Horace Mitchell, Ph.D.

Dr. Horace Mitchell became the fourth President of California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) in July 2004.  Under Dr. Mitchell’s leadership, the University has achieved national recognition with a vision to extend the excellence and diversity of the faculty and academic programs, enhance the quality of the student experience and strengthen community engagement.

Dr. Mitchell came to his current position from the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as Vice Chancellor, Business and Administrative Services (1995-2004) and affiliated professor, African American Studies (1996-2004).  Upon leaving UC Berkeley, he was awarded the Berkeley Citation, one of the campus’ highest honors.  Also, the title Vice Chancellor-Business Affairs, Emeritus was bestowed on him by the President of the University of California system.

Dr. Mitchell holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master of arts in education, and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology, all from Washington University in St. Louis.  He began his professional career at his alma mater in 1968, serving as assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1968-1973), assistant professor of Education and Black Studies (1973-78), and Chair of the Black Studies Program (1976-78).

Dr. Mitchell then spent seventeen years (1978-1995) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), serving in several faculty and management positions.  He was Associate Dean for Student and Curricular Affairs in the UCI College of Medicine from 1980-1984.  During his last eleven years at UCI (1984-1995), he was Vice Chancellor-Student Affairs and Campus Life, and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior.

Dr. Mitchell, also a Professor of Psychology at CSUB, has teaching and research interests in the areas of identity construction, multicultural psychology, and psychological assessment.  He continues to teach each year, and he maintains his California license for private practice as a psychologist. 

Dr. Mitchell has served on the board of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE) and is a past commissioner and vice chair of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).  He has served on the NCAA Board of Governors, Division I Board of Directors, and Division I Presidential Forum.  He currently is chair of the board of directors of the Western Athletic Conference and a member of the board of directors of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).  He has been recognized widely for his many years of community service by civic, non-profit, governmental, educational and professional organizations.  In April 2002 he received the “Distinguished Psychologist Award” from the Association of Black Psychologists and in May of 2006, Dr. Mitchell was named the recipient of the 2005-2006 “Robert C. Maxson President of the Year Award” given by the California State Student Association which represents over 400,000 CSU students.  He received the “Distinguished Alumnus Award” from Washington University in St. Louis in May 2008.  In November 2010 he received the “President’s Award” from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Region VI. He received the “Harold Delaney Exemplary Educational Leadership Award” from the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) in April 2016. The Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recognized him as the 2018 Business Man of the Year. Also in 2018, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce and the Cesar Chavez Lifetime Achievement Award from the Farmworker Institute for Education & Leadership Development (FIELD).

Dr. Mitchell and “First Lady” Barbara Mitchell have been married for 51 years.  Barbara Mitchell holds an AS in nursing, BA in psychology, MSW, MAEd in counseling, and ABD in educational leadership all from Washington University in St. Louis. She has worked in education for five decades, serving as a teacher, counselor, social worker, secondary school dean, and adjunct lecturer at CSUB. As First Lady of CSUB, she has been a valued partner to President Mitchell and has been committed to serving our students, faculty, staff, and community. She has served on the board of directors for the Bakersfield Museum of Art and Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, and she is a member of the President’s Community Advisory Council. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a former member of The Links, Inc. She was awarded the President’s Medal in 2015. The Mitchells have three adult children, six grandchildren, and a great grandson.