March 7, 2019
Last fall, as I met with each of the colleges, I discussed our twin priorities of student success and faculty excellence. Helping our students attain their educational objectives is our number one goal. Research demonstrates the dramatic impact of college degrees on future earnings and on individual, family, and community health. Timely degree completion also contributes to upward mobility by allowing more students access to Cal State LA. While we have work to do to improve our graduation rates, we should be proud of the steady progress we are making.
Student success rests in large part on the excellence of our faculty. We have hired close to 180 new tenure-track faculty over the past few years and dozens of searches are in progress to welcome more in the fall. We have also invested in new approaches to faculty development in the Center for Effective Teaching & Learning, including ACUE, an online program, readily accessible to part-time and full-time faculty, designed to foster teaching practices that promote student success. But nowhere better do the twin priorities of student success and faculty excellence intertwine than in faculty research, scholarship, and creative activity. The information below on the 27th Annual Student Research Symposium demonstrates just how true this is.
Active scholars, artists, and researchers enhance student learning every day by engaging students in their work and by bringing new knowledge, breaking developments, and emerging fields into their classrooms. Our teacher-scholars work hard to balance the demands of teaching and research—a balancing act not unique to Cal State LA but common at many of our sister CSUs. Presidents and provosts across the state agree that we must grow our support for faculty professional activities. I encourage you to read the CSU’s recently published strategic plan for research, Envisioning the Future of Research, Scholarship and Creative activity in the CSU. It stresses the value of faculty research and creative activities to students, to the university, and to our communities and the region. It also demonstrates that we need to provide better support for faculty excellence. This year we are focusing on strengthening the Office of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities, including improvements in the IRB process for research with human subjects and bolstering support for sponsored programs (grant-funded projects that support faculty research and student learning). But we can and will do more.
As we look toward the next academic year, I encourage us all to think about how we wouldenvision the future of research, scholarship, and creative activity at Cal State LA. In the fall, we will launch our own inclusive strategic planning process to create a vision and a compass to get there. We will work together to strengthen our efforts to support faculty excellence and with it student success.
Thank you to all who actively participated in the discussion about the Admission Proposal Plan for Fall 2020 by attending campus meetings, town halls, and submitting comments through the web or by email. Your responses were very much appreciated. I also want to thank the Academic Senate for opening their meeting allowing for additional feedback and comments. The provost's response to the questions posed at Senate are posted here. Discussions involving admission criteria, particularly in the context of an overwhelming number of unfunded students, are not easy. The feedback we received resulted in a revised plan that reflects some of the concerns we heard. Our implementation approach will also be informed by the feedback submitted and will be consultative and transparent. Details about the plan, the public comments we received, the university’s response and the final proposal can be found on the Admission Proposal website until June 1.
The 27th Annual Student Symposium on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities on February 22, 2019 was a hugely successful exhibition of intellectual curiosity and rigorous research at Cal State LA. Congratulations to the more than 200 participants whose 97 presentations in the oral sessions and 62 poster presentations in the Dr. Raymond Garcia Poster Session were judged by over 70 volunteer faculty judges. More than 80 faculty mentors supported the work of these students, with oral session topics including Behavioral and Social Sciences; Biological Sciences; Business, Economics, Education, and Public Administration; Creative Arts; Engineering and Computer Sciences; Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences; Humanities and Letters; and Physical and Mathematical Sciences.
At the awards reception, 14 poster presenters and 25 oral presenters received session winner certificates. A special congratulations to the 10 oral presentations awarded campus delegate certificates who will represent Cal State LA at the 33rd Annual CSU Student Research Competition at CSU Fullerton on April 26-27, 2019. The 27th Annual Student Symposium epitomized research, scholarship, and creative activity at Cal State LA, and was truly a celebration of the effort and achievement that our students and faculty members contribute to the campus.
Congratulations to Pamela E. Scott-Johnson, dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences and professor of psychology, for her election to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Board of Directors. Dr. Scott-Johnson will serve as a member-at-large for a three-year term. The largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, the APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives. APA’s membership includes nearly 115,700 members.
This well-earned recognition by her fellow APA peers, grants Dr. Scott-Johnson, a committed teacher/scholar, a place on the organization’s leadership team. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Scott-Johnson on the well-deserved recognition.
Contact the Office of the Provost with your comments and submissions here.