Jane Close Conoley, Ph.D. was selected by The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees in January 2014 as the newest president of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and officially took office on July 15. Conoley is the first woman to be appointed president of CSULB and the seventh president overall in the 65-year history of the campus.
Immediately prior to coming to CSULB, Conoley served as dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). She also served from November 2012 to August 2013 as the interim Chancellor of UC Riverside.
Since 2006, along with serving as dean, Conoley was a professor of counseling, clinical and school psychology. Prior to her service at UCSB, she served as dean and professor of educational psychology at Texas A&M University (1996-2005) and associate dean for research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Teachers College (1989-94). In addition, she held faculty positions at Texas Woman’s University and Syracuse University.
Conoley earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of New Rochelle and a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Conoley is the author or editor of 21 books and more than 100 chapters, refereed journal articles and technical reports. Her areas of primary interest are interventions with children with disabilities—especially serious emotional disturbance and aggressive children and youth—and family intervention. Her most recent work investigates the application of the science of positive psychology to educational settings.
One example is her co-authorship with A. P. Goldstein, of Student Violence Intervention: A practical handbook and Student Aggression: Prevention, management and replacement training. She has also co-authored books concerning home/school collaboration (with S. Christenson), family assessment (with E. Werth), and school consultation (with C. Conoley). Her most recent book with Collie Conoley is Positive Psychology and Family Therapy (Wiley, 2009).
Conoley is also well known for her work in psychological and educational measurement and served for 12 years as an editor of the Mental Measurements Yearbook series published by the Buros Institute of Mental Measurements. She has been the principle investigator (P.I.) on several federally funded projects aimed at developing better school-based approaches to helping children with emotional and behavioral disorders. She also has been the P.I. on federal and state initiatives to improve teacher quality especially in science and mathematics education. Conoley remains very interested in working with schools to increase the engagement of low income children of color with academic success and educational attainment. She has presented papers and lectured throughout the world to educational and mental health professionals on these topics.
Conoley has won university-level teaching and professional organization service awards and has been very active in leadership positions in the American Psychological Association (APA) and has served on national boards including teacher recruitment (College Board) and zero tolerance discipline policies (APA). She has also served on the executive committees of the national education deans’ associations such as CADREI and LEARN.
In her role as dean of the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, Conoley oversaw the APA accredited combined program in professional psychology—one of only a handful of such programs in the United States.
She was the chair of the UC System-wide Science and Mathematics Initiative Executive Committee and participated in the development of a UC Santa Barbara campus-wide strategy to increase the quality, quantity and diversity of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors who choose to pursue a career in teaching. In this role she developed new links with regional community colleges, area business, industry, non-profits and philanthropy, and new relationships on campus among the colleges and the large UC Santa Barbara interdisciplinary science and engineering research centers.
Founded in 1949, CSULB enrolls some 35,500 students annually, making it one of the largest four-year universities in California and the nation. Students are served by more than 2,100 faculty members within the university’s eight colleges, which offer 85 baccalaureate degrees, 64 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees.