From the Office of the President
A major step toward the University’s reaccreditation — a Capacity and Preparatory Review report that outlines Cal State L.A.’s areas of academic focus and the capacity and preparation of the University for meeting its and WASC’s standards for excellence — is nearly complete. Once finalized, the report will be posted online for comment and review, and will serve as the backbone of the reaccreditation review in April 2009, when a team visits over three days to review academic practices, methods and policies.
A second campus visit, known as the Education Effectiveness Review, will take place 18 months after the visit for the Capacity and Preparatory Review.
Associated Students, Inc., together with faculty, administrators and other campus leadership groups, will be hosting Town Hall meetings to review the process, goals and direction, so please watch for further details. This process and the reaccreditation of the University are of utmost importance. The campus community is encouraged to be actively engaged with this process.
The self study can be found online at: /wasc/.
We are extremely grateful to the Annenberg Foundation for its $5 million gift — the largest cash gift ever given to the University — toward completion of the 120,000-square-foot Integrated Sciences Complex, now approved by the CSU Board of Trustees to be named the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex.
La Kretz Hall, the first wing of the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex, has been so named to recognize generous gifts. Other major donors to the Complex include the Ahmanson Foundation and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.
Quarters to Semesters?
The campus has begun a process for considering the relative merits of the semester and the quarter academic calendars. The administration, the Academic Senate and Associated Students, Inc. have initiated activities related to considering converting from a quarter-based academic calendar to a semester-based calendar.
Students, staff, faculty members and other campus constituents are encouraged to take an active role in participating in, and providing input at, upcoming Town Hall meetings scheduled for each of the University’s six Colleges. Background information, white papers and ongoing issues and concerns related to the possibility of conversion can be found at https://nss-nemo.calstatela.edu/semester.
Kudos and a Boost for Those Aiming Higher
Congratulations to the 18 Cal State L.A. students who were named as the 2008-09 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars. Representing the largest group from any of the 23 CSU campuses, Cal State L.A. accounted for nearly a quarter of the scholars selected from throughout the CSU system this academic year. Out of 220 applicants, 76 students were selected system-wide. Since 1998, more than 120 students from Cal State L.A. have been recognized as Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars. Fifty-six percent of the CSULA students have entered top-ranking doctoral programs throughout the United States and in several foreign countries, a tribute to the excellence of the faculty who work closely to prepare these scholars.
Welcome to the 27 faculty members who have joined Cal State L.A. this fall. We also welcome James P. Henderson as dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences, Philip Romero as dean of the College of Business and Economics, Nancy Wada-McKee as assistant vice president for Student Affairs-Student Services, Lisa Chavez as associate vice president for Administration and Finance-Financial Services, and Tamie Nguyen as director of the Center for Student Financial Aid.
Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship and Service
Congratulations to this year’s Outstanding Professors for their excellence in teaching, significant achievements in scholarly inquiry or creativity, professional activities, and service to the campus and community. They are James Brady of Anthropology, Jennifer Faust of Philosophy, Kylie Hsu of Modern Languages and Literatures, and Susan Mason of Theatre Arts and Dance. Garnering a special honor is Gerald Beer, Mathematics, the 2008-09 President’s Distinguished Professor.
Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex: Classes are underway in La Kretz Hall; the first wing of the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex. Construction has begun on the second wing of the Complex, which will add another 94,000 gross-square-feet of lab space, instructional space and the Dean’s Suite.
Public Safety: The fence surrounding the north-end parking lot close to the Welcome Center contains the footprint for a 16,000 gross-square-foot, single-story Public Safety building. This improved location will enable Public Safety and Parking Services to better serve the campus's and our visitors’ needs. The current home of Public Safety is one of the “temporary” bungalows constructed 50 years ago.
Corporation Yard: A two-story, 30,000 gross-square-feet Corporate Yard to house Shipping and Receiving, Materials Management, Campus Stores, Facilities Planning and Construction, Environmental Health and Safety, and Facilities Services is planned to replace existing aging facilities. A space assignment plan and schedule is being prepared to handle interim operations during construction.
Faculty/Staff Residences: A feasibility study for faculty and staff housing southwest of the Welcome Center has been completed, and design is underway for the bridging document, the project’s next step.
Greenlee Plaza: Ramps that will help make Greenlee Plaza more accessible are being constructed. Ultimately, furnishings, and food and beverage carts will be added to make the area more student-friendly and welcoming.
Hydrogen Station: Fundraising is underway to match the award of $2.2 million from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to support the construction of a Hydrogen Fueling Station on campus. The station will operate as a teaching resource for classes on alternative energy and fuel systems, as well as a public accommodation selling and dispensing hydrogen to those driving fuel cell vehicles. Cal State L.A. is one of only three organizations in the state to be awarded CARB funding for such a facility.
LACHSA: The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) design for its future home — a 45,000-square-foot, three-story building - is being reviewed for final approval. This facility on the north side of campus will serve the 600 LACHSA students as well as benefit Cal State L.A., as a shared-use facility.
Campus P.A. System: Plans are underway for a campus emergency public-address and notification system. The system will operate from campus police dispatch and will communicate wirelessly via multi-directional speakers at key campus locations.
Marc and Eva Stern Math and Science School (MASS): Construction is nearing completion on this 500-student, shared-use charter school. The 30,000-square-foot, two-story facility will house instructional space as well as a laboratory for teacher training. The MASS facility is expected to be completed by November 2008.
Statewide Photovoltaic (PV) Project Phase II: Solar panels will be mounted on the rooftops of Salazar Hall, Physical Education and the Fine Arts buildings as part of the CSU Statewide PV Initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
University-Student Union: With interior details nearly complete, the University-Student Union opened its doors for fall quarter. The U-SU features an outdoor plaza area, expanded computer lab, Xtreme Fitness center, a Starbucks, the CSULA Alumni Center, student clubs and organizations and much more. Watch for information regarding the grand opening planned for January 9, 2009.
University Hotel: In the conceptual feasibility development phase, the campus is considering building a 130-room extended stay hotel on campus. The proposed location is the hillside across from the University-Student Union.
University Housing: University Housing was upgraded in time for fall quarter. Renovations to both phases included new paint, new furniture and appliances, and the addition of wireless Internet technology.
CSU puts students on the “Road to College”
The “CSU and AT&T Road to College Tour” hit the road last month to provide students, parents, teachers and counselors with information about how to prepare for college. High schools and college counselor conferences throughout the state were presented with virtual tours, applications and financial aid information contained in interactive learning stations in the “CSU/AT&T Road to College” bus. The “Road to College” effort represents the opening of a CSU and AT&T California $1.6 million, four-year “Steps to College Success” campaign. The goal of this ambitious partnership is to increase underserved communities’ access to college. Cal State L.A. was selected as one of five CSU campuses to receive financial support that will pay CSULA students to be placed in feeder institutions to assist students and counselors with early assessment and advice on how to get to college.