The California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Fresno State Provost Lynnette Zelezny as president of CSU Bakersfield.
Zelezny will be the fifth president of the university and the first woman to enter the role. She will succeed current President Dr. Horace Mitchell upon his retirement after this school year.
Zelezny is a Fresno State alumna who earned her master’s degree from the Craig School of Business and has served as university provost and vice president for academic affairs at the university since 2014.
In a statement to The Collegian, university President Dr. Joseph Castro said that although Zelezny will be missed, her dedication to Fresno State makes her an “excellent” leader for CSU Bakersfield.
“Her warm, caring and insightful leadership will propel CSU Bakersfield to new levels of academic distinction in the coming years,” Castro said. “I look forward to working closely together with Dr. Zelezny to serve our talented Valley students.”
Zelezny has held other roles at the university including professor of psychology, the chair of the department of psychology, associate dean for the Craig School of Business, dean and associate vice president for continuing and global education and vice provost.
After Zelezny’s appointment, the CSU announced that for the first time in history, there are more female university presidents than male within the system. On Monday, Zelezny and six other female CSU presidents were honored by Sen. Ricardo Lara at the state capital.
In a statement to The Collegian, Zelezny said she is honored to be the first woman to take the presidency at CSU Bakersfield.
“I love the Central Valley – it’s beauty, promise and people. I’m glad I’ll be a neighbor just down the road,” she said.
Zelezny called Fresno home for over 30 years and served her professional career on campus. She said she will miss the community spirit and the bonds she has created with colleagues.
“I look forward to promising future partnerships between Fresno State and Cal State, Bakersfield, that will leverage our assets and lift the Valley,” she said.
Zelezny will begin her new role as president in late June.