Carl Kemnitz of San Jose State will become CSU San Marcos provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
Carl Kemnitz of San Jose State will become CSU San Marcos provost and vice president for academic affairs. Photo via CSUSM

Carl Kemnitz has been named Cal State San Marcos’ next provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective July 1. He comes from San Jose State University, where he held similar roles.

“I am thrilled and grateful to be joining such an extraordinary campus community where everyone is so passionate and committed to student success,” said Kemnitz, who replaced interim provost Ranjeeta Basu. “I can’t wait to begin working with the entire campus community and help CSUSM emerge from these challenging times stronger than ever.”

Kemnitz, 51, also succeeds Graham Oberem, reported to have been involved in a spending scandal — approving $110 steaks, chauffeured limousine rides and $500-a-night resort stays, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Oberem retired last June.

“Dr. Kemnitz strongly believes in the teacher-scholar model, is a strong faculty advocate and is driven by the success of students,” said CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt.

“He joins me as a champion for shared governance, innovation, diversity and inclusive excellence. He will be a true advocate for our students, our faculty and our staff, not only internally but externally with our community partners, leaders and donors.”

As provost, the school said, Kemnitz will be responsible for ensuring the integrity and excellence of Academic Affairs while overseeing the deans of the university as well as the division’s academic associate vice presidents and the vice provost. He’ll be paid $270,000 a year.

At San Jose State, Kemnitz has served as senior vice provost for Academic Affairs since 2015 — responsible for an academic budget of $300 million and for the recruitment, retention and development of faculty, department chairs and staff.

Among Kemnitz’s accomplishments was helping to establish a plan called Four Pillars of Student Success, which resulted in a 15-point increase in graduation rates at the university.

Before joining San Jose State, Kemnitz served in a variety of faculty and administrative roles at Cal State Bakersfield, including associate vice president for Academic Programs, dean of Undergraduate Studies, dean of Graduate Studies, associate dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, chair of the Department of Chemistry, and director for several successful STEM diversity programs.

Kemnitz has a bachelor’s in chemistry from Occidental College and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Washington.

Updated at 1:20 a.m. April 16, 2020