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New deans tell all about past, present, and future school year

By Brenda Gonzalez

Multimedia Editor


The new school year is bringing forth a new set of deans for each academic school at CSU Bakersfield. We met with each of them and asked them the following questions:

What plans or goals do you have for develping your school as the new dean? What was your previous occupation? What are you most looking foward to?

What was your previous occupation?

What are you most looking foward to?


Steve Bacon
Social Science and Education

   After I became the permanent dean in January I got together with all the faculty and staff in my school for focus group lunches in order to develop a new mission statement for the School and a set of five-year goals. We decided on goals that center around four main themes: Building the best faculty and staff that we can; providing the best academic and extracurricular experience for our students; working more with our partners in the community, which increases student opportunities; and increasing student opportunities by expanding our programs.

   For next year, our top priorities include hiring additional faculty that allow us to strengthen our programs and offer more classes; strengthening our advising services; and developing a CSUB Quality of Life Center which would be a resource for the community and provide lots of opportunities to broaden students’ education while impacting their community.

   I’ve been at CSUB for 23 years, first as a lecturer, then as an assistant, associate, and full professor, and finally as an associate dean, interim dean, and as of January, permanent dean of SSE. My field of study is Psychology and I was a practicing clinical psychologist before coming to CSUB.

   I look forward to fulfilling the mission of CSUB and my school which is to provide the best educational experience possible for our students and to increase their quality of life, as well as the quality of life of others in our community.


Robert Frakes
Arts and Humanities

   We’ve got a very well trained faculty so I want classes to continue. I would like to see students engaged in classes but also that there are various types of avenues for undergraduate research and creative activities so that they can take what would apply with their classrooms but allow them to develop independently to prepare students for the future. I know the university is doing that already so I would like to continue to support that and see if there are ways we can expand. I want to also look at areas to see what ways I can encourage faculty and development in both teaching and research. I am learning that thereare many programs here but I want to continue work so they can continue to be successful. I think that the disciplines in the Arts and Humanities are things I am really passionate about and believe in and think they are important for students to have the opportunity to be exposed to them in the college level. I want to listen and learn a lot about the school my first year so I can work together with everyone.

   For the last twenty-six years, I have taught and worked at a regional state university in western Pennsylvania called Clarion University. It was a unionized environment so it was really good training to come here because it was a similar system. It was a draw for me to come here because it was the same kind of public higher education system that I was used to working. I am from southern California originally so there was a draw to come back home.

   I am looking forward to meeting all the faculty and learning what their interests are in what they teach. I am looking forward to interacting with students when I can. I think that ultimately it’s the faculty and student interaction is the core of the university. I am really excited at the opportunity of being here and working with everyone here.


Kathleen Madden
Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering

   As you probably know, the school has three new engineering degrees, computer and electrical engineering and engineering sciences.  In the fall, we will be getting these programs accredited by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology )  ABET accreditation is an important indication of program quality.  This fall we will also welcome Dr. Alan Fuchs to campus as the director of the CSUB California Energy Research Center, or CERC.  (Just an idea:  the Runner might want to do an article on CERC and on Dr. Fuchs.)  We are excited to have Dr. Fuchs heading up CERC, and we look forward to the connections that he will make between CSUB and the community to the benefit of students.  To support the new engineering program and CERC, we have proposed a new building called the Energy and Engineering Innovation Center.  This building will house state-of-the-art teaching labs, student-faculty research spaces, and science outreach space (such as an expansion of the Fab Lab).  A priority of mine in the upcoming year will be to develop support for this project.   

    I am a mathematics professor.  I taught at Lafayette College and Drew University, both on the east coast.  At Drew University, I also served as department chair and associate dean.  I have been at CSUB for two years.  In my first year, I was the associate dean of NSME.  Last year, I served as interim dean for NSME after our previous dean, Dean Anne Houtman.

Angappa Gunasekaran
Business and Public Administration


   Prepare our students to be career-ready by creating internship opportunities and providing support for study abroad and career development. This can be achieved by working closely with profit and non-organizations in Kern County. Also, creating an ecosystem at BPA for promoting the student innovation and entrepreneurial skills with help of local companies and entrepreneurs, BPA alumni and dean’s executive advisory council.

   Introduce new undergraduate program concentrations in areas such as Logistics and Supply Chain, Digital Commerce, Business Analytics and graduate programs such as MBA with concentrations in Business Analytics, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Energy Management, Agri Business Management, Real Estate Management and MS programs in Accounting, Finance, Healthcare Management and Technology Management

   Explore the possibility of offering a PhD program in Business and Public Administration in collaboration with one of the UCA campuses or other partnering universities.

   Launch online BSBA with General Business, MSHCA, MBA and MPA.

   Successful AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) reaccreditation by April 2019 and support NASPAA (National Association of Schools for Public Affairs and Administration) accreditation

  BPA has outstanding faculty (together with 7-9 new faculty hires by next year) which can be leveraged to take the research to the next level of excellence.

   Explore the opportunity for a capital campaign for the new building and fund raising for a named school of business and public administration. Also, fund-raising for academic programs, student scholarships and faculty research

   Prior to joining CSU Bakersfield, I served as the Dean of the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for four and half years. I also served as the Founding Director of Business Innovation Research Center for 11 years and Chairperson of the Department of Decision and Information Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth for six and half years.

   I am looking forward to closely work with students, faculty, staff of BPA and Kern Community to become a nationally and internationally known school of business and public administration for its excellence in curriculum innovation, student-centered learning, high quality research, advancement regional economic development, internationalization, and AACSB and NASPPA accreditations.