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8/9/2022 9:08 AMRuble, Alisia8/9/20228/9/2022 9:00 AMCal Poly Humboldt recently made the switch. Here's what that means.STEMStory

WHAT IS A Polytechnic UNIVERSITY?

Cal Poly Humboldt recently made the switch. Here's what that means.

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“The polytechnic designation defines what we’ve been doing here in Humboldt for years for prospective students, their families and for employers.”
–Jenn Capps, Ph.D., Cal Poly Humboldt Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs


Recognizing the impact of the California State University on the state's economy and workforce, California Governor Gavin Newsom made a significant investment of $458 million in his 2021-22 state budget to help propel Humboldt State University's transition to become a polytechnic university. The funding will enable California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt to add new academic programs that will help fill workforce gaps, modernize existing facilities and build new infrastructure​ and increase access for the state's students seeking science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees. 

“As the CSU's third polytechnic university and the first in Northern California, Cal Poly Humboldt is a point of pride that will expand in-demand STEM opportunities for students across the state and help revitalize North Coast communities," Governor Newsom said in a press release.

Polytechnic Defined

A focus on applied learning is what sets a polytechnic university apart from a traditional university. Also known as experiential learning, it combines the in-depth study found at universities with practical, technology-based skills training. Polytechnic institutions specialize in STEM courses, providing students with hands-on learning and educational experiences in addition to a strong liberal arts foundation.

"There is a big focus on providing students with applied learning experiences that help them further their careers after graduation and connect them with potential employers," says Eileen Cashman, Ph.D., Cal Poly Humboldt environmental resources engineering professor and department chair.

Western Snowy Plover on beach. Students work at Cal Poly Humboldt's aquaculture facility under Fisheries Biology Professor Rafael Cuevas Uribe, Ph.D.

​"Part of our mission at the CSU is to help prepare students to serve California's workforce needs, so the benefits of this transition are two​fold."
–Eileen Cashman, Ph.D., Environmental Resources Engineering Professor and Department Chair


Why Humboldt?

As of 2020, Humboldt State had the highest percentage of science and natural resource majors in the CSU and the third highes​t percen​tage of STEM majors overall, only behind California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. It also boasted the highest percentage of STEM students in the CSU who go on to earn doctoral degrees.

The campus is already home to innovative research facilities that address sustainability​ issues and other challenges the state faces, including the Schatz Energy Research Center, the Fire Resilience Institute​​​​, the Telonicher Marine Laboratory and Coral SeaHumboldt's marine research vessel.

"The polytechnic designation defines what we've been doing here in Humboldt for years for prospective students, their families and for employers," says Jenn Capps, Ph.D., Cal Poly Humboldt provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.

Western Snowy Plover on beach. Cal Poly Humboldt students use seine nets to identify fish during a fisheries biology course in Trinidad, California.

Talks about Humboldt State transitioning to a polytechnic institution began informally in fall 2020 between CSU Chancellor Emeritus Timothy White, former CSU Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Loren Blanchard and Cal Poly Humboldt President Tom Jackson Jr. and resulted in Humboldt State receiving a formal invitation from the CSU Chancellor's Office to do a self-study.

The university then held open forums and planning sessions that involved hundreds of faculty, students, staff, alumni, legislators and community members to gather feedback from stakeholders. The study helped identify the campus’s strengths and weaknesses, determined the viability of becoming a polytechnic institution and informed a prospe​ctus that eventually led to formal action by the CSU Board of Trustees​ in January 2022 to approve the designation.

New Academic Programs

To meet polytechnic criteria set by the CSU Chancellor's Office, Cal Poly Humboldt must offer at least three undergraduate majors in each of the critical STEM areas: applied sciences, engineering, sciences and technology. While the campus already had plenty of existing applied sciences and sciences programs, it only offered one engineering program and one technology program. 

Dr. Cashman, who co-led the initial self-study on academic studies, says the university considered student demand, connection to the workforce and the ability to leverage the region's unique strengths and address challenges it faces—like climate change, resiliency and environmental and social justice issueswhen proposing new programs.

The campus ultimately recommended 12 new ​​programs to launch in fall 2023, and at least an additional 8 programs expected to launch by fall 2029. These include master’s, bachelor’s and certificate programs in areas like engineering, applied fire science, healthcare and more that will help fill workforce gaps locally, statewide and nationally, and help find solutions to California’s problems.

“We are offering academic programming that aligns with workforce gaps, which allows us to create access to high-demand programs that students are seeking to get into but can't,” says Capps, who oversees all academics at the university. “There’s such high demand for programs like software engineering and data science that they are impacted at other universities.”

Western Snowy Plover on beach. Students watch a wildfire demonstration led by Professor of Forestry Jeff Kane in Cal Poly Humboldt's Wildland Fire Lab.

Recruitment began earlier this year for faculty to teach programs launching in 2023 with the idea that they would join the university early to help build curriculum, recruit additional faculty and participate in student outreach.

“About 55 percent of the faculty we’re bringing on board are Black, Indigenous and people of color [BIPOC] who bring a diverse perspective to the classroom—that’s significant for us,” Capps says. “We attribute it, in part, to breaking down silos and supporting people to collaborate across disciplines.”

A COMPREHENSIVE Polytechnic

Incorporating sustainability practices and traditional ecological knowledge in the curriculum has been a growing focus of the Humboldt experience over the years. As the campus transitions to a polytechnic institution, it also remains committed to inclusive excellence and delivering a rich liberal arts education.

“We have really strong arts humanities programs, social sciences programs and music programs,” Capps says. “We are incorporating an interdisciplinary sort of approach to STEM education, where faculty are reaching across disciplines and figuring out how to bring elements of all of these things into academic programs. We are being open and recognizing that critical thinking, communication and the arts make a better engineer, scientist—you name it.”

Another distinctive component of a Humboldt education is the use of Place-Based Learning Communities (PBLCs) as a means of improving student retention and success. First-year students are grouped together by major and interest to learn as a cohort while they conduct research in their field and work in the community.

Western Snowy Plover on beach. Cal Poly Humboldt students in a course on lichens and bryophytes observe a specimen with lecturer Marie Antoine (center) in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.

Cal Poly Humboldt already has nine PBLCs that offer students a built-in network of faculty and peers who help them navigate college life and increase their sense of belonging, which improves retention and aligns with the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025 goals.

"As we transition to a polytechnic, the goal is to have every single student—even transfer students—have that PBLC experience regardless of major, because involvement in that program has really correlated well with student success,” Capps says.​

Infrastructure Growth

As degree pathways expand, Humboldt is investing in programmatic growth as well as in modernizing existing facilities and building new infrastructure. Among the planned improvements​ are a new Engineering and TechnologyLearning Community Building, a Microgrid and Sustainability Building and updates to existing buildings and labs and the campus's offsite marine facilities.

"Providing state-of-the-art facilities is meaningful for delivering quality education,” says Cal Poly Humboldt Associate Vice President of Facilities Management Mike Fisher. “It allows our students to understand what the world will have in store for them in private settings and helps build our workforce by having them learn how to use leading technology.”

All new buildings will be minimum-LEED Gold standard and will be fully electric, says Fisher. Cal Poly Humboldt is also developing a microgrid with a nearly three-megawatt solar array of generation and battery storage to make the campus more resilient. The Microgrid and Sustainability Building will serve as a place to study the microgrid, provide research opportunities for students and give sustainability a face and a home.

Western Snowy Plover on beach. Cal Poly Humboldt's new Housing, Health and Dining project at the northwest corner of Library Circle and LK Wood Boulevard will contain a health center, expanded dining services and a 650-bed residential complex. It is slated to open in August 2026.

“We’re building the microgrid lab to be an experimental lab, but also to provide an educational gathering space for the public so they can walk through the technology,” Fisher says. “This building will represent what we do as a culture and as a campus towards leading sustainability.”

With enrollment expected to double in the next decade, the campus is preparing to spend more than $400 million on new student housing to accommodate the expected growth, including the Library Circle Housing, Health and Dining project. Fisher says the campus expects to have up to 12,000 full-time enrolled (FTE) students in nine years and aims to keep pace with this growth by supplying at least 50 percent of those students with university-managed housing.​

The infusion of money from the state will also help ensure student housing remains affordable. Traditionally in the state of California, housing for higher education has been funded by the state or by an institution's ability to take on debt through the issuance of bonds. Because of the debt-free capital from the state, the campus can afford to charge less for housing, or at least be competitive within the community.

