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Provost Message - February 22, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a message to the campus community regarding the removal of unauthorized flyers that had been posted on various campus buildings by an external organization associated with white supremacy. The flyers were removed because the group did not follow the university’s policy on posting materials on campus, not because of the content of the flyers.

In my message I noted that CSULB’s commitment to free speech includes tolerating a wide array of viewpoints and belief systems. Due to this recent event, I thought it would be appropriate to share a link to a page on the First Amendment, which provides an excellent overview of what the law protects.

Naturally, it goes without saying that the rights that we enjoy as Americans to express ourselves freely, in terms of the First Amendment, do not preclude debate, argument or other forms of speech by others which may be diametrically opposed to our views. It is precisely this exchange of ideas which free speech envisages.

I look forward to welcoming CSU Executive Vice President Loren Blanchard to the university this Friday. The system’s leading academic affairs official will be meeting with leadership teams from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and the Academic Senate in the morning. Then, after lunch, he will have the chance to interact with students and see some of the campus’ student research before meeting with the Graduation Initiative Team and President Conoley.

I recently attended the 2017 CSU Academic Conference and Retreat, hosted by CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White at San Diego State University and organized by the statewide CSU Academic Senate. This year’s theme was “Closing the Achievement Gap.”

The conference brought together members of the CSU Board of Trustees, administrative, faculty and student leaders from the CSU campuses, system administrators, state legislators and others for a formal and informal dialogue, reflection, creative strategizing and long-term planning. The event included a pair of keynote addresses—one by Diane Ravitch, the nation’s leading advocate for public education, and the other by Tia Brown McNair, vice president in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Student Success for the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

I appreciated the opportunity to participate in the various discussions and debate ideas surrounding the CSU’s achievement gap and how to improve it. It was both interesting and informative.

Finally, recent discussions in the Academic Senate and with the president support the view that we should go forward with a scientific survey of our campus climate, including thoughts and feelings about ethnic studies. The previous ethnic studies survey, although useful, was a convenience sample (non-scientific). This survey will be available later this semester or early next semester. Please be on the lookout for it.

Finalists for CNSM Dean Announced; Interviews, Forums Begin Next Week

Three finalists for the Richard D. Green Dean, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics position have been selected and will be on campus for interviews beginning next week.

The finalists and the dates of their campus visits are listed below. Additional information on the candidates and a form to provide feedback will be available online later this week. Finalists include:

  • Dr. Susan Ganter
    Director, School of Education and Professor of Mathematics
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

    On campus: Thursday, March 2, and Friday, March 3
    Open Forum: TBA

  • Dr. Catherine Clark
    Dean, College of Science and Engineering
    Western Washington University

    On campus: Thursday, March 9, and Friday, March 10
    Open Forum: TBA

  • Dr. Kevin Mandernack
    Professor and Chair, Department of Earth Sciences
    Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

    On campus: Monday, March 13, and Tuesday, March 14
    Open Forum: TBA

History, English Professors Co-Write Article Published in German Newspaper Supplement

History Professor Ken Curtis and English Professor Norbert Schürer co-wrote an article that used a recent teach-in to focus on the campus’ political climate in the wake of the presidential election and what CSULB is doing in terms of post-election resistance and fostering a healthy debate. The article has been posted on Zeit Campus, the university supplement of the German newspaper Die Zeit.

Proposals for Academic Technology Services’ Departmental Incentive Program Due March 1

Academic Technology Services (ATS) is sending out a call for proposals for its ATS Departmental Incentive Program, which is designed to facilitate departmental strategic planning for implementing online and hybrid courses at the university. Proposals are due by Wednesday, March 1.

The program also will help identify technology needs that align with each college’s, as well as the university’s, strategic plan.

Program awardees will participate in a series of three workshops, which will help produce a planning document that outlines learning technology needs and preferences for modes of instruction. Associate Vice President for Academic Technology Shawna Dark notes that funding is currently available for every interested department.

More information and access to the application form can be found at the ATS Departmental Incentive Program website.

2 Remaining Campus Interviews for Finalists in College of Education Dean Search Begin March 6

There are two remaining campus interviews for finalists in the search for a new dean for the College of Education.

