Archive of Responses to Feedback
Search for concerns and responses
The following links are for responses to commonly submitted feedback concerns, grouped by the date of response.
Posted on: 04/30/18
CONCERN: As a student, I have felt that quite a few of my courses have not offered me interactive and engaging ways of participating in my courses. In a place where technology is constantly advancing, I feel that we as students should be able to have access to up-to-date software that is being used in the work field rather than technology that may become obsolete. Sometimes it feels like I as a student did not obtain the knowledge or experience as I would have liked to in a course. Is there a way to obtain or create some sort of sandbox of tools that students and faculty can have access to in order to be interactive and engaged in what they're learning?
RESPONSE: Thank you for taking the time to write to share your feedback. The campus
has negotiated reduced-cost access for students to a number of software programs.
Additionally, department/college computer laboratories provide access to additional
tools. One of the goals of our DISCOVERe program is to help prepare our students with
the necessary technology skills for the workplace. I encourage you to share your thoughts
with your department chair or dean, who can work with our Chief Information Officer.
CONCERN: Every semester students are asked to do evaluations for their courses. However, once the course has been completed we no longer know whether our comments or concerns were even heard. I have seen my fellow peers quickly rush through the evaluations because they don't feel like the evaluations even matter. I have also had a professor not give an evaluation because it didn't matter to the person. It seems like some courses disregard the voices of the students and continue with the same lecture or materials. I would like to know about the changes made to courses, whether it is a course from the previous semester or a course I'll be taking this upcoming semester, so I know that changes were made to help the future students succeed. It could be an email stating the changes that were made to a course to students who left the feedback and another email for students who are enrolled in the course at the beginning of the semester. I would like to know your thoughts on this.
RESPONSE: Student ratings of instruction are an important aspect of evaluating teaching effectiveness on our campus. Each department has its own policy regarding how frequently each instructor administers student ratings of instruction. Additionally, each department has its own minimum standard related to student ratings of instruction. How individual instructors take action based on student ratings of instruction, varies widely across the campus. A best practice is for each faculty member to inform students how the course has evolved over time based, in part, on student ratings of instruction. However, this is not required of any faculty member.
Department Chairs in each department review all student ratings of instruction, including
all comments, and consult with faculty about possible areas of strength and opportunities
CONCERN: Is there a way to put a pay phone somewhere on campus? There are many community members who need to use phones on a regular basis, and there is no pay phone even close to campus. It would be well used and appreciated by many on campus.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. AT&T no longer supports pay phones on our
campus. In cases of an emergency, there are emergency phones located throughout the
campus. There are several apps you can install on your computer that will allow you
to make phone calls using the internet. Please contact our IT Help Desk for information
on these applications.
CONCERN: I have noticed that the Fresno State Health Paws posts about suicide prevention, which is definitely something that needs to be talked about. However, they consistently say this is a "100% preventable". I don't feel this is a considerate, compassionate, and more importantly accurate thing to say, let alone promote. My daughter’s friend lost her father last Christmas to suicide. He was an Iraq veteran suffering from PTSD. They will always suffer the pain of this and I know that unfortunately the family all blames themselves for not seeing it, not doing more. This of course is something we as loved ones constantly try to help them see is in no way their fault, sometimes, it just happens. The work the department is trying to do on suicide prevention is great, but the families who have suffered a tragedy like this need to be considered in the message they send out. I would suggest the removal of it being "100% preventable" from all of their messages, postings or otherwise.
RESPONSE: Thank you for expressing your concern related to the marketing of our QPR
-Suicide Prevention Trainings. We appreciate your point that this is a strong statement
that could be triggering to some people. We will work with our marketing team to try
to create better language that conveys our message of: Question. Persuade. Refer.
CONCERN: I am a season ticket holder for basketball and a long-time donor to the Bulldog Foundation. I am disappointed to see so many more home Basketball game starting at 8PM. The number of games starting at 8 PM this year is more than in years past. There probably is a good reason. But despite my three attempts to call the Bulldog ticket office during normal office hours to find out I have not been able to talk to anyone. Just an automated message (frustrating). In my opinion these later start times are a problem for our youth, working adults and seniors. Starting an hour later than historically normal makes it too long of a night and is discouraging attendance. We sacrifice important student study time and sleep time on weeknights with all these 8PM games. I would not have reached out to your Feedback line with this if I could have reached someone with the Bulldog Ticket office.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your long-time support of Fresno State Athletics. Our preferred start time for weeknight games is 7 p.m., however, the start time for our men's basketball games are determined through the Mountain West's television contracts with ESPN, CBS Sports Network and AT&T Sports Net. This past season, we had 3 of our 17 regular home men's basketball games designated as 8 p.m. start times, since they were broadcast on ESPNU or CBS Sports Network, and none of our 16 home women's basketball games started at 8 p.m. It is industry standard practice for major college basketball conferences to have start times set by the television contracts, which generate important revenue shared by each of the institutions in our conference. We are cognizant of the impact of having later start times on weeknights, and the weekend as well, and these concerns will be a factor in our upcoming negotiations with our television and digital broadcast opportunities in the future.
Also, when calling 559-278-3647 (our Bulldog Ticket Office), from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday-Friday,
there is a brief message at the beginning and then prompts to press 1 or 2. Pressing
1 directs fans to our sales team and entering 2 directs customers to the ticket office
or Bulldog Foundation. To reach the Bulldog Foundation directly, our BDF staff can
be reached from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at (559)278-7160.
CONCERN: Fresno State does a good job of trying to be inclusive of individuals from different ethnic, demographic and religious backgrounds. What appears to be lacking is an awareness of age discrimination in both the classroom as well as in faculty and staff hiring. I am aware of several situations in which age has created a barrier for student success and employment opportunities. Although age was never explicitly discussed in these situations, there were clearly suggestions that younger students and candidates were more beneficial to the university's success and thus should be given preference.
RESPONSE: Fresno State is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity,
affirmative action, nondiscrimination and providing access to programs, services,
employment and educational opportunities. Please contact Human Resources at (559)278-2032
regarding any specific concerns.
CONCERN: Every time I wait for the elevators in the Haak Center, I envision much more for the weedy garden bed on the balcony (outside the President's office). It seems like a great space with a lot of potential: perhaps a project for our amazing plant-science students; a place to grow fresh produce to be donated to the Student Cupboard; a pollinator garden; or maybe a space for growing native plants for seed saving (perhaps to be sold at the Farm Market?). Given the prime location, it could be a showcase for visitors to the Haak Center of the talents of our students, faculty, and staff, and an example of our campus values.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your innovative thinking! The Henry Madden Library rooftop
garden suffered during the drought and never fully recovered. Facilities Operations
is currently working collaboratively with several departments on a plan to refresh
and upgrade the garden. A professor in the Plant Science Department and several of
his students are developing a new design and planting plan that will utilize drought-tolerant
plants. The planting will be performed by an ornamental horticulture class with the
help of the Fresno State Grounds Team. Every semester, this class will be involved
in new planting projects around campus to upgrade and beautify our campus landscape.
CONCERN: I see as time has moved on that getting health/counseling appointments at Fresno State is virtually impossible. The wait time is now 1-2 months in order to get an appointment for either. At this point in time, I would get a counseling appointment by the end of the semester... That is a problem as most students cannot even get health/counseling appointments more than once. Please hire more Doctors / counselors.
RESPONSE: University student counseling services around the country have been impacted by increasing demands for mental-health services, however, we are proud of the fact that in the past two years, we have never had more than a two-week wait time for new counseling appointments, and often less. Also, students in crisis can always be seen within one hour when the Student Health and Counseling center is open. Sometimes it is difficult for students to find appointments that fit in their desired time frames, and that may cause a student to be scheduled out a little further, but we also have Let's Talk available Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Kremen 399, where students can walk-in and meet briefly with a counselor without an appointment, as well as several groups and classes that can be utilized for support between appointments.
In addition, we are one of the few universities that does not have counseling session
limits, meaning that students can be seen in counseling as many times as needed throughout
their years at Fresno State. We have hired a new counselor and a clinical case manager
in the past year, and will consider more positions if needed in the future. Thank
you for your feedback.
CONCERN: I am a faculty member, went to the Fresno State Campus police to report a simple assault that had happened right off campus. I told the assistant at the front the desk what happened because this person asked. I waited for a while and then I had to repeat it again to the officer who did not seem to care. The officer seemed dismissive, and I felt like I was bothering them with my incident. I didn't appreciate it at all.
RESPONSE: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I know this was a concerning
incident for you, and I apologize for the experience. Please know that I have forwarded
this concern to our Chief of Police, David Huerta.
CONCERN: Perhaps the third time is the charm. The concrete circle at Barstow and Chestnut is still falling apart with large chunks of concrete missing or broken. You indicated that you would notify the city, and if they didn’t do it you would have the university do it. It’s an eyesore. And I would like to know why the fencing at O’Neill Park uses poles that weren’t designed for a chain link fence. I assume the fencing is temporary and the university would re-construct the fence with proper poles. If one comes in from the west to the university, one wouldn’t see how the east side entrance looks coming in on Barstow, which needs to be improved.
RESPONSE: I am pleased to let you know that the City of Fresno repaired the roundabout
in early April. The fencing at O’Neill Park is a temporary structure as we develop
a more expansive improvement plan for the park.
CONCERN: Originally, this feedback page seemed like a good idea, but now I have found myself spending too much extra time I don't have, trying to respond to someone's half-cocked vent session. The majority of the time, the complainant shows their ignorance of the matter about which they are complaining and provides too little information for the appropriate department/individual to form a truly helpful, informative response.
There either needs to be a better system of "weeding out" the frivolous complaints, or this whole thing should be ditched. It just seems to be creating more work for already overworked staff.
RESPONSE: The Feedback Page was established to ensure that students, faculty, staff,
alumni and friends have an anonymous way to share concerns and ask questions. Positive
feedback is also appreciated. I believe this is an important way for the Cabinet and
me to answer questions, dispel false rumors or address concerns whenever possible.
We have also added an easy-to-use archive of prior questions and answers to reduce
duplicate questions. There are many examples of positive change that have come about
due to the feedback from our campus community. I appreciate the efforts from our Cabinet
members and their staff in preparing responsive answers to the questions received.
CONCERN: Super Sunday, during the month of February (Black History Month), is highly offensive to me and, as an African American, insults my intelligence. What are you trying to say by assuming that you could possibly recruit young African Americans by visiting various predominately African American congregations? Young African Americans wanting to know about Fresno State can be found all over Fresno, not just in Baptist congregations! Also, why would the university and Chancellor disrupt people's day of worship just to increase their African American student population? Also, why isn't this done at any other time than Black History Month?
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback regarding this past February's Super Sunday presentation hosted on February 25th at nine Fresno-area African American churches. Dating back to 2005, the Super Sunday is a yearly event that local churches opt to participate in. Fresno State, along with a number of sister California State Universities (CSU's), have the African American Initiatives that speaks to the issues of engagement, student/parent preparation, admissions, retention and graduation for the AA student. Fresno State is committed to increasing the number of African American students on campus, as well as to presenting a positive learning experience to prospective students and their parents.
Leading into Black History month, Fresno State hosts the annual Pastor's Breakfast in January (week prior to MLK weekend) where area pastors are provided updates on the African American statistics on post-secondary enrollment and graduation at our institution. I say this to address your concern regarding the accessibility of information about Fresno State in the African American community. It's not so much that the information can't be found, but the feedback that community members have engaged us with is that they welcome our presence to promote our transparency in addressing the low post-secondary going rates of local African American students in our area.
Our Super Sunday presence was in no way intended to disrupt any religious worship experience as we made efforts prior to the Super Sunday event to prepare each congregation for our visit (e.g. meeting and on-going communication with each pastor and/or designee, promotional flyers, and social media coverage). Our presence was encouraged and approved by each respective pastor, and I hope that you have taken your concerns to them as well, so that feedback can be shared and discussed for them to consider for possible future visits.
The Fresno State African American Initiative (AAI) will be operating on a year-round basis, and the Super Sunday event can be viewed as the "official" kick-off of our efforts in doing more in the African American community to not only engage and prepare students, but parents as well. Please be on the look-out for sister churches to host College Saturday Academies over the course of this coming summer and Fresno State Ambassadors being visible at community block parties hosted by Bringing Broken Neighborhoods Back to Life. We hope that the African American community sees us as their campus and that our efforts help provide a link to our campus where we welcome their presence. Thank you for your feedback.
For more information about the Fresno State AAI, please feel free to reach out to Wendy Nelson, African American Initiative Coordinator, who coordinated this year's Super Sunday efforts. Wendy can be reached at (559) 278-2038
or via email: email@example.com
CONCERN: Please reduce the amount of live music near the USU. It is extremely disruptive and obnoxious.
RESPONSE: In an effort to build a vibrant, involved, engaged campus with sense of belonging, various campus-life experiences are scheduled for all students. This helps students hear local and student bands that are up and coming, and have events for our students with which they connect. In addition to live music, there are also cultural performances, dances, and DJ’s, which highlight other aspects of student life. The USU is cognizant of not disrupting classes and schedules the performances between the 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. lunch hour and will continue to be sensitive to this issue as to not be disruptive or obnoxious, as you state. Thank you for your feedback.
CONCERN: I have two internships at Fresno State. For one of the internships, I did not get compensated for the hours I worked although I was supposed to get a $1,000 stipend at the end of each semester. With whom should I speak?
RESPONSE: Please contact the internship coordinator who assisted you with your internship
placement or the department chair of your major. If you are uncertain whom to contact,
please feel free to email Mary Willis, Campus Internship Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance.
CONCERN: The Cross Cultural and Gender Center is a mess. Please investigate. I encountered staff and/or students bickering in public. I can’t tell who is a student and who is staff because everyone is sitting around in front of their laptops. Where is the room for Muslims? Where is the room for international students? How do we get notified about their services and events? The area is so confusing.
RESPONSE: Everyone is welcome to engage in open and sometimes spirited, but always respectful, conversations on a variety of topics. Please feel free to join us for our discussions or group and individual study. Services and events can be found a number of ways such as, CCGC webpage located at fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/ccgc/. Facebook and Twitter is another source of information as well as fliers distributed for upcoming events.
We have rooms designated for a number of Fresno State groups and an International
Office in Joyal. With limited space, we have no rooms for religious groups, but we
welcome all to use our common space in the Cross Cultural and Gender Center for meetings
or conversation. Several years ago we also championed a meditation room in the library,
plus rooms are available across campus or in the University Student Union for all
students to meet. Thank you for feedback.
CONCERN: We need help with restrooms. It is difficult to find clean restroom opportunities, especially between class periods. I know it would be difficult to suggest renovating existing buildings, so one suggestion is to build new, smaller restroom "centers" that can serve parts of the campus and take pressure off existing facilities. Another suggestion is to make some restrooms, maybe upper floors near offices, accessible by staff/faculty cards only. Exhaust fans would be welcome too!
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. Our custodial staff members are working to
add additional mid-day cleanings to high-use restrooms. Please call the Facilities
Work Control Center (278-2373) if you notice any restrooms need to be cleaned.
CONCERN: If a department already has an internal candidate they want to hire, can they not waste people’s time by opening up the application?
RESPONSE: Many components of our recruitment process are mandated by federal and state
regulations, CSU collective-bargaining agreements, and CSU and University policies.The campus’s hiring practices allow for job openings to be available to qualified
employees and, when indicated, off-campus applicants. We value professional development
and encourage employees to pursue career-growth opportunities. At the same time, the
University is committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and recruitment
strategies that will attract a diverse workforce.
CONCERN: Can you please add microwaves and water-refill stations in all buildings? Many students can't run to the food court to heat up their food when they have back-to-back classes in buildings that are far away, like the Science 2 Building.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. In addition to the microwaves located in the lower floor of the University Student Union, a microwave has been added in the Kremen School of Education (lower level). Water-refill stations are installed in a number of buildings and can be found in the locations below:
- Engineering East 1st floor
- Kremen Education Building 1st floor main lobby
- Madden Library 2nd floor (next to Starbucks)
- McLane Hall 1st floor breezeway
- North Gym (West of main entrance)
- Peters Business UBC Lobby (west of stairway)
- Professional/Human Services 1st floor (South entrance)
- Satellite Student Union
- Science 1 1st floor main lobby (Southside)
- Science 2 1st floor (A wing near elevator)
- Social Science 1st floor (East entrance)
- Student Recreation Center
- University Courtyard Atrium
- University Student Union
We are currently installing water-refill stations in the following locations:
- Joyal 1st floor (East hallway)
- Joyal 2nd floor (South hallway)
CONCERN: Fresno State catering is wonderful, but I'm hoping some of the rules can be evaluated. If you order anything from catering, the leftovers are disposed of after 2 hours, regardless of what it is. Catering will not let us keep anything including bread, cracker, cookies and other dry goods. I understand that you cannot keep perishable goods for food-safety issues, but it seems wasteful to throw out the dry goods within 2 hours. It seems that especially on our campus where a huge emphasis is being placed on food security, wasting food seems inappropriate.
RESPONSE: I appreciate your concern for food waste. Our catering department must adhere to strict County Health Department regulations, which state that food can only be left out for two hours; after that, the potential for food-borne illnesses increases significantly.
Additionally, once the food has been out on a buffet line, it is no longer eligible for donation to outside entities. We do encourage event coordinators to call the Catered Cupboard 30 minutes before their event ends so that a notification can be sent to students letting them know food is available.
Information on the Catered Cupboard can be found at http://www.fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/foodsecurity/catered-cupboard.html
CONCERN: In response to your recent feedback regarding the reasons that "Born in the USA" is played at athletic events I would recommend you look at the lyrics of the song. The song is anything but a call for national pride and is actually a critique of United States policy at the time. In fact, President Reagan was actually told he couldn't use the song for his re-election campaign by Bruce Springsteen. (Note: There were two concerns submitted on this topic.)
RESPONSE: Thank you for the feedback and your concern related to this topic. The song will no
longer be played at any athletic events moving forward in the recognition of military
veterans. Thank you, and we appreciate your concern.
CONCERN: The shuttle system is awesome! One suggestion that I really hope you will consider, which I believe will make the lives of a number of students much easier, is to include one more bus stop for the shuttle that is near the Science I or Science II buildings. Almost all students will attend at least one class at Fresno State for either their major (math, business, chemistry, biology, nursing, the natural sciences, etc.) or general education in the following buildings: Craig's School of Business, Science I, or Science II. While I appreciate the shuttle system for simply existing, I really think many students will benefit from having a bus stop near one of these buildings.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. Our Traffic Operations staff will review
the feasibility of adding an additional stop. Our goal is to maintain 20-minute wait
CONCERN: The Dean of the School of Education and Human Development (which includes Counseling) is retiring after many years, and there has been talk that the Associate Dean will simply take his place. While the Associate Dean is well-liked and respected, many feel it is inappropriate for a school and University to decide such things without conducting a national search for a new Dean. What assurances can the President’s Office give that the Dean position will merit a rigorous search where outside candidates are given proper and legitimate consideration?
RESPONSE: All deans’ searches are conducted per campus policy (e.g., APM 320) and practice. Every dean’s search is an open and national/international search.
The search committee is created per campus policy and provides recommendations to
the Provost (the President’s designee for academic dean searches). The Provost is
the final decision-maker, in consultation with the president, regarding dean appointments.
Given the timing of a dean’s retirement and the length of time it takes to conduct
a national search, an interim appointment sometimes does occur. Be assured though
that the University will cast a wide net to fill the permanent position.
CONCERN: Over the past two years I have been a student here, I often see the same problem at the beginning of a class as instructors experience technical issues with their Powerpoint or other presentations. The solution is easy: Install identical, dedicated computers in every classroom on campus that are connected permanently to the overhead projectors and have all the necessary software to play all the common presentation formats. The instructors would bring a thumb drive with their material on it to class and plug it into the room's computer. Such a computer wouldn't have to be very fancy for that purpose. You might even be able to get Michael Dell or Bill Gates to donate them. They can certainly afford to, it would be good PR for them. Win-win all around!
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestions. In the past, our classrooms included dedicated
computers connected directly to projectors for faculty. This approach had merits and
challenges. We shifted our efforts toward providing standardized technology in classrooms,
a faculty laptop program, and a faculty laptop loaner service. With the Center of
Faculty Excellence providing faculty training, combined with business hours and after-hours
technical support for our faculty in the classrooms, this approach has been more successful
CONCERN: There seem to be very few recycle bins on campus. I believe the addition of a few, specifically near the Student Union and the library, would very useful.
RESPONSE: The campus is committed to sustainable practices and partners with a waste-removal
company that sorts campus waste at its facility. Recycled waste products can be placed
in any of the bins around campus. Facilities Management will review the areas you
mentioned to ensure there is an adequate supply of bins.
CONCERN: Do we not hire professors who know how to teach minority students? English is my second language, and I often feel rejected by both white and brown professors. Are no one taught how to teach when they are studying their doctorates? How is the university training professors and TAs how to teach?
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. The University is deeply interested in selecting faculty who are able to teach all of our students.
During the hiring process for tenure-track faculty, search committees are strongly encouraged to ensure faculty candidates understand the mission of Fresno State and the composition of our student population. All faculty candidates are required to articulate in their cover letters (initial application to a faculty position) a commitment to working with a diverse student population and faculty. Beginning next year, this statement of commitment to working with a diverse campus community will be separated from the overall cover letter. Secondly, at both the phone interview and on-campus interview stages, faculty candidates must articulate how they will work with a diverse student body. Virtually all tenure-track faculty on-campus search visits include a teaching demonstration. In this process, candidates give a brief teaching demonstration and student input is gathered.
For tenure-track faculty positions, the University recruits from programs offering a terminal degree in the targeted discipline (e.g., public health, psychology, management, electrical engineering, music). In most cases, that means a doctoral degree, in some cases, the master’s degree is the terminal degree. Unfortunately, many doctoral (and master’s) programs do not “teach” possible faculty members how to teach. Beginning with New Faculty Orientation, the Center for Faculty Excellence offers faculty support to learn or enhance their teaching skills. This includes culturally responsive pedagogy. New Faculty Orientation is required for all new tenure-track faculty. All other faculty may take advantage of the extensive support provided by the Center for Faculty Excellence.
Teaching Assistants receive different kinds of training. Many TAs, who are instructors
of record, are required to take pedagogy or teaching courses. These experiences are
designed to prepare TAs to be effective instructors. Currently, this training is provided
by specific departments. The University is exploring the potential of providing training
opportunities to all graduate students, including current TAs, who wish to develop
their teaching skills. This skillset may be a value added to our graduate students
who may want to apply to doctoral programs, apply for community college faculty positions,
or simply for their own skill development.
CONCERN: The University should consider moving the thesis deadlines for graduate students to much latter in the semester. The current system is unrealistic for a student in the sciences to complete their thesis by the mid-semester deadline. The result is that grad students pay fees just so they can have a few extra weeks to complete their thesis. This is unjust and unfair.
RESPONSE: In fact, the University has taken action on this very issue. The deadline
for thesis submission has been moved to later in the semester to accommodate thesis
completion for a greater number of graduate students. The deadline is 11 days later this
Spring than it was last, with plans to make it even later in upcoming semesters.
In addition, a lower-cost option was added, effective Spring 2018, for students who
complete all thesis requirements by the final day of instruction in a given semester.
With this option, student can enroll in a reduced cost ($350) zero-unit course (through
Continuing and Global Education) in the subsequent semester, and still comply with
the CSU's continuous enrollment policy for graduate students.
CONCERN: There needs to be better and healthier selection of food items on the Bulldog Bites food truck. I suggest you fill the empty display shelves with ready-to-eat sandwiches, salads and/or boxed lunches so people can grab and go. There also needs to be an additional third worker during the lunch hour to expedite orders. With one person as the cashier and the other cooking, it really increases the wait time.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. We have a number of healthy grab-n-go
items at our Paws-N-Go locations. We continue to increase the number of healthy menu
items in our campus dining concepts. In the fall 2018 semester, The Bucket will be
adding a new Healthy Menu. If you have a specific dietary restriction and would like
more information about any of the menu items offered at our various campus dining
concepts, please contact Megan Sarantos in University Dining Services at 278.4345
or via email email@example.com.
CONCERN: MPP staff and Human Resources treatment of staff when we have concerns or issue with workload or management. I have several friends who are having issues with their supervisors/management, they have reached out for help from Human Resources and unfortunately are given very poor service and treatment as well. Most staff on campus are good people that sometimes fall on hard times or not happy in the position they are in because of the treatment of management. When they do speak up they are then punished by being made felt that they are not a team player or that there was no grounds for a dispute. I know you are a very busy person but if you could once in a while check up on HR and the disputes that go on, and insure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity. Thank you.
RESPONSE: The University cares about each member of our team. Please direct your specific
concerns to the Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Marylou Mendoza-Miller
at (559) 278-2032 or Vice President for Administration, Deborah Adishian-Astone at
(559) 278-2083. We also have an Employee Assistance Program available for all employees
– for information on this program please call (559) 278-1655
CONCERN: The other day, I have returned to work from doctor’s appointment around 10 a.m. I was driving around parking lots 30 and 31 for over 30 minutes trying to find a space to park. I was lucky that day because someone finally left and I got the spot. However, another 4 cars were still driving in circles while I was walking back to the office. This situation happens all the time. We can’t go on the lunch break or to appointments around noon because the parking is packed when we come back and it’s impossible to find a space. Are there any plans to improve this situation? Any plans to build a multilevel parking or maybe expand the parking to the unused amphitheater space?
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern, I know it is frustrating to have to wait for parking to become available. Our campus parking lots and roadways serve more than 3,000 employees and nearly 25,000 students, and there are certain times of day when we do experience congestion. We encourage employee carpooling and there is also additional parking available at the SaveMart Center lot with free connections to campus using the Bulldog Express.
Posted on: 03/09/18
CONCERN: I have found that many upper division courses are hard to obtain, thus increasing the length of time a student must attend Fresno State to graduate. Some statistics even show that it is taking 6 years to graduate a 4 year university. What is being done by Fresno State to offer more sections for upper division students so they can graduate in 4 years ?
RESPONSE: In the past three years, Fresno State has steadily increased offerings of sections of upper division courses. In a few areas, the demand is not yet fully met, and the University is limiting the number of students accepted in those areas.
We are also systematically and strategically implementing measures that will help. Students are being asked to complete My Degree Plan, which will provide us with information on how many sections of courses are needed.
We also have a 4-year scholar program that offers priority registration, individualized advising, and other benefits (for those who keep good standing in the program).
For individual needs of certain upper division courses, students are advised to consult with their advisor and academic department.
CONCERN: To College Administration: FSU is deplorable on Facebook and Twitter. What are you doing posting ads for Victoria's Secret? Are you getting kickbacks or something? Please put a stop to this.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback about our social media. We hear your concerns. While we do not actually post ads for Victoria's Secret, we do promote being a part of the PINK Collegiate Collection. We have only had one recent post on Facebook and Twitter, however, and it was in connection to holiday gifts, similar to what we do for other licensed products. (Please note that the @PINKFresnoState account is not connected to the University.) This line is not about lingerie; it is about collegiate loungewear, and there are more than 100 participating colleges. Fresno State is one of the top-selling PINK schools, and one of the reasons we were chosen for the line is because we have so many students who are excited about the line and became student reps (their social media is separate from the University's, as well). Also, we receive 20% in royalties, which is higher than normal licensed products, and the funds do go to support student groups on campus. We hope this helps clarify the situation.
CONCERN: The television monitor on the West wing of the student union is so small that you have to sit under it and look straight up to read the captions. If you sit at any of the tables it is hard to read because you’re so far away the captions are small. All I want for Christmas is a bigger TV monitor in the student union.
RESPONSE: The USU staff will explore different television options/prices and discuss them with the USU Board.
CONCERN: The bus stop outside the library was removed and orange cones were placed by the uneven pavement. Orange cones are not a permanent solution but that's all that was done, and more than sufficient time has passed for this to be handled properly. Why is it still like this? I'm sure everyone would like to see either (1) the bus stop restored or (2) the pavement made even and the orange cones removed. Thank you!
RESPONSE: The shelter outside of the library was destroyed in an accident and has been removed. The orange cones were placed in the area to alert pedestrians of uneven pavement that is going to be replaced. That parking lot (P31) is not designed to accommodate bus traffic and currently there are no plans to replace the structure. We have asked Facilities Management staff to replace the pavement as soon as weather permits. Thank you for your concern and your patience.
CONCERN: The Fresno State catalog online is showing an error on this course:
CI 161. Content Area Methods and Materials in Secondary Teaching
Prerequisites: CI 152 AND CI 159 or concurrent enrollment; admission to the Single Subject Credential Program or teaching experience. Planning, delivering, and assessing content-specific instruction; academic and common core standards; identifying specific standards that require literacy strategies. (Instructional materials fee for Single Subject - Art Methods and Materials enrollees, $10)
Units: 3, Repeatable up to 999 units
Course Typically Offered: Fall, Spring
Can I really take this course and receive 999 units of credit?
RESPONSE: Thank you for bringing this to my attention. These courses can be taken/repeated without limit, and there is a default of 999 in the database. We have notified the department to revise the repeatable limit.
CONCERN: Safety Issue - There is an open pit outside the University Center that should be covered. It has been left there like this (unsafe) for months and months. Please fix it.
RESPONSE: Thank you for letting us know. The open pit you are referring to was necessary for the utility infrastructure improvement project that included upgrading of our underground natural gas lines. The space was safely barricaded while the work was underway. The pit will be closed in the very near term. We appreciate your attention to this situation. If in the future, you notice a perceived unsafe situation, please report immediately to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety and Risk Management (8-7422).
CONCERN: Please help! Would you list the days & times on classes in the class schedule. It is not helpful to have TBA listed. And then generic classroom. How am I supposed to plan my schedule when the class schedule doesn't have the info I need?
RESPONSE: Because class schedules are made well in advance of the semester, departments do not always know who will be teaching or when they will be available. However, they want students to know that the classes will be taught. That said, I can see that without a specific time, that information is not very valuable. We will work with our departments to reduce the number of courses for which complete information is not available. Since the fall schedule is already completed, please check with the department where the course is offered for more complete information.
CONCERN: The university's social media need to be improved, particularly for live events. If you can't handle live events on time, then why have them at all? Pretending it's OK to be late is not working. If you can't even be on time, there's no point.
A Fresno State Alum
RESPONSE: Thank you for staying connected to your University and for tuning into our live broadcast with President Castro. We apologize for starting a few minutes late. As a public institution, we are required to abide by the First Amendment and make sure that what we post on social media is accessible to everyone. This means we must add live captions to the live video, and, at the time, we were working with a new system.
In the past, we have added the captions on a separate web page, but new technology now allows us to post the live captions directly to Facebook. However, it must be scheduled ahead of time, and requires a separate app to send the feed to another company. On the day of the live feed, we set up a test a few hours before the scheduled event to make sure that we were ready. Thirty minutes before we went live, we had everything set up, but a buzz popped up on the feed right before we went live, so we chose to delay the feed a few minutes and fix the buzz. We had to coordinate with the captioning service to make sure everything was okay on their end, as well as start the feed.
While this did push the start time back a few minutes, it ensured that everyone had a positive viewing experience, and we had a quality feed for captioning for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Even with the delay, we still had more than 3,700 people watch the video. Thank you for understanding the cause of the delay, and we hope you tune in next time.
CONCERN: You need to be aware that the following site has problems:
This site is not updated very often and it is hard to navigate. The scroll bars and search engine are hard to use. The information is often days old and unorganized. If this is really a news site, shouldn’t there be new information every day? If you click on the videos link, there appears to be only about one video per month. If you click on the press releases link, there are very few new stories. Sometimes days go by before there is even one new post. If this is no longer your news site, please take it down. If it is your news site, it is a very poor representation of Fresno State.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your note. We agree that the Fresno State news site could benefit from several improvements. As such, we are in the process of developing a newly designed website that will better tell the University’s many compelling stories while also being responsive to users’ needs. Our goal is to launch a new campus news website within the next several months.
