May 13, 2005 

Contact: Jennifer Whitty
Public Relations
(707) 654-1720

Dr. Michael Bittner Named Dean of Sponsored Projects and Extended Learning



VALLEJO, Calif., May 13, 2005 — The California Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime), a campus of The California State University, announced today it has appointed Dr. Michael Bittner to the position of Sponsored Projects and Extended Learning Dean (SPEL Dean).  As SPEL Dean, a new position for the campus, Bittner will be responsible for developing, maintaining and enhancing a coordinated and seamlessly related approach to sponsored projects (e.g. grants, contracts, and interagency agreements), continuing education (e.g. license renewal, general and professional courses, and open enrollment), and related aspects of professional development for faculty and other academic administrators. 

Bittner — who is currently the executive director of the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center in Seattle, the West’s only contemporary interactive maritime museum — brings more than 14 years of experience developing and leading educational organizations.  He will begin his duties as SPEL Dean at Cal Maritime on July 1.

At the helm of Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center, Bittner revamped almost every aspect of museum’s operations, including streamlining operations, refocusing programming, opening new exhibits, and reinvigorating the nature of the museum.  Bittner and Odyssey Chairman Stanley H. Barer worked with U.S. Sen. Patty Murray to secure a $3 million federal appropriation for Odyssey.  Bittner also secured additional funding from The Glaser Foundation, The Norcliffe Foundation, The Seattle Foundation, and The Nesholm Foundation. 

“In my position at Odyssey, I’ve had the honor of visiting the Cal Maritime campus and meeting with its faculty members and administration on many occasions. Because we share a common educational mission, those initial meetings led to a collaborative relationship between the two organizations,” said Bittner.  “I’m looking forward to expanding our shared interests and realizing new opportunities with the Cal Maritime team as I help lead the development of an entrepreneurial and seamlessly related approach to sponsored projects, continuing education, and professional development for the faculty and academic leadership.”

Prior to Odyssey, Bittner spent more than a decade in various leadership and research positions at the University of Washington’s College of Education, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.

“Michael’s demonstrated success with innovative and entrepreneurial educational undertakings promises to expand Cal Maritime’s portfolio of continuing education and sponsored projects,” said Dr. Don Zingale, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Cal Maritime.  “We welcome his enthusiasm and broad based knowledge of the industries we serve.”

Dr. Bittner is a member of the American Association of Museums, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, National Center for Nonprofit Boards, National Council for the Social Studies, National Council of University Research Administrators, Navy League, Propeller Club, and Western Museum Association.

Dr. Bittner earned a Ph.D. in education; a graduate school certificate in global trade, transportation, and logistics; and a master’s degree in education from the University of Washington. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boise State University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Bittner is a past recipient of Apple Computer New Connection, Canadian Embassy and U.S. Department of Education Title VI grants.

About Cal Maritime

Cal Maritime, a campus of The California State University, is one of only seven degree-granting maritime academies in the United States, and the only one on the West Coast.  Tucked away in San Pablo Bay’s Morrow Cove in Vallejo, Calif., Cal Maritime offers students four-year degrees in business administration, facilities engineering technology, global studies and maritime affairs, marine engineering technology, marine transportation, and mechanical engineering.  A program of intellectual learning, applied technology, leadership development, and global awareness prepares graduates for positions of significant responsibility in the areas of international business and logistics, maritime policy, engineering, technology, or in the maritime and transportation industries. For more information about Cal Maritime, visit

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