“The investment of the state towards these endeavors directly impact the success of students,” Fisher says. “Lowering debt financing is the key to keeping student costs low.”

Though the current focus is on providing living spaces for undergraduate students, this opens up current living spaces to be used to provide housing for students with families as well as housing for faculty and staff.​

Community Engagement

“The thing that's been the most exciting about this designation and sort of transformation is how literally the local community, the CSU and campus community, for the most part, got on the same page and really worked together to make this happen in an incredibly tight timeframe,” Capps says. “I really think that the secret sauce to it all was being open to invite everybody in to be able to participate.”

Cal Poly Humboldt is already the largest employer in the area and an economic driver for the region with an estimated annual economic impact of $459 million. The growth in enrollment and the development of new degree programs to fill workforce gaps will have a major impact on the North Coast economy, potentially revitalizing it for decades to come.

In addition to providing graduates to fill workforce gaps in the region, the university aims to strengthen relationships with the community through hands-on learning experiences that expose students to issues the region is facing and build skills that will help them further their careers. 

Western Snowy Plover on beach. A prospective student and family member tour Cal Poly Humboldt's redwood grove during spring preview 2022.

Wha​t’s Next?

The CSU Chancellor's Office has officially approved all 9 of the campus's first group of new degree programs. They will be entered into Cal State Apply, the CSU's online application portal, for the fall 2023 application cycle, which begins October 1, 2022.

Cal Poly Humboldt is currently undergoing a re-branding initiative​ to build awareness of its new polytechnic designation, improve its ability to compete on a national stage and inform long-term marketing communications efforts. The state legislature will be asked to incorporate the new name into legislation next year.

The campus is making progress on its first student housing project, preparing to conduct an environmental impact report and anticipates breaking ground in January 2023. It also acquired 16 acres of developable land​ in July to support any number of institutional priorities aligned with the polytechnic transformation.

To learn more about what's in store at Cal Poly Humboldt and to find the most up-to-date information, visit the polytechnic planning website.


The CSU is home to all three of the state’s polytechnic universities, including California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Learn more about their history and regional impact.

Cal Poly Pomona

Established in 1938 in San Dimas as the Voorhis Unit of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, the campus relocated to Pomona in 1956, separated from the San Luis Obispo campus in 1966 and was granted university status in 1972.

Cal Poly Pomona awards more than 6,900 degrees each year2,603 of which are in STEM fieldsand serves more than 29,000 students annually​.

Cal Poly Pomona supports thousands of jobs in the Inland Empire and beyond and generates more than $1.1 billion in industry activity and more than $143 million in state and local tax revenue.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Established in 1901 as the California Polytechnic School, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo became part of the CSU in 1960 with the signing of the Donahoe Higher Education Act, which brought together all state colleges into one system.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo awards more than 5,900 degrees each year2,850 of which are in STEM fields​and serves more than 22,000 students annually.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo supports thousands of jobs on the Central Coast and beyond and generates more than $1.6 billion in industry activity and more than $105 million in state and local tax revenue.

What is a Polytechnic University?
Governor-Newsom-Appoints-2-New-Members-to-the-CSU-Board-of-Trustees.aspx
  
7/26/2022 3:00 PMThropay, Janessa7/26/20227/26/2022 1:35 PMGovernor Gavin Newsom announced the following appointments to the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees on July 22, 2022. Both positions require Senate confirmation. The CSU Board of Trustees is the 25-member board that adopts regulations anBoard of TrusteesStory

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the following appointments to the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees on July 22, 2022. Both positions require Senate confirmation. The CSU Board of Trustees is the 25-member board that adopts regulations and policies governing the university.​
​​

Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas, 41, of Berkeley, is founder and key strategic consultant at Define American where he has worked since 2011. He was senior contributing editor at The Huffington Post from 2009 to 2010, and a reporter for The Washington Post from 2004 to 2009. He was city desk reporter at The San Francisco Chronicle from 2000 to 2004. Vargas serves on the advisory board of TheDream.US.

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, 62, of Los Angeles, has been a self-employed author since 2009. She was a consultant for the formation of Geffen Academy at University of California, Los Angeles from 2013 to 2014, and a consultant at Walt Disney Television and USA Network from 1995 to 1999. Gilbert-Lurie served as vice president at National Broadcasting Company from 1986 to 1995. From 1985 to 1986 she was an associate at Manatt Phelps, Rothernberg and Tunney, and from 1984 to 1985 she was a law clerk at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Gilbert-Lurie earned a Juris Doctor degree from UCLA.

Gilbert-Lurie is a National Finance Committee member on the Democratic National Committee. She is also a member of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the UCLA School of Law, and chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee of The UCLA Foundation. In addition, Gilbert-Lurie is a member of the International Board of Directors at Human Rights Watch, and chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee. She is a member of the Writer's Guild of America.​


No Trustee, with the exception of the Chancellor and the Faculty Trustee, receives any salary for his or her service.​​

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Governor Newsom Appoints Two New Members to the CSU Board of Trustees
Destination-Makers.aspx
  
7/25/2022 8:10 AMRawls, Aaron7/25/20227/25/2022 8:30 AMMeet alumni supporting California’s thriving tourism and hospitality industry.AlumniStory

Destination Makers​

Meet alumni supporting California’s thriving tourism and hospitality industry.

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Though tourists from around the world flock to California especially during the summer months, the state is a vacation haven throughout the year, creating a booming hospitality and tourism industry. With 84 percent of CSU alumni remaining in California and one in 10 employees in the state holding a CSU degree, the university ensures its graduates are prepared to enter and strengthen the industry.

Meet a few alumni helping welcome travelers to the Golden State.​​​


Kent Seiders
San Diego State (2010), CSU San Marcos (2020)

Since graduating from San Diego State with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing, Kent Seiders’s career in hospitality & tourism at Merlin Entertainments Group has taken him to Orlando, Las Vegas, New York City, London and Carlsbad to work for brands ranging from Madame Tussauds to the UK theme park THORPE PARK Resort.

Now, Seiders is the head of marketing for LEGOLAND California Resort, which includes the theme park, SEA LIFE aquarium, LEGOLAND Water Parks and two LEGO-themed hotels. His most recent project involved a partnership with Ferrari to open a LEGO Ferrari Build & Race experience at LEGOLAND California featuring a life-sized LEGO F40 (pictured above).

“Hospitality and tourism is the most fun industry to work in, and selling a product that creates memorable experiences for young families every day is an absolute joy,” he says. “These industries are also some of the most diverse and inclusive for employees in general, so I feel that I can be myself authentically as well as interact with some of the most talented co-workers who all come from different backgrounds and skill sets. It also helps that my office is only a few steps away from rollercoasters!”

While in his current role full-time, Seiders returned to the CSU to earn his MBA at CSU San Marcos, which helped him hone skills outside his marketing specialty including finance, human resources and operations.


Melody Rico
CSU Monterey Bay (2006), Cal State East Bay (2010)

While Melody Rico earned her bachelor’s in earth systems, science, and policy at CSU Monterey Bay, she discovered her passion for hospitality during her time working in CSUMB Student Housing and Residential Life and volunteering for the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

“Working as a student RA, and later becoming staff for the Student Housing and Residential Life team at CSUMB, helped me learn how to interact with and support students and their families,” Rico says. “Housing in college requires many similar skills as hotels: assigning rooms, billing, troubleshooting problems and overseeing the process of assisting students/guests.”

After college, Rico began working for the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce supporting local businesses and interacting with tourists before attending Cal State East Bay to earn her master’s in recreation and tourism.

Today, she serves as a sales manager for Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay. “Embassy Suites gave me the opportunity to be part of an exceptional team that allowed me to learn and grow in my career path in hospitality,” Rico says. “I was blessed to be brought back to the hotel during the pandemic where I acquired new skills and learned two new departments’ roles.”


Jason Abdullah
CSUN (2006)

Jason Abdullah grew up going on road trips with his parents to Las Vegas, where the neon lights and vibrant hotels inspired his first love for travel. “It felt like being transported to another world, and it was always evolving,” he says.

But it wasn’t until after receiving his bachelor’s in business administration with a focus in marketing and a minor in political science from CSUN that he fell into the hospitality industry, starting with a marketing position at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. While his career has since taken a series of turns, he is now the corporate director of digital marketing at Pacific Hospitality Group, driving the digital marketing strategy for their collection of properties and resorts.