CONCERN: The search for classes site is not very easy to use. Courses are hard to find and missing important information. The keyword search doesn't really seem to work well at all.
RESPONSE: There are additional search criteria available that may assist you in narrowing your search. Click on the Additional Search Criteria, and you are able to search by time, day, instructor and course keywords, among other things.
CONCERN: I am concerned for all students who use the student cupboard. I and many other students have discovered our food to be expired, open or even to contain bugs (dead and/or alive). I recently obtained a box of biscuit mix and upon opening it discovered a few live bugs crawling around in it and on further inspection I found the shells of many dead weevils. I almost missed seeing the weevil shells due to their color matching that of the mix. After posting about it on Facebook several other students expressed similar situations including the mac and cheese, rice a roni, spaghetti and rice. Thank you for reviewing this and trying to figure out a solution to this.
RESPONSE: As orders and donations come through, the Student Cupboard staff carefully review items before they go out onto the shelves to make sure that they are not past an expiration date. Items that are past expiration or are damaged are thrown out. We also regularly check the stock on the shelves to make sure it can be distributed. We do have items on our shelves that are past a best-by date, but the Coordinator has checked with the manufacturer of these items to make sure they are still safe for consumption. Most items may be used up to 6 months past a best by date, and others can go as much as 2-3 years past a best-by date (ex: spices, pasta, rice, etc.). One item that is never allowed on the shelves past a best-by date (per food safety) is baby food, so the staff carefully mark and check these items on a very regular basis to make sure they do not go out. For anyone who experiences food they believe to be spoiled or related issues, please contact program coordinator, Jessica Medina, at 559-278-0866 and/or stop by the Student Cupboard during open hours.
CONCERN: May we please have the postal center back? It's really crazy trying to find a post office during the lunch time and have time to wait in line.
RESPONSE: Within the Information Center, the campus community can purchase stamps, envelopes and padded envelopes. There is also a mail-drop that is picked up daily. Additionally, there are new Amazon lockers for all faculty, staff and students to utilize at their convenience.
CONCERN: I would like you to please look into a couple of positions which I think have been granted in a nepotistic and untrustworthy manner.
Regarding one specific person, no one in our division (University Advancement) knows what he does, and he’s not in any organizational chart.
Regarding another position, I do not remember this position ever being posted and accepting applications. Is it normal for Fresno State to grant director-level positions to people who work remotely?
I am very concerned with the lack of trust and accountability among administration. Staff are being told that budgets are tight without a clear idea of where the money goes. Good work is not rewarded because apparently HR is not concerned about the quality of the work people do.
RESPONSE: The specific positions mentioned are Foundation employees in the division of University Advancement (UA). State and Foundation searches have different requirements. The Foundation search process allows managers the flexibility and efficiency to make an offer when a known candidate is uniquely qualified with specific skills, experience, location, and/or availability. These were the circumstances for both of these qualified foundation candidates.
Except in rare instances when uniquely qualified Foundation candidates were known and available, University Advancement undertakes the full search process, and plans to continue doing so.
Both of these employees are located in Southern California and support Fresno State development fundraising efforts. The position centered in Los Angeles is part-time and concentrates on building relationships with alumni to increase support for our university across the LA basin. This position strives to increase alumni engagement by connecting passionate alumni to our President's Southern California Leadership Council. The Council raises money to grow scholarships for students that may transfer from the area to Fresno State. The second position dedicates 25% of its full-time employment to increasing alumni engagement in San Diego. The remaining balance of this staff person's time is working remotely to support our online fundraising activities, like Day of Giving and Crowdfunding (coming this spring).
These employees have been included on the University Advancement organizational chart, which can be found here.
I appreciate your concern regarding use of budget dollars and support of quality work, and I am glad you are aware of the priorities of our strategic plan. I encourage employees to take specific concerns regarding budgets and human resources to your managers, who would welcome your questions, input, and ideas that support the University goals.
CONCERN: At football games, and now at the last basketball game, when veterans are introduced the sound system plays Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA". While I like that Springsteen and that song, a lot of our veterans, including many veterans who are Fresno State graduates, were not born in the US but still served honorably in our armed services.
I love the way the crowd always gives Vets a standing ovation but perhaps a different crowd rousing song could be chosen. Just a thought.
RESPONSE: Years ago, the song 'Born in the USA' was selected for the 'Hero Of The Game' honoring for no reason besides its catchy yet intense beat and the pride it instantly instills in its listeners when 'USA' can be heard loud through the speakers, ringing true to one's heart for the country they are fighting for, regardless of their origin of birth.
Similar to our popular motto, 'Bulldog Born. Bulldog Bred', it doesn't mean you have to be born a Bulldog fan from birth, but rather that you have grown to love the Bulldogs and you feel pride in associating yourself with them.
The song was in no way intended to tell fans where a veteran was or was not born, but rather to invoke a sense of pride that we all share as we honor and thank those living in our local community who have selflessly fought for our freedoms.
CONCERN: I used to work for state in the fall. I was hired in financial aid and I couldn’t keep my position because they really don’t care about people.
I was so excited to work there. It’s really sad that there are two supervisors that do nothing while counter staff, students and the counselors that meet with students do all the work.
That office is wasting money on two lead supervisors that I’m sure make a lot more than the rest of us did.
They are making the rest of Fresno State look bad.
RESPONSE: We regret to hear of your disappointment in your employment in the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. The University does care about each member of our team. In Financial Aid, every member plays a vital role in performing many different functions of the office. Some positions have a great deal of contact with students, and others play a more behind-the-scenes role. Both are critical to serve the needs of the students.
We would be interested in more information to have a better understanding of your concerns. Please feel free to reach out to the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
CONCERN: SAFETY ISSUE: One of the elevators in the south end of the library is down and has been for some time. Apparently, someone decided that sticking a library location sign in front of it solves the problem. It doesn't solve the problem. The elevator needs to be fixed. It is a safety hazard to leave it like that.
RESPONSE: Currently, all elevators in the Madden Library are operational. We upgraded the Library (north) elevators approximately two years ago. We did have some follow up issues, which have since been addressed. Elevator issues can be reported directly to Facilities Management via their online work order system found here.
CONCERN: University Catering -- It would be wonderful if they could begin putting labels on the food they deliver. Many community member, faculty & staff have dietary restrictions and the information would be extremely helpful.
On another note, their plates (large hard plastic) are very hard to fit through the Satellite Student Union trash cans. If the trash cans cannot be replaced, catering should consider paper plates or bringing a big trash when catering to events in the Satellite Student Union.
RESPONSE: Thank you. University Catering strives to accommodate special dietary requests for employees and community visitors, and we label these accordingly (gluten free, vegetarian, etc.). Regarding the trash cans at the SSU, we will work with Student Affairs and the Student Involvement staff to ensure that the receptacles are large enough to accommodate the trash.
CONCERN: Being much more transparent. Communication within departments and across campus vary vastly. Again, dress code for staff seems to be a concern as some "colleges" require one thing while others do not. Please point us to the appropriate dress code policy for staff!!!
RESPONSE: As a senior leadership team, we are all focused on ways to increase transparency and improve communications across campus and within individual departments. Please see the new strategic plan websitewhere we post progress toward our strategic goals.
In addition, each semester, I hold an open forum for faculty and staff to voice questions and concerns. (The next one is Wednesday, March 14, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in North Gym 118.) We have also added new training and development opportunities for managers and leads to help support improved communications and performance standards.
Please note the University does not have a dress-code policy for staff in place. We expect managers and employees to apply appropriate judgement as to what is appropriate attire for our workplace.
CONCERN: In the wake of the tragedy at the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, I am very disappointed that the University is not taking any disciplinary action to suspend the chapter. There are other incidents on college fraternities (and maybe some sororities) that involve events like these yet, some schools have taken immediate action to punish those who are in violation of laws. Why can't the University follow suit to enforce strict laws on fraternities and sororities?
RESPONSE: Allegations of misconduct by student organizations are investigated through our Student Organization Review process. The appropriate action is taken based on the findings of the investigation.
CONCERN: The University should start having campus police officers patrol school grounds to hand out citations against smokers, who are constantly ignoring the No Smoking Ordinance (Executive Order 1108). Since the CSU initiated the non-smoking policy at all of its campuses, it seems that many smokers continue to ignore the rule and refuse to comply with orders - especially on the Fresno State campus. As per the concern an anonymous person wrote (between Aug. 29-Dec. 8, 2017), I agree that we as a "community" are indeed insulted and attacked by none other than addicts that think that it's okay to ignore the policies that are already put into place, and act like that's not their problem. If Fresno State (and other CSU's) are trying to promote "clean air" to allow everyone to "breathe freely," how do you expect anyone to do that if people continue to disrespect that rule? How do you expect students (or faculty members) to remind those smokers as a courtesy that they cannot have any smoke or tobacco products on campus grounds?
It's called a "courtesy" for a reason. There's no choice but to enforce citations to smokers who continue to ignore rules and aren't courteous of others. The ordinance is not as effective as it should be and there needs to be strict rules put into place.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. We are enforcing the new CSU systemwide smoking policy in the manner instructed by the Executive Order and consistent with other CSU campuses. Our primary focus is on education and awareness. Smoking- and tobacco-cessation programs are available for students, faculty and staff. A web page has been established for individuals to report non-compliance. We have a very active campus-wide Task Force that is continuing to identify opportunities for communication, and they are focused on “heat mapping” buildings and areas where individuals continue to smoke, and we are monitoring accordingly. Click here for more information. If you feel threatened or unsafe in any way, please contact Fresno State Police immediately at 559.278.8400
CONCERN: This is a follow-up question in regards to installing median barriers along Shaw Avenue - from Cedar to Chestnut Avenues - to ensure the safety of pedestrians by using a crosswalk and not jaywalking, which was published on 3/30/2017. As you noted, the University has asked the City of Fresno to look into the feasibility of doing this, but nothing has been done. Pedestrians still continue to jaywalk on Shaw even if the no jaywalking signs are posted. And there is not a lot of police presence in the area from the Fresno Police Department to assess the situation. Is there a time frame where the City will install those median barriers? And will the University work closely with Fresno P.D. and campus police monitor the situation and issue citations to those violating the law?
You also mentioned the University is currently working on some Public Service Announcement videos to help educate the campus community on the dangers of jaywalking. Is there also a time frame on when the campus community could view those videos?
RESPONSE: The Fresno State Police Department strongly encourages those crossing Shaw Avenue to use designated crosswalks. Shaw Avenue is under the jurisdiction of the City of Fresno. We have expressed our concerns about the median to the appropriate colleagues at the City of Fresno. We will continue to voice this concern. We are also working on upgrading the signal at Shaw and Maple to include a dedicated left-turn arrow to mitigate the vehicle/pedestrian conflict. Safety is always a high priority. A distracted-walker video is available on the Fresno State Police Department web page and on the Student Health and Wellness site.
CONCERN: I suggest removing the two "Communications Only" parking stalls in the Keats lot if the P.D. cannot be fair in the enforcement of them. Finding an available parking spot is always a problem at certain times of the day. Apparently traffic enforcement also thinks it's an ethical practice to fine a media/communications employee $40 for having approval (and a valid parking pass displayed) to park in that area but our managers get away with parking there - sometimes all day - with no consequence. I was told "a special pass also needs to be displayed in conjunction with a regular parking pass" but nobody in Communications has heard of such a thing in the 12 years I have worked here. I also asked traffic enforcement to see what this pass looks like and who is responsible for providing them but nobody can provide me with an answer.
If those stalls are purposely reserved for ONLY the media (KSEE, KMPH, etc) then I strongly suggest the wording be changed to "MEDIA ONLY" and the color should be different than the rest of the signs.
RESPONSE: I appreciate your feedback on this matter. The two parking stalls in the Keats parking lot, designated for Communications Only, are specifically reserved for members of approved media outlets who call University Communications ahead of time to reserve a spot for a specific amount of time on any given day. We will aim to change the wording on the signage so that it is more specific and accurate.
CONCERN: I suggest that Fresno State considers establishing a "Mini Student Union" at Campus Point. This will provide a place for students to socialize in a fun area of the campus. I feel many students would utilize this facility after they have patronized the local businesses. It may create more business at Campus Point.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. There are actually plans for Auxiliary Services to open a Bulldog Business Center/C-Store at Campus Pointe, to be operated by our Kennel Bookstore team… Stay tuned for more updates on timing of opening! Estimated opening Spring/Summer 2019.
CONCERN: There are areas on campus designated as “wheels off” zones; however, the signs are very small and students constantly ignore them. It does not appear anyone is trying to enforce the wheels off zones. This is particularly problematic in the area between USU and Taco Bell. I have almost been hit numerous times by skateboarders. Could you PLEASE do something about the skateboarding and bike riding in high traffic walking areas? Someone is going to get hurt!
RESPONSE: We do have a campus “wheels off” policy for certain high-traffic pedestrian areas. We send out periodic reminders to our campus community. You can also share any specific safety-related concerns with Shirley Staton, (firstname.lastname@example.org) Chair of the University’s Occupational, Safety, and Wellness Committee. This committee is very proactive and advocates for helping to identify and resolve potential campus-safety issues.
CONCERN: The Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band received its current uniforms in the summer of 2009 under the tenure of Dr. Welty. The uniforms were a very generous gift, and a much needed improvement over the previous set which were a thick wool blend that did not breathe well during the hot fall months. The current uniforms, while serving the band well, have become quite worn and are starting to fall apart. On average, a university band program's uniforms last roughly 8-10 years, which is where our uniforms are now with nine seasons (2009-2017). It would be wonderful if the university could outfit our program with new uniforms and give us a fresh look for the upcoming fall. It would be great to welcome the new era of Fresno State football with a new era and look for the band program to support our team as "the soundtrack to the red wave."
RESPONSE: Our new band uniforms will be ordered and custom designed later this year and will be ready for Summer 2019. I look forward to seeing our talented band members in their new uniforms!
CONCERN: The music department building is also in much needed repair and renovation. Several classrooms have tiles in the floor missing and walls that are falling off. Sound systems and classroom technology is far outdated and in need to replacement. I am sure there is a long list of repairs and renovations that the university has to make over the next several years. It would just be wonderful if there were a timeline as to when students can expect to see these improvements made.
RESPONSE: Thank you, we agree that the classrooms in the Music Building as well as many other academic buildings are in need of modernization and updating. Over the next two years, the campus will invest over $10 million in classroom-modernization projects. The priority classrooms were identified based upon utilization and capacity. We have a large backlog and will continue to address as funding becomes available. The scope of these modernization projects (Conley Art 101 is a good example!) includes the upgrade of all classroom technologies, which is led by our Technology Services team in consultation with Academic Affairs.
CONCERN: Graduate Assistants who work and serve the university programs should be allowed to have a yellow staff parking pass, as we serve the university in a similar manner and are treated as staff by our departments.
RESPONSE: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer graduate assistants yellow permits, given limited number of yellow parking stalls for faculty and staff. In the Fall 2016, we changed the time that students/visitors can park in faculty/staff lots from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.
CONCERN: As a staff member, there are times where there does not seem to be an air of collaboration between various departments, and sometimes makes it hard to get my job done when others are reluctant to help, or even ignore emails! I feel awful when I have to have my supervisor reach out, and even then, we have no luck.
With that being said, is anything being looked into with regards to a comprehensive training program that encourages collaboration between departments? While I do truly appreciate your commitment to professional development at various levels, I feel as though this sort of training would help, regardless of who you serve. Thank you!
RESPONSE: You raise an important point. While there are many examples of effective collaboration happening between individuals and departments, we regret to hear about your specific frustrations, and we acknowledge that this may be a problem within certain areas. As part of our Workplace Quality action plan, we are exploring additional trainings to improve collaboration, communication and collegiality. We are also in the process of engaging the campus in a conversation around Principles of Community that will help support our efforts to build a more collaborative environment.
CONCERN: I commute from Hanford every day in a Fiat 500, a car that solely runs on electricity. By the time I arrive at Fresno State, I have less than 10% battery life left, or approximately 14 miles. It takes me about 50 miles to get home. My issue is that I see people abusing these Fiat chargers every single day. It has gotten to the point that i have to arrive to school by 7am to be able to plug in and charge up my car. While I have extreme appreciation for these free chargers, they NEED to be better regulated. The sign states that the max charge is 4 hours, but I have seen very few vehicles follow that rule. I make sure that once my car has hit 100% charge, I move it to make space for another person to plug in. I never stay above the 4 hour limit out of respect to the other drivers. With that said, there are multiple Fiats that will stay on the charger for well over 4 hours, the stated time limit. I have taken photos of these cars and I will gladly submit them for further inspection. All that I ask is that either we get officers monitoring these machines so that they can’t be abused by users, or add a few more Fiat EV chargers. With the expanding electric car market, 3-4 chargers just won't cut it, especially if it is un-regulated. Thank you for your time and I hope this issue will be resolved immediately because I don't enjoy coming to school then having to worry about being able to get a charging spot just so I can make it home after my classes.
RESPONSE: Thanks for sharing your concern. We are aware of the heavy demand on the existing vehicle-charging stations. Our Traffic Operations team has recently enhanced enforcement of the EV charging spaces. Any vehicle parked in a space designated for electric vehicles must be connected and charging at all times. Parking permits are not currently required at EV Charging Stations; however, vehicles are required to comply with posted time restrictions. We are hopeful this enforcement will enhance the availability of our EV spaces. We are also considering a policy change that would require users to have a Fresno State parking permit. The charging stations were made possible with funding from a grant from the California Energy Commission. We are pleased to see the increased demand and usage, and we are exploring the possibility of adding another charging station possibly on the west end of campus in the future.
CONCERN: To Pres. Castro: I noticed that you dodge concerns raised on the feedback page instead of actually trying to fix problems. For example, instead of actually addressing dangerous traffic and parking lot issues, you simply say, "we are sorry that you are experiencing this inconvenience" or "We will monitor accordingly." That's not even making any attempt at a reasonable process for addressing and fixing serious problems. It's just blowing smoke in our faces.
And instead of stopping the use of leaf blowers, you say, "the leaf blowers are a necessary tool." And instead of fixing bathrooms, you say, "It would not be prudent to invest significant fiscal resources to renovate these restrooms" or "Many restrooms on campus do not have hot water during non-heating months."
Even to students, you ignore financial concerns raised by an unreasonable policy for 24/7 computer access and say, "We also understand and empathize" while keeping the policy. If you are not really going to do anything but excuse yourself, why act as though you are?
RESPONSE: The philosophy of our feedback page is that every voice and every one matters. The Cabinet and I always listen carefully to different perspectives. In many cases, these perspectives influence our decisions. In other cases, there may be policies and regulations that prevent us from doing what is recommended. Sometimes, it is not practical to implement a suggestion due to cost or other reasons. As your President, I must make decisions that support the greater good of our university. I will continue to do this with input from diverse perspectives.
CONCERN: I have an issue with the general physics classes. There's only two classes for each of them every semester, and they're either extremely early in the morning, or very late at night. There's nothing in between. Please consider adding more classes for these, or at least make the times a little bit more suitable to those of us that have to commute.
RESPONSE: You are probably referring to Physics 2A, which had only an early morning and an evening section this semester. Given the demands on space, the department must use rooms from early in the morning to late at night. The department is planning to open an additional section of Physics 2A in Fall 2018 and is searching for a classroom that would enable them to offer the section in the afternoon.
CONCERN: Hi the latest response to blackboard is concerning. I have contacted help desk, and they told me "Fresno state did not pay for higher tier support for blackboard platform", so the coverage of the support is ONLY computers, and NOT mobile devices. There hasn't been a iOS (apple mobile) update for almost a year. Blackboard on iPhones does NOT work. Also mobile version of any internet browser does NOT work on iPhone.
Please contact help desk to get a better understanding of the blackboard problem.
RESPONSE: Fresno State began support for the Bb (Blackboard) Mobile app began when it became available as part of the CSU contract several years ago. In 2015, Blackboard updated its mobile support to be based on the role at the university setting, resulting in the Bb Student app, and more recently the Bb Instructor app. In summer 2017, the word "student" was dropped from the name of the student app, and the icon changed. The Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) updated its webpages immediately at the time of the change, located on the Blackboard "landing page" (blackboard.fresnostate.edu), the Bb login page, the Bb Mobile page (http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/blackboard/bbmobile.html), and in the online Blackboard Student Orientation. The campus also sent communication out to the students.
The CFE Instructional Designers and the Academic Technology Resource Center also support tablet use of Blackboard, including the Bb app, and accessing Bb through Safari and Chrome browsers. The "disappearing panel" experienced by the user is not a defect but rather a feature to provide more screen area to course resources, for example. Panels can be brought back with a simple finger swipe. For users with laptops and desktops, the trackpad or mouse can also hide or expose the left panel. This is useful for professors showing a resource within Blackboard during class and needed more screen space, for example.
The Technology Services Help Center works with the Academic Technology Resource Center and CFE to support mobile and tablet use. Please refer to the webpages listed here or visit our teams to get support for your questions.
CONCERN: I find it common for professors to say an excuse of "Fire code cannot accept more than ____ students" Only to find out later that it was a lied to. Can you put in every classroom the maximum number of people that can be in each classroom?
RESPONSE: As a CSU, we are required to comply with the California Building Code. Rooms that have an occupant load of 50 or more are required to have two exits, and we are required to be compliant. We appreciate your cooperation in not exceeding the posted maximum occupancy. We could be cited and fined for non-compliance by the State Fire Marshal.
CONCERN: I think Fresno State can do a better job at promoting mental health services. The well-being of students mental health needs must be a priority. Students need to know that mental health services are available to all students who may be experiencing a need and information on where and how they can access services. The negative stigma associated with seeking out mental health care services may prevent many students from making efforts to seek out needed services. I see advertising on a wide range of topics all around the campus but very few informing students that it is perfectly fine to seek out mental health services and that we as a university are here to help. We need to double our efforts, year round, to ensure that students know where and how to access mental health services. We are in need of a year round advertising campaign informing students about mental health care services and how to access these services. We can and must do a better job informing students about services offered at the Health Clinic, specifically Mental Health Services.
RESPONSE: We are always working to find new and better ways to get the word out to students about our mental health services, and though it seems to be improving based on increasing numbers of students utilizing these services, we realize, especially in the wake of recent tragedies, that we still have room to grow.
We recently hired a new Director of Wellness Services, and she, along with her team, is working hard to implement new campaigns that will reach as many students as possible. Of course, the best marketing for mental health services is word-of-mouth from other students, so we have also been working closely with our Student Health Advisory Committee, Peer Ambassadors of Wellness, and ASI to focus on breaking down the stigma of seeking help.
CONCERN: I would like to suggest that we might add one more bike barn on the northeast side of campus near the Science buildings. I would also like to bring the lack of cover for when it rains or even when it is really hot over all bike lock areas. Riding your bike home with a drenched seat is a really uncomfortable situation. For me I have to ride 3 miles home, and if it rained at all the seat absorbs the water and remains soaked for a long time after. Coverings would also protect our bikes from getting really hot during the warmer months, which allows a more comfortable ride for those of us with bicycles. Rain and direct sunlight can also damage different parts of bikes, so if at all possible I'd like to see some sort of covering over bike lock stations. Thank you for considering this.
RESPONSE: Thank you for the suggestion and for riding your bike to campus. We will evaluate the feasibility or adding an additional bike barn in this area of campus.
CONCERN: Why does the Athletic Corp contribute a flat rate towards employee insurance coverage regardless of the number of dependents covered, as opposed to using a more standard scaled contribution? An Athletic Corp employee with no dependents will likely be fully covered with no out of pocket contribution required. Conversely, because premiums are higher when more dependents are covered by the policy I am required to contribute nearly $1,000 each month out of pocket to ensure coverage for my spouse and children. It is almost as though I am being discriminated against for having a family. If the Athletic Corp moved from a flat rate to a tiered contribution this issue would be alleviated, and employees would pay a fair amount relative to the number of dependents in their respective families.
RESPONSE: We understand your concern. The Athletic Corporation (AC) contributes a flat monthly amount ($900) towards medical, dental and vision for all full-time AC employees. This is a common approach, especially for private employers. This monthly contribution covers the majority of cost for the employee only and, unfortunately, does not cover the cost for additional dependents. The Athletic Corporation is an auxiliary organization and fiscally cannot afford to increase the monthly employer contribution at this time. Employer contributions are reviewed periodically by the Athletic Corporation Board of Directors.
CONCERN: Thank you for replying to my concern of the building renovation program and the trust funds being swept to cover this. Having the actual funding for this clarified helps a lot. However, we are being told by our Dean's office that the Provost's office is specifically requesting this information to sweep our funding to cover this. Which tells me there is a few issues going on here. 1. This is correct and your office is unaware that this is happening. 2. This is incorrect and you are unaware that the Dean's office is telling us this in order for them to sweep our funds. I want to believe that there is a misunderstanding somewhere and not that the Provost's office or Dean's office is attempting to take money for other purposes then they are stating. I feel it would be beneficial for your office to look into this matter to ensure that directions are not being given to take department state trusts account funding when they should not be.
RESPONSE: Relative to trust funds, I have asked the provost to work with the deans to ensure that state trust funds are being used appropriately. The provost has asked each dean to account for state trust fund balances. My intent—and that of the provost—is not to sweep state trust fund balances but to make certain that such funds are not holding large reserves but are being used. Additionally, all state trust funds have agreements that stipulate for what they can be used.
CONCERN: The tech dock stations in classrooms are not easy to connect tech devices to the projection screen. 1) Faculty/Teachers have trouble or don't know how to connect. 2) The stations don't work or cables don't work.
There are too many occurrences where students are asked by teachers/faculty members if we know how to connect their laptop or tablet. As much as we are willing to help, I do not think it is fair for faculty to struggle so much to connect. Often times the classroom is unavailable to arrive earlier for them to figure it out and it runs into class time to even try to figure it out. I have experienced teachers give up because they have to start class and can't afford to get behind with their lesson plan. I have asked new teachers if they get training or instructions on how to connect and they have said no. Whether or not if it is available online, or they did receive it with tons of other information when first being hired, there is a disconnect.
This is not just new faculty or based on the user, it is also the tech side. Furthermore, it is not a first day of class issue it is a constant issue. The station will work one day and not the next. The HDMI cable will work on some computers and not others. Sometimes the dock station won't send the cable to the projection (even though the computer picks up the cable). Sometimes the dock station doesn't pick up apple codes, or the dock camera switch doesn't work. Either way I don't think this should be a problem that faculty or anyone who uses rooms should have to deal with so much, especially when the university is tying to go digital.
Lastly, please don't tell me there is a number in each classroom to call for help or to visit a department for help. There have been times when it is during after hours and no one is able to come into the room and they are unable to figure it out over the phone. I have also experienced a claim that it was fixed but have seen issues in the same classroom. I can give examples of which building, which room, which faculty but it is all over. If faculty cannot connect during the class time to use modern technology than that is a disservice from Fresno State.
One more thing, this is just a suggestion to make Fresno State better, I love being a student here and even getting this opportunity to express this issue. Go Dogs!
RESPONSE: I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your enthusiasm and love for being a Fresno State student and for expressing your suggestion. I will ask our Center for Faculty Excellence and our Technology Services division to look for ways to communicate training opportunities and support services more effectively.
Faculty receive a wide range of opportunities for learning how to utilize classroom technology. Technology training occurs for full-time faculty during their orientation process with support from Academic Affairs and Technology Services. Faculty also have ongoing opportunities to practice connecting their mobile devices (laptops, tablets, phones) during professional development training by the Center for Faculty Excellence and Classroom Video Services (CVS).
The DISCOVERe Hub and Helpdesk also provide technology support after hours by contacting 278-5000. The CVS desk (278-2674) offers in-person support until 5 p.m. and phone support until 7:30 p.m. After 7:30 p.m., we forward the CVS phone line to the DISCOVERe Hub. CVS is also working to standardize all of the centrally-scheduled rooms over the next few years. Fresno State currently has 170 of 250 centrally-scheduled rooms at what we describe as the DISCOVERe standard. We also work with the schools and colleges to update non centrally-scheduled rooms to the same standard.
CONCERN: As a student in the credential program my classes are from 4:00-6:50 and 7:00-9:50. I bring my dinner with me and to my surprise there isn't a microwave in the whole building for students to use. I had to walk to the USU just to heat up my food. I think it would be a great to add the microwave near the snack bar on the bottom floor. Please and thank you.
RESPONSE: Yes, we will work with the Kremen School of Education Dean’s Office to coordinate finding a location for a microwave. Thank you!
CONCERN: Stop spending so much time, effort, money and influence on athletics. The prestige of sport as a University aside has become an obsession that threatens to subsume the academics that should be the bedrock of an admired college.
I realize the athletic programs bring in funds that are partially used for other needs. I believe the energy used to attract donors to the football, baseball, and basketball programs ought to be matched in zeal and man-power to efforts to attract donors to specific academic endeavors. Where is the funding donated by chemical companies, mass media publishing, and industry giants towards specific academic programs?
If they exist at all, you do a poor job of advertising them. Do better.
RESPONSE: Thank you for voicing your concern. Academics and athletics rising together, not one at the sacrifice of the other, is a key component to fulfilling our mission to boldly educate and empower students for success. This is not uncommon in higher education, as universities across the country are realizing and leveraging the strength that comes with embracing both aspects of an institution. Our commitment is to all of our students, in providing them with the support needed to succeed in life. To attain this goal, University Advancement has strategically placed a Director of Development in every college, as well as other key areas across campus. In doing so, donors can align their passions with an area that connects most deeply to them and the entire University can benefit from overall community engagement.
CONCERN: Please note: On the President's Feedback Page, my concerns about the university violating First Amendment rights were not addressed. Other people's concerns were listed, but not mine. You deleted my message. Proving that you are doing exactly the opposite of what you claim. "We never delete or hide any comments..." you stated. This is untrue. You are deleting/hiding comments, and you are deleting specific concerns raised about it when they are submitted to the President's Feedback Page. You must be deleting numerous other concerns rather than posting them on the President's Feedback Page also. You'll probably delete this one instead of posting it, too.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your note, and please accept my apologies if your previous posted concern was inadvertently missed. Due to a transitional period among staff who help manage my feedback page, there was a lapse of about three months when we weren’t able to address in a timely manner the concerns that had been submitted. As such, we had a backlog of concerns, many of which we did address in mid-January. Due to the backlog, your specific concern may have been inadvertently overlooked, but certainly not purposefully deleted or hidden. Please resubmit it if you are still concerned about any specific campus matter.
CONCERN: The parking ticket appeal process is broken. If a person physically visits the office, the person is told repeatedly to appeal online. But, the online appeal process does not work. The links lead nowhere.
RESPONSE: Individuals who have received a parking citation have the right to appeal the citation under a three-step process outlined by the California Vehicle Code Section 40215. Citations may be appealed online at www.pticket.com/fresnostate or in person at the Traffic Operations front counter. We recommend waiting 48 hours before contesting a citation online. We have not had any confirmed system outages.
CONCERN: To care about all the classes that are being held in the S. gym! This part of the campus has been severely neglected! I don't think 133, 134, 135, or 136 have ever been touched since they were built!
RESPONSE: A major upgrade to North and South Gyms is currently underway that will increase the utilization of many of these areas. The utilization of non-centrally scheduled classrooms is managed by the School/College. Centrally-scheduled classrooms are managed centrally by Academic Affairs.
CONCERN: I strongly suggest the department chair from the Department of Linguistics or other departments contact Dr. Steven Skelton, Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies Department chair in advance when they make an arrangement with a presenter regarding ASL and Deaf Studies-related topics. It will give our department an opportunity to schedule with two sign language interpreters and provide full access to Deaf faculty members who want to attend and watch the presentation. Also, our Deaf Studies major students need to have the same privilege to watch and learn something regarding to ASL and Deaf Studies research-related topics.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your note. We have addressed this with the appropriate parties.
Posted on: 01/16/18
CONCERN: I worked at Fresno State's Autism Center while I attended the university. It was a valuable resource not only to students seeking careers with the wonderful population, but to the community and families around the Central Valley. It saddens me that it has closed. I hope Fresno State is working to bring up such a fantastic way to connect with and serve the community.
