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Vol 57 No. 15 : July 29, 2005
Vol 57 No. 15 | July 29, 2005
CSULB Professor, Department Chair Appointed to CSU Board of Trustees

Craig Smith

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed Craig Smith, chair of the Department of Film and Electronic Arts and professor of Communication Studies at CSULB, to the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees as its faculty trustee.

Selected from nominees endorsed by two-thirds or more of the CSU Statewide Academic Senate, Smith, of Long Beach, will serve a two-year term as the faculty trustee. The position does not require Senate confirmation, and the compensation is $100 per diem.

"I am a product of the state's public education system. I graduated from Sweetwater High School in National City and got a bachelor's degree at UC Santa Barbara," said Smith, who also directs the CSULB Center for First Amendment Studies. "My first full-time job was as a professor at San Diego State University and I intend to retire from Cal State Long Beach. Therefore, I hope to protect and improve the California State University system and the way it serves the rest of the public institutions in the state. While all faculty trustees have served to facilitate communication between the faculty and the trustees, I also bring an expertise regarding the First Amendment that will protect academic freedom."

The CSU Board of Trustees is responsible for the oversight of the 23-campus CSU system. The board adopts rules, regulations, and policies governing the CSU and it has authority over curricular development, use of property, development of facilities, and fiscal and human resources management.

The board is made up of 25 members who meet seven times per year. Board meetings allow for communication among the trustees, chancellor, campus presidents, executive committee members of the statewide Academic Senate, representatives of the California State Student Association and officers of the statewide Alumni Council.

Smith has been a professor with the university since 1988 and, over the course of his tenure, has chaired the Communications Studies, Journalism and Comparative World Literature and Classics departments. He has also served as president of the Freedom of Expression Foundation since 1983, and from 1996-98, he served on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. During his 16 years at CSULB, he won the Distinguished Teaching, Distinguished Scholar and Outstanding Professor awards. He has twice won the Robert O'Neil Award from the National Communication Association for outstanding scholarship on First Amendment issues. He also won the Outstanding Professor Award from the National Speakers Association in 2001.

He has written more than 50 scholarly articles and 15 books including, most recently, The Four Freedoms of the First Amendment (2004) and Daniel Webster and the Oratory of Civil Religion (2005).

Smith received his B.A. in history from UC Santa Barbara in 1966 and was awarded the Sproul Award. He earned an M.A. in Communication Studies from Queens College of the City University of New York in 1967. Awarded an NDEA Fellowship, he received his Ph.D. in communication studies from Pennsylvania State University in 1969.

His teaching career has taken him to San Diego State University, the University of Virginia and the University of Alabama in Birmingham, where he founded and chaired the Communication Arts Division. He also has served as a consultant to CBS News convention, election night and inaugural coverage from 1968-84. He has served as a full-time speechwriter for President Gerald Ford and Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca as well as being a consultant to President George H. W. Bush and Governor Pete Wilson, among many others.

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