“When you work in hospitality and live in the cities where your hotels are located, you become ingrained and intertwined in the neighborhoods, restaurants, amusement parks, tourist traps and all of the other aspects of a city that make it great,” Abdullah says. “These experiences give you an appreciation for your role and the city you live in, which then allows you to do your job even better. For someone like me, who loves to eat and travel, it doesn’t get much better than that.”


Paul Ratner
San Francisco State (2005)

Working for the Golden State Warriors is the realization of a dream for Paul Ratner.

“I love sports and was looking for a career that allowed me to be around sports, and more specifically, basketball,” he says. “My brothers are 10 and 12 years older than me and both played basketball, so I fell in love with the sport. I initially wanted to be a sports announcer but found my passion in corporate events and how sports create unique opportunities for companies.”

As the senior director of premium suite sales, Ratner oversees these ticket sales for all events at the Chase Center in San Francisco. He is also a co-founder of their online suite sales platform, SuiteXchange.

His journey started at San Francisco State where he majored in radio and television with an emphasis on sports media. It was there, under his faculty advisor Melissa Camacho, Ph.D., associate professor of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, Ratner developed the right mentality for his p​​rofession.

“She taught me over time how to have the attitude to ‘just get it done,’” Ratner says. “It's easy to blame circumstances, but she taught me how to control and own my destiny.”


Veronica Rivera
San Diego State (2011)

Before launching her career, Veronica Rivera began as a business administration major at San Diego State. But on a counselor’s recommendation, Rivera took an introduction to hospitality course, motivating her to change her major to hospitality and tourism management and setting her on a new path forward.

Following graduation, as a junior seller at the Hilton San Diego/Del Mar, Rivera had the opportunity to engage with the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) team—again shaping her course. Rivera now serves as one of SDTA’s national sales directors. “This experience taught me that although your days may be long, it’s the relationships that matter and showing up as authentically as you can changes everything,” she says. “You never know where your next opportunity lies and stepping out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow.”

In her role, Rivera helps organizations in the corporate and association markets host meetings and conferences in San Diego County by sourcing hotels, arranging airfare and creating engaging experiences for attendees.

While COVID-19 deeply impacted the hospitality sector, it didn’t stop Rivera from making her mark on the industry. In 2021, she co-founded the West Coast DMO (Destination Marketing Organizations) Alliance to help large and small DMOs come together to share best practices, and was named one of San Diego Business Journal’s 2022 Top 50 LGBTQ+ Leaders of Influence.

“COVID-19 was a milestone in my career,” Rivera says. “Like many, my life was forever changed. … Although at times it was a rollercoaster, I have grown into the leader I am.”​

Destination Makers
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7/18/2022 10:02 AMRuble, Alisia7/18/20227/18/2022 9:00 AMFaculty bring an international perspective home to CSU students and help find solutions to global problems through the prestigious scholarship program.FacultyStory

Four California State University campuses are top producers of Fulbright Scholars among master's institutions for 2021-22, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education: Chico, San Luis Obispo, Channel Islands and Humboldt.

Additionally, nine CSU campuses were selected in October 2021 to receive the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' (ECA) inaugural “Fulbright Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Leader" designation: Chico, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Northridge, San Diego, San Francisco, San José and Sonoma. The designation recognizes only 35 HSIs that have demonstrated noteworthy engagement with the Fulbright Program.

For over 75 years, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participantschosen for their academic merit and leadership potential​with the opportunity to exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to challenges facing our communities and our world.

More than 800 U.S. scholars, artists and early-career professionals teach or conduct research overseas through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program annually. In addition, more than 1,900 U.S. students, artists and early career professionals in more than 100 different fields of study receive Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants annually to study, teach and conduct research overseas.

Through these opportunities, faculty gain a global perspective and acceptance of other cultures and bring foreign knowledge and new solutions to international problems.

“I am delighted to see CSU campuses well-represented in this list of the country's top producing institutions for Fulbright Scholars," says CSU Assistant Vice Chancellor of Research Ganesh Raman, Ph.D. “The overseas research and scholarship of our faculty translate directly to classroom enrichment and experiential learning for our students that prepares them for exciting careers of the future."​

Meet two of the CSU's 2021-22 Fulbright Scholars and learn about their work.


​​An American college professor posing with Indonesian men, and women wearing hijabs

CSU Channel Islands Professor of Applied Physics Geoffrey Doughtery, Ph.D., (center) with faculty and students at Airlangga University in Indonesia in April 2018.

GEOFF DOUGHERTY, PH.D.
Professor of Applied Physics, CSU Channel Islands

Dr. Dougherty is a veteran Fulbright Scholar, having traveled to Indonesia as a Fulbright Specialist in Engineering Education in 2013 and 2018, and to Australia as a Fulbright Senior in 2009. During his 2022 trip, he taught at two universities: Diponegoro University in Central Java and Airlangga University in East Java.

Through workshops and seminars, ​Dougherty shared his knowledge of interdisciplinary applications of image processing and analysis with students at both universities and oversaw several graduate projects. As a Fulbright Specialist in Education, he presented a series of talks and exercises to faculty on initiatives in education and innovative teaching methods to expand their curriculum and make it more engaging, and consulted with administrators on how to strengthen faculty development. 

He says his experiences as a Fulbright Scholar have further improved his teaching at CSUCI and provided myriad ideas for new course development and student research.

“My interactions with other cultures have honed my insights into student learning, which are particularly relevant to our minority students, many of whom are bilingual and non-traditional," Dougherty says. “I have also been instrumental in securing Memorandums of Agreement (MOA) between CSUCI and both Indonesian universities, encouraging increased cooperation including student and faculty exchanges."

Dougherty grew up in Ireland, studied in England and Switzerland and taught in Malaysia, Australia and Kuwait before coming to CSU Channel Islands in 2002 shortly after the campus was founded. When he's not traveling as a Fulbright Scholar, he is taking student interns to the CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland.


​​A man with grey hair standing between rows of hydroponic produce in a greenhouse

Chico State Professor of Agriculture Lee Altier, Ph.D., on the University Farm.

LEE ALTIER, PH.D.
Professor of Agriculture, Chico State

Dr. Altier's Fulbright Scholarship took him to Izmir, Turkey, for five months to teach at Ege University—a school he chose, in part, for its familiarity. Like Chico State, Ege University has a large farm where students can participate in hands-on learning and its faculty is focused on sustainable farming practices. Izmir also has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate like Northern California and faces many of the same challenges.

“My classes were focused on agricultural strategies that seek to maintain productivity and regenerate soil health in a rapidly changing climate," says Altier. “Besides Turkish students, I had students from all over Asia, Africa and Europe, which offered wonderful opportunities for engaging the class in conversations about food security issues in their respective countries."  

In addition to teaching, Altier presented seminars on horticultural therapy and aquaponic production and shared Chico State's research on "no till" farming techniques that simultaneously maintain soil quality and sequester carbon to help fight climate change. 

“I also enjoyed getting involved with the local community," says Altier. “Among the hills above Izmir is a farm that was donated to the city and serves as a model of sustainable agricultural practices, and my students and I provided workshops there."

Altier has been working in farming for nearly four decades and has taught at Chico State for 26 years. He has been the director of the Organic Vegetable Project (OVP) at the University Farm and has led students on study abroad programs in Nepal and Thailand.​


The Fulbright Program is currently accepting applications for the 2023-24 academic year until September 15, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. PST. For more information, visit the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program website.​

Two women wearing head scarves one giving a peace sign
CSU Campuses are Among the Country's Top Producers of Fulbright Scholars
CSU-Trustees-Ratify-Tentative-Agreements-with-Labor-Unions.aspx
  
7/13/2022 1:10 PMThropay, Janessa7/13/20227/13/2022 1:10 PMThe California State University Board of Trustees today voted to ratify tentative agreements on successor agreements with the Academic Professionals of California (APC), the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), the Statewide University PolBargaining UpdatesPress Release

The California State University Board of Trustees today voted to ratify tentative agreements on successor agreements with the Academic Professionals of California (APC), the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU), the Statewide University Police Association (SUPA) and Teamsters Local 2010.

Additionally, the Board ratified salary reopeners for fiscal year 2021-22 with APC and Teamsters Local 2010 and for fiscal year 2022-23 with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE).

The Board voted unanimously to ratify all tentative agreements.

“I am appreciative of the hard work put forth by the leadership of the respective unions as well as the collective bargaining team at the Chancellor's Office to reach these agreements," said CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester. “The increases in these agreements are a significant step forward to providing appropriate compensation for our valued employees who have dealt with many challenges over the past several years."

