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Provost Message - March 8, 2017

I attended the two-day, CSU Academic Council meeting up near Los Angeles International Airport last week. The event focused on several external topics facing the system and our university, and some of the discussions were very positive.

I was pleased to hear that year-round Pell Grants are being considered, and we would certainly support that. So many of our students are unable to take summer classes because of the cost of these courses, and if year-round summer Pell Grants were available, it would help alleviate that cost for some of our students.

Also, giving testament to the faculty’s excellence across the system, it was reported that there was a 15 percent increase in sponsored research dollars across the system. CSU faculty now bring in close to $600 million in research funding.

Among the several important task forces within the Academic Council is the General Education Task Force and the Tenure-Track Density Task Force, which is looking at the system’s goal of increasing tenure-track faculty and how to do it. I look forward to getting the report from the Tenure-Track Density team.

I also traveled to Sacramento last week to attend Policy Insights 2017, a conference hosted by the private California Budget and Policy Center. The event included presentations by State Sen. Holly Mitchell, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, and State Assemblyman Phil Ting, chair of the Assembly Committee on Budgets.

Seated next to a CFA representative, I listened as both legislators touched on the many competing demands for funding in the state, and both expressed their support for higher education. As a result, I remain cautiously optimistic that we will see some improvement in our budget situation, which is something we will get a better look at when the May revise numbers are released.

CSU Executive Vice Chancellor Loren Blanchard’s visit went well, and I felt he really had an opportunity to engage with both faculty and students. During his visit, we discussed our plan for student success, including our Graduation 2025 Initiative, which is the system-wide plan to raise CSU’s four-year graduation rates.

The thrust of our plan is to focus on removing obstacles that hinder students from graduating in four years. We are looking to use our analytical abilities to design schedules and curriculum, and we want to provide additional summer and intersession classes and scholarships to students. We also want to encourage students to seek out advising assistance immediately as freshmen.

According to the UCLA CIRP Freshman Survey, 86 percent of students want to graduate in four years. So, it makes sense that we do what we can to make this more of a reality for our students.

Finally, I was very happy to be part of the groundbreaking ceremony for the College of Continuing and Professional Education’s (CCPE) new building last Friday. The college is an important part of our university, providing a major link between the university and the outside world as it works with local business and industry and educates a wide variety of students, including adult learners and international students.

From what I understand, a dedicated building for CCPE is long overdue. I congratulate Dean Jeet Joshee on his efforts to make this dream a reality, and I look forward to the Fall 2018 semester when we cut the ribbon to officially open the facility to students, faculty and staff.


Interviews, Forums Set to Begin This Week in Search to Fill The Richard D. Green Dean Position

Interviews and public forums for finalists for the Richard D. Green Dean, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics position begin this week.

The finalists and the dates of their campus visits are listed below. Additional information on the candidates and a form to provide feedback is available online.

Finalists include:

  • Dr. Catherine Clark, Dean, College of Science and Engineering,
    Western Washington University
    On campus: Thursday, March 9, and Friday, March 10
    Open Forum: Friday, March 10, 3:30-4:30pm, HSCI-102

  • 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

  • Dr. Curtis D. Bennett, Professor of Mathematics, Loyola Marymount University
    On campus: Monday, March 20 and Tuesday, March 21
    Open Forum: TBA

2 Funding Opportunities Available for Faculty Through U.S. Department of Ed’s Project HOGAR

Director of Graduate Studies in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Principal Investigator Babette Benken has announced the availability of two grant opportunities for tenured/tenure-track CSULB faculty through Project HOGAR (Hispanic Opportunities for Graduate Access and Retention).

Applications must be received by Monday, March 20, at 5 p.m.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the grants are primarily aimed at expanding postbaccalaureate educational opportunities for, and improve the academic attainment of, Hispanic students.

The two funding opportunities include:

  • Grant Mentoring Program—This program provides funds for developing collaborative research between CSULB faculty and successful mentors. Awards provide three units of assigned time to prepare a proposal for external funding with coaching from a paid research/grant mentor;

  • Summer 2017 Grant Program—The goal of these faculty grants is to stimulate collaborative and/or individual research/scholarly projects that support current and/or future CSULB postbaccalaureate students. A minimum of nine $4,000 summer grants are available.

Additionally, each college is invited to appoint a representative to serve on the Selection Committee. Send the name of representatives to Benken before March 10. Award recipients will be notified on or before April 14.

19 Students Recognized for Presentations at
2017 CSULB Student Research Competition

Nineteen students were recognized with awards at the 2017 CSULB Student Research Competition, which was held on Friday, Feb. 17, in the College of Business Administration Building.

