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Provost Message - April 5, 2017

Welcome back, everyone. I hope Spring Break was everything each of you wanted it to be. Now, we head into the homestretch of the 2016-17 academic year with the university’s graduation ceremonies set to begin in less than seven weeks.

After an excellent search process that produced three outstanding but quite different candidates, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Dhushy Sathianathan has been selected as Academic Affairs’ new vice provost and assistant vice president of academic planning. In my view, his experience and achievements in the role make him the best person for the job.

I also am happy to report that Dr. Shireen Pavri has accepted the position of dean for the College of Education. Again, after a nationwide search for the post, Dr. Pavri was a clear choice for the job. She has been serving as the interim dean for about a year and has been very successful in that role.

I look forward to working with Dhushy and Shireen for many years to come.

In the coming weeks, we should be able to announce the outcomes of the searches for the Richard D. Green Dean, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and assistant vice president for undergraduate studies. In addition, semifinalist interviews for the division’s vice provost for academic programs and dean of graduate studies position begin next week with an eye toward scheduling final interviews for that job at the end of April, beginning of May.

Finally, I recently had a lunch meeting with CSULB alumnus and Mayor of Long Beach Robert Garcia, concerning the strong links that exist between the university and the city. We had a very positive discussion about his vision for downtown and some very interesting possibilities for the campus in the pipeline.

In particular, there is an existing tower in downtown that could potentially provide housing for 1,000 students and faculty and provide space for the University Art Museum. While it is all in the very early planning stages, it is something I’m quite excited about, and something that would be good for the city, good for downtown and good for the university.

Applications for Professors Around the World,
Faculty Incentive Grants Program, Due April 15

The Office of the Provost, in conjunction with the Office of International Education and Global Engagement, is once again pleased to sponsor “Professors Around the World” (PAW) – a CSULB global faculty incentive grants program.

The goal of PAW is to strengthen CSULB's global mission and comprehensive campus internationalization initiatives by engaging and supporting faculty travel related to:

  • Developing study or work abroad opportunities for students;
  • Building relationships with overseas partner institutions;
  • International research projects with clear student impacts or potential for growing institutional linkages.

Strong preference will be given to projects that are sustainable as opposed to one-off activities. All tenured, tenure-track and full-time faculty (Unit 3) are eligible to apply. The next cycle of applications are due by April 15 for travel to be completed by June 30, 2018. Send submissions to Teri Jablonski.

For more information about the program and to download application instructions and the cover sheet, visit the campus’ Professors Around the World webpage.

Campus Community Invited to Congratulate 2017
Alumni Grant Recipients at Reception on April 18

The campus community is invited to congratulate winners in the 27th annual Alumni Grants Program at a reception on Tuesday, April 18, beginning at 4 p.m. at The Pointe in The Walter Pyramid. The presentation will begin at 4:30.

Hosted by the CSULB Alumni Association, the reception will recognize 10 Alumni Grant recipients and present them with awards totaling $49,225. The association expressed deep thanks to SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union for its continuing generous sponsorship of the grant program.

This year’s recipients (and the area receiving the grant) include:

  • Bonnie Gasior (Athletics): Smart room equipment for Ukleja Center -- $ 7,422;
  • Shadnaz Asgari (Biomedical Engineering): Microsoft HoloLens to teach “mixed reality”--$3,000;
  • Yuanyu (Kent) Lee (Center for Education in Proteomics Analysis): Waters Micromass API-US Mass Spectrometer--$7,500;
  • Ken Nakayama and Chris Brazier (Chemistry and Biochemistry): Laboratory balances for organic chemistry--$3,749;
  • Paul Laris (Geography): UAV (aka “drone”) for Geospatial Applications-- $7,500;
  • David Stout (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering): CSULB lightboard to bring a kind of virtual reality into the classroom--$7,498;
  • Alaine Ocampo (Speech-Language Pathology): Assessment tests software for graduate student clinicians and clinic clients--$2,391;
  • Melissa Norrbom (STEMx): Sisters in Motion, Stay in Motion: Programming materials--$665;
  • Chris Anthony (Theatre Arts): Design CAD software to train students in theatrical design--$7,500;
  • Greg Armento (University Library): Cambodian (Khmer) language and culture materials to support the new minor--$2,000.

To RSVP for the reception, contact Sally Schliesmayer at or call her at ext. 5-1606 by April 14.

The Alumni Grants Program was created to enhance academic departments and non-academic programs, enriching the student experience and having a lasting impact on the university. Since its founding in 1991, the program has awarded more than $875,500 in support of student excellence.

University Art Museum Receives $40,000 Grant

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts has awarded the CSULB University Art Museum (UAM) one of its 2017 Artist Project Grants, which support compelling and inventive projects in any medium, particularly work that is lesser-known or has proven difficult to make or fund.

The $40,000 grant will be used to present a solo exhibition of new work by Lauren Woods, a conceptual artist whose hybrid media projects—film, video, sound installations, public intervention, and site-specific work—engage history as a lens by which to view the socio-politics of the present. She creates ethno-fictive documents and explores how traditional monument-making can be translated into new models of commemoration.