The tentative agreements reached with the various unions can be viewed on the Labor and Employee Relations website.



About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 59,000 faculty and staff and 477,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards nearly 133,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​​

College student walking on campus with palm trees
CSU Trustees Ratify Tentative Agreements with Labor Unions
CSU-Strengthens-Employment-Practices-with-Approval-of-Employment-Policies.aspx
  
7/13/2022 1:09 PMThropay, Janessa7/13/20227/13/2022 1:10 PMAs part of ongoing efforts to fortify practices across the California State University (CSU), the CSU Board of Trustees unanimously approved two new policies to bolster and clarify employment practices—a policy governing administrator employees’ option toPolicyPress Release

As part of ongoing efforts to fortify practices across the California State University (CSU), the CSU Board of Trustees unanimously approved two new policies to bolster and clarify employment practices—a policy governing administrator employees' option to retreat and a policy governing the provision of employee references.

“In addition to being at the forefront of improving and expanding student achievement, we are committed to taking action to ensure that the CSU is a national leader in all areas of university operation and administration. The CSU acted immediately and decisively to take steps to address issues in these two areas by revising or implementing new practices, and these new policies will help to further clarify and provide consistency to these topics across the 23 universities and at the Chancellor's Office," said Wenda Fong, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees.

The opportunity to “retreat" to a faculty position is frequently offered to faculty who are required to relinquish tenure in order to become a university administrator. The opportunity to retreat gives the new administrator the option to return to a faculty position when their administrative role at the university comes to an end. New or continuing administrators often negotiate the opportunity to retreat as a term of their employment as an administrator because university administrators, unlike tenured faculty, are at-will employees who have no assurance of permanent employment. 

The Employment Policy Governing Administrator Employees' Option to Retreat includes the following guidance:

  • An administrator will be ineligible to exercise the option if there is a finding of misconduct or the administrator is under investigation for misconduct.
  • Memorialization of terms of the retreat will be placed in the administrative appointment letter.
  • There must be consultation with the tenured faculty in the respective department to which the individual would potentially return to.

The policy applies to all administrator appointments made at a CSU campus or the Chancellor's Office which include the option to retreat to a faculty position. The policy is intended to be prospective and does not impact retreats granted prior to its effective dates except on a case-by-case basis in the event of a serious policy violation.

“These new policies are important steps that will allow us to better focus on our core mission of improving the lives of Californians through the transformative power of higher education," added Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester.

The Employment Policy Governing the Provision of Employee References—the other policy approved by trustees—outlines the principles and procedures guiding the provision of references. Under the policy, the CSU will not provide positive letters of reference — verbal or written — for any current or former employee who has engaged in significant misconduct that resulted in non-retention, is currently under investigation for misconduct or violation of university policy, or has had their retirement benefits rescinded under the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act due to criminal misconduct associated with their official duties

The policy further provides guidance on references requested by third parties, employment verification for current or former employees, personal references and references within the CSU.

Both policies will soon be added to the CSU's policy library and all 23 universities and the Chancellor's Office will immediately begin work on implementation.​



About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 59,000 faculty and staff and 477,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards nearly 133,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

Chancellor's office in Long Beach
CSU Strengthens Employment Practices with Unanimous Approval of University-Wide Employment Policies
Vanya-Quinones-Appointed-President-of-CSUMB.aspx
  
7/14/2022 3:05 PMThropay, Janessa7/13/20227/13/2022 8:05 AMThe California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Vanya Quiñones, Ph.D., to serve as the fourth president of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB).LeadershipPress Release

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Vanya Quiñones, Ph.D., to serve as the fourth president of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Quiñones currently serves as provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Pace University in New York.

“Earning a degree from CSUMB is a transformative experience that leads to life-changing opportunities for students and their families," said Quiñones. “I am honored by this opportunity and eager to collaborate with the talented faculty, staff, administrators, students and all members of the CSUMB community as we collectively work to provide even greater access to a high-quality education and improve the achievement of our talented and diverse students."

“Dr. Quiñones has served in a variety of roles during her decades of service as an educator, and in each of those roles she has continually demonstrated dedication to expanding diversity and improving student success," said CSU Trustee Julia I. Lopez, chair of the CSUMB search committee. “Key measures of student success including graduation and retention rates continue to reach all-time highs at CSUMB, and Dr. Quiñones has the knowledge, skills, abilities and vision to lead the university to even greater heights."

A neurobiologist, biopsychologist and noted researcher, Quiñones has published more than 70 peer-reviewed articles. Over the course of a 20-plus-year career at the City University of New York (CUNY) - Hunter College, Quiñones served as an assistant, associate, and full professor in the Department of Psychology before being appointed to serve as the chair of the department. She was later promoted to the role of associate provost. In 2018, she was appointed to her current position of provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Pace University where she also holds the rank of full professor in the Department of Psychology. Her portfolio of responsibilities includes oversight of all academic and student-related academic offices and personnel as well as Information Technology.

Quiñones earned a bachelor's degree in biology and master's degree in cell biology, both from the University of Puerto Rico, and a Ph.D. in neurobiology and physiology from Rutgers University.

Quiñones will assume the campus presidency on August 15, 2022. Additionally, Dr. Katherine Kantardjieff, CSUMB provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will serve as the university's Executive in Charge during the interim period immediately after President Eduardo Ochoa's departure. ​



About the California State University

The California State Universi​ty is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 59,000 faculty and staff and 477,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity, and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards nearly 133,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​ 

Vanya Quiñones Appointed President of California State University, Monterey Bay
An-Open-Road-to-Education.aspx
  
7/11/2022 8:41 AMBeall, Alex7/11/20227/11/2022 9:00 AMSeven CSU campuses received funding through the state’s K-16 Education Collaboratives Grant Program to eliminate equity gaps in higher education and workforce participation.Student SuccessStory

To increase access to higher education, graduate more students into stable careers and strengthen California's workforce, the state's new K-16 Education Collaboratives Grant Program funded six education collaboratives involving seven CSU campuses.

The program was created to help the state recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and invested a total of $108.6 million through these first six awards, with each collaborative receiving about $18.1 million.

These regional collaboratives consist of CSU and UC campuses, community colleges, K-12 districts, county offices and nonprofit partners. To achieve the program goals, their work will include participating in the California Cradle-to-Career Data System, diversifying faculty and staff, bridging technology gaps, and supporting college preparation and dual enrollment—as well as developing education-to-career pathways in the health care, education, business management and engineering/computing sectors.

“We're creating new regional pipelines—K-12 schools to higher education to the workforce—for California's students that will prepare our kids for the jobs of the future in their communities," Governor Gavin Newsom said in a press release. “This essential collaboration will help bridge equity gaps and provide more resources to help our students achieve their career goals right in their own communities."

Learn how CSU campuses will support the effort.

Cal Poly Humboldt & Sonoma State

​​Redwood tree at Cal Poly HumboldtAs part of the ​Redwood Coast K-16 Education Collaborative, Cal Poly Humboldt will lead an effort with regional partners including Sonoma State to build cradle-to-career ​​pathways in education and health care.

“We're going for a systemic change," says Mary Gonzalez, Ph.D., Cal Poly Humboldt initiatives consultant. “Evidence says that strong, inclusive support services make a real impact on success rates, and that's what we're trying to do."

A main focus is on the creation of a virtual dual enrollment hub where high school students can enroll online in courses for college credit. “This will give students in these different regions the opportunity to take courses that will give them college credit, help with A-G completion rates and help them identify what career they will go into," says Carmen Bustos-Works, Ph.D., Cal Poly Humboldt associate vice president of Academic Programs.

“In looking at existing barriers, we found that underserved communities don't always have access to the coursework required to enter a four-year university … and schools may not have opportunities for children to take advanced level courses," says Laura Alamillo, Ph.D., dean of the Sonoma State School of Education. “The collaborative provides the space to work hand-in-hand with our district partners to not only address schools' needs, but also engage in critical conversations about college access."

The collaborative will also provide stipends for upscaling teachers to lead these courses, stipends for dual enrolled students and training in virtual learning and teaching. In addition, it will increase internet access, as the region has very limited cell and internet service, by offering hotspots and devices and hiring experts to set up internet connection sites throughout the area.

“We have to change the narrative and provide opportunities for everyone to have access to higher education​," Dr. Bustos-Works says. “Governor Newsom infused this money into the state so we can build the robust workforce we need, and that's going to include taking people from the poorest regions of the state and lifting them up through these educational pathways."

