Campus: CSU Bakersfield -- April 26, 2002

CSUB Celebrates Opening Of New Business Development Center

California State University, Bakersfield today celebrated the opening of its new Business Development Center and the Rayburn S. Dezember Leadership Development Center.

A special reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the courtyard of the new complex unveiled the new buildings to the public for the first time. Two of the five buildings in the complex are complete: the classroom segment of the complex, and the Dezember Leadership Development Center. The faculty office portion is still being finished up, and the new administrative office and Extended University offices will be finished under a separate construction contract. The office building should be complete before the end of the academic year, while the administrative office and Extended University building are expected to be completed sometime in the summer.

The $13 million Business Development Center is being completed at a time of accelerated growth at CSUB, with enrollment topping 7,000 for the past three quarters, the highest in the university's history. Projections are for another record enrollment in the fall. Construction began in December 2000.

The complex was built with a combination of public and private funds. The 1998 statewide comprehensive bond issue provided $8 million of the project's cost, while CSUB's Cornerstone Campaign, the biggest and most ambitious fund-raising effort in the history of the university, provided $2.7 million for construction of the Dezember Leadership Development Center and upgrades to the complex's classrooms and lecture halls.

"This is a wonderful day, for both the community and the university," said CSUB President Tomas Arciniega. "This new complex will help us accommodate our record growth. And thanks to the generosity of so many members of the community, these new classrooms have the latest technology enabling our faculty to teach more effectively, which will provide our students the best possible education as they embark upon their careers."

Michael Chertok, CSUB vice president for University Advancement, said, "This new complex is simply a wonderful reaffirmation of the community's commitment to CSUB. We feel fortunate to be part of a community where the level of caring is so high.

"People in the community realize that for the university to provide a first-rate education we need to enhance what the state provides. Those who helped lay the foundation for the future can be assured that their investment will pay long-term community dividends. The money that people give to CSUB provides opportunities for not only students but also the community as a whole through the state-of-the-art facilities and expanded cultural and educational events."

Greg Bynum, a CSUB alumnus, chair of the CSUB foundation and who chaired the Cornerstone Campaign, seconded Chertok's comments. "Cal State is such a wonderful resource for all of us in Kern County and the surrounding region, and this campaign offered people an opportunity to come forward and help make a difference. The foundation board endorsed the campaign from the very beginning, and we're grateful to all the donors who joined us in this important effort. We're here today because of them."

Bynum said he was also delighted with to be part of the ribbon cutting. "This is another important milestone for Bakersfield and the university," he said. "We wanted to make the Business Development Center a state-of-the-art complex that will not only enhance the learning for CSUB students, but also be a wonderful resource for area residents as well."

The two buildings for the School of Business and Public Administration will be the largest of the four buildings forming the Business Development Center, providing much needed classroom space in addition to faculty offices.

Technological advances in the workplace dictate training students on state-of-the-art equipment and in state-of-the-art settings, Arciniega said.

"We have enhanced the building by expanding a 150-seat classroom to make it more like an auditorium," he said. "We have included better seating and the latest technology."

The private funds raised were used to expand one of the classrooms, changing the seating to elevated tiers and adding state-of-the-art information technology to make it a "smart classroom." Smart classrooms have computer hookups at each seat, enabling students to sit down and plug their computers into the Internet, allowing them access to CSUB classes and professors electronically. The smart classrooms enhance students' ability to engage in dialogue with professors, outside information sources and other students, thus enhancing their education.

A focal point of the Business Development Center is the privately funded Dezember Leadership Development Center. The center is envisioned as being used by business groups for training and to augment the learning experiences of their employees.

The Dezember Leadership Development Center contains:
Conference and classroom facilities equipped with the latest computing and communication technologies, capable of national and international video conferencing, and other multimedia presentations.

Two 45-seat executive conference rooms and seminar rooms equipped with the latest telecommunications equipment, "smart rooms."

Rooms with movable walls, allowing individual configuration for seminars or networking, space that is available for impromptu learning opportunities. Such configurations allow community members and groups to take full advantage of an important community resource.

Informal meeting areas or lounges where students, faculty and business leaders can interact. Laptop computer hookups are available in the lounges to enhance learning.
"Breakout" rooms for small-group sessions and meetings, and study rooms.
Interview rooms for use during recruitment season.

CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456,

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