Campus: CSU Hayward -- October 18, 2002
President Norma Rees Recognized for Excellence
Norma Rees, Cal State Hayward president, has been recognized by the
writers and editors of the East Bay Business Times for “General
Excellence” as one of eight “Women of Distinction”
in a recent special section focusing on Women In Business. With the
permission of the East Bay Business Times, we are proud to show what
the publication said about President Rees.
Women of Distinction.
Please join us in congratulating this year’s women of Distinction
award winners. Our second annual award winners boast an impressive array
of accomplishments in their fields and contributions to their communities.
They come from a variety of backgrounds and professions, but they share
at least one common trait: success. That includes the success of those
around them as well as their own. In a tumultuous year, they have stuck
to their goals, creating greater opportunity for their successors and
continuing to push for change. This year’s roster of eight winners,
naturally, only hints at the talent and energy of the East Bay’s
businesswomen. We look forward to where their ideas and efforts will
lead us in the year ahead.
-Michael Hytha, editor
Norma S. Rees
President, Cal State Hayward
Education: B.A., speech pathology and audiology, Queens College;
M.A., speech pathology and audiology, Brooklyn College;
Ph.D.,speech, New York University
Even after 12 years as president of Cal State Hayward and an academic
career that spans nearly five decades, Norma S. Rees is still on a steep
“What I most enjoy about being in university administration is
that it requires me to understand and deal with larger issues,”
said Rees, who’s also a professor of communicative sciences and
disorders and has a background in speech pathology and audiology. “I’m
constantly learning about issues that, as a faculty member, I might
have never been involved with. Because I believe so strongly that our
university is an integral part of the community, I’ve had to become
familiar with issues like land use, transportation and housing.
“Whether it’s external or internal issues, I find it fascinating.”
Rees said it’s been a priority for her to “bring the university
down from the hill,” including operating satellite campuses in
Concord and the new professional development center in downtown Oakland.
“We’ve become more of a regional university during the past
12 years,” she said.
It’s become global, actually having established executive MBA
programs through partnerships with academic and business organizations
in Moscow, Vienna, Hong Kong, Singapore and Beijing. Among the local
students who study in the programs, Rees said she’s gratified
that 40 percent of them are women.
“For each one of these programs, we’ve had a faculty member
who’s had connections in those places, who is familiar with the
language and culture of that place,” Rees said of the overseas
program, which are completely self-supporting. “And our faculty
members who teach there come back with incredible knowledge of what’s
happening with the business and cultural environment in those countries.”
During her tenure, Rees has been involved with dozens of business and
government committees and organizations on the local, state and national
level. She serves on the board of directors of the Economic Development
Alliance for Business and the Bay Area World Trade Center.
Rees is one of only three female presidents in the 23-campus California
State University system. Although conditions today for female administrators
in higher education are better than a decade or two ago, the glass ceiling
has not been shattered, only cracked she said.
“I’d say our progress to date is similar to what women face
in corporate situations,” she said.
“There’s certainly been progress, but we’ve got a
long way to go.
“It’s still a man’s world out there. As a woman, you
do your best to cope.”
East Bay Business Times
August 30, 2002