President John D. Welty Announces Retirement
Aug. 17, 2012
By Shirley Armbruster
FRESNO, Calif. -- Fresno State President John D. Welty announced today that he will retire as president in the summer of 2013.
With a tenure that began in August 1991, Welty is the longest serving president in the 102-year history of Fresno State. He has extended the university's regional and global reach, cultivated unprecedented private financial support and promoted diversity, innovation, service, enterprise and community engagement as foundations for the university's future.
Under Welty's leadership, Fresno State has greatly enhanced its academic programs and overseen the construction of $425 million in new facilities. Fresno State's enrollment has grown from about 19,800 to over 22,000 students and today offers 61 undergraduate degrees, 45 master degree programs, and three doctoral degrees.
Welty, who turns 68 next week, made the announcement during his annual Fall Assembly address to faculty and staff in the Satellite Student Union.
"It has been a great honor and privilege to serve this university and region," Welty said. "I shall forever be grateful to our faculty, staff and administrators for their sacrifice, dedication and commitment to serving the students of Fresno State.
"The work of our university community - combined with generous support, help and advice from alumni, donors and friends in the larger community - has helped to build Fresno State into the premier regional university that it is today," he said.
Welty led the campus intercollegiate athletics programs first into the Western Athletic Conference (1992) and then the Mountain West Conference (2012). As Fresno State enters the Mountain West Conference, student-athletes have maintained an exceptionally high performance in the classroom. For the third straight year since the NCAA adopted the APR program, all of Fresno State's sports programs are meeting and often exceeding standards. Additionally, none are under APR penalties.
Two national championships were attained during Welty's presidency. The first was the 1998 NCAA Women's softball World Series, Fresno State's first NCAA National Championship. Ten years later was the baseball team's NCAA World Series Championship.
Under his leadership, the university extended opportunities for women student-athletes and added intercollegiate sports. He has passionately cheered for Bulldog student-athletes both on the playing fields and in the classroom.
He also led the effort to build the Save Mart Center, which houses the Bulldogs' men's and women's basketball, and volleyball programs. and dramatically increased private fund raising and grant and contract funding. The University is currently completing a $200 million capital campaign.
Welty said he intends to continue to serve the California State University system as a trustee professor at a CSU campus.
A leader in the 23-campus CSU, Welty is a recognized authority in national higher education issues. He has chaired and served on multiple national boards and has testified before Congress.
Welty has been actively involved in the CSU system and has served on groups addressing strategic planning, accountability issues, gender equity, emergency credentialing, alcohol programs and currently serves as chair of the newly created Cal State Online board. He has chaired three national conferences on substance abuse and prevention. He has served on advisory groups to the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture and chaired the Renaissance Group, a national organization of universities dedicated to improved teacher education programs.
He served as commissioner and chair of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges senior accrediting commission and chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities board. He served on the board, committees and task forces of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
CSU Chancellor Charles Reed said President Welty "is recognized and respected as an exceptional leader both by his colleagues across California, as well as at the national level. During John's tenure, he has transformed Fresno State into a premier university that contributes to the economic and educational vitality of the Central Valley and beyond.
"John's commitment to serving students from underrepresented communities has changed many young people's lives forever," Reed said. "His leadership on key systemwide initiatives including online learning, teacher education and public accountability has been invaluable. His contributions as a member of the NCAA executive committee, his effort to move Fresno State into the Mountain West Conference and his commitment to intercollegiate athletics for women have gained the university unprecedented recognition.
"CSU has been very fortunate to have John serve as president for the past 21 years, and he will leave a lasting legacy at Fresno State," Reed said.
For a full report, please visit: FresnoStateNews.com.
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