RESPONSE: We also were sad to see the closure of the Autism Center at Fresno State. Both children and student workers benefited from this program. Unfortunately, consistent difficulties recruiting and retaining the appropriate number and type of staff members necessary to properly work with the children led us to discontinue services. Although the Autism Center was designed to provide services for children ages 2-5, we do continue to provide services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder ages 6 and up through our Focused Behavioral Services program. This program has been operating since 2009 and continues to provide an increasing number of training, education, and research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students at Fresno State.
CONCERN: As a graduate student in the Kremen School of Education, a majority of our classes run from 4PM to 6:50PM then 7PM to 9:50PM. Many of my fellow classmates have classes back to back so we rely on the snack bar down in the atrium. I noticed it closes at 6PM, and many of us want to buy food before another long class. Can you please look into extending the hours for that specific snack bar to 7PM? or 7:30PM? We would greatly appreciate it.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. Our campus retail dining operations are self-sustaining operations and the operating hours for our operations are based upon demand and financially being able to at least break-even due to food and labor costs. However, we will evaluate the current operating hours for this location to see if any adjustments can be made.
CONCERN: The cross walk lines at Keats and Maple are very faded. Could we get them repainted? Cars need a better reminder that they should go through that intersection carefully. During 8 am and 5 pm, some people race through the intersection to see if they can squeeze through the pedestrians.
RESPONSE: Thank for you calling this to our attention. We have asked our Parking and Transportation manager to evaluate the condition of the crosswalk paint and repaint, if deemed necessary. Flashing stop signs have been installed in the intersection as an enhanced safety precaution.
CONCERN: I would like to see some changes in the general education program. As a transfer
student who completed his lower division general education at a city college, I was
surprised to know that there was upper division general education requirements. I
thought the requirements were absurd because I entered Fresno State motivated to dive
into my major courses and not have to be bombarded with additional time consuming
I would like to see Fresno State, and the CSUs in general, reduce the number of general education requirements for both lower and upper divisions. I believe a meaningful education comes from choice and not obligation. With fewer general education requirements, students can graduate sooner because they are not bogged down by or failing courses that have little to no relation to their major and career goals. However, most importantly, students are able to focus on their major courses, early on in their college career. Students won't have to battle a full two years (or more) before taking the majority of their major courses.
RESPONSE: General Education's scope of courses and number of course units have been defined by the faculty in the CSU and are codified in the California Code of Regulations (Title 5). The Chancellor's Office has issued executive orders (the most recent is EO 1100 issued this past summer) to make certain that campus policies follow the law and promote student progress to degree. Per Title 5 and EO 1100, the maximum total number of GE units is 49, of which 9 are upper division. All community college transfer students are required to complete 9 units of upper division GE on a CSU campus.
CONCERN: Could you put a link to the building/class location abbreviations on the class search page? I finally found it somewhere else after looking forever, but it needs to be on the class search page itself.
RESPONSE: Thank you for the suggestion. This has been done.
CONCERN: While I understand that parking on this campus is an issue. Why are there so many parking coupon codes being used in particular, in the restricted parking lots. Today alone, as I was trying to find a parking space in P23 the noticed 9 coupon codes. I also notice that students are parking in the restricted with Faculty/Staff yellow permits and coupon codes. Seems like abuse of the system to me....
RESPONSE: RESPONSE: Coupon codes are offered by departments as a convenience for guests to campus. Fees are paid by the division hosting the visitor. Suspected coupon code misuse should be reported to Traffic Operations at 8-2950
CONCERN: I'm having a problem with the schedule of courses not being up in time to plan my classes. It never seems to be available or working right. It needs to be working all the time, or I can't get the classes I need to finish my degree. I wish someone at CSUF cared about what really happens when a student runs into problems with the online schedule all the time. Thank you.
RESPONSE: The schedule of classes is published usually one week prior to the course wish list being made available. This schedule is the work of all academic departments and programs, Scheduling Office and other offices. If one department’s schedule is not final, the schedule of classes cannot be published. It is a concerted effort each semester to release the class schedule in a timely fashion, and the schedule is always published before the wish list is available.
CONCERN: The Community Newsletter is always so dated. It only comes out through email every once in a while, so by the time I get it, most of it is already old. Or boring. It seems more like it's a "rah-rah" thing for students than for the community. If the purpose is to get me to give money to FS, I can tell you that you've failed, because the newsletter doesn't make me feel like FS cares about me at all or what I can do for the university.
RESPONSE: The Community E-Newsletter comes out monthly (the third Thursday of every month) and includes stories that are both time sensitive as well as evergreen. The goal of this publication is to highlight stories from the past month that share community partnerships, regional impact and events. We strive to highlight articles that are of interest to our alumni and friends, and will continue to review the analytics to better understand our audiences’ interests and improve the content. If you have story suggestions, please send them to email@example.com.
CONCERN: Saw the article in the Collegian about a space for Veterans. I've noticed that we have two ROTC program offices, Veterans Service and Veterans Education Program offices. Couldn't any of these consolidate their programs to make a Veterans Resource Center more efficient as well as pool staff support to make it cost effective? Just a thought.
RESPONSE: Over the past year we have brought in consultants and worked with our Director of Veterans Affairs at the Chancellor’s Office to improve the services we provide to our Veteran students. As you saw in The Collegian, we have moved our Veterans Services Office to a temporary space on campus that allows more space for students and is centrally located. While it is a long-term goal for this campus to have a Veterans Resource Center, we are working on improving the services we can provide with the space we currently have. The Veterans Services Office is the “main hub” for students to connect with the campus and receive resources for other services, such as the Veterans Education Program. We have already hired an additional staff member for the office and also named a Director of Veterans Services who will be taking the lead on the recommendations given to us by the consultants. We hope to have a more streamlined process to share with the campus community soon. If you have future concerns or would like to discuss in more detail, please contact the University Registrar/Director of Veterans Services, Laura Yager, at 559-278-2191. Thank you.
CONCERN: I drive the same car to work every single day, and park in the same lot,
every day. I pay a high fee every single month to do so. It is thus preposterous that
- if I happen to forget the tag on one day, or if it falls off my mirror because it
is flimsy, or if I take it down to clean the car and fail to put it back up - I am
fined an unreasonable amount of money. Parking operations has my license plate number.
If, while writing me up, they can take a picture of the license plate number, and
take pics at three angles on my parking spot, AND take a pic of the interior of the
car, then they can sure run the license plate through a database and note that I have
faithfully paid my parking dues for 15 years.
While I recognize the importance of displaying some outward sign of having paid my parking dues, I don't think it's particularly fair to have a zero-tolerance policy, especially for faculty members. If the license plate for the car receiving the ticket is registered, then a minor fine or warning should be given. The ONLY thing I can conclude from the process as it stands is that the parking fines are set up to be revenue-generating, which is clearly unethical.
RESPONSE: Our current parking enforcement technology does not have the capability to verify paid parking by license plate. We are exploring this in the near future. Fresno State continues to offer one of the lowest parking fees for faculty, staff and students in the CSU. Our procedures for contesting parking violations are in accordance with California Vehicle Code, Section 40215.
CONCERN: Our campus could benefit from a clear reporting system for students who have grievances. Several other university campuses utilize an ombudsman in such a role. Over the years of working in student services, I've counseled several students who've had legitimate concerns about the way they have been treated (and in some cases harassed) by faculty and/or staff members. Oftentimes, the students are uncomfortable reporting their grievance to the appropriate supervisor (ex. department chair, dean, MPP, etc.) for fear of retaliation. I'm sure some employees might fear students issuing a complaint for frivolous reasons. However, a properly trained ombudsman who is impartial and objective can properly investigate and suss out the truth of the situation while maintaining confidentiality.
RESPONSE: Students should feel free to contact the Dean of Students or Human Resources. We try to resolve differences in the least disruptive, most respectable manner possible.
CONCERN: It's alarming that new faculty are so nakedly warned against living "South of Shaw" by existing faculty members and staff when offering advice (sometimes unsolicited) about where to live in town. It happened to me and it happened to others at the start of the new school year. This advice not only belies the underlying racism and segregation that have for so long afflicted this city and region, it also continues to criminalize and red-line some of the neighborhoods our students live and work in. It may be that faculty and staff are acting on what they perceive to be good intentions, which suggests that the university could do a better job of educating its faculty and staff on the historical and pernicious ways racist space and narratives get replicated.
RESPONSE: First, thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. Secondly, I am sorry to read that the perceptions of others were placed upon you as a new employee. While we cannot prevent people from having personal opinions, the notion that living anywhere “South of Shaw,” is somehow undesirable, is one that is most unfortunate. The City of Fresno has many wonderful neighborhoods including areas such as the Tower District and the historic Fresno High neighborhood. The University House is also located south of Shaw, and my family and I thoroughly enjoy our neighborhood. In addition, areas in Northwest Fresno both south of Shaw and west of Highway 99, are experiencing exciting housing and retail growth, which are providing additional options for new and existing residents. I welcome your specific thoughts on how the university might incorporate your ideas in our future “On Boarding” efforts to make new employee experiences more welcoming.
CONCERN: The way that you handled the "MLK Peace Garden" event was extremely poor. If you had not mass emailed the entire university, many people (including myself) would not have even known it occurred. You gave the prank more attention. Regardless, the "incident" was a harmless prank. It's wasn't an attack on any "core values of discovery, diversity and distinction". The fact that you felt the need to alert the entire university, police, and several """leaders""" is extremely laughable. You made a mountain out of a molehill. In the future, just take the stuff down and don't make a fuss about it.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me. The incident that occurred in the Peace Garden was disrespectful to Dr. King and his legacy. I have no specific evidence to conclude that this disrespectful act was a prank. Dr. Kapoor, the founder of the Peace Garden, and I agreed that this was a teachable moment for our university and an opportunity to re-affirm why the Peace Garden exists and why it should be respected. The African Black Student Coalition, ASI Leadership and the Academic Senate Executive Committee were thankful for and in agreement with the actions we took on this matter. I hope this helps to clarify why this action was taken.
CONCERN: Since your office admitted that a history professor’s contract goes until May of 2018 and you gave him a current assignment of converting his class to an online one. One could say that Fresno State reacted but did not deliver a consequence for behavior such as this from faculty. Fresno State may be seen as weak for not taking action to terminate this professor for his radical and hateful comments about a large percentage of this country including students at Fresno State who could have been taking his class. This behavior has made students with beliefs that differ from his feel that Fresno State is not offering a positive and inclusive learning environment. So unless things are done (such as firing him), some students will feel excluded and not included in a school that seems to talk about either diversity or sports. Please address the issue rather than facilitating this type of behavior for faculty by letting his contract run out and doing nothing.
RESPONSE: Fresno State understands the deep concerns that have been shared as a result of personal comments made by the professor. The University is taking this matter very seriously and handling it in accordance with applicable law, policy and the requirements of the faculty collective bargaining unit agreement.
CONCERN: What is happening with the network slowdown? It's been like this since last Friday. Are we getting DDOS attacked?
RESPONSE: We apologize for the negative experience you had with the wireless network or network speed. We have not had any denial of service attacks on our campus network recently. I encourage you to reach out to our Help Desk (help.fresnostate.edu) the next time you experience poor network or internet performance.
CONCERN: It would be really awesome if Fresno State would offer a Degree in Law.
RESPONSE: California State University campuses are not able to offer law degrees under the state education code.
CONCERN: I was wondering what can be done for Staff who are also students in regards to Tech Lending. I recently tried to borrow a camcorder for my Management 110 class and was told as staff that is not something we are able to borrow. My only other recourse was to change my status from Staff to Student, but then I would lose my staff privileges. Is there no way to be listed as both or allow for exceptions when staff is also a student?
RESPONSE: We apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced. The policy you mentioned is accurate, and as a staff member who is also a student, you are asked to choose one category to be recognized in the system. I encourage you to speak with your professor, who may have ideas about how to best receive the resources you need for your coursework.
CONCERN: The peters building has AC on when it’s freezing outside. I understand this is a common problem, but it’s affecting my learning because I am not comfortable. It’s incredibly hard to concentrate when I am shivering. At the very least please put the heaters on in the mornings.
RESPONSE: Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and we regret this inconvenience. Our Facilities Operations team works hard to keep our buildings warm in winter and cool during the summer and maintain a comfortable learning environment year round for all students. Specific concerns about a building being too warm or cold should be submitted via our online customer service form (found here).
CONCERN: Can you please regulate the amount of junk emails students are sent? We are spammed weekly, and it’s cluttering my inbox for important announcements.
RESPONSE: I appreciate your concern. Providing relevant and important information to our students, faculty, and staff is a priority for Fresno State, and this includes preventing unwanted external solicitation and phishing attempts. Our Fresno State technology systems automatically block a large number of junk email, spam, and phishing attempts from reaching our campus community from sources outside the university. Our University Advancement team has been looking at the various emails sent from internal Fresno State departments to define policy and best practices to help streamline effective communication to students, faculty, and staff. We hope this collaborative effort will help us all be better communicators.
CONCERN: Vice President Adishian-Astone told The Collegian that financial incentive was not the chief motivator in Fresno State's decision to sell beer at football games. Since the university lost approximately $200,000 each season on beer sales since 2006, money had to be the key factor. Where is the money from the sales going, and why is the university trying to hide it?
RESPONSE: CSU Executive Order 1109, a California State University system-wide policy published in June, 2017 permits the sale of alcohol at university intercollegiate athletic events. An update to the university Alcohol Policy (G-04) was made as a result of EO 1109. In implementing this policy, our commitment has remained on safety and maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere at athletic events. Concession operations are handled by a third-party provider (Pardini’s) and they remit commission revenue to the Athletic Department in accordance with their agreement. The income earned from concession commissions is included as a line item in the annual budget, which is available online here. We assure you the University is not hiding the income.
CONCERN: The last alumni magazine was sports, sports, and more sports. It makes it seem like all FSU cares about is sports. And it’s probably true.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. We understand that not everyone in our audience will be interested in a particular story or topic, so we try to address various interests from issue to issue. We also try to give readers the types of stories that they tell us they like best when we send out our reader surveys after each issue. In the 15-year history of Fresno State Magazine, this was only the second time a cover featured athletics. Our goal with this cover story was to go beyond sports to show the way three alumni who have risen to the highest level of pro sports are inspiring others in the region to dream big and aim high in whatever their chosen field of study may be. We also highlighted several former student-athletes who went pro in something other than sports. I have stated that one of Fresno State’s goals is for academics and athletics to rise together, and I hope that was conveyed in this issue with the story of the University’s No. 17 national ranking by Washington Monthly alongside the other content throughout the magazine.
CONCERN: Posting this comment here because they always seem to disappear from Fresno State's social media sites. You need to respect the First Amendment rights of those participating on your social media, not just state over and over: "We do value free speech." If you really value free speech, stop disrespecting people who share their opinions by not even listening to what they say, but just copying and pasting the same reply over and over. You say you value free speech, but you do not.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. Because we do value free speech, we never delete or remove any comments from Fresno State's social media. (If you have a specific example of this, please let us know, or if it was an account connected to Fresno State but not the actual institutional page, please let us know which page. Also, please note that Facebook recently switched to showing "Top Comments" by default, so perhaps your comment is still there, but you can't see it without switching to "All Comments.")
Again, since we value free speech, we never tell people what to believe on social media; we let our community have the conversation instead. Therefore, we don't jump into a thread unless we need to correct misinformation. We apologize if this has come off as not listening to people in the past. We do share comments received on social media, but we respect your free speech by not telling you what to think, rather limiting ourselves to correcting misinformation.
CONCERN: Scheduling events on campus is a nightmare. Who is in charge of it? Scheduling is supposed to be, but I'm getting nowhere with them.
RESPONSE: While most campus events are scheduled the Scheduling Office (278-2491) other offices may be involved depending on the space requested. For example, the Student Involvement Office manages all student events, the Library manages all library rooms/spaces, the Kinesiology Department manages South Gym and the Music department manages Music Building rooms. Some spaces are scheduled by one entity but managed by many (such as NG 118). Please provide me with specific information about the space you wished to schedule and the event so we can work to improve our service.
CONCERN: It is difficult to imagine a more frustratingly designed parking lot than
just east of the Kremen building. At 5 pm, three separate streams of traffic are funneled
toward a single exit. Outgoing traffic slows to a crawl as drivers from each "stream"
struggle to determine whose turn it is. The situation is both dangerous and induces
road rage -- can we expect drivers to be good natured enough to wait their turn and
not turn into one another?
The parking lot exits onto Keats, which is backed up with dozens of cars trying to turn onto an equally backed up Maple. Often, only one car can exit the parking lot per minute. This is a travesty. Not to mention there are still cars attempting to enter the parking lot (presumably for 5:30 classes) who have literally nowhere they can go in the parking lot, as it's full of motionless cars who can't leave. And, of course, there are many pedestrians in the parking lot and crosswalk.
It all adds up to a giant mess. My suggestion is for President Castro to park his car in this lot and try leaving at 5 to 5:15 for one week. If he can stand it, bravo. If not, please look for solutions. It shouldn't take 30 minutes to leave campus.
RESPONSE: Thanks for your feedback, and we are sorry that you are experiencing this inconvenience. The reality is that heavy traffic at 5 p.m. is a challenge across campus and is not specific to any particular parking area. Our campus, parking lots and roadways serve more than 3,000 employees and nearly 25,000 students, and there are certain times of day when we do experience congestion. We provide traffic control personnel at 5 p.m. to help manage the flow. However, staffing all impacted intersections is not feasible. “Road rage” incidents should be reported to the Fresno State Police Department at 8-8400.
CONCERN: Prohibiting smoking on campus is a step in the right direction for improving
air quality, but nothing has been done about the leaf blowers.
Leaf blowers blow into the air many particulates, including dirt, dust, pesticides, fertilizers, mold, and more, causing a wide variety of adverse health effects. The noise factor is nothing compared to the air quality impairment and health risk.
Finding a more environmentally safe way to keep our grounds clean would show that the campus is proactive in seeking the safety and health of students, staff, and faculty, as well as visitors to the university.
Please put a stop to the use of leaf blowers on campus.
RESPONSE: Thank you for this suggestion. Our grounds team manages more than 1,400 acres of property, and the leaf blowers are a necessary tool for our landscape maintenance. That said, our grounds team does try to use this equipment during non-peak hours.
CONCERN: Why is one of your professors still teaching there after his actions against free speech and the way he acted to your students?
RESPONSE: The University is handling this issue within the parameters of its personnel policies.
CONCERN: Parking in some Staff/Yellow lots should be changed from 6 PM to 5 PM. Night classes typically begin at 6 pm - those who have a class beginning at that time wouldn't be able to get to their classes on time.
RESPONSE: In Fall 2016, we changed the time that students can park in yellow (faculty/staff) lots from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. This change came after analysis of the parking stall availability in all staff lots between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Please know there was significant consultation with students, faculty and staff as well as meetings with applicable bargaining units. At this time, changing back to 5 p.m. is not feasible.
CONCERN: There are fleas all over campus. I hear from students and staff who are being bitten in various areas. Is there anything we can do about the cat problem? If we can't re-home them can we at least put flea killer on them?
RESPONSE: In September, we had an issue with fleas around a few buildings that were attributed to an opossum. Appropriate spraying of these areas occurred, and we have not had any reported incidents since that time. The cat problem has historically been a challenge, and we continue to discourage feeding these feral cats.
CONCERN: I have worked on this campus for over 20 years and I see some troubling trends. Staff are not valued as evidenced by our lack of raises. As someone who has been on campus for quite a while, I have a hard time getting answers to questions from other offices. I often get incorrect answers and mistakes are frequent. This is due to the fact that there are so many new employees who do not know the campus or the job. It has made it difficult to do my job. I had planned to take a day off and couldn't because I had been trying to get an answer to a question from another office who did not respond to me after several e-mails. After having my Dean intervene, I received the answer, but too late for me to keep my plans. I will have to postpone my day off to come in and do the work that I could have gotten done earlier. This is frustrating since I am a dedicated hard working employee, and I can't even make ends meet. The bottom line is staff need raises.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. Staff compensation has been a priority for my cabinet and me. We have made progress to increase staff salaries. From 2014 to the start of fiscal year 2017, we have invested an additional $12 million in staff and faculty salary increases. Almost every new dollar that we have received from the state in the past four years has been used for faculty and staff compensation (salary and benefits).
We are also making a significant investment to onboard and train new and current employees. However, if you are having a specific challenge with any colleagues or offices, please advise your immediate supervisor/manager. I am sorry that your plans were impacted by the lack of response from another colleague. If you have specific suggestions on training, please contact Organizational Excellence at 8-5330 we would love to know topics that would be helpful to share with our supervisors and new staff.
CONCERN: I am gravely concerned about President Trump's Proclamation dated September 24, 2017 severely restricting or banning travel to and from 8 countries. In particular, this ban creates an immense burden on members of our Fresno State community who are from these countries and are largely cut off from their family as well as prevented from being able to attend National Conferences by this executive order. In particular, our newest faculty, who are still working with temporary visas, are working tirelessly to educate the students of Fresno State in the classroom and through research opportunities, while dealing with immense uncertainty in their ability to legally remain in this country given the new, more stringent restrictions for permanent visas and no guarantee of temporary visa renewal. Furthermore, these talented academics have the ability to seek professorships in other countries where they would be treated more equitably. In either event, my department, Fresno State, and the entire education system would be negatively affected by the loss of these dedicated educators. In these uncertain times, I think it is necessary for the administration to reiterate its support for our faculty and students affected by this Executive Order and delineate how it intends to take action at the National level to protect our international faculty.
RESPONSE: Thank you for taking time to share your thoughtful and passionate concern. I agree with much of what you expressed in terms of our talented faculty who are experiencing serious concerns with recent proclamations and executive orders. As you may know, late last month, a federal appeals court ruled the latest version of President Trump’s travel ban policy should be partially blocked because the president appears to have exceeded his authority in issuing the directive. However, this decision will have no immediate effect because of a temporary ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court back in December, which allows the Trump administration to fully implement the ban while it appeals a couple of earlier court injunctions against the policy.
This is a very complex policy issue that is currently embroiled in several legal challenges. The potential impacts to our faculty and students is concerning to me as well. I am only aware of one instance so far in which a faculty member was in need of congressional intervention as they traveled to and from one of the listed countries. The university’s Office of Governmental Relations worked with one of our local congressional representatives on that case and, to date, we are not aware of any issues that have come up. Throughout the course of the year, I am in regular contact with our congressional officials discussing a variety of issues important to Fresno State. If any situations arise in the coming months that could have potential negative impacts on our faculty staff or students, my office will consult immediately with the appropriate legislative representatives to provide needed assistance. In the meantime, please know I share your concerns regarding not just this policy, but other national policies that could have serious implications to our students and staff. Thank you again for sharing your concerns. I hope you will let me know if other developments warrant my attention.
CONCERN: Execute policies in an effective manner. The non-smoking policy has no enforcement and no sanctions so smokers blatantly disregard it. The policy relies on the "community" to remind offenders about the policy. When we do this we are at best ignored and at worse attacked and insulted. These "community" members are selfish addicts who will only respond to academic sanctions or fines (their response). Faculty and students are exposed to smoke frequently, and it makes some of us physically sick yet we are expected to help students in close environments. If really want to breathe we need a better approach. Consider strongly enforcing smoke even if we allow non-smoking products for those who will not quit. As it exists, this policy is a joke (the smokers’ words and mine).
RESPONSE: Thank you for the feedback. We are enforcing the new systemwide smoking policy in the manner instructed by the Executive Order and consistent with other CSU campuses. Our primary focus is on education. Smoking and tobacco cessation programs are available for students, faculty, and staff. Your concern and support in ensuring a healthier environment is greatly appreciated. A web page has been established for individuals to report non-compliance. We have a very active campuswide Task Force that is continuing to identify opportunities for communication, and they are focused on “heat mapping” buildings and areas where individuals continue to smoke. We are monitoring accordingly. Click here for more information.
CONCERN: Most comments on your Facebook page never get a reply from Fresno State. If there is a reply, it is often 24 hours later (or more) and just the same reply being posted on every other comment. This does not inspire confidence in Fresno State at all.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your message. Fresno State is committed to being very responsive to messages and comments it receives on social media. In fact, we respond first thing in the morning, throughout the day, and during the evening. Our social media is always being monitored. As a rule, we allow people to express their opinions, even if we disagree, and only jump in to correct misinformation. This means sometimes all we can do is thank people for their comments and/or share the correct facts. Please be assured that customer service is a top priority for us, and we are always open to hearing suggestions on how to improve that.
CONCERN: There's a lost opportunity in not allowing members of the campus community separate between recycling, composting, and landfill waste. I understand that the campus has all its waste sorted of-site, however this does nothing to help students and others learn from having to make decisions about where the trash they help produce goes. There's a didactic function that goes along with deciding whether this goes in this bin or that one. In allowing members of the campus community to make these decisions Fresno State could foster more responsible behavior off campus. If you go to movie theaters, restaurants, and sports venues around Fresno you'll realize that people throw away recyclables with abandon. Could it be that they assume that this venue or location is also doing off-site sorting? Perhaps our mission could extend to forming ethical and responsible students beyond the borders of campus. We can do this, in part, by making recycling a more conscientious process on campus.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback and for your commitment to sustainability and helping to prepare our students to be responsible members of the community. Our campus waste reduction, diversion and education efforts are significant and include:
- Partnership with Industrial Waste and Salvage which sorts campus waste at its Fresno Materials Recovery Facility.
- Partnership with the California Conservation Corp. to provide beverage container recycling inside buildings and at large campus events and gatherings such as all athletic events.
- Decreasing the amount of paper used by increasing the availability of web-based services.
- Composting farm waste and exploring expansions into food service waste composting.
- Mulching and reuse of green waste.
- Participation in the State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign.
- Building in recycling requirements for construction and remodeling projects.
CONCERN: I was walking by the V-Line bus stop in front of Joyal and noticed that there were students trying to get some shade behind the bushes while they were waiting. Then I started thinking about when it rains, there isn't anything there for them to stand under. Hoping the V-Line gets enough use that a shelter could be installed for the shade and rain protection.
Also, that sidewalk is too narrow. Bikes and pedestrians don't fit together. Wish we had bike paths on campus.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your concern. Ridership on the V-line bus continues to grow, and we are mindful of this need. In fact, we are working to add shelters to some of our Bulldog Express stops.
CONCERN: You should be aware that on the Fresno State Facebook page, comments that offer a viewpoint contrary to the university's are frequently disappearing/hidden/removed. Given the recent controversy over the 1st Amendment, it is surprising that Fresno State would act this way. I hope you look into this and see that it stops. Thank you.
RESPONSE: As a publicly funded organization, Fresno State takes its commitment to upholding the First Amendment very seriously. We never delete or hide any comments on the institutional page, even ones that are off topic. In fact, there is not even a profanity filter for this reason. We do delete links to companies, since "commercialization" is allowed to be removed. We also coordinate with the many social media accounts connected to Fresno State and keep them informed that nothing is allowed to be removed. If you have a specific example of this happening on a page connected to Fresno State, please let us know, and we'll work with the administrators to make sure it doesn't happen again. Thank you.
CONCERN: Can you please figure out an option for making a left turn out of Lot O? You can't see the cars driving south on Maple Avenue because of all the parked cars in the outer student lots. You have to creep out past the view of the cars, cross your fingers, and hope you don't get side-swiped! Perhaps a mirror at the stop sign that allows drivers to see if cars are coming south on Maple Ave. Right now, it's an accident just waiting to happen!
RESPONSE: Thank you for reporting this. We have asked Traffic Operations to evaluate this issue and to recommend any improvements.
CONCERN: Blackboard. There has been a known problem for months already, and mobile
devices that connected to the latest version of blackboard CANNOT access the app.
The other issue of blackboard is trying to connect through mobile browser. The entire side panel of blackboard disappears once you go into a class. You cannot access documents if the left panel disappears. These are critical issues that NEEDS to be addressed. This is a well-known problem. Please contact even the help desk, and they will say Fresno State doesn't pay for mobile support for blackboard, so if it works then good, but if not tough luck. This is ridiculous. Why have A DiscoverE class if you are not going to support the mobile version of Blackboard.
RESPONSE: Please visit our Center for Faculty Excellence and our Academic Technology Resource Center (https://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/cfe/gethelp/bb-resource-center.html) to receive support and training on all of our Fresno State Blackboard resources, including mobile resources and the mobile app. There have been some changes to the Blackboard Mobile app over the past few years, and our support teams can help you learn about these new changes and how to best use the new app for your coursework. The example you mention with the side panel is a recent change to the mobile app experience to provide more screen space for instructors and students. The panel can be accessed with a finger swipe (mobile app) or a mouse or touchpad (desktop or laptop internet browser).
CONCERN: This semester the gridlock on the South side of campus has been terrible
at 5 pm.
Any chance that Backer could be opened up at Shaw as an exit point? Between Woodrow and Maple there isn't any traffic because everyone is trying to get out on Woodrow to East Shaw or Maple to West Shaw. It has taken me 20 minutes to get off campus after work. My concern is that if we had an emergency is this what we will have to go through to exit campus on the South side.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback, and we are sorry that you are experiencing this inconvenience. The reality is that we have heavy traffic (egress) at 5 p.m., and it is a challenge across campus and is not specific to any particular area. Our parking lots and roadways serve more than 3,000 employees and nearly 25,000 students and there are certain peak times when we experience congestion. We deploy traffic control personnel at 5 p.m. to help manage traffic flow on campus roads. The Fresno State Police Department maintains the capability to control traffic signals if we were faced with an emergency situations. Backer Avenue was closed many years ago due to traffic concerns expressed by the City of Fresno.
CONCERN: FS videos on YouTube have graphics that are hard to read on my iPhone. Please fix this. Thank you.
RESPONSE: The Fresno State YouTube channel includes videos produced by several entities at the University. Graphic sizes are left to the discretion of the video producers, however, all videos are fully captioned with a universal size determined by YouTube.
CONCERN: When is the University Budget Committee ever going to get around to making decisions that actually benefit faculty in their jobs and that support student success?
RESPONSE: The charge of the University Budget Committee is to “be the deliberative body of the faculty on budget and resource use as they affect the University and including but not limited to instructional budget, allocation of faculty positions, allocation of space, institutional support budget, the athletic budget, facilities planning and self-support programs. The Committee shall be responsible for recommending on all university budget decisions affecting instruction.” The committee met six (6) times during the Fall 2017 semester and its minutes are available on the Academic Senate website. If you have particular concerns, I encourage you to contact Dr. Robert Maldonado, who chairs the committee, or any of its members whose names are also on the senate website.
CONCERN: Last spring, I suggested that the concrete curb holding back the bark in the roundabout at Barstow and Chestnut be repaired as some large chunks of concrete and completely gone. You indicated that the city would be notified but nothing has been done. Is there a time frame where they will repair the broken chunks that are missing or perhaps redo the entire circle?
RESPONSE: We will request another update from the City of Fresno and, if not feasible, we will have the campus handle the repair.
CONCERN: Does University Advancement put out the weekly e-newsletter? It certainly looks like it, because they give themselves priority on initiatives and announcements.
RESPONSE: Yes, University Advancement distributes, Campus News, the weekly campus e-newsletter and makes an effort to highlight all areas of campus. Any campus entity is able to submit announcements for the e-newsletter, and we welcome your content. Please e-mail April Schulthies at firstname.lastname@example.org. All information must be submitted by Friday at noon for the following week’s e-newsletter.
CONCERN: I was wondering why is the gate near the Homan Hall closed? It is the gate on frontage road I believe. I think it would be much safer for students if they kept it open. I live at the dorms and sometimes I want to drive to the library or to the recreation center but I feel unsafe going through cedar. Keeping the gate open would help and be safer for residents. I think many of us are concern with our safety and we hear many crimes that happen on the street cedar. I try avoiding that street but I can't because in order to get to P27 you have to go through cedar. A helpful solution would be to keep that gate open.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. The parking lot gate at Homan Hall is closed for security reasons. Closing the gate intentionally forces vehicles and pedestrians to enter and exit from a single entrance, which greatly enhances security. The gate can be opened during emergency situations and special events.
