An image of the CSU Bakersfield campus sign.
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California State University, Bakersfield Presidential Search Committee to Hold Open Forum



An image of the CSU Bakersfield campus sign.

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees is beginning the search for the next regularly appointed president of California State University, Bakersfield, following the retirement of Dr. Lynnette Zelezny in December 2023. Dr. Vernon B. Harper Jr. is currently serving as interim president.  

The first meeting of the Trustees' Committee for the Selection of the President will be held in a hybrid in-person/virtual open forum from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at the Solario de Fortaleza in the Student Recreation Center on campus. During this time, the committee will outline the search process and faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the Bakersfield community will be invited to share their preferred attributes of the next president of CSU Bakersfield. 

CSU Trustee Douglas Faigin will chair the search committee. The other trustee members who will serve on the committee include Chair Wenda Fong, Vice Chair Jack B. Clarke Jr., Raji Kaur Brar, Jonathan Molina Mancio and CSU Chancellor Mildred García. 

Board policy requires the chair of the CSU Board of Trustees to appoint an Advisory Committee to the Trustees' Committee. The Advisory Committee is composed of representatives from the faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as a member of a campus advisory board, all of whom are selected by the campus's constituency groups. Also on the Advisory Committee is a vice president or academic dean from the campus, and a president of another CSU campus—both selected by the chancellor. Both committees function as one unified group. 

Members of the Advisory Committee for the Selection of the President include:​

  • Aaron Hegde, Ph.D., chair, Academic Senate 

  • Melissa Danforth, Ph.D., professor, Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Tracey Salisbury, Ph.D., department chair, Ethnic Studies, and associate professor, Black Studies (faculty representatives)  

  • Yvette Morones, advising center coordinator, Social Sciences and Education (staff representative) 

  • Daisy Alamillo and Erin Pruitt (student representatives)  

  • Andres Chavez (alumni representative) 

  • Connie Perez-Andreesen (CSUB Foundation Board representative) 

  • Emily Duran and Katie Russell (community representatives)  

  • Thomas D. Wallace, Ph.D., vice president, Student Affairs (administration representative)  

  • Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D. president, California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSU president representative) 

Over the next several months, the committee will review candidates and conduct interviews, with the announcement of CSUB’s next president made during the Board of Trustees meeting in September.  

Campus and community members wishing to attend the open forum in person and address the committee do not have to register to do so. However advanced registration is required for those who wish to speak using the open forum’s virtual option. A registration link is provided on the CSUB President Search website ( Confirmed registrants will receive details about how to participate.  

The deadline to register to speak remotely during the open forum is Monday, April 22 at 5 p.m. Confirmed registrants will receive details about how to participate. 

The virtual open forum will be web-streamed live and then archived on the CSUB President Search website. On the site, individuals can also learn about the search process, take a stakeholder survey, nominate someone for the position, and review the presidential profile once completed.

About the California State University 

The California State University is the nation's largest four-year public university system, providing transformational opportunities for upward mobility to more than 450,000 students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. More than half of CSU students are people of color, and nearly one-third of them are first-generation college students. Because the CSU's 23 universities provide a high-quality education at an incredible value, they are rated among the best in the nation for promoting social mobility in national college rankings from U.S. News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Monthly. The CSU powers California and the nation, sending nearly 127,000 career-ready graduates into the workforce each year. In fact, one in every 20 Americans holding a college degree earned it at the CSU. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU newsroom.​