Commendation of Ken O'Donnell


WHEREAS, Ken O’Donnell has served the California State University (CSU) system since July of 2007, starting with his initial position as Associate Dean of Academic Programs – a title that does not begin to describe the impact he has had on Student Success across the CSU system – and in his more recent (July 2012) position as Senior Director of Student Engagement; and


WHEREAS, Ken was instrumental in helping refocus the CSU on student success – not only as measured by graduation rates, but also by what it actually means to be an educated person pursuing higher education to meet one’s life goals; and


WHEREAS, Ken has continued to impress us and others with his clear, heartfelt, and meticulously prepared messaging that students are the core of the enterprise and that herculean efforts are entirely appropriate in the pursuit of a stronger student experience; and


WHEREAS, Ken has repeatedly wowed audiences of jaded educators with his vision of student engagement and curricular redesign; and


WHEREAS,  Ken, for many years, lived in the unenviable position of being both instrumental in pushing for a re-visioning of General Education so that it can be more meaningful to the student, and also to protect the integrity of the GE outcome expectations from those who were looking to reduce the proficiencies we could expect of our students; and


WHEREAS,  Professor O’Donnell has voluntarily taught filmmaking to CSU students; and


WHEREAS, Ken is a perpetual student, taking calculus at an age when most of us have forgotten what a derivative is; and


WHEREAS, Ken has been a good friend to so many of us individually and a strong supporter of the faculty at large and their appropriate role in the CSU; and


WHEREAS, Ken’s international stature in the world of student success and high impact practices (HIPs) is well-established; and


WHEREAS, Ken has either led, collaborated on, or heavily supported innumerous initiatives with a hallmark characteristic that they became coalitions of the willing and focused on student success. Examples include: Give Students a Compass (I and II), Linked Learning, and, via the Chancellor’s General Education Advisory Committee: Oral Communication, Critical Thinking, meaningful assessments of prior knowledge, Quantitative Reasoning, GE
course assessment processes, Thematic pathways, and a variety of initiatives to facilitate proficiency assessment and transfer; therefore be it


RESOLVED: That the ASCSU warmly invite Ken to remain a friend of the Senate and to allow us to continue unabashedly to draw upon his extensive knowledge and contacts to continue our work on behalf of students; and be it further,


RESOLVED: That the ASCSU offer our support to Ken in his future efforts as the AVP for Student Success Integration and Assessment at CSU, Dominguez Hills – a new position for him in which the rubber will hit the road in terms of maximizing student achievement.


Approved by Acclamation – November 3-4, 2016





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