Other steps include greater STEM instruction in elementary schools, information toolkits on requirements for applying to and attending college and grow-your-own teacher preparation programs. The collaborative will work to make these tactics culturally relevant to address inequities faced by underserved, namely Native American, communities.

“This project will provide support for students to be better prepared for college and to be more engaged in their education in one of the most economically challenged regions in the state," says Elisabeth Wade, Ph.D., dean of the Sonoma State School of Science and Technology. “We are working to identify Pathway Facilitators who are familiar with the Tribal regions within the Redwood Coast as we strive to support all California students in a culturally informed way."

CSU Bakersfield

​​Roadrunner statue at CSU BakersfieldWith an eye on lifting up the communities of Kern County, the Kern Regional K-16 Education Collaborative, which includes CSU Bakersfield, will carve out pathways in health care, education and engineering/computing.

“For years, we've been lumped in [with other counties], and a byproduct of that is our educational outcomes aren't changing," says Kristen Watson, Ed.D., CSU Bakersfield chief of staff to the president. “For Kern, we desperately need to improve our post-secondary education rates. It is with post-secondary education that we change the trajectory of the lives of the students and the families who are here."

The grant funding will aid the development of a dual enrollment network that gathers high schools, community colleges and four-years to ensure students' dual enrollment is intentional and supports their chosen education and career path. In addition, Kern County will introduce a program to help teachers earn credentials in English and math needed to teach these dual enrollment courses.

The collaborative will also create an academic advising network to standardize advising language and recommendations across education levels, launch an eighth teacher residency program in a rural area of the county and extend a program encouraging students to pursue master's and doctoral education beyond STEM to social sciences and other topics.

“It's about getting students to graduate, go to college and enter into the workforce," Dr. Watson says. “As they move through our programs, as they successfully earn their degrees, we need to know that they're landing somewhere and that their education has been a wise investment for not only the students, but for their families."

Sacramento State

​​Campus sign at Sacramento StateThe Sacramento K16 Collaborative will implement five initiatives with the funding: strengthen regional data infrastructure, bolster dual enrollment, improve the learning environment for high priority students, expand transfer pathways and build upon educational pathways in health care and engineering/computing.

“This effort sheds a light on the importance of education and the entire intersegmental system of education attainment at any level—K-12, associate, baccalaureate, master's," says Jenni Murphy, Ed.D., dean of the Sacramento State College of Continuing Education. “Education is a pathway out of poverty, and having an educated workforce is how our state sustains an economic advantage."

First, the collaborative will improve the region's ability to report, gather and share data—including by participating in ​the Cradle-to-Career Data System—ensuring the information is available to study student outcomes and intervene sooner.

With attention on high priority students such as students of color, adult learners, returning students, women and single parents, the collaborative's emphasis on dual enrollment and improving the learning environment will help these students earn the credits they need to complete their college degree.

In addition, the collaborative aims to expand transfer pathways through reverse transfer, reverse articulation agreements and credit reclamation, and to strengthen health care and engineering/computing pathways with apprenticeships, stackable credentials and increasing the number of Career Technical Education teachers in high schools and middle schools.

“Research indicates an overall reduction for the full cost of education when dual enrollment, internships, stackable credits and credit for prior learning shorten time to completion without compromising rigor," Dr. Murphy says. “We're addressing the different world that we have now, because not everyone is a traditional 18- to 24-year-old full-time student right out of high school."

Finally, the project will also distribute accelerator grants to scale up effective tactics after a one-year evaluation.

Fresno State

​​Campus sign at Fresno StateIn 2019, the Fresno-Madera K-16 Collaborative piloted a two-year program to increase college degree attainment in high-demand industries, align educational preparation with the needs of regional employers and close race and equity gaps by integrating the local education system. That project is now the model for the new Central San Joaquin Valley K-16 Partnership, which brings together Fresno and Madera County partners, including Fresno State, with the Tulare-Kings College & Career Collaborative.

“There's a conscious effort around how we can work together so that we're helping all our students, because our students move throughout the counties, and how we can do things that are supporting the social economics of our region," says Karri Hammerstrom, executive director of the Fresno-Madera K-16 Collaborative.

The combined effort will focus on dual enrollment and early college credit as a means to strengthen educational pathways in health care, education, business management and engineering/computing. Partners will submit applications to fund proposed solutions, including how to upscale teachers, retain students and support adult learners. Currently, students can participate in dual enrollment through College and Career Access Pathways, independent study and a virtual dual enrollment hub.

“We're providing a clear path for students, trying to eliminate barriers along the way so that there's not a lot of ambiguity on how to get to college and to make sure that there's support for students and career exposure earlier on," Hammerstrom says.

“Students need advocates," she continues. “Being in the education system is a tough process to navigate sometimes. This is hopefully a way to connect students to opportunities, to expose them to things that they wouldn't have been exposed to and to let them know that college is for them, too."

Cal State Fullerton

​​Cal State Fullerton campusThe state funding will help OC Pathways to and Through College and Career partners, including Cal State Fullerton, to build on existing efforts around educational pathways in education, health care, business management and engineering/computing.

“The great thing about this program is that the state has identified the sectors that are expected to experience a lot of growth and will need workforce participants," says Estela Zarate, Ph.D., Cal State Fullerton vice provost of Academic Affairs. “Since those areas have been identified, we can invest in the preparation of our students to fulfill those roles, which means we are investing in the future of California. We are investing in a homegrown solution to workforce development."

Specifically, the efforts include providing students with work-based learning through regional work partnerships, removing barriers to entering or returning to college, providing Career Technical Education courses in middle and high schools and offering college credit and certification opportunities through dual enrollment.

“Students from participating school districts will be able to experience education and career preparations from high school to job placement in these areas," Dr. Zarate says. “In many ways, the pathways that are sought in this partnership are built into our campus identity."

Chico State

​​Entrance at Chico StateThe North State region of California is made up of largely rural counties and will be the focus of funding granted to the North State Together ne​twork. Chico State will support the network's ongoing efforts to develop educational pathways in health care and education and increase access to higher education for community members.

“To serve small, rural communities, it takes more money, it takes more attention, it takes an acknowledgement that those places have value," says Ann Schulte, Ph.D., Chico State director of Civic Engagement. “We have to invest in working alongside them to move them forward, and the university's purpose in terms of its service to the region is to help be a part of that vitality and progress."

As part of the effort, Chico State will expand its student teaching placements in North State counties. This process began with the placement of student teachers in more schools in Tehama County.

“They're making a concerted effort to create more opportunities for students from that region to student teach in their communities," Dr. Schulte says. “The way that we want to build this out in Undergraduate Education is to create stronger ties to those schools that will be engaged with this work by providing stronger support systems as students come into Chico State."

Those partnerships—along with targeted resources through the Chico Student Support Center, such as the TRIO Student Support Services program for first-generation students and the REACH (Raising Educational Achievement in Collaborative Hubs) program for first-generation, first-year students—will help Chico State better recruit and retain North State students. The new initiative Giving Back Home will then empower those students to return and contribute to their rural communities.

“The more we're able to reinforce that connection between the student and their home community, the more likely that community will benefit from the student's college degree and perspective," Schulte says.

​Cradle-to-Career Data System

​The Cradle-to-Career (C2C) Data System is a collection of resources for students, parents, teachers, schools, advocates and researchers created using information on student and workforce outcomes. Students and parents can access support for planning, applying and paying for college—including completing required credits and securing financial aid. Educators and schools can use the tools to better prepare students for college and improve student services. The C2C system will soon introduce data dashboards to aid the work of advocates and researchers.

Learn more about C2C’s early milestones.

Photos courtesy of Jason Halley/Chico State and Cary ​Edmondson/Fresno State.

Student teacher working with two children.
An Open Road to Education
CSU-Reaches-Tentative-Agreements-on-Successor-Contracts-with-Labor-Unions.aspx
  
7/13/2022 2:20 PMKelly, Hazel6/30/20226/30/2022 8:50 AMThe California State University (CSU) has reached tentative agreements on successor collective bargaining agreements with the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) and the Statewide University Police Association (SUPA).Bargaining UpdatesPress Release

The California State University (CSU) has reached tentative agreements on successor collective bargaining agreements with the California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) and the Statewide University Police Association (SUPA).