  • March 6-7: Dr. Matthew Lynch, Owner of Lynch Consulting Group, LLC
  • March 8-9: Dr. Keith Wilson, Faculty member, Rehabilitation Institute, Southern Illinois University

Information on the remaining candidates, dates and times of their open forums and a form to provide feedback are available online.

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to Host NEH Grant Seminar for Faculty on March 8

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs is hosting a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Grant Seminar for Faculty on Wednesday, March 8, from 9 a.m.-noon in the Barrett Athletic Administration Building’s second floor conference room.

Registration is for the seminar is free, but seating is limited. RSVPs are required by Friday, March 3, and can be emailed to CSULB.ResearchForum@yahoo.com.

Among the presenters will be Geoff Burrows, senior program officer in the NEH Division of Research, and Felicia Harmer Kelley, project and evaluation director for California Humanities. The event will include an NEH program overview, including application writing tips and a question-and-answer session, and an NEH application mock review panel.

Questions regarding the seminar can also be sent to CSULB.ResearchForum@yahoo.com

Spring Fellows Colloquium to Focus
on ‘Learning Science by Doing Science’

The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) will present its Spring Fellows Colloquium on Thursday, March 16, in The Chartroom with a reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the program starting at 7.

Titled “Learning Science By Doing Science,” the event will feature Department of Science Education Professors Alan Colburn and Laura Henriques, who will share what is new in science education and how the state’s new K-12 science standards will help students become critical thinkers and problem solvers. In addition, attendees will have an opportunity to do a little science of their own.

For more information or to reserve a seat by March 6, visit the CNSM Fellows webpage.

Benefits Services to Host 2 CalPERS
‘Planning Your Retirement’ Workshops

The Benefits Services Office will host a pair of CalPERS “Planning Your Retirement” workshops, one on Tuesday, March 7, from 9-11:30 a.m. and the other on Wednesday, June 21 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., in the second floor conference room of the Barrett Athletic Center.

The deadline to register for the March workshop is Friday, March 3, and attendees must register for the June workshop by Monday, June 12.

Due to limited seating, the workshop is only offered to CSULB employees who are eligible for a CalPERS Service Retirement—must have a minimum of five years earned service credit in the CalPERS Retirement System and be at least 50 years of age.

Anyone planning to attend should send an email to Benefits Services (benefits@csulb.edu) or call ext. 5-2381. Due to limited seating, registration is required. For more information, see the Benefits Services website.

Affordable Care Act Annual Benefit Statements
to be Mailed to Eligible Employees by March 2

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires both employers and health insurance carriers to provide eligible employees with annual benefits statements using Internal Revenue Service forms 1095-B and 1095-C. The 1095-B and 1095-C forms will be created and mailed to eligible employees on or before March 2 by your health insurance carrier and by the State Controller’s Office, respectively.

To assist you with better understanding these forms and any actions needed, general key points regarding each form are listed below. For more detailed information, please review the FAQs here.

1095-B Form

  • The 1095-B form is prepared and issued by your health insurance carrier to all employees and dependents who were covered by a health insurance carrier for at least one day in 2016.
  • It will be sent to your mailing address on or before March 2.
  • File the 1095-B with your income tax return to establish that you and your dependents were enrolled in health coverage in 2016. If you have already filed your 2016 tax return prior to receiving the 1095-B form, you are permitted to use other information about your health insurance for purposes of your tax return.
  • Contact information for our health insurance carriers is listed within the FAQs. Please contact your carrier directly with any questions regarding your 1095-B form.

1095-C Form

  • Prepared by the State Controller’s Office for those considered full-time employees (averaging 130 hours or more per month) under the Affordable Care Act.
  • The state will mail this form to eligible employees on or before March 2.
  • The 1095-C form is for informational purposes and does not need to be filed with your tax return.
  • Contact the Benefits Services team at ext. 5-2381 or at benefits@csulb.edu if you should have questions regarding your 1095-C form.

Next Message

The next Provost’s Message will be published on Wednesday, March 8.

Items for the upcoming message should be submitted to
aa-communication@csulb.edu by Friday, March 3.