that occur during the week. Please note that there is a slight change in the days on which our events traditionally fall this year due to implementation of our furlough schedule which began this month.

University Day
In consideration of the furlough requirements, I have designated Tuesday, September 8, 2009 as a furlough day for all faculty. University Day therefore has been rescheduled to Wednesday, September 9, 2009. This schedule allows faculty an additional day before reporting to campus for the fall quarter. As is our tradition, we will welcome faculty and staff to the beginning of the fall quarter with University Day activities, including the President's annual University Day Address. This year's address will be particularly important as we come together this quarter in an environment of reduced resources. I invite the entire campus community to engage in the day's events. A complete listing of University Day events is forthcoming from the Office of the Provost.

Faculty Reception / Softball Game
In place of our customary fall faculty reception, CSUB will host a campus picnic and softball game this year. In an effort both to conserve resources and to recognize and celebrate the fullness of the CSUB community while preserving an important campus tradition, the event will expand into a picnic, open to all CSUB employees. A highlight of the festivities will be a softball game, originally proposed by the Senate Executive Committee, and now extended to include all employees as team members.

The "CSUB Community Picnic and Softball Game" will be held at the end of University Day on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 on the softball field. The picnic begins at 6:00 p.m. Game time is 7:00 p.m. All CSUB employees are invited to attend and participate in the game and to wear baseball attire, if desired. Bring baseball gloves and caps, lawn chairs, and picnic blankets. Ballgame refreshments will be provided for CSUB employees by the Office of the President and will prepared and served by Staff Forum and the Joint Labor Council. Additional refreshment tickets for guests of employees will be available at $5.00 each. Details will be posted on the Announcements, Campus Faculty, and Campus Staff folders of the bulletin board. RSVP to rsvp@csub.edu by Friday, September 4, 2009. Let's play ball!

Housing Commons Bar-be-cue
Our annual new student meet and greet bar-be-cue provides an opportunity for faculty and staff to meet and welcome new students as they complete their move into the residence halls. The bar-be-cue takes place this year on Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 3:30 p.m. on the housing commons lawn. Faculty, staff, and new students are invited.

New Student Convocation
New Student Convocation is an annual welcoming event for all new students and their parents. Designed to formally mark students' entrance into the learning community, the ceremony is highlighted by a procession of faculty in academic regalia and statements of commitment by the University, students, and parents. New Student Convocation will take place on Friday, September 11, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. in the Icardo Center.

For further details regarding New Student Convocation and a complete schedule of events, please visit http://www.csub.edu/convocation or contact Emile Callahan, activities coordinator, in the Student Activities Office at 654-3091.

John Brock Dinner
Vince Rojas, president and CEO of Kern Schools Federal Credit Union, is this year's recipient of the John Brock Community Service Award. Vince will receive the award at the annual John Brock Dinner on Thursday, September 3 at the Seven Oaks Country Club. The award is presented by the CSUB School of Business and Public Administration Executive Advisory Council to a member of the Bakersfield community who has a distinguished record of exemplary community engagement and service. Vince's extensive list of service and involvement includes serving on the CSUB Foundation Board, the Bakersfield College Foundation Board, and the Bakersfield City School District Educational Foundation. He also is a member of Rotary, a past chair of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, and the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Personnel Commission. I awarded Vince the CSUB President's Medal in 2006.

The John Brock Dinner funds scholarships for students in the School of Business and Public Administration. Tickets for the event are $150 per person. For general and ticket information, please contact the School of Business and Public Administration at 654-2157.

Faculty, Staff & Student Accolades
School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics Receives National Science Foundation Awards
Drs. Robert Negrini and Robert Horton, professors of physics and geology, have received a National Science Foundation award in the amount of $183,440. Entitled, "The Laschamp and Mono Lake Excursions in High Deposition Rate Sediments from Summer Lake, Oregon, USA," the grant will support their research in advancing our knowledge of climate models. The research will involve both undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Staci Loewy, professor of physics and geology, has received a National Science Foundation award in the amount of $170,234 to enhance Kern County schools' geoscience curriculum and Kern County school teachers' knowledge of earth science. The project's goal is to facilitate a seamless educational transition from public school through college to professional careers in geoscience. Congratulations to Rob, Bob, and Staci on both of these important awards.

NASFAA State and Regional Leadership Award
Dr. Steve Herndon, director of student administration support systems, has been selected by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) to receive a state and regional leadership award. This selective award is presented to only one individual in higher education in each of six regions of the United States. The honoree must have demonstrated high integrity, creative leadership, encouraged professional development, and must have made sustained and outstanding contributions to the region and state. In his role as SASS Director, Steve serves as our Common Management Systems (CMS) campus director and campus solutions project manager. Prior to assuming this role, he served for 28 years as CSUB's director of financial aid. During this period of time, he was elected to serve as president of the California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA), the Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA), as well as the NASFAA Board of Directors. Please join me in congratulating Steve on his selection for this award.

Honorary Degree Nominations
I am pleased to invite you to submit nominations for the honorary doctorate degree to be awarded by California State University, Bakersfield in 2010, the 40th anniversary of our opening for classes. An honorary doctorate degree may be awarded to individuals whose achievements and/or service exemplify the highest ideals of the California State University. Nominees may be local or from parts beyond our region, scholarly or non-academic, and may be from varied fields of undertaking. Each CSU campus may recommend and, upon approval by the CSU board of trustees, award two honorary degrees each year. The degrees are awarded during spring commencement exercises.

Nominations may be submitted by faculty, staff, students, alumni, members of the CSUB Foundation Board, the President's Community Advisory Council, and friends of the University. To nominate a candidate, please submit to the Office of the President:

  1. a signed letter providing reasons for the recommendation, referencing the selection criteria, and specifying the degree to be awarded; and
  2. a copy of the candidate's resume, curriculum vitae, or biography with a history of accomplishments and contributions.

Once nominations are submitted, the process is confidential. Please note that the CSU discourages letters of support, as such solicitations "could place the Board, the system, and the campus in a difficult position if the nomination were not approved."

You will find the CSU's guidelines for awarding honorary degrees, as well as a listing of past honorary degree recipients, at http://president.csub.edu/fil_files/17.pdf. It is the policy of the CSU that honorary degrees are not awarded to previous recipients of honorary degrees awarded by the CSU, or to incumbent elected officials, members of the CSU board of trustees, CSU chancellor, or campus presidents.

Kindly submit your nominations in writing by October 1. Should you have any questions, please contact Evelyn Coyle, executive assistant to the president, at ecoyle@csub.edu or 654-2241.

University Council
The first University Council meeting of the academic year is scheduled for October 16 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in the Albertson Room. Meetings are held on the third Friday of each month. There will be no meeting in December. University Council meetings are an open forum for the campus community to voice issues of concern, acknowledge accomplishments, and offer suggestions to extend the excellence at CSUB. All campus constituents are welcome and encouraged to attend and engage.

I look forward to seeing you at University Council meetings, University Day, and WOW Week events, around campus, and at other upcoming University or community events.