College of Science & Engineering Alumni Newsletter

Fall 1999

Bernard Goldstein, A man of Many Talents

    After receiving two degrees (BA ’62 and MA ’64) in biology, from San Francisco State University, Bernard Goldstein went on to get a Ph.D. in Zoology from UC Davis in 1968.  He returned to SFSU in 1969 to teach biology.  In addition to his teaching career at SFSU, Dr. Goldstein has served in a wide variety of positions both within the university and within the California State University system. From 1972-1975, Goldstein was chair of the Department of Physiology and Behavioral Biology. He held the Chairman positions of Academic Senate at SFSU from 1980-1982 and of Statewide Academic Senate for the CSU from 1984-1987. From 1989 to 1991 he was the director Research and Professional Development. Governor Pete Wilson appointed Goldstein for the Faculty Trustee position on the CSU Board of Trustees in 1991. In 1993, he was then re-appointed for second term, which was extended to 1997. He served as president of SFSU’s Alumni Association for two terms from 1995- 1997. Since July 1998, Goldstein has served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Sonoma State University.
    Dr. Goldstein has received a number of honors in appreciation for his involvement and commitment to higher education, including the California State Student Association Trustee of the Year 1996, SFSU Alumni Hall of Fame 1994, SFSU Alumnus of the Year 1986 and in both 1971 and 1975 he was named Outstanding Educator of America.
    Many people recognize Goldstein as founder of the SFSU’s popular ‘Human Sexuality’ biology course, one of the first such courses in the nation. “I always believed during my college days that it would be exciting to have a course that talked about human sexuality for what it really is.” he said. “Not just the biological foundations of it but the feelings that people have, which are equally important – the connection between the emotions and the cognitive ability to evaluate erotic stimuli.”
    For Goldstein, his work in examining the direction and shape of CSU’s future to better serve the people of California was one of the highlights of his distinguished career. Cornerstones, as the plan was called, involved trustees, faculty, students, alumni, staff, administrators and community members making it a most cohesive and consultative planning effort. The last paragraph of the Cornerstones report stated: “Cornerstones is a plan, then, about how we work in support of our students, our state, and the future we share. It calls for both continuity and creativity. We must continue doing what we do superbly well… and push ourselves beyond the most comfortable parts of our traditions.”
    As an expert in his field, Goldstein has been a frequent guest on Bay Area talk shows and has consulted on writings about human reproduction and human biology as well as the connections between sexuality and the emotions.
     Goldstein, who is known for his own pedagogic techniques, said he takes equal pleasure in the classroom - “I’ll tell you. I really miss teaching". Except for learning certain political realities, going from the role of teacher to administrator, has been relatively smooth.  “You use many of the same skills. That’s what I try to tell my students: the most important things are the skills that are transferable from one job to another – communications skills. Everything else is on-the-job training.”
     Of course, Goldstein has had to balance his role as a public person with that of a family man.  His wife, Estelle, has been a consistent support to him in his work to create truly great educational experiences.  Their son, David, has continued the commitment to public service and serves as a deputy public defender for Contra Costa County.

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Updated by Lannie Nguyen-Tang on August 3rd, 2000