James L. J. Houpis
James L. J. Houpis, dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico, has been named university provost and vice president of academic affairs for California State University, East Bay.
Houpis was named dean and professor of geological and environmental sciences at CSU Chico in 2001, and from 2003-2007 was director of the university’s Bidwell Environmental Institute. Previously, he served as a professor of environmental sciences at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Ill., where he directed the Environmental Sciences Program from 1998-2001.
“I am delighted to welcome to Cal State East Bay a distinguished professor with a demonstrated commitment to student access and success, as well as outstanding academic and administrative accomplishments.” said Mo Qayoumi, president of CSUEB. “His expertise and devotion to issues such as service learning, internships, and mentored research fit very well with our commitment to regional stewardship. I am particularly impressed with his adoption of the principle that universities need to be a source of societal leadership and the source of future leaders.”
President Qayoumi praised the search committee, headed by Dee Andrews, professor of history, for its diligent work throughout the process, and recognized the “significant involvement of the university community” in the search process.
“It is truly a great honor to be selected,” Houpis said. “I look forward to serving the university’s outstanding faculty, staff and students, and the communities of the East Bay. This will be the culmination of a lifelong desire to give back to the communities that played such an important role in the successes my family has achieved.”
Houpis said he was looking forward to working with Cal State East Bay faculty.
“I believe it is my duty to facilitate and improve the quality of our students’ educational experiences, and to assist faculty and staff in the performance of their challenging tasks,” Houpis said. “My philosophy and practice is to work continuously to build bridges to enhance interdisciplinary activities, resource sharing, and strategic actions.”
As dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Houpis’ responsibility included seven academic departments, the school of nursing and three research centers.
Houpis received his bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences in 1978 and his doctorate in forest science in 1989 from UC Berkeley. He earned a master’s degree in biology in 1984 from San Diego State University. He was an environmental scientist and project leader in the Health and Ecological Sciences Division for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1986 to 1996. From 1991-1993, he was an adjunct professor in biological sciences at CSU Chico.
“The future of higher education will be challenging,” Houpis said. “Cal State East Bay will be playing an increasingly important role in workforce preparation of a diverse population and the economic development of the East Bay. I will champion the university’s expansion of its areas of distinctiveness and excellence and be open to developing creative and innovative approaches of expanding resources for the campus and meeting the mission of the university.
“I am looking forward to being an integral part of Cal State East Bay and moving into that future with its outstanding students, staff, faculty and administrators.”