Cal State San Bernardino President Emeritus Al Karnig passed away earlier today, according to university spokesperson Joe Gutierrez.
Karnig, 75, led CSUSB from 1997 to 2012–helping the university achieve records in enrollment, improve the diversity of faculty and students, develop active research and service centers, and serve on various local and statewide government board, according to his biography on the university website.
CSUSB President Tomas Morales said Karnig’s passing, “is a devastating loss for the entire CSUSB family, the greater community as well as those who knew and worked alongside him.”
“In this time of grief, please join me in remembering his wife, Marilyn, their children and grandchildren in our thoughts and prayers during this time of loss,” Morales expressed in an email sent to faculty and students. “I will share more information on services when they become available.”
Karnig earned his Ph. D at the University of Illinois in political science. Before serving at CSUSB he was Provost at the University of Wyoming and held a Vice-president position at Arizona State University. At the time of his passing, he was a board member for Ashford University.
Faculty and staff at the university remember Karnig as a person who brought community support, put the needs of students first, and prioritized student success.
“At commencements it was important to him to take the time to connect with each graduate with a handshake, a pat on the shoulder, or a question or word of encouragement,” said Dr. Fred Jandt, a Communications Professor at the university. “His impact on their lives, on the campus, and on the Inland Empire communities is a lasting treasure.”
Professor Ahlam Muhtaseb agrees that Karnig left behind a great legacy.
“President Karnig was a model president who respected faculty, students, and staff,” Muhtaseb said. “My deepest sympathies go out to Marilyn and their children and grandchildren.”