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Cal State Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny ratified the university's 2019-2024 Strategic Plan Wednesday.

Cal State Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny unveiled the university's 2019-2024 Strategic Plan Wednesday with five goals focused on strengthening student success, developing new programs and addressing regional needs. 

With university officials, faculty and students joining her, Zelezny gave the Strategic Plan "a stamp of approval," one that has been a long time coming.

"This is a great day. We have had a year of listening to the community, listening to our campus constituents and putting forth our ideas, our aspirations," Zelezny said.

The plan outlines five goals the university has for the next five years: strengthen and inspire student success and lifelong learning; advance faculty and staff success; develop and sustain high-quality and innovative academic programs and support services; recognize and address regional needs in collaboration with community; and diversify, enhance and responsibly steward campus resources.

The university has outlined several strategies in order to achieve each goal. Under student success, CSUB plans on increasing retention and graduation rates by implementing a first-time freshmen mid-term assessment and enhancing on-campus housing options, according to the plan. By funding scholarly and creative activities in each of the academic schools and offering assessment workshops, institutes and exhibitions regularly, the university hopes to be on track to develop and sustain new programs and support services to students.

Another goal Zelezny has in mind is the move from a regional to metropolitan university. 

"As a metropolitan university, it underscores the fact that we serve our region," she said. "Our mission is to make sure students have a top university to attend to get their college degree, including post-graduate degrees, graduate programs ... so that they have opportunities to serve in Kern County."

The Strategic Plan is the backbone for the university's first comprehensive capital campaign. Its ratification kicks off a feasibility study, which will survey the community on how much money people are willing to give to the university and to what programs or areas of campus life.

A full overview of the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan is available at

Associated Students, Inc., President Aaron Wan, who participated in meetings when the Strategic Plan was being formed, is excited to see actions take place on campus.

"I definitely think the plan really embodies the campus. We had to meet multiple times and you really got to see student, faculty and community perspectives," Wan said. "Actions are when you start seeing if it's really going to work, is this viable, is this achievable within a given time, so the actions are where we'll see a lot of the movements and changes happening on campus."

Zelezny is ready to start making the goals a reality. "Today we celebrate, tomorrow we get to work," she said, with a final toast to ratify the "action plan."

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic.

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