The UAM exhibition is part of a five-year focus—conceived of by newly appointed director of the museum, Kimberli Meyer—that probes white supremacy and structural injustice and commits to deep and long-lasting investment in the work and ideas of artists outside of the hegemonic systems.

College of Business Administration Unveils
Catalyst Room—Co-Working Space for Students

As part of the initiative to increase and support innovation and entrepreneurship at CSULB, many colleges are taking actions to provide resources and support for this effort. One of the initiatives in the College of Business Administration (CBA) is its new Catalyst Room.

Co-working spaces are critical to support and encourage students and faculty to collaborate. The CBA created a co-working space for students to use as their creative space. The Catalyst Room was an effort spearheaded by Dean Michael Solt and funded through CBA.

Additionally, the Catalyst Room houses the CBA Legal Clinic, which is run by Allison Butler, one of the CBA business law instructors. She provides support and guidance to students concerning questions related to patents, trademarks and other legal questions.

There are plans in place to expand into basic accounting, marketing and social media, and other types of services to help students with their entrepreneurial ideas and ventures.

The Catalyst Room is open to any student and faculty teams in need of space to work on their ideas and entrepreneurial efforts. The room is open the same hours as the Student Computing Center – Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Fridays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Faculty Members Encouraged to Participate
in Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE)

CSULB is participating in the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), which is the complement to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) that the university’s students are completing now. All faculty members are encouraged to take the survey.

By taking the FSSE, faculty can help the campus understand student engagement from their perspective, answering questions about:

  • How often students engage in different activities inside and outside the classroom;
  • The importance faculty place on various areas of learning and development;
  • The nature and frequency of faculty-student interactions;
  • How faculty organize their time, both inside and outside the classroom;
  • Student academic dishonesty;
  • Campus inclusiveness and engagement with cultural diversity.

Faculty members will soon receive a survey invitation from Some may have already received it. Reminders to participate in the survey are scheduled to be sent out on the following dates:

  • Reminder 1: Wednesday, April 12
  • Reminder 2: Monday, April 17
  • Final Reminder: Thursday, April 20

For more information on why participating in FSSE matters, visit the website at Contact Charity Bowles for questions.

CSULB Regional Economic Forum Set for April 14
at Long Beach Convention, Entertainment Center

The Economics Department and Office of Economic Research will present its Regional Economic Forum on Friday, April 14, from 7:30-10:30 a.m. in the Seaside Ballroom of the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.

The annual spring forum serves as a venue for experts to provide insight and analysis on regional, state and national economic trends and challenges. The audience, comprised of local business and government leaders as well as concerned citizens, will also hear about business opportunities and investment in the City of Long Beach.

With a focus on private sector investment, scheduled speakers for the event include Jennifer Didlo, a graduate of the California State University system and president/plant manager at AES Energy, Inc. She will discuss the planned update of the power plant facility located along Studebaker Road in Long Beach and the new battery storage unit to be built on the site.

Cliff Ratkovich of Ratkovich Properties will discuss his company’s major investment in a redevelopment project in downtown Long Beach that will create additional facilities, including much-needed student and faculty housing opportunities, space for CSULB programing and commercial space. In addition, Christopher Thornberg, a founding partner of Beacon Economics and one of California’s most widely renowned economists, will present an analysis of the state and national economy.

Individual tickets for the event are $45. For additional information, visit the Regional Economic Forum website.

Therapy Animals at CSULB Will Have Booth,
Therapy Dogs at ‘Live Your Life Day’ on April 11

Therapy Animals at CSULB, hosted by Disabled Student Services, will have a booth with therapy dogs at the lawn across from the University Bookstore on Tuesday, April 11, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. as part of Wellness Week’s “Live Your Life Day.”

“Live Your Life Day” is a resource fair that will focus on mental and physical wellness, de-stigmatizing mental illness and encouraging overall wellness for students, faculty and staff.

Benefits Office Offering Workshops
on Social Security, Retirement Planning

April is National Financial Literacy Month, and the Benefits Office is partnering with Fidelity Investments to offer two informative workshops on Tuesday, April 18, that will help increase financial knowledge and help plan for a comfortable future.

“Make the Most of Social Security” will be presented at 9 a.m. on April 18. The Social Security deduction appears on paychecks each month, but many people don’t fully understand Social Security benefits. At this workshop, presenters will discuss:

  • How to optimize your Social Security benefits
  • When and how to claim your Social Security benefits
  • Understand the different Social Security choices available
  • How to calculate your benefits
  • Put a plan in place to prepare for living in retirement

“Fundamentals of Retirement Planning – Planning on Your Own” will follow at 2 p.m. on April 18. Those who are single, divorced or widowed have specific retirement needs and risks to consider. These will be specifically addressed during this workshop in an effort to gain a better understanding about:

  • The financial and personal risks pre-retirees planning for retirement on their own may face
  • The five key retirement risks
  • Identifying income and expenses in retirement
  • Creating a retirement plan that will work for you

Each workshop will last approximately one hour and will be held in the Barrett Athletic Administrative Center (BAAC) Conference Room. RSVP by Monday, April 17, to extension 5-2381 or to

Next Message

The next Provost’s Message will be published on Wednesday, April 19. Items for the upcoming message should be submitted to by Friday, April 14.