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Vol 57 No. 3 | Feb. 2005
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President Maxson
Announces Plans to Retire

Robert C. Maxson, president of CSULB, has announced his plans to retire from the university this year.

Maxson has served as president of CSULB June 1994, coming to the campus from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where he served as president for 10 years. At the request of CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, Maxson has agreed to stay on until a new president is named and in place. His retirement is expected to be effective before the end of 2005.

Robert and Sylvia Maxson

During his 11-year tenure, Maxson has helped the university grow both in enrollment and academic reputation. Today, the 33,500-student university is the second largest in the state of California and the largest among the CSU's 23 campuses. And, just this past August, U.S. News and World Report named Cal State Long Beach as one of the top three public master's granting universities in the west.

President Maxson and his students

Adding to the campus' academic reputation was the creation of the President's Scholars Program, which Maxson established during his second year on campus. The program was the first of its kind in California as it focused on aggressively recruiting qualified valedictorians and National Merit Scholars from throughout the state. Today, approximately 800 California valedictorians and National Merit scholars have enrolled at CSULB since the inception of the program.

“President Maxson is a champion of students, faculty and staff, and it shows in the increasing prestige of Cal State Long Beach,” said Murray Galinson, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “Bob will be remembered for the President's Scholars program and for bringing national attention to the campus. We have all learned to say ‘Go Beach'  whenever we see him.”

President Maxson and a graduating student

A tremendously popular president, especially with students, Maxson has received numerous awards over the last 11 years, but perhaps none mean as much to him as the “President of the Year Award,” given by the California State Student Association, the single recognized voice for about 400,000 students on CSU's 23 campuses. In the six-year existence of the award, Maxson has received the honor four times, including the last three years running.

“Bob Maxson has done an outstanding job as president of Cal State Long Beach,” said Chancellor Reed. “He probably pays more attention to students than anyone else -- they are the first people he thinks about, and that is what has made the campus so successful. He certainly will be missed, but with all that he has brought to the campus, his legacy will be evident for years to come.”

Robert C. Maxson

Message From The President

It is with such mixed emotions that I write this message, but I do want the university community to know of my plans to retire as President this year. The Chancellor has asked me to stay until a new President is named. I will, of course.

How lucky I have been to be able to do something I love so much! I have been a university president for 25 years, and I can't imagine a better life. It has been a blessing to be able to spend my days on a campus with all the wonderful people who are attracted to intellectual life.

My life at Cal State Long Beach has been the best! I've been able to get up every day and come to this beautiful place and work with the finest people around—people I truly love. And while I am a president, I've always considered myself an educator first. As you know, I teach a class every semester, and I remain as committed to the classroom as I was when I first started as a professor in 1970.

I have also been fortunate to have a boss in Charlie Reed who makes life exciting, demanding and fun! He is a nationally recognized leader in higher education, and working with him and with the finest Board of Trustees in America has made my job so easy—it has just been icing on the cake.

While I won't be the President of Cal State Long Beach, I am not retiring completely. I do have professional plans for the future, which I will be able to talk about later. But no matter what Sylvia and I do, we will always be a part of The Beach! This has been for us, an 11-year love affair. We both thank you for your kindness and love.

Go Beach!

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