University changes discussed at townhall meeting


CSUB President Horace Mitchell directed the yearly Campus Forum on May 29 in the BDC building.

By Steven Barker News Editor

In his annual campus town hall meeting, California State University, Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell and other ranking officials recapped some of the changes to key university positions, provided an update on the quarter-to-semester conversion and discussed the status of the CSU budget, among other topics.

The Vision Statement and Administrative Changes

The event began with Mitchell’s review of the university’s vision statement. Written in 2004 when Mitchell was appointed President of CSUB, the statement is as follows:

“By 2014-15, California State University, Bakersfield will be the leading campus in the CSU system in terms of faculty and academic excellence and diversity, quality of student experience, and community engagement. Realization of our vision will be advanced by recruitment, development and promotion of an excellent and diverse staff within an organizational culture committed to excellence in all areas.”

Of the changes made to the mission statement, Mitchell said there was a decision to remove the 2014-2015 deadline to the mission statement. Mitchell said the original vision statement included a date to inspire activity among campus staff and faculty.

“Vision statements are supposed to be aspirational, meaning that they don’t have ending dates,” Mitchell said. “But I wanted an ending date on this one because, as we developed the mission statement, we wanted to achieve these things by a certain point in time, which would hopefully motivate behavior, as opposed to the idea that someday we would get there.”

Mitchell then recapped changes among campus administration. Most notably, Jenny Zorn has been hired as CSUB’s next Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. The position was formerly held by Soraya Coley, who is now President of Cal Poly Pomona.

Q2S Implementation

Speaking on the academic changes being made in CSUB’s quarter-to-semester changes, Jacquelyn Kegley, department chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies, said programs have been transformed and confirmed for the conversion. Kegley also announced that the Academic Senate has created a newsletter to inform others about what AS has accomplished.

Kal Shenoy said CSUB’s technological infrastructure should be reading in time for the conversion. Ron Radney, Director of Financial Aid, said the quarter-to-semester planning committee was formed in January 2013 and has been meeting regularly. He said they have made significant progress for the Q2S conversion in Fall 2016.

Among the plans to inform the student body about the nature of the Q2S change, Radney said there are plans to publish interactive Q&A’s for students.

Updates on the budget

Although the CSU system received an additional $38 million in funding as a result of Governor Jerry Brown’s May revision to the California budget, Thom Davis, CSUB’s vice president of business and administrative services, said the CSU system was lobbying for an additional $59.1 million dollars.

As was reported in a previous issue of The Runner, the additional $38 million in funding was allocated for the purpose of improving student success and retention.

Davis and Mitchell said it was uncertain how much funding CSUB would receive out of either the $38 million or any additional funding if such money became available.