CSU, Chico News

California State University, Chico President Paul Zingg to Retire

Date: 08-20-2015

Toni Molle
California State University Public Affairs
Joe Wills
CSU, Chico Public Affairs

President Paul J. Zingg of California State University, Chico announced today his intent to retire at the end of the 2015-16 academic year. Zingg made the announcement to faculty and staff during his annual fall convocation address. He is entering his 13th academic year as president, and has been a member of the CSU family for 23 years.

In his convocation address, Zingg said, “I have never been happier or felt that I was making a stronger contribution anywhere than here — in your company and as your colleague in the pursuit of our noble mission and its most compelling values.” When addressing his retirement decision, he added that his decision was “informed by my health, my love for my family, and my deep commitment to the best interests of this university.”

Zingg was appointed president in the 2003-04 academic year, and served as the campus’ 14th president. Prior to his appointment, he spent 11 years at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo as the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and a professor of history.

“Under President Zingg’s leadership and through his unwavering commitment to student success, CSU Chico has become a formidable educational and economic force in Northern California,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “Without question, President Zingg will be remembered for putting CSU Chico ‘on the map.’ He has transformed the university into a vibrant, destination campus, and ushered in signature academic programs and initiatives that are boosting student success, the regional economy and workforce. On a personal note, I have valued his thoughtful counsel as we have worked together to fulfill the university’s mission.”

Through his commitment to academic excellence and student success, CSU Chico has substantially increased degree completion rates among first-time freshmen and transfer students. The university has earned the highest possible score for academic excellence on the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and is ranked among the best master’s-level public universities in the West in U.S. News and World Report. Furthermore, through his zeal for giving back to the local community, Zingg bolstered service learning and engagement among students and faculty. As a result, CSU Chico holds the coveted certification of Community Engagement Institution from the Carnegie Foundation and is among an elite group of campuses nationwide to earn a place on the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Zingg also led the campus through its re-accreditation process, earning the maximum length of accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. And, through his commitment to sustainability, CSU Chico became an inaugural member of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment and the Alliance for Resilient Campuses. In 2014, Second Nature, one of the country’s leading sustainability organizations, awarded the campus a Climate Leadership Award for its sustained and advanced commitment to sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation.

Zingg’s pursuit of partnerships with regional and national communities has resulted in numerous benefits for CSU Chico students and faculty. He also led the expansion of the campus with new facilities, including the Student Services Center, Wildcat Recreation Center, Gateway Science Museum, Sutter Hall Dining and Residential Facility and parking facilities – all of which are Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified. CSU Chico’s new Arts and Humanities Building opening next year will complete the First Street Promenade Project Zingg launched in 2010.

Finally, Zingg is credited with fostering initiatives in the region to bolster access to students from underserved communities, as well as veterans and active duty personnel. During his presidency, the campus opened the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center, the Chico Student Success Center and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The campus also expanded its services and facilities for veterans, and is routinely named by veteran-related organizations as among the most “vet friendly” campuses in the nation. Zingg emphasized the value of citizenship, and opportunities for leadership, to students throughout his tenure as president.

Prior to joining the CSU family, Zingg was dean of the School of Liberal Arts and a professor of history at Saint Mary’s College of California. He also served as the assistant to the president, vice dean for Undergraduate Studies and Admissions, assistant dean of Academic Advising and assistant/associate professor of American Civilization at the University of Pennsylvania. Zingg holds a bachelor’s in history from Belmont Abbey College, a master’s in history from the University of Richmond, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Georgia.

In the coming months, the CSU Board of Trustees will begin a national search to select a new campus president.

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