Dean set to retire in fall

By Fernando Torres |Staff Writer|

CSUSB dean of the College of Natural Sciences is retiring after 10 years of service to the university.

Robert Carlson will retire on Aug. 1 after being involved in higher education for more than 40 years.

Carlson says he is ready to embark on this new part of his life. Carlson describes what he plans to do after he leaves CSUSB.

“Nothing firm right now, I am not having a set schedule. Nothing that requires me to be anywhere at a specific time,” said Carlson.

Carlson plans to spend more time with his family.

“After 43 years as a faculty member I will have a greater time to spend with my wife (Vicky), children and grandchildren,” said Carlson.

Carlson described how much he loves the CSUSB community and what he’ll miss about it.

“I’ve been here 10 years and have really grown to love the school. I have respect for the students, faculty and staff. I found out this campus shares a lot of the same ideals that I have about education,” Carlson said. “I will miss the satisfaction of helping others reach their goals. I’ve enjoyed when faculty have been honored and recognized.”

Carlson came to CSUSB from San Diego State University after serving as professor and chair of the department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences.

Carlson got his doctorate and master’s in physical education from University of Texas-Austin and his bachelor of arts in English from Trinity University.

At first Carlson wasn’t interested in the position.

“As I went through the interview process I was acutely aware of the commitment faculty had about teaching the students. That institutional committed is what attracted me to this university,” said Carlson.

Under Carlson tenure as dean, the university renovated the Biological Sciences building, constructed the Chemical Sciences building and the CSUSB observatory with no state funds.

Carlson also collaborated closely with the Presidential Scholars, a program for students in the top one percent of their high school graduating classes who will attend CSUSB.

An event that is very important to Carlson is the commencement ceremony.

“I am going to miss the graduation ceremony. It’s one big party. I feel successful as a CSUSB employee when those students graduate,” said Carlson.

A characteristic that one must have as dean is preparation and Carlson stresses the importance of that.

“I have to be a least six months ahead in my planning. I can’t be in the present as dean, but in the future. My staff is already thinking about the budget for next year,” said Carlson.

While Carlson was dean of College of Natural Sciences, 75 percent of students within the college graduated in four years or less.

The first computer engineering program at CSUSB was introduced under Carlson’s tenure.

A master degree program in environmental science was also founded.

“I am proud of the tangible things like the construction of buildings, but the positive memories with students, faculty and staff. The better memories are from the intangible things,” said Carlson.

Carlson hopes to be remembered by his peers and colleagues as someone who could be counted on.

“I think that I was able to help them reach goals. I hope I was fair, consistent, and somebody whose word was good,” said Carlson.

David Maynard, a chemistry professor at CSUSB, has been named the interim dean. A search for a new dean will begin next fall.

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