Donald J. Para, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been appointed as the university’s interim president. His appointment becomes effective July 1.
During his 25 years at CSULB, Para has served in several leadership positions including interim provost, associate dean and dean of the College of the Arts.
“I am honored to serve as the interim president for Cal State Long Beach, and I look forward to providing continuity in leadership during this time of transition,” Para said. “In this capacity, I look forward to pursuing the university-wide priorities that have been established by our students, faculty and staff and championed by outgoing President F. King Alexander.
“Cal State Long Beach has been my campus home for nearly 25 years. During this time, I’ve seen first-hand how it has grown to be one of the nation’s premier public universities,” Para said. “Our faculty and staff take seriously the CSU’s mission to serve those who live, work and raise children in nearby communities. We are equally proud that this campus is the university of choice for thousands of prospective college students who live throughout California and the country.”
In March, Alexander announced that he would be stepping down from his position as president of CSULB to accept the position as president of the Louisiana State University.
“I am confident Provost Para will continue to advance our university priorities while working closely with our various campus leadership groups,” Alexander said in a statement to the campus community. “We are very fortunate to have Provost Para in this new capacity.”
CSULB officials announced Wednesday the appointment of David Dowell as the university’s interim provost. Dowell, currently vice provost of planning and budgets and director of strategic planning, will begin his new role July 1.
As the chief academic officer of the institution, Dowell will provide academic leadership for the campus and, according to a press release issued by CSULB, “promote excellence in all aspects of the university’s academic mission, including undergraduate and graduate education, research and creative activity, international education, community engagement, service to the profession, and faculty and academic staff development.”
A member of the CSULB campus for 35 years, Dowell has held a variety of positions, including acting dean and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and a faculty member in the psychology department.
“Dr. Dowell is a collaborative and highly effective leader whose experience, intelligence, and proven ability to get things done will serve our campus very well,” said Para, who made the announcement. “I have every confidence he will bring the same level of accomplishment to this new role.”