Victor K. Lasseter, a professor emeritus of English at Cal State Bakersfield, has died, the university announced Wednesday.

He was 74.

Lasseter died at his home March 13, CSUB President Horace Mitchell said in a memo to faculty, staff and students.

A cause of death was not disclosed.

Lasseter was a founding faculty member who joined then-California State College, Bakersfield, in 1970 as an associate professor of English.

He was instrumental in designing and developing the department's curriculum and served as department chair from 1997 to 2001.

Lasseter taught across the breadth of American literature and was "beloved by his students and colleagues," Mitchell said.

The professor published numerous articles in journals such as American Literature, frequently focusing on women writers in the American South.

Lasseter retired in 2001, but continued to teach under the Faculty Early Retirement Program until 2006. He was named a professor emeritus of English the same year.

"Victor Lasseter was a consummate mentor, teacher, and friend. I owe him more than I can say," CSUB English professor Steven Frye said in a statement issued Wednesday.

Lasseter held a bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University, a master's from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

The CSUB flag will fly at half-staff Thursday in Lasseter's honor, and a luncheon will be held in his memory at 11:30 a.m. April 26 at First Congregational Church, 5 Real Road in Bakersfield.

The luncheon is open to the public.