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President Milton A. Gordon and previous recipients of the Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award congratulate this year's recipient, Keith Boyum. Pictured, from left, are 2004-05 honoree Jane V. Hall, Gordon, Boyum, Diana Guerin (2008-09), Sandra Sutphen (2003-04), J. Vincent Buck (1999-00) and John W. Bedell (2006-07). Photo by Karen Tapia

Significant Contributions

Keith Boyum Honored With Faculty Leadership Award

May 25, 2010

By Pamela McLaren

Keith Boyum, emeritus professor of political science, is a proven force, whether it’s leading a class or town hall discussion, or chairing a department, division or faculty advisory board.

Even in retirement, he still serves. This year, Boyum co-chaired Cal State Fullerton’s Task Force on the Irvine Campus, which was charged to study the mission and goals of the California State University’s largest branch campus.

It is for all these things and more that the veteran campus member has been named this year’s recipient of the Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award, which recognizes faculty members who have made significant contributions to collegial governance and the mission of the CSU.

Members of the university’s Academic Senate gave Boyum a standing ovation Thursday when President Milton A. Gordon announced his name. “Not only is your record of accomplishments in the area of teaching, research and service to your profession, Cal State Fullerton and the CSU outstanding, but through your leadership, you have advanced the principles of shared governance and promoted consensus building through collegiality. You have made, and are continuing to make, a lasting impact on our university and the CSU.”

“I’m flattered by your words,” said Boyum, who joked that he was “like bad pennies — always returning. “Faculty leadership in governance is indispensible,” he stressed. “I have seen that as a faculty member, as an associate vice president and as an associate vice chancellor in the Chancellor’s Office. It is the Fullerton Way.…”

Boyum says simply that his career has followed “a classical pattern in which one, at an early stage, listens, learns from senior colleagues and seeks to contribute; at a subsequent stage, moves to faculty leadership; and when a senior professor, is open to taking a turn at administrative leadership.”

After joining the university in 1972, Boyum first stepped into a leadership position by saying ‘yes’ to a senior colleague’s request to serve on the Political Science Executive Committee in 1973.

At another colleague’s urging, he ran for and was elected to the Faculty Council — now the Academic Senate — in 1974, re-elected 1976 and 1982. In all, he has served more than 25 years, including two terms as chair and 11 years as a member of the statewide Academic Senate.

The political scientist also took on other leadership positions. He was named acting associate vice president for academic programs and dean of graduate studies in 1982, followed by three years as chair of the Division of Political Science and Criminal Justice. In 2000, he was named associate vice president for academic programs.

For a number of years, Boyum also served as director of the Center for Public Policy, which conducted a quarterly survey about public issues in partnership with the Orange County Business Council. He also spent a decade as coordinator of the university’s Education Policy Fellowship Program.

His efforts in and out of the classroom earned him the 1993-94 Outstanding Professor Award, in recognition of outstanding achievement in teaching, scholarship and service. Boyum also was honored in 1994 with the Warren E. Burger Award for contributions to the improvement of the administration of the nation’s court systems, and in 1995, with the National Leadership Award from the Institute for Educational Leadership.

In 2004, he went to the CSU Chancellor’s Office to be associate vice chancellor of academic affairs, a position he held for four years. In addition to his work on campus, Boyum served as a member of the statewide advisory council for the Center for California Studies and the policy board of the Lutheran Office of Public Policy-California, as well as a consultant to Consolidated Trial Courts of Orange County and Judicial Council of California.

The Irvine resident has authored five books and served as editor-in-chief of the Justice System Journal. His master’s degree and doctorate are from the University of Minnesota.

Previous Honorees

The Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award was instituted in 1998-99. It’s inaugural recipient was Harvey Grody, emeritus professor of political science.

  • 2008-09 Diana Guerin, professor of child and adolescent studies
  • 2007-08 Albert Flores, professor of philosophy
  • 2006-07 John W. (Jack) Bedell, emeritus professor of sociology
  • 2005-06 Lee Gilbert, emeritus professor of modern languages and literatures
  • 2004-05 Jane V. Hall, professor of economics
  • 2003-04 Sandra Sutphen, emerita professor of political science
  • 2002-03 John A. Olmsted, emeritus professor of chemistry and biochemistry
  • 2001-02 Barry Pasternack, chair and professor of information systems and decision sciences
  • 2000-01 Joan V. Greenwood, emerita professor of English and Comparative Literature
  • 1999-00 J. Vincent Buck, emeritus professor of political science
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