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CSU Bakersfield President's Monthly Campus Update

Commencement 2011
Our Spring 2011 graduating class is just shy of the 2,000 mark with 1,954 eligible graduates. The degrees awarded this year include 1,544 bachelor's 410 master's degrees. Commencement ceremonies will take place as follows:

Commencement Ceremonies
Graduate and Hooding Ceremony Tuesday, June 7 6:00 p.m. Icardo Center
Art and Humanities; Business and Public Administration; Natural Sciences & Mathematics Friday, June 10 7:00 a.m. Amphitheater
Social Sciences & Education Saturday, June 11 7:00 a.m. Amphitheater

Commencement speakers for our undergraduate exercises are Dr. Ralph Lewin, President and CEO of California Council for the Humanities, on Friday and Dr. Wendy Wayne, consultant with San Joaquin Hospital, on Saturday. Garret Ashley, Vice Chancellor for University Relations, will attend the June 10th ceremony.

Additional graduation celebrations complement the University's commencement ceremonies. Some are culturally expressive, celebrating the rich cultural diversity of our University. Others are profession-specific. Another recognizes our Antelope valley students. All are designed to honor our graduates and allow their families a more intimate opportunity for celebration and recognition. The schedule of additional celebrations is as follows:

Additional Celebrations
Black Graduate Recognition Ceremony Friday, June 3 6:00 p.m. SU MPR
Antelope Valley Reception Sunday, June 5 3:00 p.m. Hellenic Ctr.
Teacher Credential Reception Thursday, June 9 6:00 p.m. Stockdale Rm.
Nurses Pinning Ceremony Saturday, June 11 10a & 2p

Bible Church

Chicano Commencement Sunday, June 12 10 a.m. Doré Theater

I salute our graduating students, their families who entrusted them to us, and our dedicated faculty and staff for their guidance and support of our students. Well done. Additional information is available at

Legislature Commends CSU on its 50th Anniversary
Both the California Senate and Assembly passed resolutions of commendation to the California State University on its 50th anniversary. I joined Chancellor Reed as the resolutions were presented on the floor of the respective chambers. In my comments on the floor of the Senate, I emphasized the leadership of the late Bakersfield Assemblywoman Dorothy Donahoe who served as chair of the Assembly Education Committee when the Master Plan for Higher Education in California was under review in the Legislature. The legislation was passed shortly after her death in 1960. In her honor, the legislation was named the Donahoe Higher Education Act.

The Donahoe Act created the California state University as a system of higher education. It also specified the roles of the CSU, the University of California, and the California Community Colleges. The fundamental premise of the Master Plan was that a low-cost higher education would be available for every Californian prepared to pursue it. The historic commitment of the Legislature to fund higher education to achieve Master Plan goals has not been sustained over the last decade or so.

On May 14th, the Governor released the May revision of his state budget proposed in January. There are still a number of uncertainties which impede prudent planning. Overall, it is not good news for higher education. The proposed budget includes a second $500 million cut to state support of the CSU bringing the total cut to the CSU for 2011-12 to $1billion. Every $100 million in budget cuts to the CSU has an approximated $2.2 million impact on CSUB. We will hold a campus-wide budget forum on Wednesday, June 1st from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Student Union Multi-purpose Room to discuss the budget implications for CSUB.

Budget Advocacy Day
Each year after the governor's May revision to the state budget, the CSU chancellor, presidents, vice presidents, and community leaders meet with state legislators in Sacramento to advocate for CSU budget support. Those meetings took place on Tuesday May 24th. I extend my thanks to CSUB Foundation Board members Geoff King, partner at Barbich Hooper King Dill Hoffman Accountancy Corporation, and Greg Bynum, President of Gregory D. Bynum and Associates, Beverly Byl, Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the CSUB Foundation Board, and Mike Neal, Vice President for Business Administrative Services, for joining me in Sacramento.

