Cal State Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelenzy portrait image in her office.
Press Release Leadership

Statement on Pending Retirement of California State University, Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny



Cal State Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelenzy portrait image in her office.

The following statement can be attributed to CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester:

“President Zelezny is a highly skilled, compassionate and student-focused leader who has strengthened CSU Bakersfield's impact, influence and reputation throughout the region, state and nation.

Under her leadership, the university has developed and refined a broad array of innovative academic programming and student support services. Due in large part to these efforts, student success rates have climbed for all students, while equity gaps between historically underserved students and their peers have narrowed. CSU Bakersfield is regularly recognized nationally as a powerful driver of socioeconomic ascent.

President Zelezny has overseen numerous capital improvements to academic and athletic facilities and helped secure funding for an Energy Innovation Center that will be a hub of ingenuity, regional collaboration, job growth and progress on climate science. Partnerships such as the Bakersfield College SouthWest Center at CSUB will drive college attainment in the region for many years to come.

I applaud President Zelezny for these extraordinary accomplishments, for her collaborative and principled leadership and for a legacy that will span generations."


On June 26, 2023, CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny announced that she would retire from her role on December 31, 2023. Zelezny is the fifth president of CSUB and the first woman to hold the distinction. She has served her entire professional career within the CSU system and is a three-time alumna of the CSU and an alumna of the Chancellor's Doctoral Incentive Program.

An interim president will be appointed to lead the university, and the CSU will launch a national search to identify Zelezny's successor. Under university policy, the chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, Wenda Fong, and Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester will select a committee comprised of campus and community stakeholders who will be publicly announced at a later date. Thereafter, campus and community input will be sought in an open forum held on the CSUB campus.

​About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, nearly 460,000 students, and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. The CSU was created in 1960 with a mission of providing high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards nearly 130,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​