CONCERN: Your day of giving fund-raiser is completely tasteless. 24 hours of begging for money by saying that we have to feed the dog. Way to bring higher education to a new all-time low.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your feedback. While this was Fresno State’s first-ever Day of Giving fundraiser, this campaign model dates back to the CASE Foundation’s America’s Giving Challenge in 2007. Giving days have since been used by several universities and higher education institutions across the country. The focus of the campaign was on donors, not dollars, and it aimed to bring together the greater Bulldog community around pride for Fresno State.
CONCERN: The agriculture units have student-housing spaces that could use updating. The students who live at these units spend hours and hours putting in work and effort to make sure our departments and farms are representing Fresno State well. Our animals’ health and well-being is our top priority, and we take very good care of them. Some of the living spaces for the units are simply one bedroom, no kitchen, and no laundry area. Students pay rent to work and live at the units. I would like to see a plan to update these living spaces and make them easier to live in. Not having access to a kitchen or laundry is difficult as a student going to school full time and working part time. I do not know that the living areas were updated or looked into over the years, but I hope they can be in the near future. Thank you.
RESPONSE: Thank you. We are working with the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology to explore improvements to these student living quarters. These living areas are provided as a benefit to students who work on the farm laboratory.
CONCERN: Professors need to improve their skills in better helping out students. There are those who are rude towards their students and nothing is done. I have had a bad experience with one professor who insulted me during class. Nothing was done against his behavior. Another professor is negative and feel his method is not helping out good enough. There are students who are high achievers and instructors feel intimidated this should honestly stop. The student has to be the bigger person. Instead of the professors helping students grow, why bring them down from their accomplishments?
RESPONSE: We take seriously our responsibility to provide students with an effective learning environment and are committed to the success of all of our students in the classroom. We encourage faculty to take advantage of professional development opportunities, and our Center for Faculty Excellence offers a number of faculty learning communities and programs that assist faculty in further developing their skills. Students should feel safe about speaking with the department chair when they have concerns. If the chair is the faculty member in question, then please contact the dean’s office.
CONCERN: Over the last several years, it has been very encouraging to see how the faculty and administration cares for its students no matter what road has brought them to campus. Every person who comes to our campus has been treated with open arms and an uplifting spirit recognizing that we are all equal. We look to support everyone equally, and I think that is one of Fresno State's core strengths. We have seen steps taken to improve gender neutrality in restrooms on campus. This leads me to feel that all sexes will be treated equally. Faculty and staff were recently encouraged the 2017 Central California Women's Conference. It was a very encouraging and uplifting conference. It is my understanding that some departments funded the day for its faculty and staff to attend. How are the men on campus going to be supported in a similar fashion? What funds are being set aside to do the same for men on Fresno State's campus who would like to attend similar conferences? What about those who identify as non-cis normative?
RESPONSE: The Central California Women's Conference is open to anyone to attend, not just women. Campus departments may support attendance of faculty and staff at this conference or others with funding for registration fees through their departmental budget. If there are other off-campus professional development opportunities that you have an interest in attending, we recommend working with your immediate supervisor/MPP. In addition, the campus offers a wide array of trainings and programs for faculty and staff through Organizational Excellence and the Center for Faculty Excellence.
CONCERN: The Academic Testing Center (ATC) that hosts make-up tests for students changed
its name over the summer, it seems. In doing so, the ATC website was shut down. There
was no link or redirect to the newly named Bulldog Testing Center from the old ATC
site to enable faculty to find out fall hours or other information. Also, at the start
of the semester, the Fresno State google search did not pull up any links for ATC.
Beyond the name change, there were also unannounced protocol changes made to testing center over the summer requiring faculty to turn in assessments further in advance than in the past. While having deadlines is entirely understandable, it marks a significant change in procedure for the testing center.
It is very confusing why the university did not think to inform faculty of these changes. Also, important university web pages that faculty rely on to do their job that change need to link to the new page, or provide information on the changes underway.
It would be very helpful to have someone in charge of faculty communications involved in overseeing such changes in the future. Thank you.
RESPONSE: In February 2017, Testing Services underwent a major transformation and was split into two different centers. The Academic Testing Center (ATC) became the Bulldog Testing Center (BTC) and is now housed under Academic Affairs. The BTC continues to provide services for on-campus students to take full class and make-up examinations, academic assessments, the Constitution Exam, and the Calculus Readiness Test (CRT). The Office of Testing Services became Professional Examination Services and continues to be housed under Student Affairs. During this transition, new websites were created, which necessitated shutting down the existing website for a brief period while the new websites went live. A Faculty Advisory Board was created with representatives from each of the Colleges to ensure effective communication. In Fall 2017, updated information regarding the BTC was disseminated through the usual faculty channels. You may contact Bernadette Muscat with any questions or comments.
CONCERN: The Joyal building houses over a hundred employees and there are many offices that do not have water to help keep us hydrated throughout the day. We have numerous student service programs in our office as well and again, when students come in, there are some offices that are not equipped to offer them water to keep them hydrated. In working with remodeling different buildings and offices, has it been considered to install water filling stations in the building?
Another repair that is desperately needed is repair to our elevator. The elevator walls are covered with a red padding that gives a scary, asylum feel. It can cause people to feel extremely anxious.
RESPONSE: We will explore installing a water-filling station. The campus has a long list of deferred maintenance priorities, which includes upgrading of elevators depending upon age and condition of equipment. We will look into updating the aesthetics of the elevator. The interior corridors have been recently painted, and new graphics have made a significant improvement.
CONCERN: As a non-Hispanic minority staff member, I hope you will explain some of
your recent statements regarding diversity on this campus. You have recently written
that Fresno State is "one of the most diverse universities in the nation" and that
Fresno State is "more diverse...than at any time in its 107-year history". I don't
believe that either statement is true.
Fresno State does not appear on any list of 'most diverse universities' in the country. Fresno State's own statistics show that this campus is actually less diverse than it was five years ago. The percentages of African American, Asian, Pacific Islander and White students in the student body have all decreased over that time period and the percentage of American Indian and multi-race students have remained unchanged. Repeatedly stating that this campus is 'very diverse' or 'more diverse' does not make it true.
If you are using the term 'diversity' to mean 'less white', which seems to be the new definition of 'diversity', I suppose your statements are accurate. If you are truly interested in seeing a wide representation of all ethnicities and racial groups, please explain how your claims of increased diversity are supported by the university's enrollment figures. I am interested in what you plan to do to ensure that currently 'underrepresented' groups are recruited and welcomed by this university to achieve the goal of developing a truly diverse student body.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me. Diversity is one of the campus’ three institutional values, along with Distinction and Discovery. When I speak of diversity, I focus on the richness and broadness of it as we engage in our mission to boldly educate and empower students for success. Fresno State serves students from a wide range of income levels, ethnic and racial groups, and from communities throughout the Central Valley and beyond. It is a pride point for the university that we are both a Hispanic-Serving and an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution because few universities in the nation have this dual federal-designation. Increases in the Hispanic student population at Fresno State have occurred because of demographic changes in the Central Valley and throughout California. Also, the number of new African American students increased significantly this year, which is a very positive development. Our campus’s diversity is represented by the talents, backgrounds and perspectives of our students, faculty and staff. This is a significant asset as we prepare the next generation of leaders for our nation and world.
CONCERN: I very much appreciate the fact that Fresno State offers electric car charging stations. There are a large number of us on campus that drive electric cars. However, there are far too few of them to accommodate the number of cars on campus - both faculty/staff and student. At any given point during the day, the stations are all in use (except the Nissan chargers, which don't get used much). I would really like to request that the University look into getting more charging stations - it's the way of the future. You could double the number you have now and they would still all be in use. It would also be really nice to have some kind of cover over them, ideally maybe solar panels, if that's a possibility? The other issue is that a lot of non-campus people use these stations, and take them away from campus users. Is there a way to limit some chargers just for people on campus? There's one man who lives close to campus who owns two electric cars, and is constantly using the stations, often with both cars at the same time. He has no campus connection at all. It would be really nice to have more options for the large number of electric cars owned by campus users. Maybe more stations in another part of campus?
RESPONSE: We are aware of the heavy demand on the existing vehicle charging stations, but currently there are no plans to add an additional location. The charging stations were made possible with funding from a grant from the California Energy Commission. We are pleased to see the demand and usage.
We recognize that use of the charging stations may be used by the public as well, and we are exploring solutions to this challenge.
CONCERN: Science Building is again too cold to work in - like every fall. My office has been below 65 degrees for 2 weeks, and is often 60-62 degrees. I cannot bring myself to use space heaters because I find it offensive to spend energy to cool a building way down just to heat it back up again. Please find more sustainable solutions than space heaters. And no, I don't want a space heater until then.
RESPONSE: Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we regret this inconvenience. Many of our buildings have aged HVAC equipment, which impacts our ability to properly control room temperatures. Specific concerns about a building being too warm or cold should be submitted via our online customer service form (found here).
CONCERN: Our labs in engineering need significant improvement, but I’d like to see a student Center or mini mart go into Campus Point. The mini mart could contain basic food and hygiene products and the student center would also include scantrons school supplies. I live just off campus but don’t own a car so having a market at campus point would make getting most of my basic groceries each week significantly easier. Finally, have you considered bring Panera Bread to Campus Point? Another great food option would be Noodles and Company. Both are great and would provide cheap eats to students and families in the area. Keep up the great work!
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. There are actually plans for Auxiliary Services to open a Bulldog Business Center/C-Store at Campus Pointe to be operated by our Kennel Bookstore…Stay tuned for more updates on timing of opening!
CONCERN: Can we make sure that the dining options at Fresno State (especially subway) do not use the same knife to cut sandwiches? I have a really bad food allergy to seafood and had a really bad reaction while eating one of the sandwiches. Cross contamination can kill someone!
RESPONSE: Thank you and we will most certainly remind all of our dining employees to use proper food handling and safety practices. All of our dining supervisors are ServSafe trained.
CONCERN: As I was walking from the parking lot to the building today, a student was driving at least 30 miles per hour and came within a foot of hitting me. This is a daily occurrence for not only staff and faculty but students as well. Would you please install speed bumps on the east side of the Peters Business Building (as speed bumps used to be there)? A better option would be to add a grass area in the roadway from Matoian to San Ramon streets.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion and commitment to safety. We have reported this concern to the appropriate police personnel. Speed bumps create other issues such as air quality, but we will evaluate other possible solutions that would slow down the vehicle speed.
CONCERN: Again today, November 2, I see a young lady park and get out of her car in P23. I asked her if she was a student, she said yes. So I asked her how she got a coupon code for restricted parking. She informed me that her instructor gives them to his students. Isn't this an abuse of the coupon code usage? So now this student doesn't even pay to park, the department does! We as faculty and staff are made to pay for our parking. This has become so frustrating when as faculty and staff we are now hunting for parking spaces only to see students continue to gain access to the restricted parking lots. Why is this allowed?
RESPONSE: Coupon codes are intended for campus visitors. Without specific details, it is difficult for us to solve this problem as codes are given to every department on campus to use for guests and visitors to use when they come to campus for meetings, events, etc.
CONCERN: Free transportation from Visalia to Fresno via the Vline transit system is a wonderful service provided for Fresno State students. However, a huge safety issue has emerged over the last year or two. Due to the large number of Fresno State students riding the bus there are often times that students are forced to stand due to lack of seat availability and the transit system's lack of concern for the safety of those that have to stand from Visalia to Fresno or Fresno back to Visalia. Is it possible to put some pressure on the Vline system to provide additional buses so that we are not putting the lives of students at risk or to run the buses more frequently?
RESPONSE: Thank you for reporting this. The V-Line shuttle is operated by Visalia Transit and Fresno State through its alternative transportation program (ATP) which covers the cost for students, faculty and staff. We will share your concern with our partners at the City of Visalia. Specific customer concerns can be submitted online at http://www.visaliatransit.com.
CONCERN: There are courses on campus that have enrollment totals above the listed capacity for the rooms in which they are taught. Is this a violation of the fire code?
RESPONSE: Thank you. Yes, University Risk Management, in coordination with Facilities Management and Academic Affairs, is exploring how to ensure that classes are not being overenrolled beyond the approved room capacity per fire code requirements.
CONCERN: With night time temperatures approaching 40 degrees - can we please have hot water in the McLane Hall restrooms to wash our hands? For years, the hot water is available around November 1st and it's now November 15th. We are cold!
RESPONSE: The provision of hot water is tied to when we turn on the heat for our buildings. Many restrooms on campus do not have hot water during non-heating months. We apologize that we cannot provide in every restroom. If there are specific maintenance items that need to be addressed, please submit the Facilities online customer service form found here. We are also exploring launching an online app to report maintenance concerns.
CONCERN: Currently students in the MS in Counseling, Student Affairs and College Counseling option are having issues getting hired at Fresno State. Many of us are interns in college-level advising centers (or the University Advising Center), but are unable to get hired in advising roles due to HR policies. Our advisors/supervisors are also getting frustrated because they are unable to hire the people they have spent months training to essentially handle the same work as a Student Service Professional II (SSP2). However, the requirements for SSP2 are two years of experience (or one year and a Master’s Degree), and HR isn't counting our internship experience. We are often already in the exact roles that we are applying for, we are just trying to be classified as full-time and get paid for our contributions. These internship hours are required by our graduate program, but I have gotten the sense that advising centers are now feeling hesitant to take interns because they aren't even able to keep them once they are finally trained to handle the job. And why should they train someone for six months, just to lose them and have to train a new intern or SSP2? There have also been many job searches called off as "failed searches" because the interns cannot get through even for an interview, so centers would rather just keep these interns on in their current roles instead of hiring someone new. Additionally, the people getting through HR often have no experience in higher education, and instead come from K-12 or industry. Please let us know if there is any recourse we have with HR that will allow advising centers to either view all applicants or request that interns be allowed to count their experience towards the requirements of the job.
RESPONSE: Thank you for raising this concern. CSU’s classification standards for the Student Services Professional (SSP) classification provides four levels in the series (SSP I A/B, SSP II, SSP III, and SSP IV) based upon classification factors and minimum qualifications. The Human Resources Department is reviewing our recruitment and selection processes to leverage the valuable experience that is gained through internships while ensuring alignment within the classification standards. Thank you for the important service you provide to our campus in your role.
CONCERN: We have come up against the classroom renovation program trying to take funds that were earned by each department to supplement what little we get for our general fund each year. These funds are used for student conference attendance, planning fundraisers, deposit accounts for students’ fees to pay for their trips, to continue to support self-sustaining programs and many more things that we just do not receive the funding for otherwise. We have not had a department budget increase in over 7 years even though our department has grown substantially over this time. Taking these funds because someone in an office that never has anything to with the activities and opportunities afforded our students by this money is presumptuous and not helping our students in the long run. Having to justify this over and over again (we've literally done this 4 times in the last 6 months, the first time taking over 2 weeks to gather all the data) is an inefficient use of our time. Our classrooms desperately need renovations, but there are more appropriate avenues to fund this, say not throwing extravagant catered meal meetings so often. Or taking the time to research outside grant funding if we are going to be transparent about it. Our departments get very little money as it is, please do not take what little we manage to scrape up for ourselves.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. Please know that the investment in modernizing our aged classrooms will not reduce or take away budget allocations that support our academic departments. The fund source for both phases of these critical facility improvement projects is from campus and Academic Affairs reserves (not from student fees or self-support programs).
CONCERN: The restrooms at the Lab School are in very poor shape and have been that way since I have been here, 18 years. In the past 18 years, couldn't there been money allocated to upgrade this restrooms. One of these days maybe you could stop by and check them out.
RESPONSE: The Lab School is actually a temporary building that calls to be demolished as part of our campus master plan. It would not be prudent to invest significant fiscal resources to renovate these restrooms; however, if there are specific maintenance items that need to be addressed, we will, of course, address as necessary. We will review with our Facilities Operations staff.
CONCERN: The carpool program is a great idea, however, the majority of the time both carpoolers do not work in the same building and cannot exit the vehicle together. Therefore, the incentive for us to carpool together does not work because we end up parking in the regular parking lot due to lack of carpool lots or we do not use the carpool program at all.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback and for supporting our carpool program. Asking carpool partners to arrive and park together is currently our only means to verify compliance. We are in the process of evaluating the carpool program to look for more efficient verification methods. If you have specific suggestions, please send them to our Parking and Transportation Manager, Derek Brantley. We recognize we have an opportunity to improve our current program.
CONCERN: The bookstore should offer more things, from clothing to cups to key rings and everything across the board, which do not have a bulldog on them, in word and picture. The mascot is fun and important for branding. But I have found shopping difficult when looking for just Fresno State or for the seal on objects.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. If you have any specific requests or would like to place a custom order, please contact Kim Spencer at the Kennel Bookstore at email@example.com
CONCERN: I heard that FS has a policy requiring all students to have 24/7 access to a computer or other kind of device. Some of us are struggling just to get anything to eat and cannot afford to pay for any of the expensive devices out there. Plus, it costs a lot to pay for the web service. Don't you care about us students at all? It seems really strange that you would acknowledge food insecurity and provide a student cupboard, but on the other hand demand that we provide ourselves with expensive laptops, computers, ipads. Please consider what you are doing.
RESPONSE: Thank you for writing with your concern. Our Fresno State General Catalog (http://fresnostate.edu/catalog/academic-regulations/) does state the requirement for students to have access to a computer for coursework. We also understand and empathize with the needs of our students, especially when it comes to health and welfare of our students. We offer services from the Fresno State Student Cupboard to any student with a student identification card. For computer-related services, we offer a wide range of software for free or at reduced rates, free student access to computers in various locations around campus, and a free laptop lending program at our library. DISCOVERe students have access to a free iPad lending program at the DISCOVERe hub. Regarding student financial aid, students have a books and supplies portion of financial aid that can be allocated toward a computer. A student can also request a cost-of-attendance adjustment for the purchase of a computer. For more information about financial aid options, please contact the Fresno State financial aid office (http://www.fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/financialaid/).
CONCERN: I am a staff member on campus, and I usually park in yellow lots K or L. I have been frequently concerned about the students' lack of regard for their own safety in parking lots. I make a concerted effort to drive approx. 3 miles per hour in the lot as students "pop out" from between parked cars and wander into traffic in the lots. In addition, they walk in lines through the lots blocking any attempt for drivers to pass and park. As a result, one has to roll silently behind the walking students until they make it across the entire lot, despite the fact that there is a sidewalk approx. 4 feet away. In addition, students frequently walk directly behind drivers as they are slowly backing out. It is honestly frightening and anxiety provoking as the thought of actually hitting and injuring a student is a reality due to this behavior. I am not sure that anything could actually be done to enforce parking lot rules and etiquette but I just want to bring up this ongoing safety issue. Thank you very much for all you do and thank you for your time.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your concern and commitment to safety. We will monitor accordingly.
Posted on: 09/14/17
CONCERN: Two suggestions for improvements to make Fresno State even better are (1) putting a system in place so students are able to receive graded assignments back in a timely manner and (2) making it to where final grades are shown as percentages and not as letter grades.
If professors had to abide by something in the syllabus, making it to where they would have to hand back graded assignments by a reasonable time frame, this would help students with subsequent assignments. It would subsequently help, because they now are able to see how the professor grades, and use their feedback to improve upon their writing.
Next, there is how final grades look, which are represented sometimes as just letter grades, and as far as I have seen, with pluses and minuses also. Instead, showing the actual percentage for final grades is a better option. After all, why should a student just have a B as a letter grade, if they actually received closer to an 88%, but it still just shows up as a B. Sure that is why the pluses and minuses are for, but some professors do not enter final grades like that. The solution needs to be uniform across campus, with either professors entering grades with pluses or minuses, or just with the actual percentages. "
RESPONSE: Recognizing that timely feedback is important to effective learning, faculty
strive to turn around graded assignments as quickly as possible. The type of assignment
determines the length of time it takes to effectively evaluate an assignment and provide
feedback. Faculty can use the grading scale they find most appropriate for a given
assignment. End of term grades must adhere to the university grading standard which
requires letter grades (no pluses or minuses and no percentages).
CONCERN: I am concerned that Professor Thatcher is not facing disciplinary action for illegally harassing students and attempting to censor their free speech. Taking no steps to address this professor's behavior sends the message to students that they are not protected or supported by their campus administration, despite what the U.S. Constitution has to say. Anti-free speech attitudes and behaviors espoused on college campuses are a disturbing trend. What measures will Fresno State be taking in regards to Gregory Thatcher?
RESPONSE: This personnel matter is under review. Any steps taken after the review is complete
will be consistent with campus and CSU system policies, the CSU Collective Bargaining
Agreement with the California Faculty Association, and the First Amendment Rights
of all who were involved.
CONCERN: "I strongly urge you to move ahead with appointing one of the four professors your search team identified. Do not give in to pressure from right-wing and/or Pro-Israel extremists who consider all Palestinians as "terrorists."
On our campus, Professor Rabab Abudlhadi has been threatened and slandered with vicious posters and dishonest criticism by the same people who are attacking the Edward Said candidates.
Many of these critics are Jewish, but they do not speak for the Jewish community. My organization Jewish Voice for Peace, supports academic freedom and equal rights for Palestinian students and faculty. That is the way to peace, progress, and Justice in Israel/Palestine and in California. "
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your opinion with me. I assure you that no campus official was
under pressure from any individual or group to cancel the search for this position
which was conducted last year. That search was cancelled because it did not follow
our campus' policies and procedures. We have learned lessons from this experience
so this does not happen again during future faculty searches. A new search for this
important faculty position will be conducted during the upcoming academic year. Those
who applied for the position last year are encouraged to apply again.
CONCERN: The stairwells in the library are a fire hazard because they are not kept open during the library's public hours. Especially in a power outage, this is a serious safety issue that is being ignored.
RESPONSE: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The stairwell doors remain
open during the Library’s operating hours. These doors are fire-rated, which means
they will automatically close during a fire which can help contain a fire and keep
it from spreading. The doors will automatically close if the building has a power
outage, and must also be closed during fire-testing. Even if a door is closed, it
will remain unlocked and can be pushed open. If you have a specific concern, please
feel free to contact Richard Smith at 278.1100 .
CONCERN: The writing center's message says they are closed until the fall. Shouldn't it be open for summer session as well? If it is strictly an issue of cost, shouldn't Continuing & Global Education be funding student success (including writing center support) and not just space & personnel?
RESPONSE: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will assess the need for summer writing
support and determine a course of action.
CONCERN: "The President should join the more than 80 Universities across the countries who have committed to making the Paris Climate agreement a reality, despite the foolish withdrawal from the agreement by the White House. Will President Castro commit Fresno State? http://secondnature.org/grand-coalition-statement-paris-agreement/"
RESPONSE: CSU Chancellor Tim White, on behalf of the 23 campuses, has endorsed the "We Are Still
In" campaign. This campaign focuses on the importances of fighting climate change
and supporting environmental sustainability. I support this effort.
CONCERN: In Parking Lot 17 (between the Agricultural Science and McLane Hall buildings), there are a number of carpool spaces that go unused every day. This lot always has the regular faculty/staff spaces filled, even in the summer. Is there a way that we can reduce the number of employee carpool spaces, to make room for more regular faculty/staff spaces that will actually be used?
RESPONSE: In an effort to encourage employee carpooling, these spaces were placed
in parking lot P17 due to the proximity to the center of campus. These spaces have
had a positive impact on the carpool program. As posted, these spaces are open to
those with yellow permits after 5 p.m. each day.
CONCERNS: University Courtyard – (1) I was charged $75 for “moderate cleaning” after I checked out for summer, without clarifying what exactly that moderate cleaning was. I have lived in the dorms before and am familiar with the check out process; I left my room exactly how it was supposed to. They have been unresponsive and difficult when I’ve tried to inquire about these charges. (2) Recently, it was reported the Fresno State has the least expensive dorms in California. However, University Courtyard is STILL not worth the price. The food in the dining hall is subpar and the buildings and furniture are in dire need of upgrading. Even when we request things to be fixed, University Courtyard is slow to respond, if they even respond at all. Please look into how University Courtyard is being run.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. University Courtyard strives to provide
exceptional customer service for all residents. Each year, they continue to update/replace
room furnishings. The listing of fees/fines is included both online and in the University
Courtyard handbook which is provided to every resident. However, if you have a specific
request in regard to the cleaning charge, please contact the Director of Housing,
Erin Boele, at 559.278.2345, option 5 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONCERN: As a campus, we need better assessment of incoming transfer students from our local community colleges. After first noticing deficiencies of transfers students, I am began to conduct surveys of my lecture courses and the background of the students enrolled. Students who took introductory science and math courses and then have transferred to Fresno State are missing foundational concepts. Time is having to be taken away from students who are prepared in order to remediate these transfer students in mid and upper division courses. We have continued to pass the problem up in our own departments. How can we filter out students from other schools before allowing them in our classrooms?
RESPONSE: Lynnette - Incoming transfer students are admitted on the basis of their
performance in their community college courses and are not required to take an assessment
test. The university articulation officer works with community colleges and other
institutions to identify courses that students wish to transfer to Fresno State. The
articulation officer then works with departments to identify equivalency of these
courses with Fresno State courses. Thus, academic units control which courses can
be used by transfer students. Departments can work with other institutions to help
them change the incoming course so that it better meets campus expectations. Please
let your department chair or department curriculum committee know of your concerns
so that changes can be made.
COMMENTS RE: MAISCHACK TERMINATION
RESPONSE: Thank you for expressing your concerns. Dr. Lars Maischak, Fresno State History lecturer,
will not be teaching this fall. In accordance with California State University, Fresno’s
contractual obligation, Dr. Maischak has been assigned to convert two courses to an
online format which meets his unit requirement per the faculty collective bargaining
unit agreement. These courses will adhere to California State University’s Quality
of Online Learning and Teaching Standards. This assignment ends in December 2017,
while his contract runs through May 2018.
IDEA: An opportunity for service to our campus community - purchase several inexpensive 'EZ Reacher' tools (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0057X8AKC/ref=yo_ii_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and small trash bags for picking up trash and make them available for free checkout in the Student Union at the bowling alley or the information counter with an ID card. This could be promoted to clubs, sororities, fraternities, departments and offices as a quick and easy service opportunity. It could be given the name 'Bulldog Beautification' or some other catchy name. It could make it 'cool' to pick up trash and keep our campus clean."
RESPONSE: Thank you for the suggestion. Our grounds and custodial teams strive to
keep our campus clean, however, if there is an issue that requires immediate attention,
please notify the Work Control Center at 278.2373.
CONCERN: Your 6/15/17 feedback response to the question about ""diversity"" and changing racial demographics is incomplete. You stated ""the number of Latino students has increased, but that can be attributed to the growing number of Latino students graduating from high schools and community colleges who meet our campus' admissions requirements."
While the demographics in our local area continue to change, Fresno State also gives admission preference to students from predominantly Hispanic high schools in distant areas, including Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties. These high schools are all in ""local areas of admission"" for other CSU campuses yet Fresno State gives these students admission preference to our campus as well. This advantage is only granted to students from certain high schools in these far-flung areas, however. The only similarity among the favored schools is that they have a very high percentage of Hispanic students. Most of these outlying high schools are the least racially diverse (by a true definition of diversity) and poorest performing academically in their counties. I have not found another impacted CSU campus that grants admission preference to geographically distant high school students.
Why does Fresno State grant admission preference in these distant counties only to certain high schools that meet a certain racial profile? If Fresno State is trying to attract the best students why would it grant preference to students from the academically weakest schools? If Fresno State is really interested in "diversity" why not grant admission preference to high schools that are truly diverse?
The answer cannot be that Fresno State has historical ties to the favored schools; the university's self-designation as impacted should do away with ties based only on past practices. Lowering the percentage of all racial/ethnic groups except one in the student body does not make us more diverse.
RESPONSE: Fresno State's 25,000 student body is more diverse and more academically well prepared
than at any time in its 107-year history. We have increased our admissions requirements
in recent years because we do not have adequate resources from the State to accommodate
all academically-eligible students from inside and outside of the Central Valley.
In doing so, we continue to review agreements that have been in place for many years
with high schools outside of the Valley. These agreements resulted from strong relationships
between those high schools and Fresno State faculty and administration in our schools
and colleges, including the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.
This has helped to ensure that students from areas of the state that do not have access
to uniquely strong programs (including agriculture) have an opportunity to enroll
at Fresno State if they meet our admissions requirements. The significant enrollment
of Latino students at those high schools is not the reason for us maintaining these
agreement. In fact, most high schools in California now have significant enrollments
of Latino students because of demographic trends. Similar agreements like ours exist
between many other CSU campuses and high schools outside of their region. For example,
many CSU campuses in Northern California have agreements of this kind with high schools
in the Los Angeles area. The current state of admissions -- with so many talented
and diverse students -- who want to come to Fresno State requires us to continue reviewing
our policies and procedures to make sure they are fair to all academically-eligible
CONCERN: Fresno State is taken advantage of by part-time lecturers. Our department relies on a high number of part-time lecturers who split their time teaching between Reedley College, Clovis Community College and Fresno City College. Fresno State has more and easily accessible resources for these lecturers use in their classrooms than at other campuses. Often times, I find these colleagues using the resources of Fresno State to make copies, coordinate off-campus committee work and take office hours for our students to grade and consult non-Fresno State student work instead. These part-time faculty know they are needed and our department higher ups are afraid to act out of fear of losing this needed part time help. We need more full-time lecturers and tenure track faculty because they are committed to us and not a number of departments elsewhere.
RESPONSE: The campus is actively working to increase the percentage of tenure track
faculty. At the same time, we are grateful for the work performed by our part-time
faculty and full time lecturers. I would hope that the use of Fresno State resources
by part-time faculty to support their other jobs is a rare occurrence. I would expect
that any of our department chairs would act to end such practices when they become
aware of them. Please let your department chair know of your concerns. You may also
share your concerns with Rudy Sanchez in the Office of Faculty Affairs.
CONCERNS: I am writing in regards to my concerns with the inaccuracies of the catalog. There have been changes submitted to the catalog (some from 3+ years ago) that have still yet to be implemented. I am concerned that students and faculty are receiving the wrong information. Links do not work, some courses are listed as repeatable up to 999 units, the course PDF buttons do not work, there are countless (and frankly, blatantly obvious) spelling errors, the 17-18 catalog was "uploaded" before it was final (it ended up still being the 16-17 catalog with the year as 17-18 shown), and there are inconsistencies across the board. The language is poor and unclear, and courses and programs are listed that have not been active for years. I've looked everywhere for your 2017-2018 PDF catalog, and I can't find it. Will you have it ready before the next semester? Most colleges have theirs ready before summer.
RESPONSE: The 2017-18 catalog was published in the first week of June. There was a short time lag between when the 2017-18 catalog title appeared and the 2017-18 catalog content uploaded (less than 24 hours). Because a large portion of the catalog is auto-fed from PeopleSoft (PS), the time lag represented time PS takes to feed data to the online catalog. We realized this may have created confusion for readers who happen to check the catalog during that narrow time window, and will make sure next year we eliminate this time lag.
The online catalog was initially copied from the print catalog. We correct errors
whenever they are discovered and reported. Program requirement and courses in the
catalog must go through curriculum review and approval. This content belongs to the
academic unit that offers the courses and the unit is responsible for error correction.
The catalog office sends out a proof request for such corrections to all departments/units
annually. The proof request for the 2017-18 catalog was sent out in November of 2016
with reminders in January and February 2017. Besides this annual check-up, whenever
an error is reported by an academic unit, the catalog office corrects it. However,
if the mistake to be corrected requires curriculum review, the university curriculum
committee must be involved. The catalog office welcomes reports of specific mistakes
and errors and will work with all campus community constituents to improve our catalog.
CONCERN: I didn't receive the alumni magazine this month. Does Fresno State even put out an alumni magazine anymore?
