Campus: CSU Bakersfield -- January 14, 2004
Search for New Bakersfield President Begins
The California State University Board of Trustees officially began
its search today for a new president of California State University,
Bakersfield to replace current President Tomás Arciniega, who
is retiring in June.
Under the CSU Board of Trustees’ presidential selection policy,
adopted in 1997, the chair of the board establishes a five-person Trustees'
Committee for the Selection of the President, which is composed of the
chair of the board, the chancellor and three trustees, one of whom is
designated as committee chair by the board chair. Board policy also
requires the chair to appoint an advisory group to the trustees’
committee. The Advisory Committee to the Trustees’ Committee for
the Selection of the President is composed of representatives of the
faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as a member of the campus
advisory board, all of whom are selected by the campus. Also on the
advisory committee are a vice president or academic dean from the campus,
and a president of another CSU campus, both selected by the chancellor.
Tuesday’s joint meeting of the selection committee and the advisory
committee in the Albertson Room at CSUB was the only public meeting
during the selection process. The purpose of the initial meeting was
to discuss the role of the committee, set the schedule of meetings,
review the descriptions of the campus and the presidential position,
and discuss any other business related to the search process.
Trustee Roberta Achtenberg of San Francisco, who is chairing the selection
committee, welcomed a large gathering of campus and community members
to the meeting. She remarked that the crowd was the largest of any she
had seen at previous presidential selection committee meetings at other
campuses. “It’s good to see the amount of interest in the
process,” she said.
She and CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed outlined the process that would
unfold in the next few months, emphasizing that the committee’s
goal was to select the best possible person for the job. Achtenberg
said that over the next three months they expected to identify qualified
candidates, narrow the list down to between three and five finalists,
have those finalists visit the campus, and select a new president “sometime
in the middle of May.”
Reed emphasized the need for confidentiality during the search process.
“The hardest part of the job is building a pool of candidates,”
he said. He said the advisory committee’s role in this phase was
critical, as the trustees gave considerable weight “to what you
all think Bakersfield is looking for in a president for the next 10
to 15 years.
“We are not looking for someone who’s looking for a job,”
he said. “We’re looking for someone who already has a good
Advisory committee members provided search committee members with some
of the characteristics and qualities they wanted to see in CSUB’s
- Someone who is very visible, both in Bakersfield and the Antelope
Valley, and a good fundraiser. Several advisory committee members
emphasized the need for fundraising. “We’re seeing a decrease
in financial aid, and we need help from outside resources,”
said Frank Ramirez, CSUB staff representative on the advisory committee.
Added advisory committee member Henry Lowenstein, dean of CSUB’s
School of Business and Public Administration, “With the current
condition of the state’s budget, we need someone who can find
resources outside the state budget.”
- A commitment to the community from someone who is sensitive to
the needs of the community.
- Someone who will continue the tradition of an open and working
relationship with student government.
- A person interested in shared governance principles of consultation
and delegation. “We’re moving from a small campus to a
large campus, and there are a lot of issues connected with that,”
said B.J. Moore, public administration professor and chair of the
CSUB Academic Senate.
- Someone with a vision for the future and the ability to enact that
- Someone who will continue the effort to have CSUB’s enrollment
reflect the diverse population of the community.
- Someone who can help the campus grow as it moves toward the enrollment
envisioned when the campus first opened nearly 34 years ago.
- “A person with the stature and self confidence to represent
you well in an organization with 22 other presidents,” said
advisory committee member James Rosser, president of CSU Los Angeles.
- Someone sophisticated enough to deal with state politics.
- And lastly, Moore added, “Someone with a high tolerance for
frustration,” a comment that drew chuckles from around the room.
Growth, setting the university’s agenda for the next several
years, and leadership not only on the campus but also in the community
were listed as golden opportunities for the incoming president.
“The single most important thing the Board of Trustees does is
the selection of a campus president,” Reed said.
In addition to Achtenberg and Reed, other selection committee members
are Murray Galinson of San Diego, Kyriakos Tsakopoulos of Sacramento,
and Trustees Chair Debra S. Farar of Los Angeles.
Members of the Advisory Committee for the Selection of the President
are faculty members Kaye Bragg, associate professor of political science;
Jess Deegan, associate professor of psychology; and Moore. The student
representative is Roger Eagleton, president, Associated Students; Ramirez,
Division of Student Affairs; the alumni representative is Nancy Chaffin,
president, CSUB Alumni Association; the President’s Advisory Board
member is Jose Benavides; and the CSUB Foundation Board member is President
Melvin Atkinson. Also on the committee are Lowenstein and Rosser, president.
Milton Younger represents the community-at-large on the committee.
For information about the CSU presidential search process, see the Executive
Search page at http://executivesearch.calstate.edu/.
Media Contact: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, firstname.lastname@example.org