More than 30 students competed in nine different categories at the event for a $100 first-place prize and the chance to move on to the 31st Annual CSU Statewide Student Research Competition, set for April 28-29 at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Student winners (and their faculty mentors) included:

Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • First Place - Sarah Ottone (Christine Scott-Hayward, Criminal Justice)
  • Second Place - Amalia Lira (Gino Galvez, Psychology)
  • Honorable Mention - Matthew Argame (Erlyana Erlyana, Health Care Administration)

Biological and Agricultural Sciences

  • First Place - Ellie Wenger (Jesse Dillon, Biological Sciences)
  • Second Place - Michael Carrillo (Bryan Rourke, Biological Sciences)

Business, Economics, and Public Administration

  • First Place - Nicholas Jenkins (Chen Ng, Economics)
  • Second Place - Cesar Servin (Chen Ng, Economics)

Creative Arts and Design

  • First Place - Dillon Parker (Rob Frear, Music)


  • First Place - Charlotte Haigh (Paul Ratanasiripong, Counseling)
  • Second Place - Tyler Fister (Carlos Silveira, Art)

Engineering and Computer Science

  • Second Place - Katherine Leyba (I-Hung Khoo, Electrical Engineering)

Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences

  • First Place - Sheena Cruz (Niloofar Bavarian, Health Science)
  • Second Place - Hugo Sanchez (Guido Urizar, Psychology)
  • Honorable Mention - Lauren Dunne (Guido Urizar, Psychology)

Humanities and Letters

  • First Place - Vanessa Malabanan (Cory Wright, Philosophy)
  • Second Place - Eve Doering (Clorinda Donato, Italian Studies)

Physical and Mathematical Sciences

  • First Place - Zack Hall (Prashanth Jaikumar, Physics & Astonomy)
  • Second Place - Anh Nguyen (Thomas Gredig, Physics & Astonomy)
  • Honorable Mention - Luke Wukmer (Jen-Mei Chang, Mathematics & Statistics)

Safe Zone Ally Training for Faculty, Staff,
Teaching Assistants to be Held March 10

Faculty, staff, and teaching assistants are invited to participate in a training program to help them better understand lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) issues and be part of a university-wide network of support.

The Safe Zone Ally Training will be held Friday, March 10, from 8 – 11:30 a.m. Space is limited. Those interested in attending should RSVP to Sharon Cruz.

After training, faculty and staff will serve as allies who use their knowledge and skills to foster a supportive and safe atmosphere for LGBTQ students, faculty and staff. Everyone who completes the training will receive a CSULB Safe Zone Ally sticker to display.

Teach-in Series Continues on March 21
with Look at 'Mass Media and Democracy'

The College of Liberal Arts will host the third in its series of teach-ins focused on “Reclaiming Democracy” on Tuesday, March 21, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Titled “Mass Media and Democracy,” the third teach-in will take place at the Speakers Platform in front of the University Bookstore.

The teach-ins feature two to three speakers (about 10 minutes each) followed by 30-minute discussions on the grass on related sub-topics led by faculty members. Representatives from student and community activist groups will be at tables providing information about their work.

President’s Commission on Status of Women to Hold Online Elections; Nominations Due March 10

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) will hold online elections in April to add one Management Personnel Plan (MPP) and two staff members to the Commission. The term of office for each category is three years (June 2017 through May 2020), and meetings are from 10 a.m. to noon on the second Friday of the month during the academic year.

PCSW’s mission is to ensure the university responds to the needs of women by removing inequities and by providing a supportive educational, working and social environment for all members of the campus community.

Interested applicants are requested to complete and submit the Candidate Election Form to Lynisha McDuel via email, fax (562-985-4439) or in person at Veterans Services (Foundation Building, Suite 220) by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 10.

New Reciprocal Parking Procedures in Wake
of Switch to License Plate Recognition System

With the introduction of License Plate Recognition (LPR) and virtual permitting on CSULB campus, physical permits are no longer issued or required for many permit types. As a result, new parking procedures have been created in order to facilitate parking on multiple CSU campuses for individuals who are concurrently employed or for those who are simply visiting those campuses.

Concurrently Employed
If you are employed at more than one CSU campus and you are on payroll deduction or have purchased your permit in full at CSULB, then you can fill out the Concurrent Employment Parking Application form and bring the signed form to the Cashiers Office. The form will be validated based on your permit status. You would then present the validated form to the CSU campus of concurrent employment in order to receive the parking permit equivalent for that campus. If you have purchased a permit at another CSU campus and wish to use it at CSULB, please see the specific procedures for each campus as outlined on the CSULB Concurrent Employment website.

Visiting another CSU campus
If simply visiting or attending events at another CSU campus, please contact the coordinator of the event for information regarding event parking or procedures specific to that campus and event.

The Financial Management Office is available at ext. 5-2232 for any additional questions.

Next Message

The next Provost’s Message will be published on Wednesday, March 22. Items for the upcoming message should be submitted to by Friday, March 17.