RESPONSE: The Fresno State Magazine is mailed two times per academic year. The magazine
is annually mailed in November and in the spring. This year we tested sending the
magazine in June to capitalize on graduation and to celebrate student success. Thank
you for noticing the delay. That must mean that you find the magazine of value. Unfortunately,
the timeline between graduation and sending the magazine was tighter than expected
so the opportunity to share in-depth student success stories was not fully realized.
The University Communications team is revisiting the timing of these two mailings.
If you are not consistently receiving the magazine, please call 278.2795.
CONCERN: Why can’t the Alumni House put out their Fresno State magazine on time? It’s really a testament to incompetence.
RESPONSE: The Fresno State Magazine has consistently been sent in November and April for years. In FY 16/17, University Communications tested sending the magazine in June instead of April to capitalize on graduation and to celebrate student success. Thank you for noticing the delay. That must mean that you find the magazine of value. Unfortunately, the timeline between graduation and sending the magazine was tighter than expected so the opportunity to share in-depth student success stories was not fully realized. The University Communications team is revisiting the timing of these two mailings for this academic year.
Posted on: 06/15/17
CONCERN: Is there anything that can be done about the fighter jets flying low over campus every day? The noise is disruptive and is constantly interrupting engagements both inside and outside.
RESPONSE: The University does not control the air space above the campus. Please direct
your question to the Federal Aviation Administration at https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/apl/noise_emissions/airport_aircraft_noise_issues/noise/.
CONCERN: (5 similar) Professor Thatcher should be severely reprimanded for his actions regarding the pro-life chalk incident. He should be terminated. It would be a chance for Fresno State to make a statement so profound that Free Speech includes all opinions, races, creeds and beliefs.
RESPONSE: We are conducting an investigation of this serious matter and will determine what steps are appropriate according to CSU system and campus policies.
With respect to the larger issue of free speech, the campus has made it clear that the students who were chalking messages during this incident were fully within their free speech rights to do so. As President, I will continue to speak publicly about the importance of free speech and our campus actions in this area will be continue to be consistent with the First Amendment.
CONCERN: Increasing diversity on campus has, in my opinion, hurt the university. A few years ago, an email was sent out explaining that President Castro was going to intentionally admit more Hispanic students to better represent the population of Fresno, which doesn't make it more diverse ... it makes the school a majority Hispanic. Also in doing this, he denied admission to people of other ethnic origins to meet his agenda. People should get into college based upon abilities, not color of their skin or the language they speak.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your note. Fresno State is one of the most diverse universities in the nation. This is a pride point for our university because the next generation of leaders should reflect the overall diversity of our region and state. It is also vitally important that our students listen to and learn from each other as they shape their own perspectives about issues.
Fresno State admits its students based on academic preparation, including grade point average and standardized test cores. The ethnicity or race of a student is not considered in admission to Fresno State. It is true that the number of Latino students has increased, but that can be attributed to the growing number of Latino students graduating from high schools and community colleges who meet our campus' admissions requirements. In fact, this has happened while Fresno State has increased its admissions standards to the highest in its 106-year history. The great news for the Central Valley is that students from all backgrounds are coming to us with stronger academic preparation than ever before and they are graduating with a high quality education faster than ever.
On my first day in office in August 2013, I promised to be President for everyone. I will continue to serve every student from all backgrounds in the same way through my final day as President.
CONCERN: (3 similar) I was disappointed with the President's message about making Fresno State -- including sports arenas, Save Mart Center, Auxiliary -- a total smoke-free campus. It is just one more right that is being taken away from someone. Smoking on campus should not be abolished. Instead, a single designated smoking area should be placed in a low-traffic area on campus.
You said in Campus News from May 8, 2017: “I believe this change in (smoking) policy will result in a healthier campus environment for all.” I suggest to be more consistent you should remove from campus all vending machines because we all know that sugar kills as much as nicotine. Additionally you can ban from campus all junk food and serve for lunch only fruits and vegetables.
RESPONSE: I understand your concern. Chancellor White recently established a CSU system-wide policy that prohibits smoking in all CSU facilities, including those at Fresno State. I support this new policy because of the significant negative impact that smoking has on others near the person who is smoking, especially young children and the elderly. I support a healthy campus environment for everyone. This fall, a campus task force will make recommendations to me regarding the most effective way to implement this new policy. Please stay tuned for more details.
CONCERN: Fresno State has long had an excellent Enology program, as well as a functioning commercial winery - both of which were the envy of other CSUs. But over the years things have changed. There have recently been a number of retirements and resignations from key positions, which the administration has been scrambling to fill. Meanwhile, some classes are currently staffed by graduate students and industry professionals on a temporary basis. So far, this has worked reasonably well. Still, this is not a desirable long-term solution. A problem with funding has a solution that is staring everyone in the enology and viticulture programs in the face: Make more money by making more wine! The winery currently has a great deal of unused capacity.
The Department of Enology and Viticulture needs to find a way back to the days when it was a magnet for students and professors. To do that requires leadership, vision and empowerment.
RESPONSE: Over the years, the viticulture and enology program at Fresno State has grown to be internationally recognized and to be in high demand by those seeking a degree in enology and viticulture. The program has also grown in size, and as a result, the needs have changed. The University is committed to making certain that the program has the best possible leadership as well as faculty and staff going forward. We believe we have been moving steadily in that direction. Our winery produces outstanding wines and we are fortunate to have the ability to sell the wines we produce. However, the purpose of the winery is to provide a hands-on learning experience for our students, not to become a large production commercial winery that competes with our industry partners and supporters. We know that the steps taken during this time of transition are what will best serve the students and prepare them for their careers in the wine and grape industry.
CONCERN: Your reply to the complaint about a support animal in the library missed the mark. According to campus policy titled “Use of University Buildings & Grounds” section 20.0.4, only service animals are allowed in University buildings. Emotional support animals are not service animals and are not allowed in buildings. Per California law, staff may only ask if the animal is a trained service animal and what work the animal is trained to do. If it is not a service animal trained to perform specific task(s), it is not allowed in buildings. Emotional support animals do not meet California requirements as a service animal. California laws pertaining to emotional support animals only impact the owner’s ability to keep the animal in housing. Emotional support animals are not required to be allowed access to public buildings, etc.
RESPONSE: Thank you for this information.
CONCERN: I am a new faculty member and really like the emails and communications received. The one area I may suggest for improvement is to ensure all professors take attendance and stick to the program policies. I had two students who were upset because I was monitoring their attendance in my course and went directly to the chair to express concern over this.
RESPONSE: We are aware that some programs have attendance policies and enforcement of those policies must be addressed by the program. The university policy which spells out student and faculty responsibilities is APM 232. A student’s first responsibility is to attend class and learn. The University expects students to attend all classes for which they are enrolled. Instructors may establish specific attendance regulations and make-up work policies governing their classes and must provide them to their students at the beginning of the semester.
CONCERN: So many students in the master’s counseling programs are stressing over professors rather than the work. Some are even scared to speak up because they fear retaliation on their papers. I had a professor last semester who picked on students and even made them cry. It was really intimidating to go to the class.
Another professor has a reputation of retaliation when we asked about our grades. I have reported this to my advisor, but nothing is done. If I had known this would be my education at a master's level, I would have gone elsewhere. There are so many students with the same thought, but fear to speak up.
RESPONSE: The Kremen School of Education and the Department of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation are aware of the concerns and have engaged in purposeful interventions on an ongoing basis at multiple levels. Those offices have provided support for students who have wished to come forward with their concerns.
In response to the second concern, fear of retaliation, the department chair has dealt with it decisively.
CONCERN: The Summer Arts program appears to have reserved the main South Gym (SG 109) exclusively for 23 consecutive days in July (July 5-27). During that time, no other groups will be able to use the gym. Can the Summer Arts Program use the gym in a way that will allow other groups to have some access to the gym? Or can they move their activity to a more appropriate location?
RESPONSE: The top priority for rooms during the summer is given to Continuing and Global Education summer-session courses that bear university credits and to Summer Arts courses hosted on campus. Under an MOU signed by the Chancellor and President Castro, specific spaces are allocated to Summer Arts. Because of major construction in both North and South Gyms this summer, the space guaranteed to Summer Arts is not available. The campus department to which SG 109 is assigned (Kinesiology) worked out an alternative for Summer Arts to use this space knowing that no one else could use it because of the extensive use by Summer Arts students and faculty We anticipate that this is a one-time room change due to construction, and next summer we will return to the normal schedule for this space.
CONCERNS ABOUT CLASS AVAILABILITY: (1) I am currently a senior. During registration week, I was unable to add specific classes to my fall semester. I am on the right track to graduate, yet I need to Ling132 and Comm 114 in order to finish. I have already emailed the professors and they denied getting me a permission number. Is there any way you can open up more classes? I've talked to a few liberal studies major and they are also struggling to get the classes they need.
(2) I think Fresno State needs to focus on opening more classes for science majors. I am starting my fifth year and this is because the school offered one class time for essential classes! As a biology major, I wasn't able to take intro biology until my third year on campus, after requesting to be added to the class for two years at the biology department office. I nearly gave up. Also, priority registration is unfair to people starting their fifth year and still cannot classes they need to graduate.
(3) I would like to see more class sessions offered. For example, Coun. 201, a multicultural class with a class size of only 20 students and three sessions per semester, makes it hard for graduate students to secure a spot in the courses, knowing that so many counseling related majors all require this course.
RESPONSE: The campus is working diligently to provide sufficient courses to meet student needs. This coming year, students will be asked to use My Degree Plan, which will allow them to identify the semesters in which they wish to enroll in particular courses. This will provide departments with an estimate of the number of seats needed for each class each semester. Priority registration has been changed and going forward, students who are closer to graduation will have a better chance of getting the courses they need to graduate.
CONCERN: As a student who frequents the "quiet section" of the library, I believe it should be easier to report individuals who do not follow the rules (loud and extended conversations). Currently, the only option is to report the issue to staff at the main desk, who then investigate the situation. For many students, having a quiet, distraction-free environment is essential when reading and studying.
RESPONSE: Thank you for letting us know about your concern. It is an ongoing challenge to keep the quiet areas of the library free of noise. As you mentioned, you can report the problem to the public safety assistants (PSAs) on the first floor of the library either in person or by calling them at 278.1038. We also have PSAs who walk around the building and enforce the noise restrictions. The library takes your concerns very seriously and will explore additional ways to keep our designated quiet areas free of distraction.
CONCERN: I am very frustrated with a professor who comes 20 minutes late every time we have class, which is only Monday and Wednesday. She has never been on time to this class and a lot of the students aren't doing so well in the class. I do not appreciate this.
RESPONSE: Please contact the department chair of the faculty member. If you need help identifying the chair of the faculty member, please contact the Vice Provost at 278.2636.
CONCERN: I could not find a way to rate our campus catering online. The quality and service has not been good recently.
RESPONSE: We regret that your experience with Catering was not up to your standards. University Dining Services is committed to providing our campus with exceptional menu offerings, service and hospitality. Although we do not have an online rating system, we always want to know how we can improve. Please contact our Catering Manager, Megan Sarantos, at email@example.com or 559.278.4545. We also have a feedback page in which you can submit comments, please visit: http://www.auxiliary.com/diningservices/comments/index.html.
CONCERN: Please fix University Courtyard. Right now it feels like I am paying too much for below mediocre living conditions.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. University Courtyard strives to provide an affordable all-inclusive room and board program. In fact, our housing rates were just ranked as the lowest cost and one of the best values when compared to other campuses in the CSU and UC system. If you have specific concerns or recommendations, please contact Erin Boele, director of housing, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 278.2677.
CONCERN: Managers should encourage employees to take breaks. Sometimes I feel like I can't take a break because no one else is doing it and breaks are not talked about in the office. I want to know that it is not frowned upon to take 15-minute breaks twice a day.
RESPONSE: We will be sure to remind managers about encouraging staff to take their breaks. It is important to have the opportunity to step away from your work during the work day. If you have more specific policy related questions, please feel free to contact university Human Resources at 559. 278.2032. Specific concerns or ideas should also be discussed directly with your supervisor/manager
CONCERN: Provide additional bookstore hours multiple weekends prior to the end of the semester. Master's Projects students are not able to have their projects bound on the weekend, when working adults are available to travel to the University. I was not aware of this limitation until a student of mine tried to have her project bound the first weekend of May and found that the bookstore services were not available.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. The Kennel Bookstore’s operating hours during the semester are Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is open on select Saturdays during the semester, typically when there are special events on campus i.e. home football games, Vintage Days, Graduation Ceremonies, Preview Days and at the start of each semester. We will evaluate if it would be cost effective to extend operating hours to accommodate end of semester events/activities.
CONCERN: The metered parking on Maple Avenue off Barstow needs to be reconsidered. When oversized vehicles (especially large SUVs and extended cab pickup trucks) are parked there, it forces vehicles to cross over the midline in order to safely pass by. If two such vehicles are lined up on opposite sides, it turns Maple Avenue into a one-lane road. I know metered parking is limited on campus, but these vehicles are causing a safety hazard.
RESPONSE: Yes, our parking operations team is aware of this impact and will continue to take necessary action to ensure safety in the area. We may want to convert these stalls to compact in addition to placing reminders asking that oversized vehicles not park in these stalls.
CONCERN: It would be good to have a bus from Kingsburg to Fresno State and back, or make a pickup stop at Kingsburg from the Visalia V-Line.
RESPONSE: That is a great idea. Operational decisions regarding the V-Line bus route are made by our partners at the City of Visalia. We will be sure to share your suggestion with them.
CONCERN: The desks in many Fresno State classrooms are very small. Throughout my college career, I have often had to put something on my lap (notes, book) because there was not enough room on the desk.
RESPONSE: We understand your concern; however, classroom space is a limited resource. In order to maximize the allowable room capacity and seat count, the campus uses a standard sized desk. However, as we modernize more of our centrally scheduled classroom facilities we are adding chairs with larger desktops as well as reconfiguring some rooms with tables and chairs that provide for a more flexible setup and encourage more group discussion. The standard desk (tablet armchair) that we currently have allows us to accommodate more students given the room capacity requirements.
CONCERN: I am disappointed that requests for repairs were acknowledged yet never completed, nor given a reason why they were not. I submitted a request for repair of chairs in Hall 191, Engineering East. It is almost impossible for me to sit through a two-hour, 50-minute lecture in those miserably uncomfortable chairs. The seating across the campus is pretty poor. I admit that I have a disability so may be more sensitive, but my classmates all squirm and complain as well.
RESPONSE: Our Facilities Management team repaired three damaged chairs on 4/18/17 and the desktops were adjusted on 4/17/17. We are also hoping to replace the seating in this lecture room as well as many others over the next three years.
CONCERN: The concrete curb that circles the planted area in the roundabout at Barstow and Chestnut Avenues needs to be redone. It's breaking up in places and is an eyesore when you drive onto campus.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. Our Facilities Management team will work with the City of Fresno to get this curb repaired.
CONCERN: It would be ideal if the university would hire more support staff to tend to important administrative issues required to help the university run smoothly. There are many areas where this is needed. For example, faculty reimbursements are consistently delayed and lost, requiring faculty to follow up for months to ensure paperwork is being processed.
RESPONSE: We are always mindful of opportunities where we can streamline current university business processes. We are currently in the process of evaluating our Accounts Payable processes and have identified some short-term and long-term solutions. The recommendation from the CAIFE team that has been working on this business process this past year is to implement an online work flow system that allows for electronic approvals and eliminates paper being moved around for approval. In addition, this new workflow system would allow for the end-user to track the status of their reimbursement.
CONCERN: I believe there should be greater efforts in maximizing the pedestrian experience both on and off campus. There is a great disconnect between the university and the walkability of Shaw Avenue, with narrow sidewalks, a lack of bicycle lanes and a lack of trees to serve as a buffer between pedestrians and the high volume traffic along Shaw. As a former FAX rider, my personal safety as both a walker and a bicyclist were constantly at risk upon crossing near Shaw and Cedar.
RESPONSE: Fresno State is committed to working with the City of Fresno to identify opportunities where we can improve our pedestrian walkways as well as our bicycle paths. We will share this concern with our partners at the City of Fresno in an upcoming meeting with them to discuss improvement of the street lighting along Bulldog Lane and Millbrook avenues.
CONCERN: Please add the option to add screenshots or jpg as supporting documentation.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. We will consider this as a potential enhancement for the President's Feedback page in the future.
CONCERN: The most important improvement we can make in the digital age is updating and renovating our Fresno State website to be more appealing for both newcomers and students. Many of us have problems finding the most accurate and recent information about careers and degrees.
RESPONSE: We are starting discussions about the next version of the Fresno State website. We will be asking students to participate in discussions to help us shape the future version of the website.
CONCERN: I am a student worker in the Financial Aid office. We are scheduled so that it’s pretty much impossible to take a real break. When we've complained, our boss has told us that we need to take a break, but how can you when no one is around to cover for you? I know the staff aren't allowed to take breaks at the counters and that's not really fair either.
RESPONSE: All staff and students are encouraged to take their breaks. We do not schedule break times for individuals because the needs at the windows and in the phone center vary depending on volume and the scheduled times might not always be the best time. The staff and students working the windows are asked to work it out among themselves and with their supervisors to take a break and cover for each other.
We will review our process and procedures for breaks with our staff and students to ensure fairness and appropriate care of each group. Thank you for the feedback and feel free to discuss issues like this at your office for more immediate and timely response/action.
CONCERN: Fresno State should take a look at the dance team. I was discriminated against three times in trying out and not making the team. It seems the director wants all the dancers to have the same skin color and hair. That is not diversity, and minorities will look at that team and not want to try out because they will feel intimidated by the white dancers.
RESPONSE: First and foremost, thank you for you your time, passion and concerns. Members of the athletic staff will have discussions with the spirit team coaching staff and their adviser.
Posted on: 05/08/17
FEEDBACK CONCERNS SUBMITTED STARTING February 22, 2017
CONCERN (by 141 writers): Lars Maischak should be immediately dismissed from Fresno State and not allowed to teach or lecture in the California education again, permanently. His comments on his Twitter account about Trump are a complete disgrace and totally unacceptable.
RESPONSE: I understand your concern. Dr. Maischak's comments on his Twitter account do not in any way reflect the values of our university. We have cooperated fully with all law enforcement authorities. This matter is under review by the university. While the review continues, Dr. Maischak has received, at his request and in accordance to the collective bargaining agreement with the California Faculty Association (CFA), a paid leave of absence for the duration of the Spring 2017 semester while he conducts research off campus in his field of study. Dr. Maischak currently has a contract with the university to be a lecturer through the 2017-18 academic year. As a lecturer, he is represented by the CFA.
I have urged a continued campus-wide discussion about what is and what is not free speech and what are appropriate uses of social media by students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
CONCERN: I recently read a response from the chancellor about immigration law. I was disappointed in your response. I have read the chancellor’s letter carefully and as far as I can understand, the chancellor indeed won't allow CSUs to follow federal law regarding people who are not here legally. There are laws in this country for a reason and just because the chancellor doesn't like the law doesn't mean you can just not follow the law.
RESPONSE:Thank you for sharing your concern. I assure you that the Chancellor and I agree that Fresno State will continue to follow the law as it relates to immigration and other areas. Our statements on immigration make it clear that we will do all that we can within the law to support the success of all Fresno State students. I am President for all Fresno State students and will remain committed to this guiding principle throughout my service at the university.
CONCERN: Instead of having a "sanctuary school," why doesn't Fresno State offer classes so that illegal immigrants can become U.S. citizens? Wouldn't that be more helpful to all?
RESPONSE:Fresno State is not a "sanctuary school." Our mission is to "boldly educate and empower students for success." We will continue to support the success of all Fresno State students while we follow the law as it relates to immigration and other areas.
Through our Maddy Institute, Fresno State has proudly sponsored a Citizenship Academy as well as ceremonies for newly naturalized United States citizens. For more information about this program, please see http://www.maddyinstitute.com/citizen-participation/citizenship-academy/.
CONCERN: I've heard that my management gave gifts for a new staff member similar to my classification. It would be nice to see consistency with that because now I am feeling like I wasn't good enough to receive anything.
RESPONSE:We believe on-boarding of new faculty and staff is important and we have a Creativity and Innovation for Excellence (CAIFE) Team that is charged with reviewing and recommending improvements to Fresno State's on boarding process. The goal is to develop a consistent “Welcome to Fresno State” experience. One element of that program that is being considered is providing a welcome basket for new employees from the Kennel Bookstore. Some managers have begun to pilot this idea for recent new hires. The plan is to formalize this in the near future so all new employees will receive a welcome basket on their first day of work on campus.
CONCERN: Over the last semester, I am afraid that there is not a clear vision for the tablet program. Some of my professors said they were frustrated because they were not properly trained on how to use them for class and they reverted to using textbooks and handouts. My professors also said it was too hard to teach when students have different devices in the classroom… it is like us all having different textbooks. I heard there was a decision to go with one hardware but not sure what happened to that.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. We value your feedback, as we are continuously improving the DISCOVERe program. All faculty members who are part of the DISCOVERe mobile technology program have access to ongoing professional development opportunities through the Center for Faculty Excellence. The center utilizes a support team of instructional designers, DISCOVERe faculty fellows and experts in course redesign with technology. The campus DISCOVERe committee, which includes students and faculty, continues to explore ways to enhance and expand the support available to faculty members. Also, all faculty members have access to our Academic Technology Resource Center that provides direct support to faculty members committed to uploading accessible and affordable course materials into Blackboard, our campus learning management system.
CONCERN: I am in the library quite often and I love doing my school work at the DISCOVERe Hub. I have gotten help many times from the guides there. They provide a level of customer service that I do not get very often from many businesses, or even different areas of campus; it is truly an enjoyable experience. However, I have learned recently that one of the guides that often helped me graduated and no longer works there. I asked a few more questions and found out that no matter how good and professional they are, there are no positions above the student position. I have friends that have had student positions on campus and get part/full time positions after graduation. Why doesn't the DISCOVERe Hub offer that?
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback and praise about a DISCOVERe guide and the positive experiences you received at the Hub. Our DISCOVERe Hub is part of our overall Technology Services division, which offers temporary and permanent positions, based on the needs of the division. Technology Services has hired a number of recent Fresno State graduates over the past couple of years.
CONCERN: I would like to see a major expo aligned with the New Student Convocation. It is nice to have a celebration of new students, but it could be more productive if they have a chance to meet with representatives from their major departments, find out how to seek advising, learn of any materials they might need, etc. If a student isn't certain about his/her declared major, seeing what is available right at the start will help with making the decision earlier. Maybe it's possible to have some tables set up in the lobby of the Save Mart Center that students can visit between the convocation and the party. Advising sheets, road maps and program information can be available there.
RESPONSE: Thank you for the suggestion. We have done this in the past and invited all to participate in a fair-like atmosphere. We will do more to increase participation levels from academic departments. If you have specific ideas, please contact Vice President Frank Lamas.
CONCERN: I asked a question at the forum on March 15 concerning the "Bold New U" and just wanted to follow up. I'm interested in helping and getting involved if possible to ensure that the USU will be a successful and productive student resource.
RESPONSE: Thank you for volunteering to help. We will be sure to involve you if a future referendum is passed and we are able to move forward with this or a downsized project.
CONCERN: As a faculty member who evaluates scholarship applications as part of my departmental service, I am very dissatisfied with the single "university scholarship application" students must use to apply for all campus scholarships. There are too many questions, most of them are irrelevant for most scholarships, and the evaluators do not have the ability to add questions more relevant to scholarships they are evaluating. Because applying for 15 scholarships simultaneously is so easy, many students apply for scholarships for which they are not actually qualified, adding to the enormous pool of people we have to sort through. Making a different scholarship application for each scholarship, although it seems like more work, would actually be much more efficient, for both the students and the evaluators. Each application could be concise and supply more useful information, asking questions that allow the student to best represent themselves and allow the evaluator to easily pinpoint quantitative and qualitative criteria to rank applicants. The result would be scholarships awarded to the most deserving students, better implementing the intent of the original donor.
RESPONSE:The Fresno State general scholarship application follows national best practice and is designed to simplify the application process for students. There are approximately 12 questions each student must answer. The application is designed to provide the scholarship committee reviewer with résumé style content of each applicant. Two of these questions require the student to provide additional information about themselves in a personal statement and a career objective statement. Once the scholarship application is submitted, this information becomes the student’s primary profile for all the scholarship opportunities he/she qualifies for.
After the scholarship application is submitted, the applicant may automatically qualify for certain scholarships simply based on their academic record. When additional information is required from the applicant to determine their eligibility, the student is recommended to consider applying for certain scholarships. Those scholarships have unique qualifications that require the student to answer certain questions in order to qualify for those scholarships. The scholarship requirements used to determine an applicant’s eligibility are based on the donor’s minimum criteria. It is important to note that it is illegal for Fresno State to change the minimum scholarship requirements a donor has defined by adding additional questions a committee feels are more relevant for their program. Departments are encouraged to contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for help with strategies on managing the reviewing and ranking of applicants.
CONCERN: I am amazed at the number of students who have no idea that we have the Student Cupboard. You should try working on advertising it. Also, it's so far from other points on campus. I believe if there were additional, smaller locations, more students would be aware of it. The food pantry could be on “wheels” -- one of those carts filled with food that does not need to be kept cold and be at a certain location at a certain time. This gives students access and it brings awareness.
RESPONSE:Thank you for your concern. We have promoted the Cupboard and advertised in a variety of ways across the campus starting with orientation, but we are open to your additional ideas. Unfortunately, we are not able to do your meals on wheels idea for a variety of regulatory, staffing and budgetary issues.
CONCERN: We desperately need updates to the video and audio equipment in the bottom floor of the Kremen building. As graduate students, we want to improve our skills and learn more, but it's hard to do that when we can't even download our video sessions or the videos are unable to play.
RESPONSE:The Kremen School of Education and Human Development continually updates and provides maintenance on the counseling lab computers. The system was upgraded just last summer. Technology support personnel and student technical assistants are on duty year-round and to date this year have received only two calls about the labs. Both issues were successfully resolved. We have not heard of any ongoing major issues with the system. Students are encouraged to contact the technology support line if/when they have issues.
CONCERN - Thank you Dr. Castro for listening to my concern (when you were on KMJ) about all the exams prospective teachers have to take to just qualify for the program. As I mentioned, students with bachelor’s degrees must pass the CBEST, which I believe should be an entrance requirement, but then also pass at least three CSET tests just to get in the program. This apparently was recently changed from having to pass one of the exams, along with 45 hours of observation in public school classrooms. With drastic teacher shortages in our state and area, many districts are hiring unqualified people anyway and putting them in intern programs. It seems we should be making it easier for students who have already proved their academic ability through the obtaining of their degree, especially those who are Fresno State graduates.
RESPONSE:The requirements you mention are all required by the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and/or the CSU Chancellor's Office. The GPA requirement is set by the CSU and the CCTC. The CCTC requires CBEST for admission to a teacher prep program and the CSET in order to be credentialed. There are different CSETs for different credentials.
A CSU executive order, issued by the Chancellor, requires that all three multiple subject CSETs be passed prior to admission to a credential program. A campus may excuse up to 15% of students from having all three to enroll, this is usually used for interns and short-term teachers of record who are working full time in charge of a classroom already. A graduate who has completed an academic major in the field they wish to test is waived from the CSET. This applies to fields like agriculture, social science, math, physics, kinesiology, etc. There is currently no waiver for the CSET Multiple Subjects. That version covers the content taught by Multiple Subject Teachers, not cover material taught in the credential program.
To be credentialed, a candidate must also pass the RICA test over the teaching of reading. Additionally, to be credentialed in California a candidate must pass all parts of a high stakes Teacher Performance Assessment. This costs approximately $300 to take, but at Fresno State, where we administer the Fresno Assessment of Student Teachers (FAST), which is free. Fresno State is the ONLY university in California without a cost to the Teacher Performance Assessment. Every teacher candidate except those at Fresno State has to pay Pearson, Inc. to score their TPA, since only FAST and two Pearson Instruments are approved.
Our faculty agree with you wholeheartedly with your questioning on why students must prove academic ability when they already have a college degree. It makes sense if one is teaching in a field where a degree was not earned but no sense for one’s own major.
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the only such accreditor, has proposed standards that would require SAT/GRE scores in the upper 33 percentile plus four nationally normed multiple choice tests plus a nationally normed TPA for graduates to become teachers. Faculty at Fresno State have led the fight against the tests and the test scores. We do not know the future, however. The testing companies hold tremendous sway even though they present almost no evidence of the validity of the tests in predicting who will be a good teacher.
Fresno State has no extra requirements beyond what is mandated by the CTC and the CSU Chancellor's Office.
CONCERN: I am a student who lives in Visalia. If there were more classes offered at the Visalia Campus that would be awesome, because driving back and forth is not easy. Also when I have assignments to do with fellow students it’s hard to accomplish them when most if not all my colleagues live in Fresno or in the area. Also, most events happen on the Fresno campus at night -- again when I'm not in Fresno or on campus. Sometimes professors assign these events as extra credit and I would love to be able to participate, but again it’s impossible sometimes. So maybe just awareness about this issue, maybe offer more events in Visalia, so it’s easy to acquire extra credit.
RESPONSE: We are aware of the journey our South Valley students make to campus. We have partnered with the city of Visalia’s V-Line to provide bus transportation between campus and Visalia. As you note, we have partnered with College of Sequoias and now have the Fresno State Visalia Campus on the south edge of that campus (1945 W. Meadow Lane). Our goal is to provide commuter students more on-site GE courses; select undergraduate degrees for upper division transfer students; and graduate degrees.
We are launching the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Business Administration for upper-division transfer students in August 2017. We are also taking applications this fall semester for the Blended Liberal Studies/Multiple Subject Teaching Credential that will begin fall of 2018. We are diligent in our efforts to add more upper division GE courses for fall of 2017 and thereafter. Please continue checking our website at http://fresnostate.edu/cge/visalia/ for updates.
We also have online platforms available to students to work on group projects or assignments from off campus. You may want to consider visiting the DISCOVERe Hub in the library for available options. When it comes to extra credit for classes, you will find faculty to be very understanding and accommodating. You may want to look at the events and activities offered at College of the Sequoias, West Hills College-Lemoore or Porterville College and ask your professors to consider these as extra credit for the class.
CONCERN: The Henry Madden Library needs to open earlier. It opens at 7:45 on most weekdays. Unfortunately, there is always a huge crowd of students waiting to get inside. I'm sure modifying the hours by having the library open 45 minutes earlier would be beneficial to many students.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your recommendation with us. We take many factors into consideration, especially gate count data of people entering the building, when determining the library’s hours of opening. Also, please understand that every hour we add to our hours of operation carries significant costs, so increased hours may necessitate cuts in other areas. It is always therefore a balance of many factors. We will certainly keep this in mind for the future discussions on our hours of operations.
CONCERN: I am very disappointed in this university. My fiancé, who is also a student, has been harassed multiple times by employees about her support dog. She has had problems in the library multiple times, and from other buildings around campus, even when she just needs to use the bathroom. In fact, she doesn't even feel comfortable going into the library anymore due to this problem. However when I am with her and the support dog, no one ever says anything and she feel like she is bring targeted.
RESPONSE: In order to protect everyone’s safety, the library must ensure that all animals that enter the building are designated as guide or service animals as required by the campus Policy on the Use of University Building and Grounds. If an animal is not clearly marked as a service animal, our Public Safety Assistants must inquire about its status. If you’d like, you can always visit the library’s Circulation desk and inform a Public Safety Assistant (PSA) of your situation when you enter the building with your animal.
CONCERN: There are professors who don't use the technology offered in classrooms to better present information. Some professors’ writing on the board is so bad it's hard to read.
RESPONSE: Please share your concerns with the department chair or the associate dean of the college in which the course is taught. They can encourage faculty to take advantage of professional development opportunities offered through The Center for Faculty Excellence. The center provides holistic support to faculty with a core support team of instructional designers, faculty-driven learning communities, DISCOVERe faculty fellows, course redesign with technology and other faculty-driven activities. Many of these professional development opportunities occur both during the fall and spring semesters, as well as during the summer. Faculty are subject matter experts in their disciplines. However, they may choose to use more traditional means of instruction including whiteboards or document cameras.
