Meet Karen

Bowerman-speaking2A proven leader – For over 30 years at Fresno State and Cal State San Bernardino, Karen educated business leaders of tomorrow and served as Dean of the College of Business & Public Administration. Under her leadership at Cal State San Bernardino she artfully combined fiscal conservatism with innovation, exemplified by her College, known for serving wide diversity, being named being named by European CEO Magazine during lean budgetary times one of the “Top 18 Business Schools in the World for Innovation” (video link).  Karen has been an expert witness in dozens of cases for areas such as compensation and wrongful termination. After retirement, she was the top receiver of votes in a field of six in the 2012 election for service as Lake Oswego (Oregon) City Councilor until the family moved across the river to Washington State where they sought a delightful climate, scenic shore, low crime rate, walkability, absence of smog and pollution, a love of the arts and a bountiful agricultural community with amazing horticulture and thriving business.

A mind for business – Karen managed a successful finance company, and provided volunteer mentorship to start-up businesses and those organizations ready for growth through strategic planning. She served as former examiner applying Baldrige National Quality Program criteria for productivity in business, and now provides continuing education on business and leadership for executives.  Her career was focused on the relationship of the educational program to the business community.

A heart for education – Karen has a heart for education from every angle – as a student, professional, and parent. Karen earned her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. She was named from hundreds of students the most “Outstanding Graduate Student for Academics, Research and Service.” She has published textbooks and case materials for teaching business. She was an active parent, assisting classes and co-curricular activities where her children were in school.


Personal — Karen and her husband of 40 years chose to make their home in the Great Northwest. They have one son and three daughters. Always big-dog owners, a tiny malti-poo fits their traveling lifestyle better now. They enjoy hooking up the 5th wheel and heading out, armed with books and laptops.

Career — Dr. Bowerman was named Dean Emeritus at retirement as Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration at California State University, San Bernardino with campuses in Palm Desert and San Bernardino. There is an endowed scholarship in her name for management and public administration students. Karen recently co-authored a textbook entitled The Business of Leadership and during her academic career she authored many case and ancillary materials in human resources management and business management. On the CSU Fresno faculty for many years before moving in administration, she was chair of the Academic Senate and involved in many university governance committees.

Early Career — During the time Karen was working toward the doctorate, she joined the staff of the Governor of Texas as Executive Director to launch a new agency, the Texas Commission on the Status of Women, leading statewide grant programs on work for children within the cycle of family violence.

Beginning a 32 year career in business higher education, Karen received recognitions such as Classroom Excellence, Award for Research and Service, founder of the Family Business Institute and chair of international business reaccreditation. She incorporated some of the first online education into traditional management courses for her students’ early computer literacy. Karen represented the College of Business in exchanges with Uji, Japan through Rotary — experiences that Karen calls life-changing because they led to family home exchanges in future years and emphasis when Dean on international opportunities for students and faculty to study and experience business abroad for purposes of expanding exports and being more aware of cultural diversity.

Undergraduate — At Wichita State University, she interned writing position papers for the Governor of Kansas. She later held a summer position in Washington D.C. in the speech-writing department of then-Department of Health, Education & Welfare. Karen was named the most outstanding graduate in both majors – communication and political science. Karen continued her emphasis on intercollegiate debate, community theater and international studies.

High School
— As an American Field Service exchange student to Turkey and officer in several clubs such as 4-H, debate, French, Future Business Leaders (national winner of public speaking competition) and American Legion Oratorical Winner, Karen worked half-time after school all the while at Kansas Farmer Magazine typing an original plus several carbon copies for print.

Curriculum Vitae is available upon request.