Academic Senate

Report of the Faculty Trustee
Steven Stepanek, Faculty Trustee (Northridge)

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Highlights of the May 20-21, 2014 Board of Trustees Meeting

The Board approved the revised CSU Sustainability Policy. The policy encourages further integration of sustainability issues into the academic curriculum, development of employee and student workforce skills in the green jobs industry, promotion of the development of sustainable products and services, and pursuit of sustainable university practices. Campus self-funded entities will be encouraged to participate in sustainability activities, and each campus will be encouraged to designate a sustainability officer responsible for coordinating campus sustainability efforts. CSU facility greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are to be reduced to at least 1990 levels by 2020. Campus food services are to track their sustainable food purchases according to Real Food Challenge guidelines or the equivalent, and are to strive to increase their sustainable food purchases to 20% of total food budget by 2020. All new building and major renovations are to meet or exceed the minimum requirements of LEED “Silver” and should aim for higher standards of “Gold” or “Platinum” within project budget constraints.

New Campus Projects

Regarding non-state funded capital outlay programs for 2013-2014, the Board approved the following additions: Northridge’s renovation of the first floor of the Satellite Student Union Building for enhanced food services; San Marcos’ installation of Mangrum Track Field lighting and cell tower (AT&T is funding the entire project in exchange for use of the cell tower to be installed on top of one of the new light poles); Sonoma’s renovation of the Commons Building to support the Wine Business Institute; San Diego’s design and construction of Plaza Linda Verde, a mixed-use facility consisting of 659 beds of student housing, retail space and a parking structure; and San Jose’s plans for Campus Village, Phase 2, a facility containing 850 beds.

The Board approved for San Marcos to proceed with the design and construction of the Field House Expansion to provide a multipurpose facility for sports and student activities. Changes to the master plan for San Francisco State were approved to permit the relocation of the proposed Recreation Wellness Center, and the schematic plans for the Center were approved.

After lengthy discussion and extended public comment, the Board approved for San Luis Obispo to proceed with their plans for the Student Housing South Project which will provide 1,475 beds and a 366-space parking structure on the southern edge of the campus, across the street from an elementary school and bordering residential areas. The housing complex will be built on a 12-acre site that is currently a 1,200-space parking lot. The CSU will work with SLO city officials at mitigating area traffic concerns.

The Board approved the issuance of System-wide Revenue Bonds (SRB) to provide capital financing for CSU revenue-generating projects such as student housing, parking, student unions and health centers. In particular, the approval of this bond issuance is to cover the San Jose Campus Village Housing 2 Project, the San Marcos Field House expansion project, and the Chico Foundation request to retire local auxiliary bonds that had been issued to purchase and renovate two office buildings and to build a soccer stadium.

Other Initiatives and Reports

Reports on the progress of the Access to Excellence, reducing bottlenecks, the Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs, Pre-doctoral Program, and Graduation Initiative were given. The progress report on Access to Excellence covered the period from 2011-2013 and focused on the Graduation Initiative, Early Start, SB 1440 compliance, and the Voluntary System of Accountability. This 2011-2013 update was structured similarly to the report covering 2009-2011 (http://www.calstate.edu/AccesstoExcellence/), providing in table format general information on the ongoing projects related to Access to Excellence without formal, measurable outcomes or accompanying assessment data. During the discussion period, I commented that with Access to Excellence now at the five-year mark, it should be possible to identify a small set of overarching outcomes for the entire initiative and to provide data on the achievement levels of those outcomes.

The report on reducing bottlenecks to improve student success focused on the progress towards meeting fall 2017 goals for all campuses to provide all students with e-advising tools; to have made significant progress in hiring new tenure-track faculty to teach significantly more upper-division courses that are specific bottlenecks for completion of major requirements; to have contributed towards CourseMatch (with a catalog of more than 3,000 fully online courses); to work towards significantly improved transfer students’ completion of lower- division requirements at community colleges (SB 1440); to shift to a culture that encourages students to take higher-unit loads to speed time to degree; and, through Early Start, to significantly improve incoming students’ college readiness in math and English. During the discussion period, I asked EVC Ephraim Smith if there were plans to provide campuses with additional FTES so students can take the planned higher-unit loads and his response was that satisfying the unit needs of current students has priority over admitting new students.

The report on the Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs was exciting because the first cohorts of students (28 in the southern consortium and 31 in the northern consortium) will be receiving their DNP degrees this graduation cycle. The Pre-Doctoral Program report identified that 75 scholarships are expected to be awarded this coming academic year by the CSU. The Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to inspire and support current CSU students to pursue Ph.D. training and become members of the CSU professoriate. The report on the Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs was exciting because the first cohorts of students (28 in the southern consortium and 31 in the northern consortium) will be receiving their DNP degrees this graduation cycle. The Pre-Doctoral Program report identified that 75 scholarships are expected to be awarded this coming academic year by the CSU. The Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to inspire and support current CSU students to pursue Ph.D. training and become members of the CSU professoriate.

A report on the state of higher education in California, “Opportunities for Policy and Institutional Change from the Campaign for College Opportunity”, scheduled for the May BOT meeting was postponed until the July meeting.

During the ASCSU report, ASCSU Chair Diana Guerin introduced the incoming ASCSU chair, Steven Filling, and vice chair, Christine Miller, both who were in attendance. Guerin asked the Board to save the dates of Nov 13-14 for “The Academic Conference and Retreat 2014.”  She reviewed recent ASCSU resolutions on unit-limit exception requests, the creation of CSU discipline councils and the designation of course modalities. She reminded the Board of the outstanding ASCSU request for the formation of a task force to assess the role of campus student success fees and the need for measured outcomes on eight identified strategic goals of Access to Excellence.

During the CSSA report, CSSA Chair Sarah Couch was applauded for both CSSA’s and her personal involvement with the “I Stand with the CSU” outreach initiative for state legislative support of additional funding for the CSU.

The Chancellor’s report focused on: thanking departing trustees Bob Linscheid and Cipriano Vargas (voting student trustee) for their service on the board, the Humboldt bus accident and pending campus impaction requests from Monterey Bay, Fresno, and Sacramento.

Towards the end of the Board meeting, Trustee Bob Linscheid was recognized for his dedication to the CSU and leadership as Board Chair as he steps down from being on the Board. Following his recognition, the election occurred for the new Board Chair Lou Monville, and Vice Chair Rebecca Eisen, and the standing committee assignments for 2014-2015 were approved.  For 2014-2015, I will be chairing the committee on Organization and Rules and serving on the following standing committees: Educational Policy, Institutional Advancement, Governmental Relations, and Campus Planning, Buildings.