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CSULB names top advisor to President Conoley

Published November 4, 2021

Cal State Long Beach’s new chief of staff isn’t a stranger on campus or even in the city of Long Beach. And he knows his way around a university and the law. 

Christopher C. Fowler, who was named top advisor to President Jane Close Conoley, has served with the CSU’s Office of General Counsel since 2010 and as a member of the president’s executive team at The Beach since 2019. He replaces Neil Schnoor, who left to take a job at Northern State University in South Dakota. 

Fowler, who starts Nov. 15, said his new role at The Beach will enable him to meld his two loves – law and university work. He also sees the job as a cross between project manager, sounding-board and thought partner for the executive team and cheerleader for key campus initiatives. 

“I see myself as committed to the service of this amazing institution,” he said. “Each aspect of this job presents an opportunity to advance the amazing work being done by the amazing people who make up the CSULB community.” 

As general counsel for the CSU, Fowler helped problem-solve campus issues, led trainings on legal issues impacting campus activities, assisted in drafting campus policies and procedures, and advised campuses on Title IX and equity matters. He also worked closely with university presidents, their respective cabinet members and key personnel, preparing him for what he sees as the challenges of developing Beach 2030, the university’s comprehensive strategic plan for the future. 

“The university’s strategic priorities are my main focus: to engage all students, expand access and promote intellectual achievement, and to cultivate resilience,” Fowler said. I’m excited to join the amazing group of campus community members building out these ideas into actionable items.” 

Fowler, 55, previously worked practicing complex commercial litigation in New York and Los Angeles. He was the managing editor of the Journal of Law & Policy and a recipient of the Edward V. Spencer Public Interest Law Fellowship and the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Legal Writing. 

“Chris is looking forward to getting more deeply involved in campus initiatives and getting to know more faculty, staff and students throughout the university,” Conoley said. “I have every confidence that he will serve our campus with distinction and quickly become a trusted and valued colleague.”