Beth A. Steffel, an associate professor of design in the Cal State San Bernardino Department of Art & Design in the College of Arts & Letters, is the first and only CSUSB faculty member to chair the statewide Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU).

“It is an honor to be the first CSUSB faculty member to lead the statewide senate, but it’s extra special to lead during the 60th anniversary of the ASCSU,” said Steffel. “Reflecting back on my first year in this leadership position, it’s been a difficult year in the CSU. However, in this time of change and challenge, it’s a unique opportunity to shape the future and bend the arc of our actions and outcomes towards good. There have been many notable accomplishments and experiences so far, but a highlight of this year is recently testifying to the California Legislature at the Assembly Higher Education Committee.”

Steffel, who joined CSUSB in September 2007, has served on the ASCSU in various capacities for 10 years, including as vice chair, secretary, executive committee member, vice chair of the Fiscal and Governmental Affairs Committee, and ASCSU Senator. Steffel has also served on a number of ASCSU standing committees including liaison to or member of the Academic Preparation and Educational Programs, Faculty Affairs, and Fiscal and Governmental Affairs.

At CSUSB, Steffel also served as Faculty Senate chair for three years, and has been serving on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for 11 years and as a faculty senator for 12 years.

Founded in 1963, the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) is the official voice of the faculty in matters of systemwide concern. It provides the means for faculty to participate in the collegial form of governance based on historic academic traditions as recognized by California law. The ASCSU consists of 53 faculty members elected by their colleagues at the 23 individual universities comprising the California State University system.​ 

The executive committee of the ASCSU, led by the senate chair, organizes the activities of the academic senate and is principally responsible for representing the Academic Senate in its dealings with many groups, including the board of trustees, the chancellor and chancellor’s office staff, the California State Student Association, the CSU Alumni Council, statewide policymakers, and the public.