CONCERN: Professors are teaching their own opinions and refuse to teach a neutral way of a subject to allow the students to generate their opinions of the subject. I have seen professors in many of my classes ask students if they have any questions with their backs to the students and then continue to move on as students have their hands raised. This usually goes on for the first week or two then students just give up and don't even try to ask questions.
RESPONSE:Faculty are hired based on their training and expertise in their discipline. This expertise has been honed through years of study and research. Faculty not only share what they have learned about a particular subject but also the “way of knowing” in that subject. Ideally, they would also structure assignments that provide students with opportunities to study the subject, apply what they have learned, and use critical thinking skills in coming to their own conclusions. If this is not happening in your course, I encourage you to meet with the department chair and share your concerns. If your faculty member is the chair, you can contact the Associate Dean in the college in which the department is housed.
CONCERN: What is Fresno State doing to provide more paid research opportunities for students? I am an undergraduate student, I do not receive financial aid, my parents do not pay a dime for my education, I work over 40 hours a week to support myself and take out student loans. Particularly for science majors, how are students in my position supposed to support themselves and do research if the research is not paid? I do not have time or energy to do free research on top of course work and my jobs. Paid research opportunities are hard to find, especially in my department. Completing off-campus research during the summer is one option but typically, the research is short term and the funding as well. It is not enough. To make students more competitive for master’s programs undergraduate research is a must. Student athletes are provided with funding because it is understood that they are unable to have off-campus jobs to support themselves when they are going to practice and completing course work. I have heard they also get housing, tutoring and meal plans. Why does the university not also appear to make this effort for students who would like to do research? Why are sports more important than academics in this university?
RESPONSE: Fresno State provides undergraduate students two funding opportunities for research: the Undergraduate Research Grant and the IRA research funding (Instructionally Related Activities). The first is funded by the university, and the second is funded by student fees. Both grants will be open to all students (full- and part-time) beginning with the 2017-18 academic year. Besides these two funding sources, students are encouraged to work with their faculty for possible assistantships, which may be available. To get details and apply for the Undergraduate Research Grant or the IRA research funding, visit:
CONCERN: Dr. Castro needs to look into students' complains about some faculty. The departments are not listening to students and they treat situations personally, not professionally. Yes, we are students but we are parents, husbands and wives, family members, employees in other companies … you name it. Life can be easier if we make it easier. We can be educated without being overloaded.
RESPONSE: Thank you for the feedback. I am sorry to hear of your experience. Your success as a student is very important to me and your college. The dean and associate dean of the college you provided will address your specific concerns with the department and your broader concerns with the entire faculty in the college. It is our goal to provide a supportive learning environment for all our students. I encourage you to continue to share your thoughts with your dean and associate dean.
CONCERN: Most of the government offices are improving their work by having certified management, like project management. Why don't we see that in our departments? A Ph.D. qualifies for technicality but doesn't qualify for teaching or managing. Why don’t we let professionals from other majors lead different majors for diversity of change? Why don’t we make a development unit for each section for technical professionals to improve their own sections?
RESPONSE: Faculty are hired based on their training and expertise in their discipline. This expertise has been honed through years of study and research. Faculty not only share what they have learned about a particular subject but also the “way of knowing” in that subject. The Center for Faculty Excellence provides holistic support to faculty with a core support team of instructional designers, faculty-driven learning communities, DISCOVERe faculty fellows, course redesign with technology and other faculty-driven activities to help them improve their teaching. Additionally, the university invests significant time and effort to provide professional development opportunities for all faculty and staff through its LEAD program https://www.fresnostate.edu/adminserv/learning/learn/.
CONCERN: Geomatics Engineering needs some attention. Fresno State is one of the leading universities in geomatics it was the third nationwide in a research done in Canada 10 years ago and 10th worldwide. Why don’t you ask U.S. ranking to look into geomatics engineering major and start a recognition process for the major?
RESPONSE: Thank you for this suggestion. We are proud of the legacy of our Geomatics Engineering program and the accomplishments of our faculty and students. We will continue to work with our community and industry partners and professional organizations to increase the visibility and recognition that the program deserves.
CONCERN: I've been trying to get into my biology courses for over a year now and I can't get into them. I need these specific classes and now I won't be able to graduate on time.
RESPONSE: Please contact your adviser.
CONCERN: When entering or leaving the campus from Maple Avenue, I notice that students, faculty and visitors are often jaywalking to get to the Kremen building from Lot P1 (or the other way around) instead of using the crosswalks. In some cases, they are so distracted with their electronic devices while jaywalking that they don't acknowledge a car is approaching them. Is there a way to enforce a rule for everyone to use the crosswalks?
RESPONSE:Although the California Vehicle Code prohibits jaywalking, it continues to be an issue around the campus community. Our Fresno State Police Department is currently working on some Public Service Announcement videos to help educate the campus community on the dangers of jaywalking.
CONCERN: The men's restroom located on the third floor in the Food and Science building is in definite need of mirrors. A good spot to put them would be over the vanities/sinks since there is room.
RESPONSE:Wewill submit a request to Facilities Management.
CONCERN: The Maple and San Ramon faculty/staff parking lot badly needs motorcycle parking slots properly labeled.
RESPONSE:Thank you. This issue has been recently resolved. The motorcycle parking area was repainted.
CONCERN: The electric car charging facility is wonderful - once again, marks our campus as a unique campus with special leadership attributes. The campus students, faculty and staff who use this facility will really appreciate if this is limited to only us and not outsiders. Inclusiveness is great, however, with a limited number of charging stations available often the Fresno State folks don't get to charge their cars since the stations are occupied by outsiders. The list includes sales clerks from dealerships who sometimes come with multiple cars to charge at Fresno State!
RESPONSE:Thank you for you feedback. Our Traffic Operations team has recently increased enforcement of the Electric Vehicle (EV) charging spaces. Any vehicle parked in a space designated for electric vehicles must be connected and charging at all times. Parking permits are not required at EV Charging Stations. However, vehicles are required to comply with posted time restrictions. We are hopeful the increased enforcement will enhance the availability of our EV spaces.
CONCERN: The student bus shuttle is great but it only travels through the north side of campus and into the student living complexes. The problem is the south end of school near Shaw Avenue has many buildings and classes that are far from any of the bus stops offered today. At least two more stops -- one by the Kremen building and one near the library or by the laboratory classes -- would be great. Also, it would be great if students could take at least one nonstudent with them on the buses since there are times students bring along a friend who attends another school to study or participate in events.
RESPONSE: Traffic Operations staff are currently evaluating locations for a Bulldog Express stop on the south end of campus. Due to the fund source that is providing this service and CSU insurance requirements, at this time only students, faculty, and staff are permitted to travel on the Bulldog Express.
CONCERN: I love the Fresno State shuttle, and am grateful for its services. However, the schedule only gives times for when it starts in the morning and closes at night. In order to figure out when it arrives at stops between these timeframes, I have to continuously add 15 minutes until I get to the time I need. I have missed the shuttle, and class, as a result. Can a full schedule for the day, and for every stop, be made? Also, what is the point of having seat belts if wearing them is not enforced?
RESPONSE:A printable route map and schedule is available on the Traffic Operations website, https://www.fresnostate.edu/adminserv/police/transportation/bus/shuttle.html . The National Highway Safety Administration does not require the use of seat belts on transit buses such as those used to operate the Bulldog Express. Bulldog Express buses are equipped with seat belts and posted signage encourages riders to use them.
CONCERN: I am a student parent at Fresno state. I cannot always get a sitter for my child when I have to be at the college. There is currently no place where my child can have fun and run around safely. I know I speak for a lot of student parents who cannot get into the childcare program at Fresno State - we would like a place to let our children run around and play safely, preferably indoors because of the chance of bad weather. I believe that if there is enough room to build a new Union, there can be enough room to build a reasonably sized children's play place. I am prepared to market this idea to the community and begin private funding for this, if necessary.
Another suggestion is to place Koala Care changing stations in ALL bathrooms - male and female. It is inexpensive and it is a great need for single parents, especially single fathers.
RESPONSE:We recognize there is a need for additional childcare services for students, faculty and staff. Currently we have play areas available only within our licensed childcare sites. There are no plans at this time to create any outdoor play areas for young children. We have changing stations in the restrooms in our Satellite Student Union, but recognize we need to add more, especially in buildings like the Library and the University Student Union.
CONCERN: I am new to Fresno State and love my second semester as a Bulldog. With everything we pay to go to school, why do we have to pay to park? Why is it just not part of tuition? Does the college not own the parking lots? We don't pay for space we use in the library or in the Student Union. Why is parking different?
RESPONSE:According to Title V (Article 7, Section 42200) of the California Code of Regulation, the University must charge for parking. The Fresno State parking program receives no state funding – it is required to be self-supporting from parking fee revenues. Revenue collected from the sale of parking permits is used to cover annual operations, maintenance, construction costs and debt on existing parking lots and access roads.
CONCERN: I'd like to see more cooperation with the city transit system to make it more useable for our students. Many universities have a central hub where buses traveling different directions can be accessed, meaning multiple routes are making the university a destination, if not the end of a line.
RESPONSE: Fresno State collaborates with multiple local transit agencies. Employees and students can ride FAX and Clovis Transit buses free, anytime, by swiping their Bulldog Card. The University has also partnered with the City of Visalia to provide transit service from Visalia to our campus. Operating seven days per week, the V-Line bus stops at the Maple Avenue turnaround near Keats Avenue. For additional information on new sustainable transportation options for students and employees, please visit: http://www.fresnostate.edu/adminserv/police/transportation/bus/index.html
CONCERN: The Science 1 building is aging. However, it is also where we accomplish much of our Chemistry and Biology research and teaching. These rely on critical infrastructure such as electricity and water. Thank you for the improvements to the building's electrical supply! This has calmed the nerves of many who rely on refrigeration and sensitive analytical instruments to accomplish their work.
We now need to look at the dependability of our water purification system. The water distillation units on the roof are several decades old. They periodically malfunction and leak through the ceiling into the main chemistry stockroom. More importantly, when they do break down, teaching and research in the building can come to a halt.
Several locations on campus have state-of-the art reverse osmosis (RO) systems installed and maintained by a local water purification company, Evoqua Water Technologies. These include Viticulture and Enology, the Department of Justice Crime Lab and the new Jordan Agricultural Research Center. The cost to replace our aging distillation system will be approximately $20,000. As part of your commitment to infrastructure improvements, I ask that you work with members of your facilities management team to assure that this system is installed.
RESPONSE:We are currently replacing the failing distilled water with a new reverse osmosis system. Your patience has been greatly appreciated.
CONCERN: Regarding the Workplace Quality Survey, it was described as an anonymous survey, but some of the questions at the end certainly could be used to determine who submitted it. I hope this information will be handled with tact and discretion, especially if honesty is valued in future surveys. Thank you for your continued consideration of all employees.
RESPONSE:The Workplace Quality Survey was confidential. We selected ModernThink, a neutral third party, to administer the survey and assist with maintaining the anonymity of employee responses. ModernThink will analyze the survey results for factors such as key themes, patterns and trends. Fresno State will not be given any information that would enable us to trace answers back to a specific person - even if they are part of a small demographic group. All feedback will certainly be handled with tact and discretion and will be used to help improve our workplace. Watch for open forums next fall where we will share the overall results of the survey.
CONCERN: Please stop having facilities/construction employees do loud work while classes are in session nearby. This is particularly bad in the older buildings such as McLane Hall where the sound insulation isn't the best. Between summer, weekends and breaks, it should be possible to do this type of work in a way that doesn't disturb classes.
RESPONSE:We understand your concern; however, not all construction and major repairs can be completed after hours, or on weekends and semester breaks. Please know that our Facilities management team goes to great lengths to minimize the noise and inconvenience created by major repairs and construction. Scheduling work to be performed when classes are in session is only done as a last resort due to issues such as time constraints, nature of the work or an emergency.
CONCERN: Why do we allow non-exempt employees to "skip lunches" to make up time? Employees who are continually late for work (10-15 minutes daily) and do not have vacation time seem to feel that they can just skip their lunch two or three times a week to make up time they are away from the office on personal appointments. I don't understand it nor do I feel that it's fair to those of use that are here on time and use our sick leave and vacation to cover our time away. Why are managers so afraid to address such behavior?
RESPONSE: Please refer any employment policy related questions to Human Resources, 278.2032. Specific concerns can also be discussed with your supervisor/manager.
CONCERN: It would be great if President Castro could provide leadership training to deans, chairs and any staff who oversee other employees. I really appreciate the leadership that Dr. Castro provides; however, when our immediate supervisors are not leading their staff in the same positive manner, it creates bad morale within a department, school, office, etc. More training for our leaders is essential in keeping staff happy with their positions.
RESPONSE: Over the past two years, we have made significant efforts to increase and improve training and development opportunities for all employees. We have focused particular attention to the need for more training for managers, supervisors and department chairs and have invested significantly to increase the number and type of trainings as well as other technical HR resources. Over the past 18 months we have delivered dedicated sessions for managers on the following topics: leading and sustaining change; courage, vulnerability and resilience; human resource nuts and bolts; leadership interventions; unconscious bias; generational diversity; managing difficult conversations; collegiality; conflict resolution; and systems awareness. We are planning a two-day Principles of Supervision Workshop this summer and will repeat this session next fall and spring. We are also in the process of developing a new leadership development program, which will launch in fall 2017.
CONCERN: I believe Traffic Operations should provide warning tickets before issuing parking citations. The parking officers should run the license plate of each vehicle that does not have a parking pass visible to make sure that vehicle does have a parking pass issued to before citing. If the license plate indicates they have a parking pass issued to that vehicle but is not visible, I feel parking officers should issue a warning citation first rather than a $50 citation. If multiple warning citations have been issued but individuals still fail to provide proof of parking pass, then it will be ideal to issue a parking citation.
RESPONSE:We recognize the inconvenience and frustration, but our current system is limited and does not give us this functionality. Our future plan is to implement new software that will provide the ability to check license plate numbers to ensure a permit has been issued for that vehicle in the event that a permit is not displayed.
CONCERN: I came here for Preview Day with my niece (it was awesome!) and attended a session in the SSU. Is it feasible to update the chairs in there? They were so uncomfortable. A lot of other parents and students were complaining that some of the seats didn’t have much cushion support.
RESPONSE:It is nice to hear that you enjoyed our Preview Day. We apologize that the seating was uncomfortable for you and the others who attended the event. We will explore the feasibility of replacing these chairs in the future.
CONCERN: Free or discounted on-campus daycare would be amazing.
RESPONSE: Childcare services are provided free for most students but we are not able to provide a discount for faculty and staff. Our childcare centers are required to be self-supporting and the fees paid help to ensure a quality childcare program that is accredited and certified.
CONCERN: Upon driving up to the Satellite Student Union, the four large garbage bins distract from the beauty of the campus. I notice this heading south on Maple (from Barstow) before turning onto Matoian Way. Because we hold so many functions, especially the graduations, it is an eyesore to our visitors.
RESPONSE: We agree these bins are unsightly. As part of our parking lot renovation program this is an area we hope to improve in the near future, including constructing a trash enclosure area that is more aesthetically pleasing.
CONCERN: I would like to see Fresno State stop spelling the contraction for Bulldogs with a single quote. It needs a contraction mark: ’Dogs. It looks bad to see it everywhere on campus backwards. Please fix this. And tell the Collegian to stop printing it wrong.
RESPONSE: You are correct that the proper contraction is ’Dogs, which is used properly by our Athletics offices but sometime misused by others on campus. We will try to educate them on correct usage.
Posted on: 03/30/17
FEEDBACK CONCERNS SUBMITTED January 15, 2017 – February 16, 2017
CONCERN: I am disgusted to work for a university with a Chancellor who clearly stated in his open letter that he will require CSU employees to violate federal law. He stated that the CSU will defy federal immigration holds, holds that are intended for people who should be deported due to criminal history.What part of "law enforcement" does the Chancellor not understand?
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern with me.You have misinterpreted the Chancellor's open letter. He does not require CSU employees to violate federal law. In fact, his messages have been clear that we are to follow the law while focusing on the safety of all students.
CONCERN: As a concerned college student I am writing to you today about the high and rising costs of college tuition fees.I and others attend college to have the best future as possible and to better ourselves as well.Even though college can be challenging at times, that is what keeps me motivated to finish.It would be greatly appreciated if you took this issue into consideration.
RESPONSE: I share your concern about the increased cost of higher education across the United States.Fortunately, the CSU system is one of the most affordable university systems in the nation.Fresno State currently charges the lowest tuition and fees of any campus in the CSU system.Due to support from the state and federal governments as well as private support, we provided $230 million in student financial aid in 2015-16.About 80% of this aid was in the form of grants and scholarships.The average loan indebtedness for a Fresno State graduate is $18,000, which is substantially less than the $30,000 average debt level for university graduates across the nation.You can be helpful in this area by urging your elected state legislators to fund the CSU system at levels that enable us to keep tuition and fees affordable.
CONCERN: I am disappointed that the testing center is not coming back. With the new system there is no way to have a whole class take an exam. This was a very valuable resource. I caught a student cheating this semester and I am sure he was one of many. The testing center was great at eliminating cheating.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern with me. I suggest that you speak with your department chair and dean to identify strategies to provide support to you during exams in classrooms.
CONCERN: I am irritated with this way of voicing concern. I may not get my concern addressed. And even if I do, I will have to continually come back to this site to see if someone answered my concern. This does not seem to be an effective way to voice concerns. We should be able to email President Castro directly. Even if that means an assistant reads and responds to his email. I would like a response back and not have to waste my valuable time coming back to this site to see if my concern has been addressed.
RESPONSE: Thank you. I send an email to all faculty, staff and students when new Feedback is posted, approximately every six to eight weeks. In addition, you may email me via the “Email Us” link in the footer of my webpage.
CONCERN: I am a proud parent and staff member at Fresno State. Can we perhaps start a new tradition with 2017 Graduation Ceremonies to recognize / acknowledge the parents and their adult children who are graduating from this fine university?
RESPONSE: Thank you for this suggestion. I will discuss it with the Cabinet.
CONCERN: Stick to education for students, not trying to corrupt them.
RESPONSE: Fresno State's mission is "To boldly educate and empower students for success." Our actions will continue to be consistent with our mission and values.
CONCERN: Discovery, DIVERSITY, Distinction. If we are to value diversity it should be in all areas of this institution.
RESPONSE: I agree. If you have suggestions for how we can be more effective in this area, please share them with us.
CONCERN: I'm concerned with my workplace environment. I just heard something unsettling. As I passed by a Hispanic student on his cell phone, I overheard him very loudly say, "Yeah, white people are stupid," followed by a chuckle. How am I supposed to take this as a staff member? It is not my job to instruct students on etiquette and behavior but I was considerably offended by this remark. This kind of thinking is not something I would welcome or should be exposed in the workplace. I like to think that Fresno State is a diverse and inclusive environment. Should we not expect the same from all students?
RESPONSE: The behavior that you describe by this student is concerning and unacceptable.As a campus community, I believe it is important for us to share our concerns with each other in a respectful way.Our role as faculty and staff is to provide guidance to our students as they prepare to be the next generation of leaders in our Valley and beyond.
CONCERN: The link below is to a petition opposing the recent Executive Order by U.S. President Trump limiting entry into the United States for nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries. The petition specifically highlights the likely effects on academic communities, while also pointing out the ways in which we are connected to other worldwide communities, both large and small. If you agree, sign this petition. https://notoimmigrationban.com/
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing this with us. I expressed my view on the recent Executive Order. You may view it here.
CONCERN: President Castro, please tell me that you did not call President Trump’s moratorium on immigration from seven countries a ban on Muslims. It is not a ban on Muslims or the Muslim religion. It is a temporary ban from the countries that former President Obama's own people listed as terrorist supporters. It is the duty of every university president to uphold the laws of the land regardless of whether or not you support that specific law. If you tell me that you or Fresno State will become a sanctuary university, then I and many others will be leaving the Red Wave and will not support any university activities.
RESPONSE: As University president, I am obligated to uphold the laws of our state and nation.I stand with and support every student, faculty, and staff member at Fresno State.Our mission is "to boldly educate and empower students for success."Our actions will continue to be consistent with our mission and values.
CONCERN: I do not believe you have the right to make the Fresno State campus a "sanctuary university" for undocumented students. You are to assist law enforcement and follow the law. You do not help education or the community by making this unlawful stand. Students who commit crimes should be held accountable. Your job as an educator is to facilitate learning.
RESPONSE: As University president, I am obligated to uphold the laws of our state and nation. I stand with and support every student, faculty, and staff member at Fresno State. Our mission is "to boldly educate and empower students for success." Our actions will continue to be consistent with our mission and values. We have recently sponsored campus forums on free speech and civil rights for our students, faculty and staff. Additional forums will take place in the future.
CONCERN: When the women’s basketball team goes out of state to play a game, who pays for the Learjet that is provided for them? Do all sports teams have the opportunity to use a Learjet for out-of-state games? Who pays for their jet?
RESPONSE: First and foremost, we do our best to schedule team travel around two factors: team safety and the least amount of lost time in the classroom. Our women’s basketball program did travel twice this season via charter plane. These two trips were paid for with philanthropic dollars. We have several donors who feel that keeping student-athletes in class as much as possible helps the overall experience for our team. The rest of the travel is within the team’s normal travel budget and includes commercial flights and bus trips.
CONCERN: Please give us public Wi-Fi.
RESPONSE: We provide wireless internet for everyone, including visitors to our campus. Fresno State believes in providing helpful technology services to its campus community and the general Fresno community, especially in providing wireless internet services. Please visit this page for more information: http://fresnostate.edu/help/fac-staff/internet/index.html. Visitors to our campus can register for a one-day guest wireless account.
CONCERN: I have the Health Care Reimbursement account that I contribute to along with the ASI Flex Benefits card. My account shows that I have signed up for a Dependent Care Account, even though my paperwork shows that I signed up for the Health Care account. On 1/19/17 I called HR and was told this happened to several employees and that they have no idea when this will be corrected. As of today 1/25/17 it still has not been corrected. Obviously HR knew of this error, why did they not notify the affected employees?
RESPONSE: We apologize for the inconvenience and the miscommunication. This error occurred at the State Controller’s Office, not by the University, and has since been reversed and corrected. If you continue to experience issues with this matter, please contact Juanita Aguilar, benefits manager, at 278.5336.
CONCERN: Love the idea of Bulldog Express, but is there a way we can add a stop near Kremen? Maybe at the roundabout of Maple and Shaw? I want to use the Save Mart Center parking, but my last class is in Kremen and most graduate students have class till 9:50 p.m. The closest stop is at the North Gym.
RESPONSE: Thank you for the recommendation. Traffic Operations staff are currently evaluating locations for a Bulldog Express stop on the south end of campus.
CONCERN: My nephew is in English 167 and English 114 and there are students in these classes who do not have the necessary books (in the second week of classes) because they are not available in the bookstore or online. Why are students waiting for these books? The professors have ordered these books (twice) and still no books. Students without this course material are beginning the semester already stressed.
RESPONSE: Our Kennel Bookstore does its best to ensure that we have enough book titles based on student enrollment, but we will share the concern with our bookstore staff.
CONCERN: I am a staff member who parks in Lot 16 on a daily basis. I go to my car a couple of times a day, and I always see parking infractions in this lot. I see cars with student placards parked in this staff lot, cars with staff placards parked in the motorcycle lanes and cars without handicapped placards parked in handicapped parking spots. Can we get heavier parking enforcement in that lot?
RESPONSE: Traffic Operations recently determined the motorcycle parking in Lot P16 was painted incorrectly. The stall markings were recently corrected. Parking enforcement staff routinely monitor P16 as a part of their daily assignments.
CONCERN: Are there any plans to expend the parking behind the Library near the Amphitheater? It is impossible to take a break around noon and find a parking space after 12:45. Many times employees don’t take lunch breaks just because they don't want to endlessly drive around the lot and not find a place to park.
RESPONSE: The Campus Master Planincludes a parking structure on the current site of parking lots P30 and P31. However, parking structures are very costly to build and would increase parking permit costs for students. As such, we continue to identify opportunities where we can add parking stalls to existing lots and we offer alternative transportation programs such as Bulldog Express (our campus shuttle) and free area bus passes (FAX, V-Line, etc.). For more information, please visit http://fresnostate.edu/adminserv/police/transportation/bus/index.html
CONCERNS: Bold New U: (1) There is definitely not enough parking to accommodate the number of students attending Fresno State. Before we begin to think about a "Bold New" Student Union, we need to have the parking for students to spend time in there. I missed an important lab after driving for 40 minutes looking for a spot. I ended up going home.
(2) I believe that the students, faculty and staff would be much better served by a parking solution rather than another building. The current Student Union building serves its purpose quite well. There are many areas in which the facilities on campus could be improved such as parking or fixing the chairs in the Engineering East Building. With limited funds and fees increasing, I submit some improvements to the existing infrastructure should take priority.
RESPONSES: (1) Thank you for your feedback on the Bold New U.
(2)The Campus Master Planincludes a parking structure on the current site of parking lots P30 and P31. However, parking structures are very costly to build and would increase parking permit costs for students. As such, we continue to identify opportunities where we can add parking stalls to existing lots and we offer alternative transportation programs such as Bulldog Express (our campus shuttle) and free area bus passes (FAX, V-Line, etc.). For more information, please visit http://fresnostate.edu/adminserv/police/transportation/bus/index.html
CONCERN: The University needs to implement a strict regulation on pedestrians jaywalking along Shaw Avenue by working with the city of Fresno to install median barriers from Cedar Avenue all the way to Chestnut Avenue. As you may recall, a student was struck and killed while attempting to cross Shaw in late 2013. Many pedestrians are continuing to jaywalk in front of oncoming traffic, both day and night. There are “no jaywalking” signs posted on the medians, but many people are constantly ignoring those warning signs.
RESPONSE: Although California Vehicle Code prohibits jaywalking, it continues to be an issue around the campus community. The Fresno State Police Department is currently working on some Public Service Announcement videos to help educate the campus community on the dangers of jaywalking. The University has requested that the City of Fresno explore the feasibility, as this is city property.
CONCERN: There needs to be security in the parking lots to ensure the students’ safety. I park in Lot 27 and there have been assaults in and near there. I have not seen any campus security or police patrolling throughout this semester or the one before. Too many times have I seen security in groups laughing and joking around. Yes, I am sure that security and the Fresno police department do an amazing job, but it would help if there were more assistance and more patrolling.
RESPONSE: Parking Lot 27 is regularly patrolled by the Fresno State Police Department. Crime statistics do not indicate any reported incidents occurring in that area. If at any time you feel unsafe, please use our safety escort service by calling 278.8400 or locate an emergency phone to request a safety escort officer. We are evaluating the lighting levels in all parking lots and recently did a “night walk” to identify some areas where lighting can be added/enhanced.
CONCERN: Here’s an idea to get free printing at Library copiers: Talk to the brand of paper we use and ask them for a sponsorship and put their banner in the Library by the printers. Basically every student is a potential customer that the paper company will be advertising to.
RESPONSE: Thank you for the suggestion.
CONCERN: I suggest two improvements: (1) The money that will be appropriated to build a new USU building would be better used to expand the campus day care for the student parents who are not able now to enroll their children because of its limited size. (2) Parking permits could be sold for the entire school year, fall through spring, with a discount.
(1) We recognize there is a need for additional child care services for students, faculty and staff. We are working with our Programs for Children Board to explore expansion options that would help to meet increased demand, given the quality of our child care program that is in partnership with our academic programs.
(2) Thank you for the suggestion regarding being able to purchase annual parking permits at a reduced rate. We will explore further, if feasible.
CONCERN: Simple upgrades to the restrooms in the USU would be very beneficial. The restrooms are constantly running out of toilet paper and hand towels.
RESPONSE: Thank you for letting us know. We will ask our USU custodial staff to focus more attention on the cleanliness of the restroom facilities and ensuring paper supplies are always stocked.In the future, please submit facilities and custodial work orders via our online form found here.
CONCERN: Please build a diagonal bridge from the Save Mart Center parking lot corner
to the parking permit machine across the street. I understand this is costly, but
as more students park at the Save Mart Center the intersection gets very packed. From
the Save Mart Center to get to the campus, students have to go through three crossings
(within 50 feet).
RESPONSE: Unfortunately this not a cost-effective approach.
CONCERN:The fact that instructional student assistants on campus are not able to purchase
yellow permits is increasingly frustrating. ISAs can work up to 20 hours a week, and
if they are in 15 semester units, they are on campus a minimum of 35 hours a week.
I think it is a huge disservice to students who work on campus. At the very least,
ISAs could receive a stipend to discount parking passes, lest they want to find employment
RESPONSE: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer instructional student assistants yellow permits, given limited number of yellow parking stalls for faculty and staff. However, in a recent agreement with the bargaining units, it was agreed that students can park in the yellow lots beginning at 6 p.m. on weekdays given availability of yellow stalls after that time of day for faculty and staff. Also, don’t forget about taking advantage of the Bulldog Express and the Campus Escort service for transportation alternatives to your parked vehicle.
CONCERN: The new paint and signage in the Joyal Administration Building looks great. My concern is that the building was painted and updated with new signage two or three years ago and rumor was it was a pretty expensive project. Is painting and updating signage in the Joyal Administration every 2 1/2 years a good use of University funds? Was the new update privately funded? While the updates are great, they were far from necessary.
RESPONSE: Depending upon office changes/relocations it is sometimes necessary to update the building signage. However, the existing signage has been there for a number of years – since 2009. The new signage and branding project is providing our students with the ability to easily navigate the location of various offices located in the building. In addition, the modular signage system will help mitigate costs in the event of future office relocations. The signage and graphics update was not funded privately. The estimated cost is $33,000. Painting of walls and new baseboard is being done by Plant Operations as part of normal maintenance.
CONCERN: The response on 2/9/17 about the 25Live system did not address my concern. I will try to articulate better. There are rooms in the Library that we as departments are not allowed to book during the semester for various events. They are for instructional purposes and I have been told “no” on numerous occasions with the message that "the Library rooms are reserved during the semester for other things" -- yet it still shows they are available on the calendar. If this is standard, they should not be viewed as “available” on the calendar.
In regards to the NG118, I try to book for the open spot and am then am told “no” because of take down and setup time. This is fine, however, they need to account for that in the availability listed, as each one is different and we need to know exactly when it is available.
RESPONSE: Library Administration understands that meeting space on campus is limited and will do our best to accommodate requests in accordance with our policies. We have one computer lab that is reserved for information literacy instruction for four months each year (September, October, February and March). Our librarians conduct hundreds of information literacy instruction sessions each year and this is the only remaining classroom with computers that we can use for those efforts. Unfortunately, if it is made unavailable in 25Live, individuals will not be able to book the room for the other eight months of the year. If you have any further questions, please contact the library's associate dean, Amanda Dinscore.
The procedure for using NG 118 (given on 25Live website), requires a two-hour window for take-down and set-up. If you have any questions or think your event would require less time, please call the Scheduling office directly.
CONCERN: We need more equipment for food science labs. This program is growing and the resources are not. In my food micro class, only about three of the six microscopes actually work, and we have one scale for over 20 people.
RESPONSE: The department recognizes lab needs and has been steadily improving the Food Science Lab’s capacity. New equipment added to the laboratory over the past two years includes a micro-centrifuge, a platform shaker, a lab blender, a water bath, two votex mixesr, two hot plates, two environmental chambers, three automatic pipettors and an 8x4 white board for instruction. There are plans to replace an old refrigerator, two colony counters and address the equipment needs you cite during the coming summer. The department is developing plans for lab remodels to take advantage of additional funding support that might be identified in the future.
CONCERN: I have been hearing from students in the computer science program that many do not understand the lectures because professors assume people are already equipped with the basic knowledge. This is including introductory courses. I also heard that some professors just quickly solve the problems but do not walk students through them step by step to show how to solve them. Asking for help doesn’t seem to work either because they direct you to research on your own. It is frustrating to know that professors in that area don't seem to care about their students. These students want to learn but professors don’t seem to be teaching in an effective way.
