CSU Bakersfield President's Monthly Campus Update
Horace Mitchell, Ph.D.
- October 30, 2009
- Vol. 4, No. 10
A snapshot of October's calendar of events at CSUB shows a campus running on all cylinders. Within a thirty-day span, the campus community underwent two critical external institutional reviews. We joined with community health care partners to inform the public about and provide inoculations against the H1N1 flu pandemic. We hosted a culturally enriching art exhibit, intellectually engaging speakers, and the entire bench of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. What is notable about this array of events is that it is typical of the offerings a university provides. It speaks to the importance of the presence and vitality of a university in the region. As I have stated on previous occasions and as you will find in many institutional statements, CSUB is an intellectual and cultural center for our region. As is our mission, we enrich the quality of life for our region. Our importance in our community cannot be overstated. In this issue, I will expound on the events mentioned above. I wish to thank each member of our campus and extended communities who worked together to make each of these undertakings successful.
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Reaffirmation of Accreditation
We have just concluded the site review portion of the Capacity and Preparatory Review (CPR) of the WASC accreditation reaffirmation process. Details about the WASC review process have been outlined in previous issues of the Update and are further detailed on our website. During the site visit, an eight-member review team comprised of university administrators and faculty from across the country spent two days interviewing more than 200 persons and reviewing voluminous documents to assess our institutional capacity for educational effectiveness. On Wednesday, the review team held an exit briefing for the campus at which they announced their commendations and recommendations. A video of the exit briefing is available on the website at http://www.csub.edu/wasc/. In about four weeks, we will receive a draft report and will have the opportunity to correct any factual errors. The review team will send its final report to the WASC Commission and to us in early December. We will appear before the WASC Commission at its February 2010 meeting and will receive an action letter from the Commission in early March. That letter will be made available to the public. The final phase of the review process, the Educational Effectiveness Review, will occur in spring 2011.
National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I Athletics Certification
During the first week of October, we hosted a four-member NCAA peer review team as part of our year- long self-study for Division I certification. The certification process is designed to ensure that intercollegiate athletics programs meet Division I standards. Through the review team's review of documents and interviews with campus and community constituents, they ensure that our self-study report is accurate, that the self-study process engaged broad-based participation, and that any identified issues have been addressed. We anticipate receipt of the peer review team's report next week. We will provide to the NCAA a written response to the report in mid-December. In February 2010 the NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification will meet, and we expect to receive its final decision regarding our certification for Division I in April 2010.
Both the WASC and NCAA reviews were great undertakings which could not have been accomplished without the engagement of persons across campus and in the community. We owe a debt of gratitude to the leadership of Soraya Coley, provost and vice president for academic affairs; Ed Sasaki, special assistant to the provost for planning and interim dean of the School of Humanities & Social Sciences; Curt Guaglianone, special assistant to the provost and WASC Accreditation Liaison Officer; Rudy Carvajal, Athletics Director; Gloria Friedman, Senior Associate Athletics Director; and Jackie Kegley, Faculty Athletics Representative. We are equally indebted to faculty, staff, and administrators across the institution who served on the WASC steering and planning committees and work groups, and the NCAA subcommittees. I extend thanks to our community partners, members of our Foundation Board, and President's Community Advisory Committee who graciously gave of their time to engage with our reviewers. Both of these review processes are testaments to the strength of our campus community and our community collaborations.
California 5th District Court of Appeal Justices Visit CSUB
We were honored yesterday to have a distinguished panel of visitors on campus for an important educational event. The justices from the California Fifth District Court of Appeal held an open forum for our students and the Bakersfield community. The entire bench was present engaging our students in discussions on judicial philosophy, independence, and activism, as well as the role of the court of appeal, and pathways to legal and judicial careers. It was an exceptional educational opportunity for our students to interact with the appellate justices. Congratulations to Michael Ault, associate professor of political science, ASi, and the Pre-Law Club for presenting an outstanding forum.
