President Jane Close Conoley announced Tuesday afternoon that Beth Lesen from Sacramento State University has been chosen to be Long Beach State’s new vice president of student affairs.
“I am honored and excited to be joining the Cal State Long Beach community,” Lesen said. “I’ve admired the campus for years as one of the strongest public universities around and can’t wait to become part of the team.”
Mary Ann Takemoto, who was running against Lesen, had been serving as interim director since 2018.
“I look forward to working with Dr. Lesen,” Conoley said in an email. “She brings both breadth and depth of experience across the student affairs portfolio, a strategic and future-oriented vision, a passionate voice for student access, support and success, and demonstrated record of working collaboratively and effectively with faculty, staff, students and community members.”
Lesen is best known for her work with disabled students and Latinx populations on campus.
“Among Dr. Lesen’s notable achievements at Sacramento State are oversight of the planning and construction of a new $54 million, 420-bed residence hall and a new ADA appropriate campus Testing Center,” Conoley said. “Dr. Lesen created the University Behavioral Intervention Team, and originated an award-winning campus basic needs program.”
During her open forum that she held with CSULB students, Lesen shared her plans if elected. At the forum, she said her focus would be on making sure recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals felt safe on campus and fight for better accessibility for disabled students.
“My goal is to come here and find out from all of you and your peers, what is missing, what do you need that you don’t have, and let’s see how we can meet those needs effectively as [an] institution,” Lesen said.
The newly appointed VP will begin her role in July.