Both tentative agreements will be brought forth to the CSU Board of Trustees to vote on ratification at the upcoming board meeting taking place on July 12 and 13, 2022. Membership of both unions will vote on ratification in the coming weeks.

Details from both agreements, including compensation increases for members of both unions, will be made available in the near future.

CSUEU represents approximately 16,000 support staff covering academics and operations of the CSU, including information technology, healthcare, clerical, administrative and academic support, campus operations, grounds and custodial.

SUPA represents the police officers, corporals and sergeants of the California State University police system.

About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.​​

Student walking to class on campus
CSU Reaches Tentative Agreements on Successor Contracts with Labor Unions
CSU-Hill-Day-2022.aspx
  
6/28/2022 8:41 AMRuble, Alisia6/28/20226/28/2022 8:30 AMStudents, employees and CSU leadership came together to advocate for doubling the maximum Pell Grant and providing federal support for undocumented students, among other priorities.ImpactStory

​California State University students, faculty, staff, trustees and leadership met virtually with federal legislators last week to advance top CSU federal priorities, including doubling the maximum Pell Grant and providing support and stability for undocumented students, as part of the university's annual Hill Day events.

Among those who met with CSU delegates were United States Department of Education Under Secretary James Kvaal and U.S. Representatives Judy Chu, Jim Costa, Mark DeSaulnier, Zoe Lofgren, Adam Schiff, Bobby Scott, Mark Takano and Mike Thompson.

During the Hill Day kick-off event June 21, CSU Chancellor Jolene Koester led a discussion with Under Secretary Kvaal in which he applauded the university's efforts to help students earn bachelor's degrees in a timely manner as well as its impact on social mobility in the U.S.

“What I appreciate about the Cal State is the extent to which it has embraced its mission of upward mobility and creating equitable opportunity," said Under Secretary Kvaal.

“Cal State is a national leader not only in collecting student data, but how to use it to change cultures and build a consensus around the path forward. The work they are doing is important because a couple of percentage points across half a million students could change a lot of lives, but also because of the power of its example across the country."

Established in 1972, the Pell Grant is the largest financial aid grant program offered by the U.S. Department of Education to help undergraduate students from low-income households pay for college and has benefitted 81 million students across the country. Over time, though, the purchasing power of the Pell Grant has eroded from covering about three-quarters of the cost of a public four-year university, including living expenses, to covering only about a quarter of the cost.

“We are trying with a great deal of systematic effort to increase graduation and retention rates and reduce equity gaps [through Graduation Initiative 2025]," Chancellor Koester said. “Pell Grants are a particularly powerful tool in that effort as nearly half of all CSU students are Pell-eligible."

CSU campuses also held events recognizing the 50th anniversary of the implementation of the Pell Grant. San José State, for example, held a rally​ on campus June 22, during which students shared personal stories about how the program has positively impacted their lives and campus leaders called on lawmakers to double the maximum award.

“We've seen throughout the decades that Pell Grants boost college enrollment and retention, reduce student borrowing and improve overall student outcomes, making it one of the greatest federal investments ever made in higher education," said SJSU Interim President Steve Perez. “An increase in Pell Grants is a must if we are to continue down the path of equity, student success and opportunity for our students while working towards a better society."

In meetings with legislators, CSU delegates also championed for a permanent solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the DACA program, which has enabled undocumented students to work and go to school in the U.S. and make significant contributions to the country.

As the nation's most ethnically diverse public four-year university, the CSU is deeply committed to ensuring academic opportunities are available to all the state's students, regardless of citizenship status. In fall 2021, the CSU enrolled nearly 10,000 AB 540 and undocumented students. Each of the university's 23 campuses provides resources for undocumented students and employees​.

Additionally, delegates urged legislators to provide more support for minority-serving institutions like the CSU, of which 21 of 23 campuses are designated Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and 14 campuses are designated Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs). These designations enable campuses to apply for federal and private grants that help strengthen their efforts to assist underserved communities.

 

Learn more about CSU federal priorities and see social media coverage of Hill Day​ 2022.

three people having a zoom meeting
CSU Community Shows Out for Annual Hill Day
CSU-Statement-on-CA-2022-23-Budget-Agreement-.aspx
  
6/28/2022 10:02 AMRuble, Alisia6/27/20226/27/2022 12:55 PMCalifornia Governor Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature’s Democratic leaders unveiled their $300 billion spending plan for 2022-23. BudgetPress Release

California Governor Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature's Democratic leaders unveiled their $300 billion spending plan for 2022-23. Their agreement includes a total increase in ongoing funding of $365 millionincluding $211 million in unallocated funding and $81 million for enrollment growth​and $1.1 billion in one-time funding for the California State University (CSU).

The following statement can be attributed to CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester:

“The California State University (CSU) is grateful for the significant investment in the CSU. Receiving ongoing funding totaling $365 million and one-time funding totaling $1.1 billion in the state budget agreement will enable us to address some mission-critical priorities, including increasing compensation for our valued employees and paying mandatory costs.

“The CSU continues to be one of California's best investments, but there is challenging work ahead to ensure that the CSU's deserving students continue to thrive. Closing equity gaps will create an even more diverse and talented workforce benefiting all Californians, but this priority requires significant investment for years to come. Moreover, staff compensation and critical deferred maintenance and facility needs still remain. Considering the state's unprecedented funding surplus, it is disappointing that additional support to address these important priorities was not allocated. Doing so would have provided extra benefit to students, faculty and staff to ensure their health and safety, as well as continued educational excellence through state-of-the-art learning environments on our 23 campuses.

“Governor Newsom's multi-year budget compact pledges to propose predictable and reliable levels of funding in the future, as well as protection against economic uncertainty. For that, we are appreciative. We look forward to ongoing partnership with our state's leadership as we continue to elevate lives, families and communities through the transformative power of higher education."​

The budget agreement includes ongoing funding totaling $365 million. Highlights include:

  • $211 million unallocated increase to the CSU
  • $35 million for Graduation Initiative 2025
  • $81 million for resident enrollment growth of 9,434 full-time equivalent students
  • $10 million for student basic needs

The budget agreement also includes one-time funding totaling $1.1 billion. Highlights include:

  • $497 million for student housing projects on nine CSU campuses
  • $125 million for deferred maintenance
  • $67.5 million for a portion of California State University, Fullerton's Engineering and Computer Science Complex Expansion.
  • $80 million for a new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) facility at San Diego State University's Imperial Valley campus.
  • $79 million for a student center at California State University, San Bernardino's Palm Desert campus
  • $75 million for equipment and infrastructure improvements at CSU university farms
  • $83 million for the Energy Innovation Center at California State University, Bakersfield
  • $30 million for legislative priorities on eight CSU campuses

About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

California State Capitol
CSU Statement on California Governor and Legislative Leaders 2022-23 Budget Agreement
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6/27/2022 8:18 AMRawls, Aaron6/27/20226/27/2022 10:00 AMHow CSU digital degree planners enable underserved students to confidently map out their path to graduation.Graduation InitiativeStory

Action for Equity: Digital Degree Planners

How CSU digital degree planners enable underserved students to confidently map out their path to graduation.

 

In an effort to not only increase graduation rates, but eliminate persisting equity gaps that affect underrepresented students, the California State University adopted five Graduation Initiative 2025 equity priorities in fall 2021:

  • Reengage and reenroll underserved students
  • Expand credit opportunities with summer/intersession
  • Ensure equitable access to digital degree planners
  • Eliminate administrative barriers to graduation
  • Promote equitable learning practices and reduce DFW (D-F-Withdraw) rates

As part of a series looking at the GI2025 priorities, this second installment delves into how digital degree planners and roadmaps help students plan their course loads and ensure they’re on schedule for an on-time graduation.

“The digital degree planners give students confidence that they're on the right track to graduation as they start their courses of study, whether they're incoming first-time, first-year students or transfer students,” says Kerry Johnson, Ph.D., associate vice president for Undergraduate Studies at California State University, Long Beach. “They fill in gaps and provide extra support that students can access easily without having to necessarily make an appointment with an advisor. Students can answer some of their own questions with it: Am I on track? Is this class the right one? Is this in the right order? Am I taking this in the correct semester? Did I take the prerequisites when I was supposed to? It certainly isn't a substitute for advising, but it's an important and useful supplement.”

