By Karin Patiño
Earlier in August, President Horace Mitchell announced during his annual University Day address that he will be retiring after this 2017-2018 school year.
Mitchell’s official last day will be June 30, 2018, which will also mark 50 years of him working full-time in higher education.
Before CSU Bakersfield, Mitchell’s career also included Washington University in St. Louis; University of California, Irvine; and University of California, Berkeley.
“I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done all 50 years…I’ve enjoyed being president at CSUB the most. It’s given me the best opportunity to work with our students from all backgrounds, to inspire excellence in those students. It’s not that I’ve done this by myself of course. I’ve done it with the help of particularly our faculty, also our department chairs and deans, the provost and other academic administrators, as well as members of the president’s cabinet,” said Mitchell.
The list is never ending when it comes to running a university.
It takes the effort of everyone involved to uphold the university to its highest standards and reach its goals that were set in place. “We did a lot of things and the quarter to semester conversion was one of the most important academic things that we’ve done…Our transition from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I was really important…One of the things on my so-called bucket list was getting the replacement for Faculty Towers and so that is now done…The classrooms will be available for spring semester classes,” said Mitchell.
Discussing what it takes to be a president of a university, Mitchell said, “You have to be a visionary… be caring about people…take pride in what you do…pay attention to what is going on around you… do your homework…and making sure you are doing what is consistent with the values of the university.”
Dr. Jacquelyn Kegley, philosophy and religious studies professor, said, “I think he’s been a very good president. I believe he’s brought the university a very long way.”
“I’ll miss the daily engagement with people. All of whom who have been committed to our agenda, our vision, and our core values. I’ll miss the daily interaction where we’re working on those things together,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell does not plan to slow down during his last year. He will continue to be involved as ever. He said, “I want us to have our best year ever.”
Paula Silva, 21, child adolescent family studies major at CSUB, said, “I’m excited about the changes. Hopefully
someone with a fresh perspective coming in will be a better fit since the school is evolving so fast and we need someone to keep up.”