Campus, News

New chief of staff looks forward to working with the university LGBTQ+ community

Christopher Fowler, a lawyer for more than 20 years, was chosen as the new chief of staff to President Jane Close Conoley on Nov. 15.

“I just saw this as an opportunity for me to get more deeply involved in the campus work,” Fowler said. “I want to continue the good work that [Neal Schnoor and Mark Wiley] had been doing before I got here.”

Wiley served as interim chief of staff since last July after Schnoor accepted the president position at Northern University in South Dakota. Wiley will retire now that Long Beach State has an official replacement.

The day he was offered the chief of staff position, Fowler said he felt a mix of excitement and fear in trying a new job.

With his background in law, Fowler has been involved with the CSU system as a litigator since 2010 and was assigned to be campus counsel for CSULB for the last two years.

He said he will use his background in law as a guide to assist and support President Conoley’s goals and campus vision. This opportunity will provide him a prominent role at the college, he said, with having more say in the decision-making process.

Fowler said he is honored to work with President Conoley again, having worked at Sacramento State together.

“It’s a terrific honor. I think she’s an amazing leader,” Fowler said. “Her vision is also easy to jump on board with.”

Fowler is also a Long Beach resident and member of the LGBTQ+ community. He feels the city and campus are a very accepting place for both him and his 12-year-old son. Proud of his sexual orientation, Fowler wears a rainbow-gauged plug in his left ear, something he’s had before he started law school.

Fowler said he is excited for the chance to become involved with the LGBTQ+ community on campus, something he couldn’t do as university counsel.

“I would love to serve in any way I can, working with the queer community, students, faculty and staff on this campus,” Fowler said. “I went through all of it, so I’m happy to share my experiences in whatever way I can.”

While advocating for the LGBTQ+ community, Fowler has high hopes for the future. He looks forward to promoting Conoley’s Equity and Change Commission, which focuses on diversity and the Beach 2030 efforts.

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