Welcome to the Spring 2017 semester. “News from the Provost” continues to provide you with information about current happenings within the Division of Academic Affairs.
Welcome to spring 2017.
In her remarks at the spring Academic Affairs meeting, President Beck mentioned the need for prioritization to permit CI to identify and focus on the most important initiatives and activities for the campus. She described the recently created Strategic Initiatives Steering Committee that will guide this process. In the coming semester the steering committee will help identify what ideas and values should guide this process; they will also seek input from the campus on what potential initiatives and areas should be examined.
Student Success and the 2025 graduation initiative will be one of the initiatives that is the focus of this effort. To more strategically focus resources, CI must submit a campus plan to the Chancellor later this semester. A committee that includes faculty, student and staff representatives from across the campus has been created to craft the campus plan and help set priorities related to student success and will begin its work in the next several weeks.
CI has many great activities that promote student success – unfortunately they have not always been part of a comprehensive and consistent plan. A key part of the 2025 committee’s work will include examining a range of issues associated with student success as they create a plan. There will be discussion about more intentional and coordinated support services, including examination of resources that are most beneficial to students so we can better focus resource allocation. There is also a need to identify campus policies and practices that are obstacles instead of aids to student success. In addition, there is a need to look for ways to provide more opportunities for students, including expansion of summer session.
CI will continue to look for ways to work with K-12 to improve student preparation. CI receives students with less preparation than most CSU campuses but still graduates students at a higher rate. While it is a long term proposition, improving preparation of K-12 students will have significant benefits for our students and CI as an institution.
It is important to note that none of the items to promote student success involve compromising academic quality or standards. We need to remember that, for many students, attending CI represents a significant financial and personal sacrifice and taking additional time to graduate increases that cost (or debt) - can determine whether they finish at all. The campus graduation goals are ambitious. However, even if we achieve a 40% four-year freshman grad rate we will still have 60% of our students taking longer than four years to graduate.
Being told to address the graduation rate by the state may not be ideal, but this does not change the fact that, for a significant group of our students, allowing them to graduate in a timely manner is the right thing to do. I urge you to participate and provide feedback so that our campus plan meets the needs of our students. CI is well positioned to be a leader in the CSU and can show the way for other campuses in this important effort.
Another topic of critical importance to CI relates to our campus climate. Looking back on the last semester it is difficult to articulate where we are right now. There are many currents swirling around both within and outside our campus. There are many reasons to be hopeful as well as very concerned. We are at a time when some are expressing hope and optimism while many others experience disappointment and uncertainty. Hostility from the political campaigns of the fall spilled out in ways that were directed at individuals and whole groups of people. Events in the larger community have been mirrored at CI where some of our students and colleagues have been subjected to ugly messages filled with anger and hate.
This spring we will continue to struggle with how to promote a supportive environment for everyone in our campus community while maintaining the basic rights that allow for both the voices of protest against injustice and inequality, as well as voices we with which we may profoundly disagree. There is no easy answer to this dilemma and we need to struggle to find our way forward together. We need to continue to guarantee the free exchange of ideas on our campus, including those we disagree with. With assistance from the CSU Office of General Counsel we will again offer workshops on the First amendment for faculty and staff this spring – please watch for announcements for details.
It is important that we not say that this is only a problem for our colleagues in social sciences. This is too important to leave anyone out of the conversation, we all need to struggle with this issue. The discussion is appropriate and relevant for every discipline; both in our courses and often within our disciplines themselves. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet or easy solution. We will face more instances of incivility and intolerance in the future. When we do we will need to counter ugly speech with more speech. We will need to shine a brighter light on those dark places. In those times it is critical to support each other and to ask each other for help when we need it.
As each one of us struggles with this we can take steps to prepare. In the classroom, make sure that your syllabus includes expectations for classroom conduct and conversations and reinforce those expectations at your first class meeting. In our daily interactions with students and colleagues, we can model the kind of community that we intend and expect for CI.
