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Cal State L.A. President-Designate Covino Earns National Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement

Paul Browning

California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) President-Designate William A. Covino was named the recipient of the William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement. The award is given by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) in recognition of exemplary leadership in advancing civic learning through a variety of programs and activities.
On May 22, the California State University Board of Trustees named Covino the next president at CSULA. Covino will begin his new position on Sept. 1. He has been provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Fresno State since 2009.
“Among an impressive group of finalists for the William M. Plater Award, Provost William Covino stood out,” said George Mehaffy, AASCU’s vice president for academic leadership and change. “He has an amazing vision for the role of the university in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens.
“I was impressed with how comprehensive civic engagement is at Fresno State. Bill’s leadership connected his campus to all corners of his community, improving the educational outcomes at Fresno State and enriching the community it serves,” Mehaffy said.
Under Covino’s leadership, the Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning helped volunteer service by Fresno State students, faculty, staff and administrators exceed 1 million hours for three straight years. Service hours totaled 1,129,004 in the 2011-2012 academic year. The volunteer work was done by 16,405 people, including 16,258 of approximately 21,000 students at Fresno State.
According to philanthropic standards, the estimated economic impact of Fresno State’s community service was greater than $28.5 million in the past year.
“This is a great recognition of the commitment of so many at Fresno State to creating a true and lasting university-community partnership, and to the ethic of engagement, service and citizenship that is so deeply held by our faculty, staff and students,” Covino said of the award.
The Plater Award was established in 2006 in appreciation for the leadership of Plater, who served as chief academic officer of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) from 1987 through 2006.

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