What’s in the future for Long Beach State? Plenty, according to the 3,665 participants who logged into Beach 2030 this week to share and discuss how they envision the campus in the coming decade.
The campus and community came together online for two days to suggest ideas on how the university can better prepare for the future and in which areas. A total of 24,300 topics were shared on the platform and ranged from free tuition to improved technology to sustainability to interdisciplinary majors and increased parking. There was even a push to name a giraffe as a new mascot.
The campus could, and will, look and operate much differently than its current 2018 model if these many proposals are implemented.
“I don’t think our institutional priorities will change much,” President Jane Close Conoley said. “We will be completely committed to academic rigor, inclusive excellence, innovation and public good.
“I think the way we approach those priorities -- the strategies and tactics -- may change dramatically. The number of possibilities is endless (and) I think the important key is to be open to those possibilities as long as they serve our students’ successes."
Participants posted their ideas on “cards” that were designated as Positive Imagination (hopeful ideas) or Shadow Imagination (concerning ideas). The forum allowed for replies, expanding upon the topic.
Although the event is over and site closed for comments, Beach 2030 is not done. The work continues.
The archive of Beach 2030 will stay live until Spring 2019, so ideas and suggestions can be reviewed. A series of workshops will be held next spring, which will further examine the conversations around each theme and topic.
A vision map and strategic plan for Beach 2030 will be released in early 2020, giving the community and campus a foundation of the process and outcomes, as well as a path to move forward.
“In my view, this was a phenomenal success at many levels,” said Dhushy Sathianathan, Vice Provost for Academic Plannning. “We have proved to ourselves that we can have an open conversation among diverse participants in a professional manner. This is high bar for open online conversations. I am proud the Beach community has stepped up to this challenge. “
Sathianathan said that another effect of platforms such as Beach 2030 was that people were able to connect with others through ideas and conversations.
“If all of us take a small step in the right direction, this is a giant leap for BEACH 2030,” he said. “This is an opportunity for all of us to leave behind a legacy that we were part of this journey.”