On Nov. 28, CSULB President F. King Alexander announced the selection of Mary Stephens as the university's new vice president for administration and finance.
Currently the vice president for business and finance at California State University, Stanislaus, Stephens will begin her new position at CSULB on Jan. 28. She will be replacing William H. Griffith, who is retiring after 19 years of service at the Long Beach campus.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Cal State Long Beach community," Stephens said. "It is a campus clearly focused on the success of its students."
The vice president for administration and finance manages university operating and capital budgets totaling more than $500 million. Additionally, the vice president manages university support services departments; oversees planning and implementation of facilities master plan development and campus information management systems; provides financial oversight of all non-state enterprise operations; serves as chief operating officer and treasurer of the CSULB Foundation and treasurer of the Forty-Niner Shops Board of Directors; oversees university and auxiliaries' investments; and interacts with campus constituencies, the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees and Chancellor's Office staff, as well as local and state agencies and the Legislature.
"I was especially impressed by Mary Stephens' genuine interest to become a part of this university's future," said Alexander. "She brings with her strong knowledge of the CSU as well as other experiences related to working within California higher education, and I am confident that she will be a great asset to CSULB's executive team."
Stephens has been the vice president for business and finance at Cal State Stanislaus since October 1997, overseeing a budget of $100 million for a campus of 8,400 students and 1,000 employees. During that time, she has been the university's chief administrative officer overseeing human resources, facilities planning and construction, plant maintenance and operations, public safety, environmental health and safety, parking, food service, bookstore operations, reprographics, mail and receiving, as well as serving as the chief financial officer for the university and four affiliated auxiliaries.
Richard West, executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer for the CSU, expressed his support for Stephens' appointment at CSULB.
"Mary Stephens is well experienced in the CSU and knows the culture," he said. "She has been very active in our internal committees, is attentive to details, has good communications skills and the utmost integrity."
Before Stanislaus, Stephens briefly served as the executive project manager for CSU Channel Islands, where she managed all business aspects related to determining whether the CSU would take possession of the current university site for a new campus.
Prior to joining the CSU, Stephens spent 13 years working in the University of California, Office of the President, as executive assistant to the associate vice president. In this role, she was responsible for the records management unit and also served as project manager in an effort to permanently house some UC academic programs in Washington, D.C.
Stephens earned a bachelor's degree in history from UC Berkeley after completing the general course in international history at the London School of Economics. She has an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles and completed the Summer Institute for Educational Management offered by Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.