‘What-If’ Scenario

Jose Campos Ramos "As a transfer student, the planner made me feel reassured that I can plan out my schedule and know​ the definitive classes I need​ to take." —Jose Campos Ramos​

When senior Jose Campos Ramos transferred to Cal State Long Beach as a computer engineering major in spring 2020, he was coming from a community college experience where he needed to meet with advisors—who often changed—multiple times a semester to make sure he was enrolling in the correct courses. Even then, he ended up taking extra courses he didn’t need, extending his time at the school. Having access to Cal State Long Beach’s digital degree planner helped smooth his transition and determine his plan of action.

“As an incoming student, you're overwhelmed with what classes to take,” Campos Ramos says. “Having the degree planner when I got here relieved a lot of stress about the classes and the extracurriculars I'm going to take, and [allowed me to] not have to see an advisor so often.”

Cal State Long Beach first adopted its digital degree planner platform in 2014. Currently, about 95 percent of CSULB students use the planners in tandem with the academic requirements report (degree audit) to ensure they are on track to complete all requirements needed for graduation.

“It's a dynamic tool that presents four-year plans for first-time, first-year students, as well as two-year plans for our transfer students,” says Meghan Griffith, CSULB university registrar. “The idea is, from early on, they're seeing that roadmap to graduation, so that—combined with other eAdvising tools, sessions with their advisors, all things needed for that success—ideally it's going to help prepare students to be on track to meet their graduation needs.”

“Students are coming in with all sorts of levels of literacy when it comes to navigating higher education,” Griffith continues. “In no way does the planner replace an advisor … but it demystifies some of those different things in navigating that pathway to graduation. The student can interact with it, and it hopefully helps them feel a little bit more prepared when they meet with their advisor.”

When students access the planner, they will see the classes they need to fulfill their general education and major requirements organized into semesters based on factors like class availability, prerequisites needed, transfer credits and classes completed. The classes will reshuffle across semesters if students don’t get into a certain class or take fewer or more credits.

“I liked the ‘what-if’ scenario the degree planner has, if I were to take a class later, shorten my [number of] semesters or allow more credits,” says Campos Ramos, who is planning to graduate in fall 2022. “The biggest benefit was to see how my career at Long Beach could be shortened or lengthened by being part-time or full-time.”

The dynamic planners exist for all the campus’s undergraduate majors, pre-majors, minors and certificates—as well as some graduate and postgraduate programs.

Steps to Enrollment

At California State University San Marcos, which began testing its platform in 2015, the “Degree Set Go” campaign relies on the campus’s digital degree planner to guide students through a three-step enrollment process. The campus has the planner built out for all undergraduate programs based on four-year roadmaps, and 98 percent of students use it.

“The planner is a better way to illustrate to students what their path to graduation might look like,” says David McMartin, director of the CSUSM Office of Academic Advising. “They have access to the degree planner 24/7. It's an important part of how students get ready for the coming semester as well as future semesters. They're using it as their guide to know what courses to take and when to take them, and it's also their way to proceed forward in the enrollment process.”

“Because the planner is associated with those four-year roadmaps, it automatically shuffles a student’s future plan once they've registered for their classes after the semester begins,” McMartin continues. “This means that if the student doesn’t get into the classes the degree planner suggested, they take more units than originally planned or they take fewer, the degree planner is going to account for that student’s actual enrollment. The degree planner is always going to pay attention to what priority the next semester courses have for them, especially taking into account prerequisites. This ensures the courses cannot be taken out of order.”

Here’s how CSUSM’s “Degree Set Go” works for students:

Degree: First, students log into the degree planner and indicate the number of units they plan to take the following semester. Many students leave the default setting of 15 credits per semester, but others can opt to take fewer or more courses. The tool will automatically arrange their classes based on their responses.

Set: Once the semester’s class schedule is available, students will return to the degree planner to make course selections. The planner indicates which classes are mandatory and features a select line for requirements that can be met by multiple courses from which students choose a qualifying class to take. Students will use the schedule assistant tool that works in tandem with the digital degree planner to pre-load their courses into their ‘shopping cart.’ The tool allows students to add times and days they are not available to take classes, and the planner generates personalized potential schedules based on their choices.

Go: Finally, students go to their ‘shopping cart’ to complete the enrollment process on their scheduled enrollment date.

Tyrone Totten "​I’m in my senior year now and I don’t have any worries about what I’m going to be taking ... because I already have it all figured out," —Tyrone Totten​

“The planner helped me because I was able to see a visual of my plan, what courses I was going to be able to take during each semester, what requirements I was going to take, and it helped me organize myself,” says Tyrone Totten, CSUSM child and adolescent development senior. “It allows students to understand their academic journey, helps students graduate on time and keeps them on track.”

For Totten, who returned to CSU San Marcos in fall 2021 and plans to graduate in spring 2023, the planner was particularly helpful in notifying him when his course requirements changed and reducing the number of classes he needed to complete.

“When I was able to see different classes that double counted for requirements, it decreased the time I needed to be at school,” Totten says. “For example, I was going to take four or five classes for my last semester in spring 2023. But after going over my degree planner and seeing what requirements each class covers, I only have to take two classes my last semester. So, it helps you be more efficient as a student.”​

Highly Trained​

Part of ensuring such high use rates among students is getting them acquainted with the technology through communications efforts, advisors, online resources and various training opportunities.

“We always have a new crop of students, so we've created an enrollment tutorial in which students always have access to the training they need,” McMartin says. “This is a way of making sure students, when they first start at the university, have access to understanding how to use the tools—so that we start everybody in the same place in terms of what it's about, what the advantages are and how to make good use of these kinds of tools.”

In addition to these resources, student peer advisors like Totten who serve in the CSUSM advising office can answer questions around registration and enrollment, including questions on the digital degree planner.

“When you call the academic advisory office, we're the first people you interact with,” Totten says. “We get questions about the degree planner or what classes students should be taking. So, as a peer advisor we help students go through the degree planner … and see what courses they're able to take for each requirement.”

Jose Campos Ramos walks across the CSULB campus. "The school did a great job with the advisors sharing their opinion with us on the planner and how to navigate through it because it does take a while to get used to it." —Jose Campos Ramos​​​

Equipped and Ready

For the campuses, the planners also provide a plethora of data to drive decision-making and better serve the student body.

“It increases accessibility to actionable data, from timely graduation to student support activities, placing a lot of tangible, informative data in advisors’ hands and higher leadership's hands,” Griffith says. “We do so much work to extrapolate that data … and leverage it as much as possible to help facilitate with future scheduling and strategic initiatives.”

Both Cal State Long Beach and CSU San Marcos use students’ choices in the digital degree planner to determine the course schedule for the upcoming semester, including which courses and how many sections to offer to meet students’ needs.

“It's a very important piece of the puzzle as we try to plan courses for our students in the most appropriate way possible,” McMartin says.

Additionally, advisors access students’ degree planners to better equip themselves to guide students on choosing and enrolling in classes.

“It helps the advisor because they can be on the same page [as the student] much more quickly,” McMartin continues. “We can start our advising sessions at a much earlier stage without having to research a lot of information concerning their requirements.”

Looking Ahead

“We're always looking for ways to work with the colleges and Enrollment Services to improve the digital degree planner and to make sure it's as accurate as possible,” CSULB’s Dr. Johnson says. “That's an ongoing process.”

Beyond ironing out challenges with the technology, that process involves updating the planners on an annual basis with changes to major curricula, new general education requirements and new programs.

A number of CSU campuses, like California State University, East Bay, however, are still working to procure the digital degree planner platform. Since switching to a semester system in 2018, though, Cal State East Bay has offered degree roadmaps​, available for all undergraduate programs, that students can access online and use to plan their path to graduation.

“It was important that each of our students had a roadmap, so they could see how they could complete their degree in four years for our first-time freshmen—as well as a roadmap for our transfer students, so they can finish in two years,” says Maureen Scharberg, Ph.D., CSUEB dean of Academic Programs and Services. “It's like their GPS device. It tells them what we as a campus see as important in terms of the sequencing of courses.”

lipsum "The roadmaps are used as a tool for advising. Our advisors can work with a student by bringing up the roadmap and looking at a specific major. ..​. The goal is to provide students with that pathway so they can complete their degree." —Dr. ​Maureen Scharberg, CSUEB dean of Academic Programs and Services

The campus continues to update the roadmaps each year with new degree requirements and majors. While currently used largely as an advising tool, these roadmaps will provide the basis for the digital degree planners when CSUEB implements them.

"Since technology has advanced since 2014, the CSU Chancellor's Office is actively working on procuring a modernized, accurate and mobile-friendly digital planner toolset that works for all students," says Liz Reed, assistant director of Enrollment Management Technology at the CSU Office of the Chancellor.


