CSU, Chico News

Mills Appointed Chief of Staff in President’s Office

Date: 08-26-2015

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico President Paul Zingg has appointed Russell Mills, professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, as interim chief of staff in the President’s Office. He starts in his new post Sept. 1. Mills replaces Karla Zimmerlee, who is retiring after serving eight years in the position.

Mills, a CSU, Chico alumnus, has been a faculty member at CSU, Chico since 1982. He has served five years as the civil engineering department’s chair, four years as the University’s coordinator of general education and two years as Academic Senate chair, part of 13 years of service on the senate.

Mills has also been a member of a number of city and county committees, including 12 years on the Bidwell Park and Playground Committee, and has also been a director of the Chico Velo Cycling Club for more than 20 years.

He is a past Fulbright research associate, based in Merida, Mexico, and served a year as the University director of the Cultural Immersion Program in Mexico. He received CSU, Chico’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 2000-2001.

Among his other contributions to campus are serving as faculty advisor to the student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Structural Engineers Association of Central California.

Mills graduated magna cum laude from CSU, Chico in 1974 and subsequently earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in structural engineering from Stanford University.

“The University has been an integral part of my life for five decades,” said Mills. “During this time I experienced Chico State from multiple perspectives, including those of a student – experiences that have helped prepare me for the next chapter. I greatly appreciate President Zingg’s trust that I will continue to make positive contributions to the University in this new role.”

“Russ is an extraordinarily respected and accomplished member of our University,” said Zingg. “He is well positioned to serve as a liaison between the President’s Office, the Provost’s Office and the Academic Senate, in particular, to advance the University mission and support our academic quality.”

Other responsibilities of the chief of staff position will include oversight of activities in the President’s Office; responding to grievances and complaints filed by represented employees as the president’s designee; chairing a number of committees along with serving as the president’s designee on committees; and oversight of the University licensing program, president’s scholarship program and annual presidential events.