California State University


MAY 2012

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Academic Affairs VOL II ISSUE 2
Student graduating


Nearly 100 CSU administrators and two outside speakers participated in the system's first Graduation Initiative Summit, and shared successful tactics to assist students obtain their degrees.

While graduation rates are getting better, Chancellor Reed said they are not good enough, especially for underrepresented minority students (URMs). He urged the campus representatives - presidents, provosts and vice presidents of student affairs - to implement best practices no matter what campus they originated at. He stressed that the system needed to redouble its efforts to close the achievement gap for students of color.

Kati Haycock, president of the Education Trust, presented a PowerPoint on the Access to Success Initiative to improve graduation rates for low- income and students of color. She said gaps for these students are wider than they were 30 years ago, and that campus leadership is a critical component of student success.

Three CSU campuses presented examples of their programs targeted to higher graduation rates.

Fresno is using data to determine programs that work and those that do not, and is now focusing on second-year students. San Diego has created a commuter student study center 30 miles from campus since data showed resident students graduating at higher rates. Los Angeles has tied resources to student success and tied the graduation initiative to the campus' strategic plan and WASC visit.

All three CSUs have made graduation part of the entire campus culture, rather than tied to a single administrative area.
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Don Lucas receives SJSU honorary degree


The CSU is awarding 25 honorary degrees this spring to individuals who have distinguished careers, community contributions, and/or university ties as alumni, donors and friends.

CSU Channel Islands awarded Kathy Ireland an honorary doctor of humane letters for her longtime charitable efforts and entrepreneurial skills. CSU Chico presented an honorary degree of Doctor of Science to Sandy Lerner, the co-founder of Cisco and a Chico grad.

San José State University alumni Donald and Sally Lucas received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees at a campus ceremony for their commitment and generosity to SJSU and the community.

Cruz Reynoso, former Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, received an honorary doctor of laws degree from CSU Sacramento, and Robert N. Klein, author of the 2004 successful Stem Cell Research ballot initiative that has directed millions of dollars to CSU campuses, including Humboldt State, received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Humboldt.

Alice Mitchell Rivlin, former director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton administration who was the first woman to hold the Cabinet-level position, received an honorary doctor of laws degree at CSU Monterey Bay. Sanford and Joan Weill, major contributors to the Green Music Center and other arts organizations, received honorary doctor of humane letters and fine arts, respectively.

In June, CSU East Bay will award alumnus Richard Sherratt, a civic and business leader, an honorary doctor of humane letters, and confer on Lenny Williams, former lead singer of Tower of Power, an honorary doctor of fine arts degree.
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Students at San Francisco State


Since SB 1440, the Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (STAR) was signed into law in 2010, the CSU and the California Community Colleges (CCC), especially their respective faculty, have worked continuously to develop Associate of Arts (AA) or Science (AS) degrees for transfer to the CSU.

The latest status update was presented to CSU trustees by Eric Forbes, assistant vice chancellor for student academic support. So far, 20 Transfer Model Curriculum (TMCs) have been approved between the two systems, with journalism and geography being the newest. There should be at least 25 approved by year's end.

While the CSU has been working with the central CCC office on many components of the initiative, regional meetings with particular community colleges are proving to be a good supplement to the statewide work. 

Since students will be accepted for spring/winter 2013 at nine campuses, there is urgency in the CSU for each campus to find at least one option in each TMC discipline that would be similar so that a student with an AA could obtain a BA in 60 units, he said.

There are about 2,200 students, many duplicated, who have applied so the exact number will not be known until the fall. In the absence of the CCCs using electronic transcripts, the systems are working on a verification procedure to give these students priority admission.

Marketing materials are being finalized, and SB 1440 materials will be featured at the fall counselor conferences for high school and CCC transfer students.

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) just released a report acknowledging progress but saying that more needs to be done.
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Ephraim SmithWelcome to the third issue of News and Reflections, the online Academic Affairs newsletter highlighting initiatives, programs, events and people at the Chancellor's Office and the 23 CSU campuses.