RESPONSE: We understand that some students face challenges in introductory computer science courses such as CSci 40, 41 and 60. The department has worked with faculty to improve student learning during the past three years. Efforts include Supplemental Instruction in all introductory courses, using the DiscoverE tablet program in CSci 40 (one section) and CSci 41, Project Learning approaches in CSci 40 and CSci 41, as well as adopting an online interactive textbook for CSci 40. Instructors have also been encouraged and supported in implementing coding quizzes and coding exams to enhance student learning. Students are encouraged to take advantage of professor and teaching associate office hours (over five hours), lab sessions (two hours) and supplemental instruction sessions (2-3 hours). For issues with specific class sections, please contact the chair of the department, Dr. Ming Li at email@example.com or 278.4792.
CONCERN: As a graduate student, I was unhappy to find this on the syllabus of a class this semester: “You are not allowed to use laptops or tablets in this class. They are distracting." The same professor told us he/she did not want us reading digitized version of our textbooks, but only hard copy books, as he/she didn't believe people who read digital versions learn as well.
Fresno State has invested in great technology to help us stay organized, keep track of notes and references and save money with digital versions of texts. Professors should not be able to arbitrarily ban useful technology in the classroom, nor to dictate which format we have to use as texts. I happen to do very well with digital textbooks in Kindle format, and I feel using them should be my choice. Isn't this part of the DISCOVERe program?
RESPONSE:A faculty member is able to determine the types of technology that can or cannot be used in a classroom. In some circumstances, faculty may require a tablet for DISCOVERe, a laptop and/or access to a particular software package as part of course requirements. In other situations, a faculty member may find that the use of technology (e.g., laptops, tablets, cell phones and the like) is distracting to the learning environment and may request that students do not use them during the class period. Regarding textbooks, faculty may request a particular format for a textbook, but it is the student's decision to select the text in the format that he/she learns best and meets their individual budget.
CONCERN: There is a need for signs to inform students that in order for you to use an individual study room in the Library, you need to reserve it. Hang it on each door. It is tiring when you reserve the room only to find rude people occupying it.
RESPONSE: Library Administration was unaware that this was a problem but will certainly consider providing additional signage in the study rooms. We appreciate your feedback.
CONCERN: I am disturbed but not surprised to see the blatant political bias of the campus newspaper. Whatever happened to unbiased, balanced reporting?
RESPONSE:The Collegian is a student-financed and student-run news organization that, while advised by faculty and staff, cannot be directed in terms of opinion or content. The student-staff is protected by free speech guarantees at both the state and federal level. The Collegian welcomes responses such as letters to the editor.
CONCERN: I feel as though many tenured faculty do their best to schedule classes and office hours on Tuesday/Thursday. The problem is that when students have classes during the T/TH time slots, office hours cannot be met. I understand the faculty like to condense their work days, but it helps to have a diverse selection of classes and office hours throughout the five-day work week.
I have an immense respect for faculty but sometimes trying to get extra help can be
difficult because of this trend, and student success will probably increase if teacher
immediacy is increased.
RESPONSE: Department chairs schedule courseswithin a set of constraints including room availability, faculty availability, number of courses the department needs to offer to meet student demand and the funding available to hire part-time faculty. Student demand is slightly higher for courses on TTh than on MWF and for courses scheduled from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.than early morning, late afternoon, or evening. Rooms are completely scheduled at the high demand times. Faculty may schedule their own office hours so long as they meet the required minimums. (see the policy at http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/facultyaffairs/documents/338.pdf). If you have concerns about a particular faculty member’s office hours, please consult with the faculty to see how they might work with you.
CONCERN: Access to computers is a concern. I teach several courses and need two to three weeks of computer lab time with programs like Adobe Photoshop and iMovie. As is, I cannot address these needs for my students. My department does not have an adequate computer lab for the number of students I teach in these courses and I cannot schedule to use any other computer labs on campus. Both I and my department administrator have tried unsuccessfully. There is no availability. This is an issue that severely effects my ability to teach my students skills that they need upon graduation. My recommendation is to outfit several rolling computer labs that can be checked out by instructors, as they do in many high schools across the nation. These labs would have 25-30 laptops with appropriate software that could be scheduled and delivered to classrooms around campus.
RESPONSE: Fresno State leaders deeply care about student success and have invested significant amounts of resources to purchasing new equipment for Art and Design. If the current allocation of available scheduled time is not sufficient for your classes, please discuss this issue with your dean, as together you can explore what other venues might be available.
CONCERN: How can our faculty, staff and the Fresno community support Fresno State international students during this time? I'm especially concerned about those who may not be able to travel back to their countries over the holiday breaks, either because of the current ban or concerns about future actions. Will University housing be opened over holidays for these students? Would it be possible to build connections with local families so these students have a local "adopted" family to spend time with during breaks?
RESPONSE: Your compassionate care for international students during this period of uncertainties is greatly appreciated. The impact affects not only students from the identified countries but also those who have families or friends in those countries. Others might fear that their countries will later be identified. Also, some students feel the general loss of the confidence of welcome as foreigners in the U.S.
In order to support international students, sensitivity and compassion is important. Some may welcome the opportunities to have someone hear their feelings while others prefer to have their private space honored. It may serve international students well if faculty and staff show genuine welcome and support to them as they would have regardless of the present situation. University Courtyard is open over all holiday breaks for those students living there. An attempt will be made to accommodate students needing housing on an emergency basis based on space availability. Students needing housing over the summer can all be accommodated on campus as well. International students have been provided information about local communities that are available to provide support.
CONCERN: To help students remember when they can seek immediate assistance, I propose a campus-wide Walk-in Wednesday. The Career Development Center, University Advising Center, College of Social Science Advising Center and the College of Arts and Humanities Advising Center already have this in place. Since this is crossing lines within Student Affairs and Academic, it would be great to have a campus initiative to offer all day walk-ins throughout student-focused services to promote services available and show a collaborative effort to student success.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. Vice President Lamas and Provost Zelezny will discuss this proposal with their teams. Most, if not all, of our student affairs and enrollment offices already have walk-in hours or it is easy to schedule an appointment within a short time. You are correct, student success is our No. 1 priority and we work collaboratively across the divisions to make that happen
CONCERN: Can the graduation information such as times of the individual college ceremonies and the specific requirements such as ticket limits and walk through procedures be posted at the beginning of the semester?
RESPONSE: Information about college/school/affinity ceremonies is announced as soon as the schedule is finalized. This usually happens during early February to assure the information is accurate.
CONCERN: As a third-year international student here, I feel like the international students don't have a voice at Fresno State. We pay more tuition but we are not represented in the student government. We hope that we can have an international student senator at large to represent our needs in the student government and so that we may have greater influence and opportunity to help both the nation and international students.
RESPONSE: Student government is the purview of the student body and I encourage students to contact themdirectly with concerns. We have forwarded this concern to the president of Associated Students Inc.
CONCERN: I was shocked, saddened and appalled at the Feb. 8 ASI meeting. The 15-plus
minutes of public comments of why there should be a senator for diversity, inclusion
and equity was followed by uneducated views from some of the ASI senators. My suggestion
is that these senators should be open to having hearings where students can ask them
questions on why they are fit for the position. Not a lot of students vote because
there is a lack of connection between the student body and ASI. Fresno State's logo
includes “diversity,” but it was clear on Feb. 8 that people who held these positions
seemed to care more about their agenda than advocating for students.
RESPONSE: Student government is the purview of the student body and I encourage students to contact themdirectly with concerns. We have forwarded this concern to the president of Associated Students Inc.
Posted on: 02/09/17
FEEDBACK CONCERNS SUBMITTED November 18, 2016 - January 14, 2017
CONCERN: I am disgusted to work for a university with a Chancellor who clearly stated in his open letter that he will require CSU employees to violate federal law. He stated that the CSU will defy federal immigration holds, holds that are intended for people who should be deported due to criminal history.What part of "law enforcement" does the Chancellor not understand?
RESPONSE:Thank you for sharing your concern with me.You have misinterpreted the Chancellor's open letter.He does not require CSU employees to violate federal law.In fact, his messages have been clear that we are to follow the law while focusing on the safety of all students.
CONCERN: As a concerned college student I am writing to you today about the high and rising costs of college tuition fees.I and others attend college to have the best future as possible and to better ourselves as well.Even though college can be challenging at times, that is what keeps me motivated to finish.It would be greatly appreciated if you took this issue into consideration.
RESPONSE:I share your concern about the increased cost of higher education across the United States.Fortunately, the CSU system is one of the most affordable university systems in the nation.Fresno State currently charges the lowest tuition and fees of any campus in the CSU system.Due to support from the state and federal governments as well as private support, we provided $230 million in student financial aid in 2015-16.About 80% of this aid was in the form of grants and scholarships.The average loan indebtedness for a Fresno State graduate is $18,000, which is substantially less than the $30,000 average debt level for university graduates across the nation.You can be helpful in this area by urging your elected state legislators to fund the CSU system at levels that enable us to keep tuition and fees affordable.
CONCERN: Need better staff, more interaction between students and better use of materials by professors.
RESPONSE:Over the past four years, we have added faculty and staff members to enhance student success.Our ability to hire more faculty and staff is contingent upon additional state funding.We have invested more funding for faculty professional development, which has led many of them to re-design their courses using more affordable materials of comparable or better quality.For example, the DISCOVERe Program has led to greater engagement between faculty and students and a 70 percent lower cost for books and related course materials.We will continue to utilize innovative practices to enhance teaching and learning.
CONCERN: If the students vote No on the new USU in March, do we have a commitment from administration to not move forward and/or to not raise tuition to include additional money slated for a new USU? Will the administration respect the students’ wishes that now is not the right time for a new USU and attempt to raise additional funds to lessen the impact on future students for a future build?
RESPONSE:Fresno State students are empowered to determine the fate of the proposed new student union during the upcoming election in March. The fee needed to build the new union would not be charged until the project is completed.If the new union is not supported by a majority of those students who vote in the upcoming election, I will seek input from the ASI leadership and others on campus to determine whether it should be placed on the ballot for consideration during a future election.I will not impose a fee for this project without a majority of those students who vote to approve it in a campus election.
CONCERN: In the summer months and during intersession, the university could possibly save money byshutting campus down an additional day. There is no need to cool or heat all of the campus for such a small percentage of students on campus. This would be a model for CSU-wide adoption, energy and cost savings. Full time employees could move to four days a week (M-Th) at 10 hours per day. Save energy, give employees an additional day off and save the state some money.
RESPONSE: Thank you for the suggestion. We always appreciate hearing about ideas that could further our commitment to energy savings and sustainability. Some CSU campuses do operate on such a schedule during the summer months; however, availability of student services needs to be taken into consideration. In addition, changing work hours will require consultation with the bargaining units.
CONCERN: The business building looks quite dirty with its old white paint on the outside of the building. And the rough surface manages to trap a lot of dirt and grime. What about sprucing it up with a nice desert paint color? It sure would make the building pop compared to what it looks like now.
RESPONSE: Thank you, we agree given that the building was built in 1988. The campus has invested $20 million to address our deferred maintenance backlog and the priorities included modernization of labs and classrooms, ADA path of travel improvements, new roofs and HVAC system upgrades and elevator equipment replacement. We have a lot more work to do, but the good news is that we are making real progress towards reducing this backlog.
CONCERN: The women's restroom on the main floor of the Kremen Education Building usually is considerably not clean by the afternoon/evening and pretty much never smells decent in the afternoon/evening.
RESPONSE: Thank you. We will ask our custodial team to pay closer attention to this area. In the future, please submit facilities and custodial work orders via our online form found here. We are also exploring an online app to report such maintenance concerns.
CONCERN: I am a freshman. I would like to share with you some of my thoughts and ideas that I believe could help make Fresno State a safer university. I suggest you consider the selling of pepper sprays at the Kennel Bookstore. My second idea is adding self-defense classes to the general education catalog as a course option. The third and last idea I have is the increase of police patrol. Additional patrols from police officers both day and night can help reduce the crime rate and fear of students who walk to and from their vehicles, especially at night when the parking lots are a lot darker and emptier.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestions. Our Public Safety Department is implementing several measures to improve campus safety, including hiring additional officers and mobilizing additional resources. Our police department is patrolling our campus 24-7. We do offer self-defense classes and active shooter trainings (Seconds 2 Survive). For more information and to register please contact the Public Safety department at 278.8400. Also, the campus Police Department provides safety escorts upon request to accompany individuals to their destinations on campus. The Kennel Bookstore is not able to sell pepper spray at this time.
CONCERN: There are quite a number of emergency poles around campus that are non-operational. Is there a plan to replace them soon?
RESPONSE: All the emergency phones (blue poles) are all operational now. We recently completed a refurbishment project which involved updating all of the phones, servicing and replacing phone components, replacing lighting with LED lights, and they were repainted to make the emergency phones more visible.
All campus emergency phones are tested monthly. As a reminder, in case of emergency, you can use your cell phone and dial 9-1-1
CONCERN: Where is the campus's gun-free zone border? I understand that the property where Campus Pointe was built is owned by the University so is that a gun-free zone? If I live in the Palazzo Apartments is it illegal for me to bring my weapon to my home? If I have a CCW am I legally able to carry at the Maya Cinemas, Farm Market, etc.
RESPONSE: Campus Pointe is located on property owned by the State/CSU. Additional clarification on this matter has been requested from CSU Office of General Counsel.
CONCERN: The lights underneath the solar panels in Lot P2 need to be upgraded to energy efficient LED lights to ensure students, staff and sometimes Save Mart Center attendees are parked in a well-lit area, and they can safely get to and from their vehicles. The lot is very dim. Most of the rows are unlit in some areas due the fluorescent light bulbs being out. And the big spotlights located at the ends of each pole don't seem to work.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. We will work with our facilities team to make sure the lights are operational and we will explore the feasibility and timing of converting the lights under the solar panel to LED as we have with our entire campus exterior lighting.
CONCERN: There should be a dollar bill and coin slot option on all daily parking dispensers. Not everyone has a credit or debit card to purchase a daily parking pass.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. We transitioned our dispensers over a year ago given limited usage of cash option. You can still pay cash for a daily parking pass by visiting the Parking Office on Barstow Avenue. You can also access PayByPhone on the Fresno State App to purchase a daily permit.
CONCERN: I love the Fresno State logo signs at the Maple/Shaw and Cedar/Barstow entrances! I think it would be cool to have the logo created in plants/flowers as a focal point somewhere on campus. I'm sure it would be a much-used photo spot during Commencement.
RESPONSE: Nice idea! We will share with our fantastic grounds team. Please keep in mind something like this would require additional cost to maintain.
CONCERN: As a student employee, I work 20 hours on campus throughout the year and much more in the summer. I know getting a yellow pass is not feasible during the school year. But, I've been wanting an option where we could purchase summer passes that are allowed in yellow spots. Even though there are summer classes there are tons of staff parking spaces available. Is there any way where we could get a discount parking summer permit or even a yellow pass for the summer?
RESPONSE: Unfortunately, we are not able to sell student assistants yellow permits. We do discount student permits in the summer to $44.
CONCERN: I work during the day and most of my classes are held at night in the Kremen Education Building. I find myself feeling very uneasy and not safe when I leave the building and walk to my car, which typically is in the P2 Lot. There are barely any lights outside the Kremen Building, and hardly any parking lights in the faculty parking near Maple Avenue. Is it possible for more lights to be added in this area?
RESPONSE: This concern was reported last fall and we immediately installed two mobile light towers to the area to improve lighting. Those light towers are still there and operating. We also have asked the grounds team to trim the trees that may have been obstructing some of the lights.
CONCERN: I am hoping that individual lanes (similar to this one https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/dc/78/f6/dc78f6f7215de23a07a860245e9ba507.jpg ) for pedestrians and people on wheels can be established to decrease the human congestion and possibility of collisions. It can be a challenge getting to class with people and bikes, skateboards, etc. all mixed together and going in different directions.
An answer to a similar to my question referenced this link http://fresnostate.edu/adminserv/police/documents/AlternativeTransportationPlan.pdf. In time I hope to read all 122 pages, but for now I would like to know if this plan includes the possibility of making the lanes mentioned before.
RESPONSE: Yes, we are familiar with these strategies. However, in some areas of campus we do not have the physical space to create separate lanes. Please be advised that we recently installed signage denoting “wheels off” areas in order to protect a safe path of travel for pedestrians. Please know that our Campus Planning and Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness Committees both have ongoing discussions on how we can continue to communicate the importance of safety for our campus community.
CONCERN: Information about alleged nepotism.
RESPONSE: Thank you. We will look into the information you provided.
CONCERN: The room scheduling system is an excellent resource with the pictures of rooms, intuitive design, etc. However, a huge flaw is that the system allows the booking of rooms we can't actually book – for example Library rooms and North Gym. It would be appreciated and more efficient if rooms are listed for when they are actually available, with their stipulations built in to that time frame.
RESPONSE: The availability of reservable rooms is easily accessible on 25Live and can be accessed without even signing in. Navigate to 25Live and click on the “Availability” tab on the far right side of the page. (https://25live.collegenet.com/csufresno/#home_availability). For details about a particular room, including restrictions on use of the space, users will need to sign in using their Fresno State credentials and click on the room in question. For additional help please contact any department scheduling staff, as they have been trained in the use of 25Live.
Per established protocol, spaces in the Henry Madden Library are managed by the Library staff. The North Gym 118 is not currently set up to be reserved by student organizations or off-campus groups, as a chargeback is incurred for set-up services and the use of an AV technician when required. Student organizations on campus are required to submit their event requests through Student Involvement, to allow for verification of the student organization requesting the use of a space on campus.
CONCERN: I've been at Fresno State for a few years now and in the past I have had some phenomenal teachers. This year I was blasted with narrow mindedness left and right. I had a teacher who made it clear that we were to accept her point of view or we could leave. I had to take this class to graduate. Frequently in this course some opinions were seen as fact. Very little about this course was objective. I care a great deal about my education and this class made me dread school frequently during the semester.
RESPONSE: I invite you to contact Provost Zelezny at 278.2636 directly with specific information about the course so she can follow up with you.
CONCERN: Responding to the feedback and response on 1/4/17 requesting the return of printed catalogs: I understand that it's impractical to print catalogs, but would it be possible to improve the PDF versions? Since the changeover to the catalog website, the newer PDF archived catalogs appear to just be compilations of text from the catalog website with minimal organization, no academic calendar, no table of contents, etc. It's very difficult to use or reference these archives when they have no organization. A better-curated PDF that uses the structure of the older, printed versions would be a great help.
RESPONSE:Our online catalog allows real-time updates and corrections. It benefits students by providing the latest information on new courses and new programs which a print catalog is not able to provide. However, we realize that a PDF or print catalog still has its value. We have plans to produce a user-friendly PDF catalog (like an old print catalog) each May when the online catalog publishes its annual edition. We will also arrange with a printing service to provide bound copies of the catalog for customers who prefer a print copy (with a fee for printing and shipping).
CONCERN: With the passing of Vince Petrucci, I fear that his legacy is in jeopardy. The department is in flux and in need of direction. Most recently, the Vince Petrucci Library, actually no more than a reading room, lost its librarian. Go to UC Davis and investigate for yourself their wine library collection. See for yourself the influx of money from KJ, Mondavi & Anheuser Busch and their research facilities. Note that UC Davis has now been granted the opportunity to sell their wines in the open marketplace. Fresno State Viticulture & Enology needs to be dynamic. Perhaps they can be the "go to" university for the Sierra Foothills wineries to count on as UCD has Napa, Sonoma and points north locked up, Cal Poly SLO has the Central Coast. We need to establish a presence in an area that does more than raisins and box wine.
RESPONSE: The work done by the late Professor Vincent E. Petrucci is indeed remarkable and transformational for Fresno State and the Central Valley. His legacy is not in jeopardy as several initiatives are already underway to assure that Fresno State will always recognize Professor Petrucci's contributions. Two endowments in Professor Petrucci's name are in place and continue to grow with support from the University. The Vincent E. Petrucci Library, while it does not have a librarian at this time, is being carefully stewarded by the Jordan College and the Henry Madden Library. Ms. Britt Foster, the former Petrucci Librarian, continues to provide service to the department as the STEM librarian. Our Viticulture and Enology Industry Advisory Board, with members from the breadth of the wine and grape industry (including members representing the largest wine makers in California) are extremely supportive and providing invaluable assistance to the department through this transition. I invite you to stay tuned as the Vincent E. Petrucci Legacy grows and thrives!
CONCERN: I a student in a master's degree program. I believe that it is an issue that Fresno State does not give plus and minus grades. Graduates applying to other programs after their state college career is over already are competing with people who may be the beneficiaries of generous or even inflated grading. My opinion is, lack of plus and minus grades likely encourages instructors to grade students down rather than up. The institution may be trying to maintain its quality and standing, but this is not the way to do it, to follow a grading policy which harms otherwise qualified students in their ability to move on to programs at other institutions.
RESPONSE: The topic of grading systems has been researched and debated extensively across college campuses in the U.S. as well as here at Fresno State. There are advantages and disadvantages to both the letter grade only and the plus/minus grading systems. While not everyone agrees, the research is clear. The impact of a plus/minus grading has negligible impact on students’ GPAs and acceptance rates into graduate school. While the issue re-emerges periodically, to date, our faculty have consistently expressed their wishes to stay with our current grading system, citing that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
CONCERN: Information provided about scholarship project.
RESPONSE: Thank you for this information.
CONCERN: Fresno State has miscommunicated with me multiple times. I was dropped from my courses on Dec 7, 2016. Yes, my fault; I didn't have a chance to pay on time. I did not get a chance to re-enroll into my courses for spring 2017 and may not get to graduate in May 2017 because of the staff's lack of accurate information.
RESPONSE: Fee payment deadlines are posted on the semester calendar and it indicates students will be dropped for non-payment. You can find the spring 2017 calendar here: http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/classschedule/calendars/2017spring.html. If you have questions about how to re-enroll into classes after being dropped from classes, you can contact the Admissions and Records office at: 278.2261 or stop by the Student Services Center located in the Joyal North Lobby. If you have difficulty in the future, contact our financial aid or accounting office to see if we can help you prior to the payment deadlines.
CONCERN: Fresno State could improve its International Student Program. I live in Graves Hall and have spoken with several of the students and have discovered they were completely lost when they arrived at Fresno State. Their welcoming ceremony taught them basics of the University (I.e.: where the food courts are located and where the Health Center is.); however, the students were completely unaware of where to receive help with their academics, such as advisory centers.
RESPONSE: All new incoming international students are required to attend international student orientation, which provides an overview of university resources, as well as an afternoon of general advising and college-specific advising. New students are informed upon their arrival of the college where their major is located in and connected to the appropriate advising team during the advising sessions. The International Student Services and Programs (ISSP) office has received increased support from college advising centers which provide advisors on-site during the orientation's advising session to assist students in registering. This session helps new students identify the centers they need to visit throughout the semester to receive advising specific to their major, general education, or Fresno State degree requirements. If international students are ever in doubt as to which advising center to visit, ISSP is happy to provide contact information. ISSP is located in Joyal 256 on the 2nd floor and open from 8 am to 5 pm.
CONCERN: The server for the Health Center was down multiple times last semester. This interferes with making appointments as well as receiving test results. When will the servers be updated so that this does not happen again or as frequently as it has?
RESPONSE:Thank you for sharing your concern. The Student Health and Counseling Center strives to provide convenient and efficient services to our students. This included upgrading our electronic medical system this past fall semester. During this transition, we did experience a short delay with the portal, but fortunately we were able to resolve the issue quickly. We would be happy to address any specific issues you may have experienced. Please feel free to contact the Student Health and Counseling Center Administration.
CONCERN - In the last version of Feedback a Psychology major asked a very important question about course offerings in Area D. The answer given on the Feedback page completely missed the point the student was making.
RESPONSE: Thank you for this follow up. Immediately after the Feedback was published, we heard from the chair of the Psychology Department and updated the response to the student’s concern as follows: “The courses offered for spring in Psychology's Area D did fill up quickly, so the Psychology Department took corrective action in early December, and added three additional Area D courses for spring, creating 80 additional seats. Graduating seniors should be able to find a class that meets their needs.”
CONCERN: I have specified a substantial charitable gift in my trust that is to be given to California State University - Fresno, Ornamental Horticulture Department. Although it is not necessary to notify you, I have looked at the University website to try to locate an office for Legacy or Planned Giving, but have not found one. I am certain that many fellow alumni are similarly interested in planned giving, and it would be assuring to have an easy point of contact through a Development / Legacy / Planned Giving Department or similar.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion and your legacy gift to the Ornamental Horticulture Department. I know the department will be delighted to receive your generosity in the future. As you may know, many donors choose to notify us of their estate plans to ensure that we can fulfill their gift intentions. That assurance is a relief to donors and to Fresno State. To learn more, please go to our planned giving site at: https://fresnostate.giftlegacy.com/or call Liz Garvin, director of Planned Giving, at 278.4038. She is a wonderful resource and confidential partner in helping you fulfill your dreams.
CONCERN: I suggest that to enhance the football culture on campus students should have free admission to all sports games with access using just their student Bulldog card. I know this will make more students come to the games and have a deeper Bulldog spirit.
RESPONSE: Currently football is the only athletic activity that requires a student to purchase a ticket ($15 single game, $60 season ticket) and these tickets can be downloaded to their mobile device and or card. All other sporting events are free, by just showing your student ID. We have eliminated the paper ticket for students. We have had and will continue to talk with the student body on the value of the ticket and pricing, along with discussions with our senior staff and chief financial officer to better understand the financial impact to our budget. Hope to see you at the men’s basketball game on Feb. 18 as we try to set the all-time student attendance record!
Posted on: 01/04/2017
FEEDBACK CONCERNS SUBMITTED September 16 – November 18, 2016
CONCERN: As a parent, I'm a little concerned hearing that an email was sent to students
following the election. I would hope Fresno State is presenting sound choices to the
students for them to make their own intelligent decisions, and that Fresno State is
not trying to shape the young minds to a certain administrator’s ways of thinking.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. I assure you that Fresno State does not take a position on elections. Our campus embraces free speech from all perspectives. I wrote our students after the national election because some of them were experiencing stress and fear due to comments made during a heated campaign. Many of our undocumented students and Muslim students have expressed concerns to me personally. I want all of our students, including your son or daughter, to know that we have counseling services available throughout the year - whenever they need them.
CONCERN: President Castro has drafted an excellent letter in responding to the election: "At Fresno State, we value diversity of thought and are committed to fostering an inclusive climate where everyone and every voice matters." I think an important index of the diversity of thought is what percentage of faculty and staff voted for one particular party or ideology. If over 75% of our members are voting one way or another, like many elite universities did in this election, we need to think hard about the effectiveness of our so-called diversity.
REPONSE: I agree with you that a public university, like Fresno State, must support freedom of speech. We hire our faculty and staff based on their educational background and professional experiences. Their political views are not considered in our hiring process. We are fortunate to recruit talented faculty and staff from throughout the nation and world.
CONCERN: Have you considered allowing staff to work summer hours (7 a.m. to 3:30 or
4 p.m.) during school recesses, such as Thanksgiving break, spring break and Christmas
break? It seems like it would make sense, and give us all a break!
RESPONSE: Thank you for the idea! I will discuss it with the Cabinet.
CONCERN: I am a student teacher and I cannot wear any Bulldog logos to work. The Bulldog
gangs have taken ownership of our logo and it seems that our University is ignoring
it. The Fresno State community needs to be able to wear any Fresno State gear with
pride while feeling completely safe. Can we please put forth some effort and take
the Bulldogs back? Go ’Dogs!
RESPONSE: Fresno State is proud to have the Bulldog as our mascot. Sales of Fresno State apparel have increased in the past year. Although I am sorry that your employer does not allow you to wear Bulldog apparel, I hope you will join me in wearing it as often as possible while you are out in our community. Go 'Dogs!
CONCERN: Stop spending money on unnecessary things like a new USU and fancy parking
lot signs, and instead focus on improving the quality of degree programs and meaning
to be a Fresno State alum academically. Get rid of teachers that are terrible and
make no time for students, stop requiring a ridiculous amount of mandatory GE's, focus
less on athletics and more on the sciences and arts. Be more clear about the administrative
process, where money comes from and goes, and have more transparency in decisions
that impact students. Staff could stop patronizing and belittling students.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concerns with me. Fresno State's academic and athletic programs are on the rise. This year, we were ranked in Top 25 in the nation by Washington Monthly Magazine and as the No. 1 public university in the nation for graduation rate performance by U.S. News and World Report. Virtually all of the new state funding we have received over the past three years has been invested in recruiting and retaining talented faculty and staff who are passionate about educating our students. We have also invested significant funding to enhance our student services and our campus facilities. More work remains to be done and we are committed to doing it. I meet each semester with faculty and staff in an open forum to discuss their concerns. Please join me at the Spring Forum (March 23, 1 p.m., NG 118) so we can discuss these issues in greater depth.
CONCERN: I made a customized Bulldog karate uniform and I want to wear it.
RESPONSE: To help maintain trademark standards, any Fresno State trademarks (i.e. Logo, Verbiage, School Name) can only be reproduced on product(s) regardless of use by a vendor licensed for the university through its licensing agency, The Collegiate Licensing Company. This includes but is not limited to products for resale, products for fund raisers, promotional use, and internal campus consumption. Licensed vendors pay a royalty to the university through the licensing agency to be able to reproduce university trademarks on products and merchandise. These royalties in turn, fund various programs on campus directly impacting the experience and enhancing the success of Fresno State students. You may wear your "customized" karate uniform, but cannot reproduce it with the intent to distribute or promote, unless you become a licensed vendor or sourced the uniform from a licensed vendor.
CONCERN: I have contacts in China interested in naming rights to a stadium expansion.
RESPONSE: Vice President for University Advancement Paula Castadio would be happy to connect with you regarding potential donors. Please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONCERN: I would like to create a movie based on this campus and Fresno as the setting.
It's about a karate kid hero who used to be known in Fresno and he gave up his glory
days, since the death of his girlfriend. But when he gets a message from an unknown
enemy, the Bulldog has to come back to hunt him down and take him down.
RESPONSE: Please see Section 14.0 in this policy document for our filming policy and take the steps needed to pursue your project. Good luck!
CONCERN: I don't get why the Fresno State Library does not let us eat on the tables
in certain areas. I was eating a burrito and was told to move down to the second floor
or put away my food.
RESPONSE: After we opened the Library with an "eat anywhere" policy in place, we got repeated complaints from studying students about how disruptive the smells of cooked food were in all corners of the library. Given our job is to provide the most inviting and proper atmosphere to study for the most number of students, and given the number of complaints about cooked food we received over several years, we have restricted all prepared food to the second floor. We also found our custodians could not keep up with cleaning 8 acres of building where every corner was filled with food trash.
CONCERN: In the spring 2016 semester, I was taking a History 12 class and the professor
announced that we would not be covering feminism. The fact that professors at Fresno
State are not educating the students about feminism is actually quite alarming to
me. The second thing that makes me even more concerned, is that about half the women
I talk to, even on campus, say, "oh, I am not a feminist" because they mistakenly
believe that feminism is about promoting only females. This is something they should
have been educated on. This needs to be addressed. I understand you can't micromanage
everything in the college at once, and were probably very unaware of the situation.
Thank you for your time.
RESPONSE: As you noted, History 12 is a survey course that covers a broad swath of United States history – 1877 to the present – and inevitably instructors cannot touch on everything that took place or emerged in that period. The vast majority of the approximately 20 sections of History 12 that the Department of History offers each semester do indeed cover both feminism and the women’s rights movement. In addition, each year we teach at least eight sections of History 101 (Women in History), an upper-division GE class that goes into these topics in even greater depth. It is also worth noting that the Department of History has five tenured faculty members who specialize and regularly teach courses in women’s history.
CONCERN; The marching band needs to practice away from classrooms and offices. The
practices are so loud that it is disruptive to learning. I do not understand why the
band cannot practice in the field where tailgating takes place.
