CSUB’s first female president eager to inspire

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CSUB’s first female president eager to inspire

Contributed by CSU Fresno.

Contributed by CSU Fresno.

Contributed by CSU Fresno.

Contributed by CSU Fresno.

Sonia Lemus and Veronica Morley

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Runner Staff

Lynnette Zelezny has been chosen to be the first female president at CSU Bakersfield. Her term will begin in June. She will be succeeding President Horace Mitchell.

She will be the fifth president in CSUB history.

The CSU system chooses all of it’s presidents through a closed search process. In this closed search process, there are opportunities for people who did not apply to be considered as potential candidates.

The Board of Trustees Policy for the selection of the President states that, “The Chancellor and the Chair of the TCSP (The Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President) confer and evaluate whether any additional internal CSU candidate(s) is/are a good fit for the position to be added to the pool and considered for the position.”

Zelezny will earn a yearly salary of $313,044 with an annual housing allowance of $50,000 and and a monthly auto allowance of $1,000. This is the same compensation Mitchell earned during the past year.

Zelezny said that she had not originally applied for the position, but that she was nominated by the trustees committee.

From the various nominations she received CSUB, was her top choice. Furthermore, she denied every other nomination to be a president at other universities.

“Bakersfield was my top choice it was the only place that I was looking at. I serve the Central Valley, I love everything about the the Central Valley,” said Zelezny.

She also said that she is very eager to be following in Mitchell’s footsteps, and that he has been an amazing leader for CSUB.

She plans to be very engaged with the student body and gave some examples of how she currently engages with students at Fresno State.

“I wouldn’t want this job if I couldn’t meet with students,” said Zelezny when asked if she planned to be engaged with the student body. “I plan occasions where we have pizza  with the provost. There is no agenda, I just want to meet with them. I guarantee you will see me out and about with students.”
 Fresno State’s Associated Students, Inc. Vice President of Finance Cam Patterson spoke about Zelezny’s commitment to Fresno State and the students.

“Zelezny was really great, she was always involved and interested in the students and what their concerns were. For ASI we meet every Wednesday, and she would drop by to almost every meeting and listen to the students,” Patterson said.

Patterson had nothing but praise to say about the Fresno State Provost. He said that those who have worked with Zelezny were not surprised that she was chosen to be CSUB’s new president; it was something they expected would happen.

“It wasn’t surprising to hear she’s going to be leaving. She has been such an amazing Provost and done so much for the students that we knew she was probably going to be leaving soon to move on to president of a university…We’re going to miss her. I mean she’s is so amazing and has done so much for the students and really pioneered a strong connection and understanding between ASI and the administration and the students,” he said.

Zelezny understands these sentiments she says that while she has received a lot of congratulations, there has also been a lot of sadness because she is leaving.

Additionally, Zelezny is also supportive of the student body by supporting athletics.

“I love athletics. Being involved in athletics is a great way to support students. I envision that athletics and academics are going to rise together.”

She also said she was certain she would help CSUB increase its graduation rates, with the help of faculty.

“I am pretty confident that with the faculty and the staff, we have  all of the talent to make that goal [of increasing graduation rates] happen,” said Zelezny.

Zelezny also spoke about the importance of having a diverse student body.

“It is very important as a hispanic serving institution having a faculty and administrative body that represent our student body,” said Zelezny. “I want very much to make sure that students have leaders in front of them that look like them.”

The Fab Lab was of great interest to Zelezny, she said she looked forward to expanding it.

“I am really impressed with the potential of your fab lab, and thinking of ways that we can work with the community on it,” she said.

She also expressed excitement to see the expansion of the Student Union and the creation of the aquatics center.

Zelezny is also eager to help the graduate studies programs at CSUB and help raise funding for them.

“As a Provost, I have great experience bringing in federal grants. At Fresno State, I have been very aggressive in being awarded federal grants… One of the grants is to increase opportunities for graduate scholarships and that grant is over two million dollars.”

Zelezny is excited about coming to CSUB this June.

She says, “I am eager to move to the community of Bakersfield. To meet alumni and potential new friends. I think the search committee picked someone that is enthusiastic and a very caring leader.”