In the middle of the worst budget crisis ever facing the California State University, we must not forget what our campuses are doing for students. It is expected that more than 95,000 students will receive their CSU degrees this year, a figure that is increasing annually. The Graduation Initiative story above highlights examples of what campuses are doing to graduate students into the workforce and close the achievement gap for students of color.

As for the budget, the May Revise unveiled by Gov. Brown this month increased the CSU's potential "trigger cut" by $50 million, for a total of $250 million if the November tax measure does not pass. That will be devastating to our campuses, already scrambling to deal with the initial $200 million revenue drop. We are wait-listing all students who apply for fall 2013 and only accepting SB 1440 transfers at nine campuses spring/winter 2013. These unprecedented actions do not bode well for the CSU or the state. Without a vibrant higher education system, California cannot regain its economic health. I know that all our campuses are working around-the-clock to develop contingency plans that keep students first. It is very difficult, but I appreciate what administrations, faculty and staff and doing to continue to provide our students with a quality education. Link to Latest budget news »

I also want to congratulate Sacramento State Provost Joe Sheley for being appointed by the CSU trustees as the interim president of CSU Stanislaus, and welcome Harry Hellenbrand, who had been serving as interim president of CSU Northridge, back to the CSU Academic Council as the Northridge provost. Additionally, San Francisco State University announced that SFSU alumni have funded and created the endowed Robert A. Corrigan Chair in American Studies. It is named for SF State President Robert A. Corrigan, who is retiring this spring after 24 years at SFSU.

Thank you all again for all you do for the California State University everyday.



The CSU hosted its annual statewide Alcohol & Other Drug Conference at CSU Fresno in April with more than 280 participants from across the state. Participants were engaged throughout the conference with speakers and workshop presenters who provided highlights of their campus programs and spoke to some of the current issues affecting students, including prescription pill addiction as highlighted by the California Heath Collaborative “The Lock it Up Project” and the rise in the use of the hallucinogenic drugs by youth. The discussion and professional development by faculty, staff and students throughout the state engaged in the CSU Alcohol & Other Drugs Conference is a valuable resource in bringing updated information and best practices to students and campuses. Read more

The CSU Foster Youth Program supports California foster youth in achieving their educational and career goals. There are a number of resources online including a YouTube video, College is For You! and Educational Planning Guide for Foster Youth, for caregivers, social workers and counselors to assist foster, emancipated youth and former foster youth in planning for college. Check out the new website

The Student Mental Health Initiative (SMHI) focuses on preventative measures that address the mental health needs of CSU students in collaboration with state and county services. Funded by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), the initiative is a partnership with the California Community Colleges and University of California. Each CSU campus participates in and contributes to the three main strategic directions: 1) curriculum development and training, 2) peer-to-peer support programs and 3) suicide prevention. The CSU Chancellor's Office is overseeing the implementation of an electronic database, development of a social marketing campaign, and curriculum development. The Chancellor's Office will be distributing sub-awards from the original grant allocation of nearly $6.9 million. The campus grants will be based on student headcount and the needs assessment detailed in each campus's funding application.


No one ever said the Reserve Officers' Training Corps would be an easy journey. But when students graduate from college, they not only earn bachelor's degrees, they also can look forward to becoming commissioned officers in the military, positions that require effective leaders who can handle difficult situations and make tough decisions. Cal Poly Pomona's 40 cadets are part of the Golden Lions Army battalion, which has about 220 people from different colleges and universities in the area and is based at Claremont McKenna College. Read more

CSU Monterey Bay sets a national example by inspiring students to get involved in their communities. Programs, faculty and students converge to make the university a leader in civic engagement - and alumni keep it going. The National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement has heralded CSU Monterey Bay as a model for preparing students to become engaged and socially responsible citizens. CSUMB President Dianne Harrison traveled to Washington DC to attend the White House Convening on Civic Learning. Read more

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