The Provost's Message - May 18, 2017

The Provost's Message

May 18, 2017
Provost Lynn Mahoney

With commencement in sight, I thought it appropriate to take a quick look at the year behind us. For many in our community this has been a difficult year or worse. Many of our students and colleagues need our support more than ever—both institutionally and personally. But despite our uncertain times, we should take pride that amidst this Cal State LA continues to thrive. Student demand for access to a Cal State LA degree has never been greater, and our reputation as a University committed to Engagement, Service, and the Public Good continues to grow. A quick look at the year behind demonstrates much of which to be proud:

  • Welcomed 52 new tenure-track faculty in fall 2016 and congratulated a number of faculty who received tenure and promotions to associate or full professors
  • Welcomed almost 8000 new students in fall 2016
  • Welcomed a new Vice Provost for Diversity and Engaged Learning
  • Enhanced the study areas in our University Library—creating new spaces to foster engaged learning
  • Expanded our College Advising Centers to better serve students
  • Survived our return to semesters
  • Began implementing a visionary strategic plan
  • Reaffirmed our commitment to student success and launched a variety of ambitious initiatives
  • Recognized as the #1 University in the U.S. for the upward mobility of its graduates
  • Recognized yet again as the #1 University of our type for the production of Latino/a PhDs in STEM
  • Launched the first prison-based undergraduate degree program in California
  • And, now we look forward to congratulating thousands of new graduates this upcoming weekend
It has been a long year—and its successes were thanks entirely to the efforts of our staff, faculty, and administrators. Few universities work as hard as we do to facilitate the success of its students. On behalf of our students, their families and our region, thank you!

College of Natural and Social Sciences Leadership Changes

I am pleased to announce the appointment of two Associate Deans in the College of Natural and Social Sciences.

Dr. Nancy McQueen, Professor in Biological Sciences, served as the Acting Associate Dean of NSS for the past 4 years. She directed the college advisement center, coordinated the College’s quarter-to-semester conversion, directed the Clinical Laboratory Scientist and Clinical Genetic Molecular Biologist Training Programs, and facilitated the development of the Grifols Summer Science Academy for high school students. She served as Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences for 7 years and Associate Chair of the department for 7 years. She received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 1985 and joined Cal State LA in 1989. Dr. McQueen is a Clare Booth Luce Scholarship recipient and will participate in the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Institute held at Bryn Mawr College this summer. 

Dr. Cheryl Koos, Professor of History, served as the Chair of the Department of History for 7 years and the Interim Chair of the Department of Political Science for two more. She also served as Special Assistant to the Provost for Leadership Development for one academic year. Dr. Koos received a National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend in 2011. Most recently, Dr. Koos was a 2016-17 American Council on Education Fellow at Cal Poly Pomona. She received her Ph.D. from USC in 1996 and joined the History Department at Cal State LA in 1999. Her research and teaching have focused on the intersection of gender, the family, and politics in Modern European and French history.

Fall 2017 Dean Search Committees

In the fall we will launch searches for the Dean of the College of Arts & Letters and the Dean of the Xu College of Health & Human Services. Thank you to the faculty who have been elected to these committees:
College of Arts & Letters: Amina Abdul Jabbaar, Mika Cho, David Olsen, John Ramirez
Rongxiang Xu College of Health & Human Services: Peter Ivory, Anne Larson, Rita Ledesma, Nancy Warter-Perez

Graduation 2025

In late April 2017, Cal State LA submitted its Campus Plan for our Graduation 2025 initiative. This plan was an expansion of our preliminary plan submitted last September, and describes our campus community’s impressive range of student success efforts, specifically focusing on those aimed at improving our graduation rates and equity gaps. This plan was developed by the Graduation 2025 Strategic Planning Consultative Group, which consists of faculty, staff, and administrators from across the entire university.  For more details, please visit the Cal State LA Graduation 2025 site.

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