Welcome to the new academic year

Published August 22, 2023

Dear Beach Community:

I offer you a hearty welcome to a new academic year, with special greetings to our new students, faculty, staff, and administrators arriving at The Beach for the first time.

At the start of each semester, I feel such energy and optimism about what's to come. I wish you every success as 2023-24 gets underway.

Of course, you are being welcomed to our beautiful campus in Southern California, and climate change is here. While more than 90% of state academic spaces are equipped with air conditioning, several areas, primarily in Fine Arts, will be uncomfortably warm during heat waves.

I’ve approved $9 million from campus reserves for new cooling technologies to be implemented in Fine Arts, but this project will not be complete until next December. And as much as we need comfortable spaces in which to learn, work, and live, I want us also to confront together the reality that we’ll likely be getting warmer every year.

Here are some things you should expect and consider:

  • On the warmest of days, we may need to adjust the temperature setpoints of our buildings as close as possible to the CSU standard of 78 degrees so that our central plant is able to keep up with cooling demand throughout campus.
  • In a heat emergency, we will continue to use portable fans and AC units, switch to temporary online or alternative instructional spaces when necessary, and promote intermittent respite in air-conditioned facilities.
  • Take periodic breaks if responsibilities bring you outside, stay hydrated, and wear lightweight fabrics with light colors.

Over the next several weeks, our President’s Commission on Sustainability will provide tips on keeping cool and taking personal action to save the planet. The reality of global warming means we must adjust our behaviors to maintain comfort and safety.

Again, welcome and welcome back to The (warming) Beach! I’m so glad you're a part of this community. 

Jane Close Conoley, Ph.D.