Following a months-long national search, California State University trustees are expected to name a new president for Cal State Bakersfield at a board meeting in Long Beach Wednesday.
The president, whose name has not yet been publicly released, will succeed longtime CSUB President Horace Mitchell, 72, who led the university to its highest graduation and enrollment rates of all time, spearheaded a transition to a NCAA Division I athletics program and moved the university from a quarter-based system to a semester-based academic calendar.
Mitchell was hired at CSUB 13 years ago and served twice as long as most CSU presidents.
The news could come as a shock to many CSUB employees, who have only worked at the university under Mitchell.
"For a lot of people here, he’s the only president they’ve known," CSUB spokesman Michael Lukens said Tuesday evening.
And Mitchell has laid out a plan for the future — a quality he told The Californian in October that his successor should prioritize.
"The role of the president is to not only serve the university during that person's tenure as president, but a big part of the responsibility is preparing that university for the future," Mitchell said after announcing his retirement.
His office has been putting together a "transition book" for the new president discussing where the university is, where it's been going and what the strategies have been.
CSU trustees' decision comes after a five-month-long confidential selection process carried out by a committee that included CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White and former Kern County Chief Administrative Officer John Nilon.
They initially anticipated candidate applications would be reviewed in February, and interviews held in March before a decision would be made in the spring. Their announcement will come one day after the official start of the season.
CSU trustees are set to establish the compensation for the newly established CSUB president Wednesday, according to a board agenda. Mitchell’s pay with benefits was more than $463,000 in 2016, according to Transparent California, a watchdog website that publishes public-sector salaries.
The new president is expected to begin after Mitchell retires June 30.