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Para Named Provost, Senior VP of Academic Affairs at CSULB

Published: May 17, 2010

Donald Para has accepted the position of provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at CSULB. The position was offered by F. King Alexander, CSULB president, after Para spent nearly a year as the interim provost.

“During the past year I have found Don Para to be sincerely dedicated to the well-being and advancement of our university and fully capable of providing the academic leadership that Cal State Long Beach needs at this time, “ Alexander said. “I am delighted that an individual with extensive experience as a faculty member and as a university administrator, as well as long ties to the university, will serve in this important role on our campus.”

Para has served at CSULB since 1988 when he arrived as chair of the Department of Music, which he led for 12 years before being named associate dean of the College of the Arts in 2000 and dean of the college one year later. He was named interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs when Karen Gould, the former provost, left CSULB to accept the presidency at Brooklyn College in New York.

“I am honored and humbled that President Alexander has offered me the opportunity to serve as provost at the university that has been my home for 22 years,” Para said. “Cal State Long Beach is a great public university that places student success as a hallmark. For our students, graduating from CSULB is a life-changing experience which greatly expands the opportunities each has in life. This happens because the university has a talented and dedicated faculty, supported by an equally dedicated staff, and excellent administrative leadership who all make student success a personal priority.

“The CSU is one of the best educational bargains in the country,” Para continued. “In these challenging economic times for all of us, that reality is severely threatened. We must work together to be able to provide affordable and accessible quality higher education. CSULB is fortunate to have a partnership with the great city of Long Beach and its leaders, as well as our alumni and friends who support this campus in our mission.”

During his tenure as dean of one of the nation’s largest colleges of the arts, college accomplishments included the establishment of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, development of a joint master of fine arts/master of business administration degree, the raising of more than $30 million in donations and the establishment of numerous community partnerships within the Long Beach area to expand and support the arts.

Don Para
Photo by David J. Nelson
Don Para

Prior to coming to CSULB, Para spent two years as chair of the Department of Music at California State University, Los Angeles and was a member of the music faculty at the Western Michigan University School of Music, where he also served as assistant director for six years. In addition to his work as a university faculty member and administrator, Para has written music compositions ranging from chamber music to large ensembles and from chamber opera to electronic music that have been performed in numerous venues, including Carnegie Recital Hall. He also served as a visiting evaluator as well as chair of the western region of the National Association of Schools of Music, the national accrediting body for college and university music programs.

Para holds a bachelor’s of music degree in music education from Western Michigan University, where he also earned a master’s degree in music composition. He was awarded a Ph.D. in music composition from Michigan State University.

–Toni Beron