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Economist Chosen for Faculty Leadership Award

April 17, 2014

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Robert W. Mead during a Strategic Planning session held last year.

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Robert W. Mead, associate professor of economics and vice chair of Cal State Fullerton's Planning, Resource and Budget Committee, was honored today (April 17) before his Academic Senate peers with the Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award.

Sean Walker, chair of the Academic Senate, was all smiles as he called Mead to the front of the room to be recognized and to receive — as tradition dictates — an 'official' Academic Senate keychain and recyclable bag.

"He is always very collegial and from a personal perspective, has helped me immensely ever since I joined the senate," said Walker, as the senators applauded Mead, who has served on the faculty governance board since 2006, as well as the senate's Election Committee.

President Mildred García, showing her support, talked about the responsibility of leadership with respect and stressed that Mead has shown respect in his actions with faculty, staff and students, and "with his gift to bring all of them together."

The economist, who joined CSUF in 1998, has served on the University's Strategic Planning Steering, and Planning, Resource and Budget committees — both groups play key roles in University governance, planning and operations. He co-chaired the strategic planning group and chaired PRBC in 2012-13. Mead is currently vice chair of PRBC.

"Bob and I worked together in a unique context where the PRBC voiced commitment to maintaining momentum in strategic planning activities during multiple university administrative transitions," noted Kari A. Knutson Miller, chair and professor of child and adolescent studies, who served as Mead's co-chair on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee. "Bob was a colleague I could depend on."

"He is one of the first faculty members to step forward whenever the department or the college has expressed a need for a seasoned, patient and dedicated person to take on a project," said Anil Puri, dean of Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. "His deliberate, collegial and committed style set an example for others for the task at hand. He always gave the full measure of hard work and time that was required."

"His commitment to university service and collegial governance starts with his firm commitment to be available, first to his students, and then to anyone who may need some advice," wrote department peers Radha Bhattacharya and Andrew Gill, professors of economics. "He is the first person most of us in the department go to with questions about department, college and University policy and procedures. He is always willing to listen and to offer suggestions."

Following the senate meeting, Mead was modest. "Being involved is just something that I do: in the department, in the college, in the University, and in my kid's extra-curricular activities. More importantly, none of the things that I have been given credit for were done by just me: I have always worked with other wonderful members of the campus."

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