CSUN director of finance appointed CSU East Bay president

Jennifer Santos

CSUN’s vice president and director of Administration and Finance was appointed as the new president at California State University, East Bay beginning July 1.

An announcement was made May 17 that Mohammad Qayoumi would be CSUEB’s new president during the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach.

“(CSUEB) has a good retention rate, but there is a lack of student life on campus,” Qayoumi said. “I want to work more with student leadership, alumni relations, and help connect the campus more to the community.”

Over the past six years at CSUN, Qayoumi oversaw the completion of the campus earthquake recovery and reconstruction, helped boost the morale of the university during budget downturns, played a key role in developing the university’s recent Envision 2035 master plan, which the Board of Trustees approved of in March, and organized the construction of two parking structures on campus.

“I’m really pleased with where the university is at currently, prior to six years ago,” Qayoumi said. “We have a lot of involvement in campus activities, a new Masters plan that just received $35,000 in full time enrollment, and a new University Student Union about to open in June. These are just the beginnings but it’s what makes me feel good about CSUN.”

During the next six months, James Sullivan will serve as interim vice president for Administration and Finance until the position is permanently filled. Sullivan has filled this role before at CSUN for Interim President Louanne Kennedy under President Blenda Wilson from January 1999 to June 2000.

The 350 acre campus of CSUEB is located in the Bay Area and spreads over two different counties: Alameda and Contra Costa. The Concord campus is smaller with 338 acres, and is located in the Silicon Valley.

The university has more than 400 activities on campus and an amphitheater that Qayoumi said he wants to see get more usage, such as high profile lectures and other activities.

CSUEB has not undergone much construction in the past 30 years. One of the things Qayoumi said he wants to focus on is making the library more of a center of activity where people could learn about their majors and career planning.

Qayoumi said making the library a center for career planning would allow CSUEB to stand out from other state universities.

“My hope is for us to take knowledge to a professional level, and by that, allow students to graduate one year quicker,” Qayoumi said.

Tom McCarron, executive director of the University Corporation, has worked with Qayoumi for six years.

“Mo is extremely creative, has almost boundless energy and simply knows how to get things done,” he said.

McCarron worked with Qayoumi on several projects, including the building of the Sierra Center, the Public Safety building, the upcoming Arbor Court foodservice building (Exchange replacement) and the faculty and staff housing program.

Anne Glavin, CSUN chief of police, said she had mixed emotions about Qayoumi leaving CSUN.

“He is the most terrific person in the world and there’s no doubt that he’s going to be a great president, but we will miss him a lot here,” Glavin said.

Glavin believes it will create a good rivalry between the universities. She said she has called the chief of police at CSUEB for a challenge.

For Qayoumi, leaving CSUN and the relationships he has developed with several people on campus is a humbling one that could help him forge connections at CSUEB.

“I will miss the people I work with, the interaction with the A.S. president, student life, and talking with faculty and staff. I would like to thank the campus community wholeheartedly,” Qayoumi said. “I am also looking forward to new friendships and new experiences.”