William (Steve) Stephens, PhD

College of Natural Sciences
1963–1994

Five years after joining the faculty Dr. Steve Stephens was elected chairperson of the department of biological sciences. In 1977 he was chosen dean of the College of Natural Sciences where he served for 14 years. In 1991 he was named vice president for academic affairs, a position he held until 1994. He served on dozens of university, system-wide, and community boards and committees. He chaired the Eagle Lake Field Station board of control and oversaw planning and equipping of Holt Hall labs and lecture halls.

Stephens’ teaching at Chico State spanned 30 years with courses in biology, microbiology, and bacteriology. He chaired campus committees examining recruiting and retention of faculty, budget, impact of Pioneer Days, organizational linkages with Student Affairs and Associated Students, and alcohol and drug abuse. His research specialty was bacterial carotenoid pigments.

His impact on CSU, Chico is the result of Stephens always putting students first in his academic and administrative decision-making. As dean he dedicated the entire science faculty and program to science education.

Since 1970s the campus had been renowned for its preparation of public school science teachers and Stephens is principally responsible for this commitment and accomplishment. Few have had such important and long-lasting impact and no one has done so with as much grace and good humor as Stephens.