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Provost Message - May 17, 2017

Well, here we are in the middle of finals and less than a week away from the university’s 2017 Commencement Exercises. It seems as if this first year of mine at The Beach has just flown by.

Graduation is always one of the happiest, and certainly one of the proudest, occasions in the lives of our students, their families and friends. I love attending commencement because we have so few official ceremonies or rituals in our lives like it, and this is one that marks the “going out into the world” for our students.

For those of us who have been to many of these ceremonies, it can seem long and dull, but it really means a lot to the students when faculty are there, especially when they can introduce parents and family to those faculty members who have made such a difference in their lives. I encourage all of you to attend.

Unfortunately, a CSU Board of Trustees meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday (May 23-24), and President Conoley has asked me to attend the meeting in her place. So, that means I will miss the first two days of ceremonies. I will be back on Thursday, however, to march in with the Platform Party and present thousands of degree candidates for conferral of their respective degrees. I hope to see you there.

For those who haven’t heard, I recently announced that Dr. Curtis Bennett has accepted the position of the Richard D. Green Dean for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He will begin his duties July 31.

Dr. Bennett received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1990. He was at Bowling Green State University for 10 years before moving to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in 2002. He served as chair of mathematics at LMU from 2006-11 and was associate dean for the College of Science and Engineering from 2011-15. As associate dean, Dr. Bennett led several college initiatives, including spearheading LMU’s successful 2012 McNair grant proposal.

Of our final candidates, Dr. Bennett had the best future vision for the college and focused on both its undergraduate and graduate responsibilities. He also is very aware of the key role of research within the college. I look forward to working with him.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dean Laura Kingsford for her many years of remarkable leadership and devoted service to the college. Her reputation mirrors and reflects that of the college – both are shining stars in the Long Beach firmament. I am happy she has agreed to stay on and continue to lead the campus’ NIH BUILD—Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity—efforts.

Recently, I was privileged to attend presentations from both the Data Fellows and Leadership Fellows programs. The two-year Leadership Fellows Program offers CSULB faculty and staff an opportunity to enhance their leadership abilities for administrative advancement, increase their knowledge of higher education systems, policies and processes, and enrich their personal development. The goals for Data Fellows are to foster a culture at the university and college level of ownership for data and for solutions that drive change to positively impact student success.

In any event, the presentations given by these fellows were impressive and at a very high level. It is pleasing to know that the future leadership of our system and university is in such good hands.

Finally, let me note that the NCAA recently released its Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the four-year period ending 2015-16, and CSULB once again exceeded the minimum score requirements in every sport. Developed by the NCAA in 2004, the APR measures the academic progress and performance of athletic programs at its member institutions.

It is my understanding that our campus is the only one in the California State University system to have passed the minimum standard in all sports since the inception of the four-year standard. I want to thank all of the faculty and staff whose work has made that "perfect record" possible. Your efforts continue to prove our university’s commitment to the academic success and graduation of our student-athletes. You can learn more about the campus’ 2015-16 APR here.

As the academic year comes to a close, I hope your semester is ending well and that your grading is not too onerous. I also hope that the thought of a refreshing and rejuvenating summer keeps you going in these last few busy and difficult days.

Division of Information Technology Shares
Results of Important Supreme Court Ruling

Officials from the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) are reaching out to the university community to make individuals aware of a recent California Supreme Court ruling, which was handed down on March 2 and has clarified the definition of public records.

As a result of the ruling, officials are advising employees that any email record or text message sent to conduct university business, using either campus or personal email accounts, are in scope as public records. This means that upon a public records request, email messages contained in personal email accounts or text messages on personal phones, are subject to disclosure if they were used to conduct university business.

For more information, visit the webpage on Important Information about Public Records, Email, and Text Messages.

Sustainability Task Force Inviting Faculty
to Its Green Thread Workshop on June 8

The Sustainability Task Force is inviting faculty members to participate in the Green Thread Workshop, a free resource for faculty interested in integrating issues of ecological, social and economic sustainability into courses across the CSULB curriculum.

The event will be held Thursday, June 8, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Barrett Athletic Administration Center.

The workshop is a curriculum development program designed for faculty to share practical strategies for connecting sustainability issues to core concepts in any discipline. Those interested can learn more about the workshop on the Sustainability webpage.

Space is limited. To reserve a spot, faculty can register online by Friday, May 26 at: For questions about the workshop, contact Sustainability Coordinator Holli Fajack at or ext. 5-1939.

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program
Calls for 'Teaching Writing Fellow' Nominations

The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program is seeking nominations for inaugural members of its Teaching Writing Fellows Program (TWFP) for the 2017-18 academic year. The deadline to submit applications is June 30.

All tenure-track and tenured instructors are eligible to become a Teaching Writing Fellow. Nominations will be accepted from deans or department chairs, or an eligible faculty member can also self-nominate with approval from his/her dean or chair.

Fellows will be asked:

  • To integrate, enhance, or alter (or all three) writing projects in some of their classes;
  • To create two workshops or presentations to faculty from their college or department, discussing the process they have gone through in enhancing their classes and what they have learned;
  • To identify and recommend one or two possible WAC Writing Fellows for the following academic year (2018-19).


TWFP will meet one time for a retreat and workshop in August for eight hours. At that time, members will decide on agreeable meeting times for five or six two-hour meetings spread throughout the academic year. All Teaching Writing Fellows will receive a start-up stipend of $500 and a completion stipend of $500.

Again, the application deadline is June 30, and all application forms should be submitted to John Scenters-Zapico. Additional information and the application form can be found online here.

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

Faculty members can participate in the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), which is the complement to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), through May 31. All are encouraged to take the survey.

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

  • How often students engage in different in- and out-of-classroom activities;
  • 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 in and out of the classroom.
  • Student academic dishonesty;
  • Campus inclusiveness and engagement with cultural diversity.


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

Employee and Faculty Centers Available
Soon Through Single Sign-On Application

This summer new “chiclets” (clickable icons) will be available within the campus single sign-on (SSO) application for the three MyCSULB service centers:

  • Student Center
  • Faculty Center
  • Employee Center

When the new chiclets are in place, faculty, staff and students will access MyCSULB services in SSO, and the current MyCSULB log in page will be retired.

For convenience, MyCSULB links and bookmarks will reroute to the SSO log-in page. After logging in, chiclets will be available depending on each person’s campus role (student, faculty, staff).

For sample screenshots, reference the CSULB Knowledge Base article MyCSULB Service Centers.

Next Message

The next Provost’s Message will be published on Wednesday, May 31. Items for the upcoming message should be submitted by Friday, May 26, to