California State University, Bakersfield (often abbreviated CSUB or shortened to CSU Bakersfield or Cal State Bakersfield) is a public university located in Bakersfield, California, United States which was founded in 1965. CSUB opened in 1970 on a 375-acre (152 ha) campus, becoming the 19th school in the California State University system. The university offers 91 different Bachelor's degrees, 30 types of Master's degrees, and 12 teaching credentials. The university does not confer Doctoral degrees.
In the Winter 2013 academic quarter, 8,111 undergraduate and graduate students attended CSUB, at either the main campus in Bakersfield or the satellite campus, Antelope Valley Center in Lancaster, California. The university is a heavily-dominated commuter campus serving the city of Bakersfield. CSU Bakersfield's petroleum geology program is the only one offered by a public university west of the Rockies.
CSUB owes its founding to the Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960, which formalized the creation of the CSU-system, initially as the "California State Colleges" system. The areas in the southern San Joaquin Valley had been demanding a four-year university since the 1950s. After considering several locations, including nearby Delano and parts of Kings and Tulare County, a steering committee decided on Bakersfield because at the time it was the largest isolated metropolitan area in the United States without a four-year university. Their decision was turned into a bill by Bakersfield's State Senator Walter W. Stiern, ratified by the California State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Sr.
Under these rules, the school was founded as California State College, Bakersfield in 1965. It opened for classes in September 1970. In 1982 the California State College system became the California State University system and the school changed to its present name.
CSU Bakersfield is currently a NCAA Division I school. They began the process to move from Division II in 2006 and became a full Division I member starting in the 2010-11 school year. For wrestling, CSUB competes in the Pac-12 conference. CSUB wrestling is the institution's original Division-I sport and has placed 3rd (1996) and 8th (1999) in the NCAA D-I Wrestling Championships. The men's basketball team competes at the Rabobank Arena in downtown Bakersfield, while the women's basketball team plays on campus at the Icardo Center. The men will return to campus when the 2011-12 season begins in November.
On June 1, 2006, Cal State Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell formally announced that CSUB is raising $6 million over a five-year period for the additional costs for the athletics program. Part of the additional costs is to start a baseball program and women's golf program. In September 2011, CSUB accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference for baseball.
Rudy Carvajal was CSUB's Athletic Director from 1972 until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2010. In 2005, Carvajal received the prestigious CSU Wang Family Award. Under Carvajal's leadership, CSUB has 30 national championships and received the Sears Directors Cup in 1998. Nearly 60,000 people attend NCAA sporting events at CSU Bakersfield.
On May 17, 2007, CSUB announced that Bill Kernen would be the school's first baseball coach, with the school's first official season beginning in Spring of 2009.
On Jan. 8, 2011 Jeff Konya assumed the position of Athletic Director.
In Fall of 2012, CSUB enrolled its largest freshman class in history, over 1,000 students.
CSUB has more than 90 official student clubs and organizations (including 7 Greek Organizations). The Associated Students Inc. (ASI) is the recognized student government and is known for having an active role on campus. CSUB's campus has a Student Union and a 75,000 sq ft (7,000 m2) Recreation Center.
CSUB is predominantly a commuter school, drawing its student body from a mix of recent high school graduates in the local area and working people returning to school or pursuing a degree part-time. In Fall 2006, CSUB received its highest enrollment of first-time freshmen of approximately 820. The university official credit "move to Division I" for the increase of younger students. While the majority of students live off-campus, the campus dorms can accommodate up to 324 students, or under 5% of the 2002 enrollment figure of 7,700. Space in the dorms has historically been plentiful, with single-occupancy rooms often available and one entire dorm devoted to faculty offices through the mid-1990s.
The six buildings comprising the dorm complex are each named after locations in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel: Rivendell, Rohan, Entwood, Numenor, Dobry, and Lorien. Dorm facilities include a first floor lounge in each building, a dining commons, a swimming pool, a sand volleyball court, a pond, and a parking lot. CSUB is in the initial stages of building new dorms (referred to as Living Residences) on the northeast side of campus.
The CSUB Fight Song and Alma Mater were selected through a structured contest initiated by the student government, Associated Students Inc. (ASI). The winner of the Fight Song Contest was a current music student, Gwendolyn Wilcox, and the winner of the Alma Mater Contest was a CSUB alumnus and current high school music instructor, Bill Ingram.
Striving on, we face the goal,
And will not be denied.
Always knowing, courage showing,
Strength is on our side.
Fighting on we're holding strong
With victory in sight, We will prevail, we will not fail
to win the fight!
C-S-U-B, CSUB Victory!
Long Live CSUB
The blue and gold stands high for honor,
Thanks to all its pride.
We stand to pay respect and glory,
For us all to guide.
We are proud to shine above the mountains,
And across the sea.
Salute the blue and gold tradition,
Long live C-S-U-B.
Vision of Excellence
In September 2004, CSUB adopted a new mission statement, referred to as the "Vision of Excellence," under the leadership of the university President, Dr. Horace Mitchell.