California State University, Northridge will confer an honorary doctor of laws degree on business executive and former U.S. Census Bureau Director Vincent Barabba during the university’s commencement ceremonies next month.
Barabba, chairman and founder of Market Insight Corp., will receive the degree Thursday, May 24, at the commencement ceremony for the College of Business and Economics.
“Cal State Northridge is proud to honor Vincent Barabba with an honorary degree,” said Interim President Harry Hellenbrand. “His professional achievements and career have successfully bridged both the public and private sectors. He demonstrates for students that success in private business is compatible with the honorable call of public service. In both worlds, he has led with integrity and by example.”
Barabba, who graduated from what was then known as San Fernando Valley State College in 1962 with a bachelor’s in marketing, said he was grateful to receive the degree from his alma matter.
“The learning experiences and the actions in which I participated while at CSUN contributed to my ability to play a part in a wide range of rewarding activities over the last 50 years,” Barabba said. “The recognition associated with this honorary degree for what was accomplished following those experiences and actions is greater than the totality of all the previous acknowledgements. It is deeply appreciated.”
Barabba, who has an MBA from UCLA, began a career that focused on the needs of the public sector. He founded a firm that provided electoral information to political campaigns from city hall to the presidency. Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford appointed him director of the U.S. Census Bureau in 1973 and 1974. President Jimmy Carter reappointed him as director in 1979, making Barabba the only person to receive this honor from presidents of different political parties. In 1983, he was appointed the United States Representative on the Population Commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and President George H.W. Bush in 1989.
Barabba’s recent public service includes being a member of the California Citizens’ Redistricting Commission and serving as chairman of The State of the USA, a prominent non-profit organization dedicated to helping the American people assess the nation’s progress based on unbiased information.
As a business leader, Barabba has held executive positions at Xerox, Eastman Kodak and General Motors. He has led or helped lead numerous nationally distinguished professional and academic organizations and has authored five books, published by Oxford University Press, Harvard Business School Press and Triarchy Press.
Barabba is a member of the Board of Directors of the California State University, Northridge Foundation and CSUN’s Ad Hoc Committee on Athletics Engagement, and was co-chair of the university’s 2010 Founders Day celebration. He was a recipient of a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003.
California State University, Northridge has more than 34,000 full- and part-time students and offers 66 bachelor’s and 53 master’s degrees as well as 28 teaching credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university is home to dozens of nationally recognized programs where students gain valuable hands-on experience working alongside faculty and industry professionals in the sciences, health care and engineering, education, political science, the arts and the social sciences. While regionally focused, the university’s faculty and administrators recognize the important role its students and alumni play in shaping the future of the state and the nation.