H1N1 Town Forum and Seasonal Flu Drive-Through Clinic
At the fore of public health concerns are the H1N1 flu pandemic as well as the seasonal flu. As a key community partner in serving our region, we joined yesterday with Kern County Board of Supervisors member Ray Watson and the Kern County Department of Public Health to present a town hall forum for our campus. Panelists Dr. Claudia Jonah, public health officer, Matt Constantine, Director of the Kern County Public Health Department, Dr. Oscar Rico, Student Health Center director, and David Beadle, director of safety and risk management, fielded flu-related questions from a live and virtual audience. Stephen Muchinyi, president of Associated Students, Inc., moderated the questions-and-answer session which included a number of questions from on-line attendees via Twitter and Facebook. A video of the town hall meeting is accessible on our home page.
In addition, today our campus is serving as a point of dispensing the seasonal flu vaccine to the public via a drive-through clinic. The public will receive the flu shots in Parking Lot "E", accessible via our Camino Media entrance. CSUB employees and students can receive the flu shot on a walk-in basis in the Romberg Nursing Center. Identification is required. Flu clinic information as well as answers to frequently answered questions regarding both H1N1 and the seasonal flu are available on our home page at www.csub.edu.
As I have stated in other campus communications, each of us can help prevent the spread of the flu by following simple measures: wash hands thoroughly and often with soapy water for at least 20 seconds; cover a sneeze or cough with a tissue and wash hands thereafter; avoid contact with persons who are ill; and remain home for at least 24 hours after a fever has passed. In addition to this information and that posted on our website, information can be received from the Student Health Center at 654-2394.
Chevron Corporation Makes $500,000 Gift
Our science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs will be strengthened by a generous gift of $500,000 from the Chevron Corporation. The grant was made as part of Chevron's California Partnership Initiative. Designed to increase the number of high school graduates who major in the STEM fields, the funds will support our Research Experience Vitalizing Science- University Program (REVS-UP). A critical part of the REV-UP funding will be the creation of a Natural Sciences and Mathematics Student Center, designed to provide guidance and assistance to prospective, transfer, and current students in the STEM fields. Please join me in congratulating Julio Blanco, dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Beverly Byl, Vice President for University Advancement. We express our thanks to Bruce Johnson, Vice President, and his staff at Chevron for their generous gift.
Student Affairs Faculty Advisory Board
In response to a desire by interim Vice President for Student Affairs John Hultsman to have a faculty advisory board for Student Affairs, the Academic Senate recently passed a resolution creating a Student Affairs Faculty Advisory Board. The role of the Student Affairs Faculty Advisory Board is to:
- present various faculty perspectives on the role of Student Affairs as the division strives to contribute to the University's mission,
- provide a forum for faculty to bring issues and concerns related to student services to the attention of the division; and
- develop and implement strategies to enhance the relationships between curricular and co-curricular initiatives.
Board members for 2009-2010 are Jess Deegan, chair of the Academic Senate (ex officio), Chandra Commuri, Academic Services and Student Support Committee (ex officio), Janice Black, Business & Public Administration, Emerson Case, Humanities, Christy Gavin, Library, Kris Grappendorf, School of Education, Kamel Haddad, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Doris Hall, Social Sciences, and Gia Marks, Counseling Center.
University Police Chief Claudia Neal Retiring
Chief Claudia Neal, a CSUB alumnus, will retire on May 1, 2010 after seven years with the University. Claudia retired from the Kern County Sheriffs Department in March 2003 after 25 years of service. Two months into that retirement, she was selected as the first female police chief at CSUB. Claudia had many significant accomplishments as the chief. Most notably, she has elevated the police department's relationship with the campus community by raising the bar on performance standards and expectations and greater interaction with the campus community. Please join me in thanking Claudia for her service to CSUB. We wish her well in retirement.
The last meeting of the year took place on October 16, 2009. The next University Council meeting is scheduled for January 29, 2010 from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the Albertson Room.
I look forward to seeing you around campus or at an upcoming University or community event. Take care.