The Provost's Message - February 1, 2017

The Provost's Message Title
February 1, 2017
Provost Lynn Mahoney

This week’s statements from President Covino, Chancellor White and all the CSU presidents affirm our commitment to international students, faculty and staff. Like our colleagues across the country and the CSU, Cal State LA is assessing the impact of the executive order on our students. There are some things we can do now, though, to demonstrate, as President Covino noted, pride in “our unity and our diversity.”  These include continuing support for our international community and our DACA students.

First, we must ensure that our faculty searches continue to be conducted according to campus policies and protocols. As we strive for inclusivity in every aspect of faculty life at Cal State LA, all candidates will receive full consideration for tenure track positions. If a particular candidate identifies as unable to participate in an on-campus interview as a result of the executive order, the university will provide an alternate means for conducting the interview. Please contact Associate Vice President Michael Caldwell with questions or concerns.

Second, we must come together as a community of learners, educators and scholars. In addition to events already scheduled by Student Life and academic units across the university, Vice Provost Octavio Villalpando is working with faculty to implement a bi-weekly series of faculty-led presentations and Q&A, Democracy in Action: Educational Forums on Post-Election Federal Policies. Democracy in Action will take place on Tuesdays, 12-1 pm. Topics will range across disciplines and address issues such as the First Amendment, civil rights, immigration, rights of undocumented students, the US Constitution, and democracy and the public good. The first event will be held February 7, 12-1pm, in the GE Ballroom 2. Details about the Democracy in Action events may be found on the website for the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Engaged Learning. Be sure to check the university’s Post-Election Website and the vice provost's diversity website for information as it becomes available. Please feel free to contact Vice Provost Villalpando with suggestions for future events or to learn more about university resources.
 

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As President Covino shared last week, our success as a model of access and attainment was acknowledged and confirmed in a study by The Equality of Opportunity Project that ranked Cal State LA #1 in the United States for the upward mobility of its graduates. Our record number of applications and our increasing graduation rates also demonstrate our success. While proud of our achievements, we continue to strive harder on behalf of our students. To this end, last fall, we engaged in a series of conversations with department chairs, associate deans, and deans about how we could better align our admissions criteria for transfer students with their success in their majors. Too many of our transfer students arrive having completed few, if any, of the needed lower division prerequisite coursework in our majors.  Transfer students who arrive with key lower-division prerequisites already completed are more likely to succeed in their chosen majors and earn their degrees in a more timely fashion.

As a result of these discussions and a pressing need to align transfer preparation with success in the major, we are submitting a proposal to the CSU Chancellor’s Office to revise our admissions criteria for transfer students. The proposal was drafted in consultation with deans and associate deans, the Senate Executive Committee, the Educational Policy Committee, department chairs, and many others across the university.   The plan can be found on the Admissions Proposal website beginning February 1.  Please do not hesitate to contact Vice Provost Tom Enders with questions as we move forward with the plan’s submission.
 

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Contact the Office of the Provost with your comments and submissions.