Geoff, Greg and I also participated in a meeting with Governor Brown. While everyone voiced support for higher education, we heard competing solutions about how to fund that support. The unanswered question remains: can the governor and legislature reach an agreement on the budget and, if so, when is it likely to happen? As the fiscal year comes to an end, we must plan our 2011-12 CSUB budget in a context of great uncertainty.

Chevron Gives Another $500 Thousand
Our REVS-UP program, Research Experience Vitalizing Science - University Program, indeed was revved up this month with a $500 thousand gift from Chevron. The gift will fund our month-long summer research program which engages K-12 science teachers and high school students in hands-on research with CSUB faculty. Providing tuition, a $3,000 stipend for teachers, a $700 stipend for students, and 5 units of college-level science for students, the program is designed to stimulate interest in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The gift strengthens our focus on building the teaching and research skills of science teachers and increasing the number of STEM majors. Please join me in recognizing and thanking Bruce Johnson, Vice President of San Joaquin Valley Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company, and Carla Musser, Public Affairs Manager; for Chevron's generous gift.

President's Award Presented to Doug and Adele Davis
For 25 years, CSUB has been a mecca for local jazz aficionados thanks to the passion and tireless work of CSUB Music Professor Doug Davis and his wife, Adele Davis. For their distinguished service to CSUB and the Bakersfield community, it was my honor to present them with the President's Award on the 25th anniversary of the Bakersfield Jazz Festival. CSU Bakersfield has been host to numerous jazz greats over the years. In addition to the Jazz Festival, Doug directs the CSUB jazz ensemble, community big band, and has for years conducted community jazz workshops. He has penned hundreds of compositions and has been honored with numerous awards, including the Wang Family Excellence Award. Please give a round of applause to Doug and Adele Davis.

History Faculty Attend National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute
CSUB History associate professors Connie Orliski and Alicia Rodriquez have been selected to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminars and Institutes. A competitive program for humanities faculty, each of the academically intensive 6-week institutes accepts only 25 faculty from across the country. The program provides a stipend for travel, housing, and books. The institutes are directed by leading scholars in their fields. Dr. Orliski will attend the University of Hawaii East-West Center's "The Dynamics of Cultural Unity and Diversity in Southeast Asia" under the direction of Dr. Peter Hershock. Dr. Rodriquez will study with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute's "African American Struggles for Freedom and Civil Rights, 1865- 1965" at Harvard University. Impressively, several members of our history department faculty have been selected for NEH summer institutes and seminars. Kudos to all.

Reception for Emeriti and Retiring Faculty
It is my pleasure to announce new emeriti faculty and new retiring faculty. Emeriti faculty are Thomas Blommers, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literature, who also is retiring; the late George Ketterl, Art Professor; Daniel McMillin, Professor of Sociology; the late Kenneth Nyberg, Professor of Sociology; and Sharon Roberts, Biology Professor. Retiring faculty are John Casey, Professor of Advanced Education; Roger Peck, Mathematics Professor; Associate Professor of Teacher Education Cary Larson-McKay; Debra Cook- Hirai, Associate Professor Teacher Education; and Kenneth Gobalet, Professor of Biology. Let's thank our faculty for their service and wish them well as they move forward. A reception will be held in their honor on June 3rd in the Dezember Reading Room of the Walter Stiern Library.

Summer Hours
Beginning the week after commencement, both the main and Antelope Valley campuses will move to a summer operating schedule. From June 13 through August 26, we will observe a Monday through Thursday 10-hour work day schedule. Campuses will be closed Fridays. The schedule will help us realize energy efficiencies and savings. Details regarding the summer schedule are set forth in the March 11, 2011 memorandum from Kellie Garcia, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Administrative Services. Should you have questions, please contact the Human Resources Department at x3206.

University Council
The last University Council meeting of the academic year was held May 20, 2011. I invite you to join us when we resume in the fall.

I look forward to seeing you at commencement, around campus, or at another upcoming University or community event. Take care.

Horace Mitchell, Ph.D.