Read the Action for Equity series’ first installment on campuses’ reenrollment efforts.

Action for Equity: Digital Degree Planners
Lee-Appointed-Interim-President-of-SSU-2022.aspx
  
6/27/2022 10:02 AMKelly, Hazel6/27/20226/27/2022 10:00 AMCalifornia State University (CSU) Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester has appointed Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee, Ph.D., to serve as interim president of Sonoma State University (SSU). LeadershipPress Release

California State University (CSU) Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester has appointed Ming-Tung “Mike" Lee, Ph.D., to serve as interim president of Sonoma State University (SSU). Over a career that spanned 28 years at Sacramento State, Lee held a number of leadership roles including vice president for Administration and Business Affairs/chief financial officer as well as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs prior to retiring in 2018. Since then, Lee has held emeritus status on the campus as a professor of Business Administration. Lee will assume the leadership of SSU on August 1, 2022, after the departure of current president Dr. Judy K. Sakaki, who is resigning from the presidency effective July 31, 2022.

“Throughout his decades of service to Sacramento State, Dr. Lee has a demonstrated history of collaboration and innovation leading to improved levels of student achievement," said Koester. “He has served as a faculty member and led two divisions within the university, and these experiences give him unique and thorough insight into the operations of a university campus."

Lee will join SSU after a long and distinguished career at Sacramento State where he led university divisions on different occasions. From 2010 to 2018, he served as the vice president for Administration and Business Affairs/chief financial officer. He also led the Academic Affairs division while serving as the interim provost and vice president in 2016-17. His other experience in that division includes service as the associate vice president and dean/vice provost for academic programs from 2005-10. Lee initially joined Sacramento State as an associate professor of marketing in 1990 before being promoted to professor in 1997. He has served as a member of the faculty since then in addition to his administrative appointments.

“Sonoma State offers world-class educational opportunities to the North Bay," said Lee. “As the first member of my family to earn a college degree, I understand the profound impact it can make on the life of a student and their family. I look forward to working with SSU's dedicated faculty, staff, administrators and student leaders to offer transformative opportunities to the students of the North Bay."

Lee earned a bachelor's degree in literature from Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan, and a master's degree in international commerce and a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Kentucky.

Lee's interim appointment will span the duration of the 2022-23 academic year. CSU Trustees will soon begin a national search for a regularly appointed president to lead the campus. Lee's annual salary as president of SSU is the same as that of the outgoing president and will be brought forth to the CSU Trustees for approval at their July board meeting. 

 

About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.

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man smiling
Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee Appointed Interim President of Sonoma State University
Statement-from-CSU-Chancellor-Jolene-Koester-Regarding-Roe-V-Wade-Supreme-Court-Decision.aspx
  
6/27/2022 3:49 PMRuble, Alisia6/24/20226/24/2022 5:35 PMRead California State University Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester's statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.LeadershipStory

The f​ollowing statement can be attributed to California State University (CSU) Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester:

"Today's Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade strips away the hard-earned protection of an inherent fundamental human right that has been guaranteed for 50 years.​

"I am profoundly saddened and deeply concerned about the impact this decision will have, not only on people's ability to make informed decisions about their personal health, but on their agency to pursue educational and occupational opportunities. I am equally distressed by the broader implications of today's decision that threaten other fundamental freedoms we hold dear—including additional privacy rights and marriage equality—with particularly ominous potential impacts to the LGBTQIA+ community.

"Freedom—at its foundation—​is about the removal of barriers. The CSU exists to remove barriers to knowledge, understanding, prosperity and the fulfillment of one's potential. Today's decision is indeed antithetical to the CSU's ideals. Our mission is to empower students from all backgrounds to freely pursue their personal and professional dreams as part of a fair and just society. The California State University community remains steadfast to that mission, and will strengthen our collective commitment to our core values."

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CSU Statement on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Decision
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6/28/2022 10:02 AMRuble, Alisia6/23/20226/23/2022 11:30 AMInterim Chancellor Koester sent a message to the California State University community with regard to efforts to ensure that campuses are safe and welcoming environments.LeadershipStory

​​The following message was sent to the California State University community June 23, 2022:​


As you likely know and as recent media reports have made painfully clear, the California State University has fallen short in our effort to ensure that our campuses are safe and welcoming environments where students, faculty and staff can thrive personally, professionally and intellectually, free of discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct.

The CSU's Board of Trustees and its senior leadership—like the entire Cal State community—hold our institution's core values dear and have acted quickly, calling for a systemwide assessment of our Title IX policies and practices. While I am pleased with the Board's fast action, I also want to communicate more clearly to the CSU's stakeholders regarding what that assessment will look like—and about the principles and values that will inform and guide our efforts.

So today, on the 50th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX, please allow me to do so. I'll begin with a few words about what I bring to this effort.

When I assumed the presidency at CSUN in 2000, I inherited a number of Title IX issues, but they were all related to gender equity in intercollegiate athletics. We were out of compliance with regard to participation, scholarships and overall funding. Equity in sports is what Title IX meant to me. While there have been cases extending Title IX to sexual harassment since the late 1970s, it really wasn't until the Obama administration and the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights issued its landmark “Dear Colleague Letter" of 2011—as I was retiring from the CSUN presidency—that universities' responsibilities around sexual harassment and misconduct under Title IX were made clear.

So, I am not a Title IX expert. I am a 74-year-old white woman who has had many privileges in life. But while I have not experienced what could be described as sexual violence, I certainly have faced gender-based discrimination, and I have experienced sexually inappropriate behavior and physical intimidation. And I know unequivocally that how people are treated—how we treat people, as universities and a university system—matters. In fact, it reflects all that we stand for.

The CSU is at an inflection point, with a unique opportunity to fundamentally change the way we treat people: our diverse and talented students, our world-class faculty and staff, our partners and friends. To approach the systemwide Title IX assessment as some sort of bureaucratic check-the-box exercise would be to squander that opportunity.

That will not happen.

This assessment is not a mere checklist audit of our Title IX offices, ensuring that we do a better job dotting our i's and crossing our t's as we investigate and adjudicate cases. Meaningful change is much bigger. It is more comprehensive. Indeed, it is cultural.

The firm we have hired to conduct our assessment—Cozen O'Connor—understands this. They understand that, on our campuses and systemwide, we must build and sustain two separate yet related cultures: a culture of compliance and a culture of care.

Beginning with Fresno State, teams from Cozen O'Connor will move from campus to campus and to the Chancellor's Office, conducting methodical and comprehensive analyses of our systems of compliance and systems of care.

We will act upon their recommendations to tighten up our culture of compliance—developing, communicating and implementing clear policies related to misconduct, investigations, adjudications and sanctions. We will work to remove barriers to reporting, better educate constituents regarding their Title IX obligations, address instances of retaliation and ensure access to survivor advocates, effective employee assistance programs and physical and mental health care services—both on campus and off.

But simultaneously, we will strengthen our culture of care. That means ongoing prevention programs, awareness campaigns and bystander education. And it means striving to dismantle rape and sexual violence myths and seeking to address the underlying social issues that contribute to the persistence of sexual violence: sexism, harmful gender norms and stereotypes, heterosexism and ignorance around LGBTQIA+ issues.

It's easy to see how the cultures of compliance and care are complementary and interrelated. Students and employees who see positive outcomes and accountability and who understand that they will be supported by their community if they come forward—and not be marginalized—are more likely to report. And a more educated and enlightened campus community is less likely to engage in sexual misconduct, and more likely to intervene when they see it.

As the nation's largest, most diverse and most consequential university system, we have a great obligation and opportunity. If we get this right—and we will—we can serve as a model for higher education as we live out our core values. And as we immerse California's future leaders in an authentic culture of care, our graduates will carry the impact of our work far beyond our campus borders—into every business sector and community in our great state.

I'm not naive. I am fully aware that this work is hard and that it seeks to address longstanding systemic problems as well as deeply rooted attitudes and behaviors. It will take time, requiring diligence and persistence and continuous self-assessment and improvement.

But we have been called to action—and we will answer that call. We must. Our students, faculty and staff—indeed, all our constituents—demand it. And our mission and core values require it.


Sincerely,

Jolene Koester

Interim Chancellor


If any member of the CSU community has experienced sexual discrimination or sexual violence—or knows anyone who has—​we encourage them to contact their campus Title IX office​.

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An Important Message from CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester
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