We have great faculty and staff at CI. Despite the challenges ahead I look forward to the semester and am excited for what we can accomplish together.
Dan Wakelee, Interim Provost
Changes in Organization
In her message on January 6, 2017, President Beck announced some changes within the University organization that included the reallocation of some staff to better support the campus’ strategic priorities.
In Academic Affairs these changes mean that Melissa Remotti & Meagan Chiaramonte, who have worked on partnerships with regional educational and community partners for years, moved from the President’s to provide better integration with the work of academic programs. This will support campus efforts to improve the preparation of students in local K-12 schools and support work of the 2025 Graduation Initiative committee. Phil Hampton will lead the work of this group.
The area of Communication & Marketing, led by Nancy Gill, will be transitioned into University Advancement. Communication & Marketing staff currently housed in Solano Hall will physically move over to University Hall within the next couple of weeks. The Communication & Marketing team will continue to work closely with prospective student communication professionals from Admissions & Recruitment as well as staff from Extended University. As part of the restructuring, two communication professionals from Student Affairs, Dani Kwan, Graphic Designer, and a vacant position, will report to Communication & Marketing and will continue to support Student Affairs. These positions will continue to be housed within the Bell Tower along with Student Affairs professionals. Through a resource reallocation, a Communication Specialist, Pamela Dean, has been hired as a member of the Communication & Marketing team to assist the President with various writing assignments and communication. Pam’s office is located in University Hall with the President’s Office staff.
To create more efficiencies with staffing and resources to service campus events (both internal and external), staff from Conferences & Events will be restructured within University Advancement, including Jon “JB” Brooks and DeShawnna Chiles, who support campus events and were formerly part of Technology & Communication. The transition will enable Advancement contacts and relationships to increase opportunities for revenue generation, philanthropy, and private/public partnerships. Conference & Events staff will move to University Hall after Commencement. Alissa Blough will serve as Interim Director of University Events & Special Programs to manage, facilitate and secure significant opportunities for partnership with and philanthropy in support of the University and to provide oversight for the University’s conferences and events services.
As a result of the restructuring and through resource reallocation, a Senior Director of University Development will be hired to implement and oversee the operations for fundraising and alumni programs. An Executive Administrative Assistant will be hired to support the Division of University Advancement and the Vice President for University Advancement, the Foundation Board, and other high level projects.
Update on New Faculty Hires and Searches
Rachel Soper – joins CI this spring as a new tenure track faculty member in Sociology.
Lynette Landry – currently Dean of Nursing at Hawaii Pacific University, will join CI in the coming academic year as Chair of the Nursing and Health Science program.
School of Education Dean search – a scoping meeting will take place Wednesday, January 25th.
Tenure track searches – searches are continuing for 19 additional tenure track positions.On-campus interviews take place in three groups beginning February 3rd and continuing on February 10th and 17th.
Arts & Sciences – Within Academic Affairs the three primary units providing formal instruction are the School of Education, the Martin V Smith School of Business and Economics, and Arts & Sciences.Arts & Sciences will now be formally known as the School of Arts & Sciences.This name reflects the function of Arts & Sciences and does not negate the need for additional conversation about it’s structure in the coming year.
2017 New Staff
Ramon Chavez, SSP I
Meagan Chiaramonte, Project Specialist
Stephanie Cruz, Admin Support Coordinator
Dedreiana Elliott, Admin Support Assistant
Adriana Fernandez, Admin Analyst/Specialist
Martin Garcia, Admin Support Assistant
Ashley Garcia, SSP II
Ines Hernandez, Admin Support Assistant
Sebastian Lopez, Student Personnel Technician
Maria Magaña, Admin Support Assistant
Michaela Miller, Admin Support Coordinator
Jessica Nicks, SSP IV
Beatriz Ortiz, Admin Support Coordinator
Melissa Remotti, Director of Operations and Special Projects
Anna Tovar, Academic Support Coordinator
Bruno Wilroy, Admin Support Assistant
Casey Yarborough, SSP I
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