Commendation of Professor Marshelle Thobaben

AS-3132-13/Humboldt Del.

WHEREAS, Marshelle Thobaben has offered exceptional and distinguished service as a member of the Academic Senate California State University (ASCSU) from 1990 to 2013, for a total of 23 years, representing Humboldt State University (HSU) with great dedication and commitment; and

WHEREAS, as the longest serving current ASCSU senator, Marshelle Thobaben’s extraordinary contributions include holding many leadership positions for the ASCSU, to wit:  Secretary of the ASCSU (1994-1995), Vice Chair of the ASCSU (1995-1998 and 2004-2005), Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee (2003-2004), and Chair of the ASCSU (2005-2007); and

WHEREAS, during her tenure as ASCSU Chair, Marshelle Thobaben skillfully, courageously and compassionately guided the ASCSU through severe budget cuts and reductions in the size of our organization; provided strong leadership while the faculty, through the California Faculty Association (CFA), spent two years negotiating a contract with the CSU administration; and provided leadership in the passage of over 70 resolutions; and

WHEREAS, Marshelle Thobaben’s service to the ASCSU also includes participation in a remarkable number of committees and task forces such as co-chairing the Academic Technology Advisory Committee, serving on the ACR 73 Task Force, attendance at and contributions to the Access to Excellence Systemwide Summit, participation in the Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates which she chaired in 2005-06, as well as membership on some 30 additional committees; and

WHEREAS, Marshelle Thobaben’s record of service at HSU is every bit as impressive as her work in the ASCSU, including serving on and chairing numerous campus committees, serving as chair of the HSU Academic Senate from 1988-1990, as campus president of the CFA and as a member of the CFA Board of Directors, all while continuing to make important contributions to her home department—Nursing—including chairing the department multiple times, maintaining a challenging teaching and advising schedule, mentoring new faculty, building an impressive resume of publications and presentations at professional conferences, and ultimately, overseeing with grace and dignity the closure of the Nursing Program, an onerous task that no faculty member wishes to even consider, much less accomplish; and

WHEREAS, in all of her endeavors, Marshelle Thobaben serves as a role model of diplomacy and respectful discourse, while tirelessly and passionately advocating for transparency, open consultation, and meaningful shared governance; and

WHEREAS, in recognition of Marshelle Thobaben’s extraordinary record of service, in 2010 she became the first recipient of the HSU Outstanding Service Award based upon overwhelming support from colleagues at HSU; as well as faculty, staff and administrators serving at the statewide level, all of whom spoke in the most positive terms of her exceptional contributions; and

WHEREAS, for more than two decades Marshelle Thobaben has served as friend, mentor and, often, traveling companion, to her ASCSU senate partners from HSU—which total 7 during her 23 year term—offering sage advice on numerous topics, including:  important background on issues before the ASCSU; how to bank the most Hilton Honors’ points; where the Red Carpet (now United) Clubs are located and how to get the most out of one’s membership; the most effective means of dealing with United’s flight delays, cancellations, and difficult gate personnel; how to maintain patience, wisdom and humor even when exiled to the infamous plenary back row; and much, much more; and

WHEREAS, in close competition with a somewhat unruly, but inimitably charming colleague of German descent from San Jose State—who shall remain nameless—Marshelle Thobaben has visited an astonishing number of countries throughout the world, including many where relations with the United States can conservatively be described as tense, has donned appropriate native garb when required, and thus through her amazing curiosity and hutzpah has an exceptionally deep and rich global understanding of the Earth’s peoples and cultures; and

WHEREAS, Marshelle Thobaben probably holds the record for the most miles flown for ASCSU business and the most stays booked at the Hilton Hotel and its affiliates, such that when multimedia financial analyst Jim Cramer learned of her retirement from the ASCSU he immediately issued sell recommendations on the stock of United Airlines and Hilton Hotels and Resorts; and

WHEREAS, despite Marshelle Thobaben’s imminent departure from the ASCSU, we feel both comforted and relieved in our absolute knowledge that we have not heard the last from her yet; therefore be it

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU offer its deep appreciation and gratitude to Marshelle Thobaben for her 23 years of exceptional and dedicated service; for the numerous contributions that she has made to her colleagues, the Senate, the CSU and higher education; and for the courage, grace and compassion that have characterized all of her professional endeavors; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU extend its heartfelt best wishes to Marshelle Thobaben for success and satisfaction in all of her future endeavors, in what is certain to be an exciting and productive next phase of her personal and professional life; and be it further

RESOLVED: That this resolution be forwarded to the HSU University Senate, HSU President and Provost, and the CSU Chancellor.

Approved by Acclamation – May 17, 2013



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