Lynnette Zelezny, Ph.D.

Nominations & Governance Committee

Former president
California State University Bakersfield
Bakersfield, California

“I have devoted my career to expanding the promise and hope of higher education for all students, particularly those who never dreamed they would be welcome on a university campus. I am honored to serve on the board of directors of H.E.R.S. to collaborate with extraordinary leaders committed to creating and sustaining a diverse network for women in higher education.”

Lynnette Zelezny retired in December 2023 from her role as president of California State University, Bakersfield. She was the first woman to serve in the role, which she began in July 2018.

President Zelezny has devoted her entire professional life – at Fresno State and CSU Bakersfield – working to raise the educational level of students throughout California’s Central Valley and developing graduates who turn into leaders, decision makers and contributors to communities in the region.

President Zelezny was the fifth president of CSU Bakersfield, a role she took on after serving for three decades at Fresno State. She served as the provost and vice president of academic affairs for Fresno State – the University’s chief academic officer – from 2014 until her appointment as President of CSU Bakersfield.

Dr. Zelezny has served as a visiting professor at the University of Stockholm in Sweden, an American Council of Education Fellow at Towson University in Maryland, and as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany.

She was a nominee for the U.S. Professor of the Year awarded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. An applied social psychologist, Dr. Zelezny has published research related to the environment, health, leadership and student success for underrepresented students.

A product of the CSU, Zelezny earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology from Humboldt State University, a Ph.D. in applied social psychology from Claremont Graduate University and an M.B.A. with distinction from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. She has also earned professional certificates in management from Harvard University and in executive leadership from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.