RESPONSE: Space is always a scarce resource on campus. That space has been the marching band work area for many years. A 260-member group is ruled by logistics and this field is also one of the very few on campus that is large enough to hold the mandatory full-sized football field while providing parking, bathrooms, storage and lighting for the band. While it is not an ideal space for the band to practice, it is the very best scenario we have at the moment. Dr. Steve McKeithen, associate director of bands, reports that college bands all across the country deal with the same sort of challenging situation. If you’d like to contact Dr. McKeithen, his email address is email@example.com.
CONCERN: Why does the Learning Center in the Library close so early? People who work
and then have a later class are unable to receive tutoring because they close early
and have no weekend hours.
RESPONSE: The Learning Center supports the university’s mission to educate and empower students for success. A concerted effort is made to provide a tutoring schedule that is responsive to student demand. Currently, tutor visits during prime time are nearly six time that during extended hours. Nevertheless, extended hours are available on Tuesday and Wednesday until 8:00 pm. Online exam reviews are beginning and are typically scheduled on weekends or a couple nights before an exam. The tutoring schedule is available at http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/lrc/ In addition, Supplemental Instruction is often offered in the evening or on weekends. Specific schedules and classes offered can be found on our website: www.fresnostate.edu/si
CONCERN: In October, I was in the Professional Human Services Building taking an exam
in my introductory to American Sign Language course when an auditory alarm for fire
went off. There was no strobing/flashing light alarm. The professor is deaf and didn't
understand what his students were struggling to sign to him. Luckily, there were other
ASL teachers in the building who eventually came in and signed him what was taking
place. What if a Deaf or Hard of Hearing person was in that room alone and a hearing
person wasn't there to inform them about the alarm? I found this whole ordeal to be
fairly irksome and unsettling.
RESPONSE: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Providing safe and accessible facilities for our students, faculty and staff is very important. We will ask the President's Committee on Disability and Access to work with Facilities Management staff to evaluate and implement a solution.
CONCERNS ABOUT CLASS AVAILABILITY:
(1) We need more Crim 102 and 112 classes. These classes are prerequisites and are
only offered twice this upcoming spring 2017.
RESPONSE: To clarify, Crim 102 and 112 are not prerequisites for any Criminology course. They are co-requisites to an internship. For spring 2017, the Criminology department added sections for incoming transfer students. The department is also considering declaring impaction to improve access to courses.
(2) Currently, the Psychology Department is only offering two courses in Area D of the required courses (both of these classes were filled up by the second day of registration). I, along with many other Psychology students, can no longer graduate next semester. It is not fair to students who are diligently trying to finish their degree in a timely matter.
REVISED RESPONSE (1-6-17): Thank you for bringing this concern to our attention. The courses offered for spring in Psychology's Area D did fill up quickly, so the Psychology Department took corrective action in early December, and added three additional Area D courses for spring, creating 80 additional seats. Graduating seniors should be able to find a class that meets their needs.
(3) Hire more instructors Make sure there are enough classes or enough seats in classes for the Fresno State student population and for highly impacted classes for upper GE and major courses. Students are not able to graduate on time due to the non-availability of courses. The instructor-to-student ratio is not balanced at all.
RESPONSE: We hired 69 new faculty last year and added 245 class sections last semester. We will continue to prioritize to maximize timely graduation.
(4) Class registration should consider academic standing for appointment dates. I take 12 units every semester and 3 or 4 units in the summer because of work. I maintain a 4.0, but it's becoming increasingly more difficult getting the classes I need.
RESPONSE: With the passage of SB 412, conversations about registration priority are underway. The legislation requires that the CSU establish priority registration for students who commit to and stay on course to graduate in four years (two for transfer students). We are also discussing prioritizing registration for those who have the fewest number of degree applicable units remaining.
(5) I am going into my final semester and I cannot register for my MI upper GE section. The class is Anthro 105w and it is the only W class offered for that MI section of upper GE. I have contacted all advisors and professors and have received zero helpful responses or adjustments to my issue. I always pay my student fees in a timely manner and have even stepped up my GPA from a 2.9 when transferred to 3.5 now. I have done everything possible to be a good student and to do my duty, but now I need your end of the bargain. Something needs to be done.
RESPONSE: Students have multiple options to meet the MI and Upper Division Writing requirements. The two ANTH courses (105W and 116W) are always in high demand but they are not your only option. As of November 30, 22 sections of upper division writing courses and 50 sections of MI courses still had seats remaining. The Center for Faculty Excellence is working with faculty this spring to develop new and improve existing upper division writing courses.
CONCERN: Provide classrooms for philosophy classes that are either in the same building
as the department or nearby. The trek back and forth to Family and Food Science (for
classes) to the Music Building (to offices) is exhausting and demoralizing.
RESPONSE: Space is a scarce resource on campus. In the best of all possible worlds, the campus would be organized in a fashion where major courses and faculty offices would be in the same location. Programmatic changes, differential program growth, and changes in student enrollments all make it challenging for every program to have the same “home” for faculty, students, and course offerings. We’ll continue to try to improve our campus infrastructure, facilities and layout.
CONCERN: Classes shouldn't be longer than one hour, especially for those with learning
disabilities who have shorter attention spans. You can't cram a bunch of information
all at once and expect us to focus for two or three hours straight, then try to retain
that information. We are not sponges; that is not how we properly learn. Also, certain
classes shouldn't be offered only at one specific time – night classes for example.
There should be options for each class. Hire more professors and or add more sections.
RESPONSE: You’d be a great fit for our redesigned courses, which feature short lectures online and active classroom learning. Many instructors across the disciplines have redesigned their courses for improved student learning. We’ve also prioritized hiring additional professors and adding course sections. We hired 69 new faculty last year, and added 245 new class sections to meet student needs.
CONCERN: I have been reading many of the forums from professors. I know there are
many awesome professionals working at all of our state colleges. However, as a union
representative for 20 years, I have only but one problem. That problem is the continued
tenure of those teachers, who have no business in the classroom. Any instructor who
continues to receive poor and awful ratings by more than 90% of their students, represents
a problem. I have read many comments from faculty, not only from Fresno State, but
also from many CSU's. I do understand the need to have qualified, educated professionals
in our classrooms. However, as a veteran of 20 years in union negotiations, I have
one problem. The problem is the continued tenure of professors who receive poor and
awful reviews from peers, and mostly from students.
I think the union system is fine for salaries and benefits. However, I think that a teacher who receives continued awful reviews specifically from more than 90% of the students, needs progressive discipline, as well as retirement or non-renewal of contract."
RESPONSE: Faculty are required to provide opportunities for student input on their performance. Additionally, the university requires periodic peer review of faculty. When such reviews surface concerns, these are discussed with the faculty member and, where appropriate, progressive discipline is undertaken.
CONCERN: For the past several years I have served on various faculty hiring committees,
and have been appalled at the lack of speed with which Faculty Affairs processes the
materials submitted to them. In order to hire the best candidates for open positions,
we need to remember that hiring is very much a seasonal endeavor. It is difficult
to compete with comparable schools for the same candidates if we don't publicize our
positions until months after they do. We simply cannot have Faculty Affairs shooting
us in the foot by taking 6-8 weeks to turn around the materials submitted to them
by search committees.
RESPONSE: We recognize that the number of searches conducted this past year put a strain on resources in the Office of Faculty Affairs. Changes are being made to remedy this.
CONCERN: I would propose a return to having paper catalogs available again. The old
paper catalogs were arranged so that all of the major degrees, along with any options,
minor degrees, and graduate and undergraduate certificates, would be contained in
a single part of the catalog. A person perusing such a catalog would be able to look
up a department, and then see all of the educational opportunities that were available
for them. Presently, however, persons must peruse multiple areas of the online catalog,
and may not make serendipitous discoveries of educational opportunities, and may even
be unable to find information regarding the very programs that they seek. I spoke
with a representative of the catalog office and discovered that the representative
believes that printing on demand is an option worth considering. Could we have paper
catalogs again please?
RESPONSE: We moved to an online format five years ago after careful consideration of cost, usage and production issues. The online catalog improves access to and accuracy of information, reduces the time it takes to provide the information and is less costly to students.
CONCERN: It seems problematic that a number of key webpages are not updated. For instance,
the link to the University's Mission & Vision is broken.
RESPONSE: Thank you for providing feedback. We have thousands of Fresno State web pages and attempt to keep each of them up-to-date when there is new content. I will share your feedback with the team that oversees these two web pages.
CONCERN: So far in my first semester at Fresno State I've been disappointed with the
service of the Financial Aid office. I also am disappointed that the University doesn't
offer any real support for pre-med students.
RESPONSE: The financial aid awards over $200 million of aid to students and works hard to ensure students are provided with timely processing of financial aid. We continue to look for ways to improve students’ experiences with financial aid. In addition, we encourage all students to review their my.fresnostate.edu portal regularly for the most up to data information on holds and to-do items. Regarding support for pre-medical students, you can find information about advising that is offered at http://fresnostate.edu/csm/premed/ or contact campus pre-med adviser Dr. Larry Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONCERN: Last semester, I was enrolled as a graduate student, taking 9 units – which
I understood to be full time - and was denied entry into the Rec Center using my ID
card. I had to pay $10 to be a guest so that my friend and I could play racquetball.
Can't my fees pay for me to use the Rec Center? Furthermore, will there be any more
racquetball courts built that the public might use, like the ones that were previously
attached to the North Gym?
RESPONSE: It is hard to determine what happened in this situation without knowing your specific fee-paying status. Access to the Student Recreation Center for all students is determined by payment of the Student Body Center Fee. Not all graduate programs include that USU/SRC fee. Any student who has a question on their eligibility may contact the Rec Center for more information. There are no current plans for additional public racquetball courts on campus. However, currently the racquetball courts at the Student Recreation Center are available to members on a walk-in basis if reservation have not been made. Reservations are offered as a courtesy.
CONCERN: After one year as a student, I found out today that students may utilize confidential medical services on campus. All sounds great, until you have the need for services. Then, after sitting on hold two times for an excess of 10 minutes each call, someone finally answers the telephone. Also, one cannot see a nurse or anyone in the medical staff without a medical history. The medical history questionnaire is not only very unclear, but also impossible for me to complete because I don’t have access to information required. Therefore, I am unable to receive an appointment without that unclear, unnecessary form filled out. Is all of this accurate?
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. Your comments provide us an opportunity to improve our service delivery. Your experience is not typical of how our online scheduling functions and as such, we are very interested in working with you to research what happened. Please reach out to the Student Health and Counseling Center Administrative office at 278.6715 and reference your comment. We can then schedule some time to work with you to determine what is going wrong and work to find a remedy.
CONCERN: As someone who works almost exclusively with first-time freshmen, I am increasingly
concerned about students’ lack of preparedness after attending Dog Days. Entire classes
claim to have not been introduced to Blackboard, Safe Assign, Eduroam, The Student
Cupboard, etc. Rather, from their accounts, Dog Days mainly focuses on "No Means No"
and alcohol awareness. While I think these are important to impress upon incoming
students, I am concerned that Dog Days is failing to prepare them for the actual course
work. What is being taught at Dog Days, and how can we improve this program so that
incoming students are ready and able to succeed at Fresno State?
RESPONSE: Thank you for your concerns regarding DOG DAYS: New Student Orientation to our attention. The primary purpose of DOG DAYS is to help new students transition into the University. It is jam-packed with important information that is delivered in several formats. An online pre-orientation is required of all students prior to DOG DAYS on-site attendance. Here students are introduced to basic campus technology and links are provided for deeper exploration. The BARK Book, a new student publication, includes step-by-step information on how to use Blackboard and GradesFirst. Students are also introduced and encouraged to use campus resources including the Student Cupboard. We are always looking for ways to improve the orientation experience and will consider your suggestions.
CONCERN: It is insane that I have to pay a $4 fee for dropping a class at Joyal Administration
Building instead of online, and that $4 blocks me from registering. And that it takes
24 hours to clear the hold.
RESPONSE: Please be advised that we do not charge any fees for dropping classes. However, depending upon when a class is dropped there may be some prorated tuition charged, but there are no processing fees. Yes, you are correct that it does take up to 24 hours to clear a hold as this is an overnight process that is linked to our student database in PeopleSoft. If you have further questions, please contact Student Accounts at 278.2876.
CONCERN: There should be gluten-free options in campus food.
RESPONSE: We continue to increase the number of healthy menu items including gluten-free options. If you have a specific dietary restriction and would like more information about any of the menu items offered at our various retail concepts, please contact Ms. Debbie Guill at University Dining Services at 278.3904.
CONCERNS: Parking passes that resulted in $50 tickets: (1) temporary paper voucher
must have fallen off the dashboard. (2) Plastic permit hook isn’t effective and pass
RESPONSE: We recognize the challenges of a temporary and hanging parking permits. As such, our future plan is to implement new software that will provide the ability to check license plate numbers to ensure a permit has been issued for that vehicle in the event that a permit is not shown. There is a process to appeal tickets (click here for instructions and the form) but unfortunately it is unlikely these tickets can be dismissed since the citation was for failure to display your permit. Please know we are addressing as we recognize the inconvenience and frustration, but our current system is limited and does not give us this functionality.
CONCERN: I am in the EMBA program on Saturdays and there has to be a better way for
parking for us during the football games and Save Mart Center events. Connecting us
via our student ID or permission through an email should grant us parking in front
of Craig School of Business. I realize this doesn’t happen every week but there should
be a better way to improvise.
RESPONSE: We regret the unfortunate situation that occurred earlier this fall when a home football game coincided with a large event in the Save Mart Center. We realize this was a terrible inconvenience for our EMBA students and we sincerely apologize that we had not communicated properly or made appropriate parking accommodations for you and your classmates. We have made arrangements to avoid this inconvenience in the future. Please know that we immediately communicated with the faculty and EMBA Director after this situation occurred and acknowledged there needed to be enhanced communication and coordination.
CONCERN: A few of the clients that attend on-site clinics for Speech and Physical
Therapy and the Handi-Ride drivers have requested that the roads into the campus be
repaired as they "bounce around" too much. The streets are Campus Drive, East San
Ramon and North Jackson.
RESPONSE: We recognize that several of our roadways are in need of repair. The tear out and replacement of various roadways is a high priority for the campus given the completion of the electrical infrastructure project. We did replace Jackson Avenue this past summer and others are scheduled for Summer 2017.
CONCERN: Can you please send a communication to the administration at University High
School to tell the parents or family members not to park on the red zone on Matoian
Way as they wait for their students. The partially block the road and create a situation
that can be hazardous.
RESPONSE: Yes, we have asked the UHS administration to send a reminder to their parents and students at University High School reminding them to not park in the red zones.
CONCERN: The first floor women's restroom in the Peters Building needs some work -
stall doors, sink, paper towel dispensers. Since this restroom is used by conference
participants, it would be nice to see a restroom that doesn't look so shabby.
RESPONSE: Thank you for notifying us. We have reported the issues to our facilities and custodial management and asked that they be addressed. In the future, you can submit specific work orders using our online customer service form (found here). We will add this restroom to our priority list of projects as additional deferred maintenance funding is available.
CONCERN: As a Library employee, I know there are many doors in the Library to special
departments that are very heavy, close automatically and don't have any automatic
way of opening. There is no way they can be ADA compliant. It takes a great deal of
effort for special needs students (and many regular adults) to open and get through
these doors. As an example, all the doors leading in to Music and Media on the third
floor are this way. What can be done to make them more accessible?
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. If there are specific doors you have noticed that are difficult to open, please contact Richard Smith (email@example.com) so he can work with Facilities Management staff to evaluate.
CONCERN: I've noticed along Millbrook and East Bulldog Lane several students driving
really fast and recklessly. Many students who ride the campus shuttle cross the street
and have almost gotten hit by oncoming cars, many of which are from the sororities/frat
houses. A crosswalk or visible posted speed limit signs would be a big help! Or even
stop signs on the shuttle. Maybe Fresno State can team up with the city of Fresno
to make this happen and prevent an accident.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing this concern. We always want to know how we can ensure the safety of our students and pedestrians. This area around our campus is actually under the jurisdictional authority of Fresno Police Department, but we will also alert our University Police Department officers to monitor as well.
CONCERN: There have been three reported incidents in one month to the police department
of theft among the Arts and Humanities departments. I believe that we are being targeted.
Most of the incidents happen during the weekend when there is minimal traffic. Each
time a theft has occurred an estimate of $3,000 in value has been stolen out of the
departments. Not only do we have to replace the equipment we also have to repair the
damage to the building doors/locks. Our department is trying to move forward to secure
our facility with security cameras, but we are having difficulties getting responses
back in regards to the proper set-up. Something has to be done when a pattern is noticed.
RESPONSE: Our Public Safety and Facilities teams are committed to security for all those on campus including our University facilities and assets. Last year we implemented a new policy on key and access issuance in order to improve security and regulate access to University facilities. Most recently we have been working directly with the Music and Theatre Arts Department to rekey many of the rooms that have experienced recent break-ins (had not been rekeyed for many years) and we have also installed card key access for enhanced security after hours. Our Public Safety staff is also exploring the installation of video monitoring cameras.
CONCERN: I have been in several near-collisions with skateboarders while walking around
campus. I see signs posted in some areas prohibiting skateboarding but have noticed
that it is largely ignored. I also witnessed a collision between a skateboarder and
a walker in the prohibited area in front of the library. I'm seriously concerned about
RESPONSE: These types of collisions are very concerning. We do have a campus “wheels off” policy for certain high-traffic pedestrian areas. We have sent a reminder to our Public Safety, Traffic Operations and Environmental Health and Safety staff to help enforce safety measures for pedestrians and reinforce our wheels off policy. You can also share any specific safety-related concerns with Shirley Staton, (firstname.lastname@example.org) chair of the University’s Occupational, Safety, and Wellness Committee. This committee is very proactive and advocates for helping to identify and resolve potential campus safety issues.
CONCERN: Being a biology graduate student, I spend most of my time in the laboratory.
We need to have more vegetarian (vegan) options in the food court so that we do not
have to go off-campus for vegetarian food.
RESPONSE: We endeavor to offer a variety of menu items at our various retail dining concepts. Bulldog Express has a stop at Campus Pointe which also offers a number of additional dining options. We agree that we need to continue to evaluate the opportunity to add more vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu items, but in some cases we are limited by the national franchises (i.e. Panda Express, Subway, Taco Bell, etc.). If you have a particular menu item suggestion, please email Ms. Debbie Guill, Dining Services manager, at email@example.com
CONCERN: Commit to full transparency by the Fresno State Foundation. The response
to the previous questioner about the Fresno State Foundation appeared to have avoided
the actual questions in the initial feedback. Who are these people entrusted with
all that money, why should we trust them and where is the money invested? Doesn't
the community have a right to know–especially contributors? Why is only a portion
of the fund in socially responsible funds? Also, hasn't Goldman Sachs been found to
have a record of questionable investment policies? How can a member of the Fresno
State community find out where and how all of the $126 million is invested?
RESPONSE: The Fresno State Foundation manages approximately $126 million of endowed assets. Our 33-person board of governors includes 32 community members who have experience in various industry sectors and bring a diverse perspective and business experience to the board. The endowment has oversight by an Investment Committee and the Foundation’s Investment Advisor is Goldman Sachs, which was selected through a competitive process. Most recently the Foundation updated its Investment Policy Statement (IPS) to include a new ESG fund. In addition, the board recently approved investing up to $3 million from an existing target allocation for Private Equity into an Impact Private Equity Managers fund. University officials attended a workshop hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network along with other CSU and UC colleagues and the progress that our Foundation has made in these areas is definitely in line or ahead of other higher education institutional foundations. For more information on the Fresno State Foundation, a list of the Board of Governors, the Foundation policies, Annual report and Audited Financial Statements please visit the Foundation website.
CONCERN: One day while trying to exit out of the dorm parking lot, I jumped in a long
line of cars, extending almost all the way back toward the Shaw side of the parking
lot. After being there for about 10 minutes and moving only a few car lengths forward,
a security guard drove by on the sidewalk, southbound, waving cars to follow him.
He opened up a gate for us that led to (I believe) Barton Avenue, near the Health
Center. Why isn't this gate open at all times? Traffic into, and especially out of,
the dorm parking lot is a nightmare!
RESPONSE: The gate you reference is kept closed for security reasons. On occasion, Traffic Operations staff will open that gate to mitigate traffic.
CONCERN: As a graduate student in school counseling and with a physical disability
or limited lower extremity movement, I would like to see more dated student desks
where the top of a student desk can be fold up or fold down when trying to sit or
get up. Mostly, these student desks are in the Lab School Building #133 and in several
classrooms in the Kremen Building.
RESPONSE: Thank you for letting us know about this situation. We do furnish classrooms with height adjustable ADA seating but occasionally they may get moved out to different classrooms based on needs. Please communicate your specific request and class schedule to Services for Students with Disabilities and they will work with Facilities Management to ensure we have the proper classroom furnishings in the classrooms where you are registered.
CONCERN: The Bulldog Express shuttles are greatly appreciated by students, and widely
used. However, having only one stop that is feasibly close to classes (by the North
Gym) makes it tougher on students when the buses are no longer on schedule. While
I understand that safety is a concern regarding the stops over on the west end of
campus, I still feel that having two stops -- the stadium stop and the athletic department
stop -- could benefit those coming from the Greek houses, rather than three stops
in a very short distance of each other. May I suggest a stop over by the Science buildings?
It would benefit students with classes in a large number of buildings, including Science
I & II, Peters and the Craig Business. A possible stop to consider would be next to
the vineyards of the Enology Department on Barstow next to Science II, which is already
regulated by crossing guards. If stop numbers are to be kept, then perhaps consider
placing the schedule on a 20-minute route, rather than 15.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion.
CONCERN: Is there a phone number that students or staff may call to report overwatering
on campus? There are sprinklers on campus that become broken, or just water the sidewalk
more than the grass itself, and there is not always an employee around to report this
RESPONSE: Yes, please call 278.2373 to report water leaks around campus including sprinklers, faucets or toilets. Our grounds and facilities crews maintain over 36,000 sprinklers to irrigate our 1,400-acre campus and they appreciate when these issues are identified and reported.
CONCERN: With the increase in vehicles being broken into, a colleague suggested that
campus police assign individuals to ride bicycles on campus to monitor the parking
lots. I understand that there are budgetary issues but there needs to be funding put
aside for this. Perhaps volunteers from the ROTC program could be assigned to do this
as credit. An increase in visible security would definitely help. Another issue is
that there does not seem to be notifications sent out to the campus community regarding
vehicle break ins. However, there are many notifications when there is an off-campus
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion. Our Public Safety Department is implementing several measures to improve campus safety, including hiring new officers and mobilizing additional resources.
CONCERN: I have noticed that none of the women's restrooms on campus seem to have
dispensers for feminine hygiene products. The only place on campus where these products
are available is the Student Health Center, which is inconvenient. I think installing
these machines in restrooms would be a real benefit for faculty, staff and students.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your suggestion.
CONCERN: Pick up litter that is all over campus!
RESPONSE: Yes, it takes all of us doing our part to keep the campus clean and welcoming. If there is a specific area that needs to be addressed, please report via our online work order form.
CONCERN: Please re-evaluate the gun-free zone on campus. This is just preventing the
law abiding citizens from protecting themselves. There was a carjacking that occurred
on 11/17/16 where the professor was held at gunpoint. Follow Kingsburg High School’s
example. They are allowing some teachers that have a CCW to carry.
RESPONSE: This is a state law, not a campus policy.
CONCERN: Every year in fall before the heating is switched on for the winter season,
the Science I Building is an even more hostile work environment for a few weeks: my
office is 60 to 63 degrees, my classroom is well below 65 degrees. The course I teach
in runs for three hours and is a writing class, requiring students to type a lot.
After 30 minutes, everybody's fingers are just too numb to type. I invite you to
set your thermostat to 62 degrees for a week in your offices to share our experience.
I personally find those work conditions unacceptable. Science I has (1) insufficient
maintenance, with problems unfixed for years: broken locks on bathroom stalls; extremely
filthy stair cases, walls, doors, hand rails (caked in decades of hand grease); (2)
poor management: no running hot water from March to October while the heating is off;
no room-by-room temperature control in offices and classrooms (just maximum cooling
in the summer, maximum heating in the winter).
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing this concern. We have reported the issues noted to our facilities and custodial management and asked that they be addressed. In the future, you can submit specific work orders using our online customer service form (found here). As you may know, we are investing $20 million over the next two years to address our deferred maintenance backlog around the campus, so knowing about this situation is very helpful as we prioritize future project priorities.
CONCERN: An administrator has excessive absences.
RESPONSE: Thank you. We will look into this.
Posted on: 11/03/2016
FEEDBACK CONCERNS SUBMITTED July 15 – September 15
CONCERN: I am a graduate student of speech-language pathology. Our speech clinic that serves people from the local community is located on the second floor of the Professional Human Services building. Construction going on around our building during our summer clinic session made it difficult for our clients, many of whom are handicapped, to access our building. Additionally, none of the restrooms in our building has diaper changing tables. This is a change that wouldn't be costly or time consuming and would be greatly appreciated by all.
RESPONSE: We regret the construction was so disruptive. Thanks for your patience as the improvements are necessary in order to make our outdoor campus environment more accessible and usable. We will explore adding a diaper changing table in one of the restrooms in PHS. Thank you for your suggestion as we are continually striving to ensure we are providing a family friendly environment.
CONCERN: During a recent Dog Day lunch time I along with my freshman son stood in
line for lunch. I asked for a vegetarian option and feel I was treated rudely.
As an alumnus of Fresno State and fellow educator of Tk-12 schools, I take great pride to ensure that those in my department embrace the virtues of servitude, respect and dignity of all guests to my organization. I did not receive what I expected, and that is professional behavior. I expect nothing but best from all those who work for the University.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your experience. There has been follow-up on this particular situation. We take it very seriously to ensure that our Dining Services team exhibits professionalism and customer service in their interactions with our campus and community.
CONCERN: For safety purposes, it would be very useful to have a blind spot mirror installed in the third floor lobby area of the Peters Business Building. The area needed is by the windows closest to the elevators opposite the entry doors.
RESPONSE: We appreciate hearing about opportunities where safety of our environment can be enhanced. Please submit a Work Order request to Facilities Management so they can install. Click here to submit.
CONCERN: I understand that Auxiliary employees are not state employees and do not enjoy the same benefits. If that is so then why do you disclose the salaries for Auxiliary employees as if we are state employees? Please consider removing this from public view.
RESPONSE: You are correct - it has been the University’s decision to include all University and auxiliary employee salaries in the University’s Budget book for transparency. Our auxiliary employees are part of the campus community and the auxiliary organization financial statements ultimately roll up into the University’s financial statements so including our auxiliary employee salaries is a good business practice that many of our CSU campuses do as well.
CONCERN: This is a follow up to the question regarding 20-minute (free) disabled parking. The question was not in regards to disabled parking for enrolled students or current employees. It was in reference to visitors who are disabled and there are no free timed parking spaces for them. If you have 20-minute free parking for able-bodied people, shouldn't you also have 20-minute free accessible parking for disabled people? And as mentioned in the response, the 20-minute slots and metered parking are not accessible. If a disabled visitor comes to campus, they are required to purchase a parking permit to park in the disabled (accessible) parking spots even if it's only for a few minutes.
RESPONSE: We do offer free parking for disabled visitors. Disabled visitors can stop by the Traffic Operations for a free day permit OR they can just display a valid placard or plate and utilize parking meters, timed zones or any other parking stall on campus. We do not have specific timed/loading zones for disabled visitors because they are free to parking anywhere at no cost (unless it is for a special ticketed event such as an event at the Save Mart Center or an athletic event). This courtesy is authorized by Education Code 67301(b).
CONCERN: Any day now there is going to be a major accident in P31. Apparently it is not clear to most people that traffic in that lot should flow in a certain direction. I often see people going the wrong way at high rates of speed. Something needs to be done before someone gets hurt. Perhaps better signage at the end of each row? Or perhaps repainting the arrows on the ground might help. It is a very dangerous parking lot.
RESPONSE: Thank you. We share your concern and have advised our public safety staff to take note of this concern since this is more of a traffic enforcement issue. We will be repainting the one-way arrows and have also placed an order to replace the existing one-way signage in the lot.
CONCERN: I suggest a change to the parking system to make the color-coded parking pass signs useful, rather than misleading and penalty-inducing. Waiting to cross traffic and turn into the VERC parking lot, I noted that the sign next to the VERC parking lot displayed a yellow band under the lot name P19. Looking to my right, however, I saw that the lot across the street from VERC also showed a yellow band under the lot name (P18). In the yellow band were the words "Yellow. PERMIT REQUIRED." My faculty/staff permit in my car is yellow, so I took this as a sign I could park at VERC.
When I came back to my car there was a parking ticket for $50 that stated "No valid permit displayed." I walked up to the parking sign at the edge of the lot. While the color-coded permit band was the same color as the one across the street, I now read with shock that the band contained the word GOLD, not yellow.
I imagine that color-coded parking is used to help members of the Fresno State community easily know where they are able to park on campus. However, having a Gold and a Yellow parking lot defeats this goal.
RESPONSE: You are correct, this is not ideal. The only gold lot on campus is located in P19. We agree with your observation.
CONCERN: As a returning student and alumnus, I'd like to provide some perspective to faculty complaining about the potential of students parking in staff lots earlier than 7 p.m. As recently as the late 1980s/early 1990s, staff lots were opened to students at 5 p.m. Then-President Dr. Harold Haak was implementing a robust night program. In addition, there were grave concerns about student safety at night in 1986. I was unaware that faculty paid less for parking than students. If they want prime parking they should be charged accordingly.
RESP0NSE: Thanks for this feedback. There was a meet and confer process with CSUEU and CFA bargaining units and agreement was reached that students can park in the yellow lots beginning at 6 p.m. on weekdays given availability of yellow stalls after that time of day for faculty and staff.
CONCERN: I've noticed problems with parking. (1) The machines to buy daily parking passes only take credit cards. (2) I couldn't use the parking meters during a four-hour training because the meters have two-hour limits. I would like to see the day ticket dispensers take cash, or give student employees codes for free passes for training and meetings during summer and breaks.
RESPONSE: Sorry for the frustration with the dispensers. We did make a switch to these machines last year to only accept credit or debit cards. All departments have coupon codes that can be used at their discretion.
CONCERN: Printing can be reduced a lot, saving dollars. Why don't we keep a count of the number of pages printed by the faculty and staff? Having the count alone will reduce the printing.
RESPONSE: Fresno State is deeply committed to sustainability, controlling costs and reducing waste. New printers being installed this fall will have this functionality.
CONCERN: I am concerned that the Fresno State Foundation is not more transparent with their investment policies, and apparently does not embrace "Socially Responsible Investment" policies. While the University embraces strong values of sustainability and equity, the Foundation's investment policies do not appear to acknowledge or embrace similar values. While the UC and even the broader CSU systems have moved to divest from some investments, i.e., coal, it is unclear if the Fresno State Foundation invests in for-profit prisons, fossil fuels, companies with low HRC scores, gun manufacturers and corporations doing business in countries with limited human rights. Apparently, the Fresno State Foundation does not invest in local community-based investment projects (such as affordable housing, neighborhood development). The use of Goldman-Sachs is also of concern. Why is the university challenged to "be bold," when the Foundation is less than "bold" and transparent? Does the Fresno State Foundation membership represent the diversity of the Fresno State community? Do students, faculty, staff and other community stake-holders have any voice in the Fresno State Foundation's investment strategy?
RESPONSE: The Fresno State Foundation manages approximately $126 million of endowed assets. Our-33 person board of governors includes 32 community members who have experience in various industry sectors and bring a diverse perspective and business experience to the board. The endowment has oversight by an Investment Committee and the Foundation’s Investment Advisor is Goldman Sachs, which was selected through a competitive process. Most recently the Foundation updated its Investment Policy Statement (IPS) to include a new ESG fund. In addition, the Board recently approved investing up to $3 million from an existing target allocation for Private Equity into an Impact Private Equity Managers fund. University officials attended a workshop hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network along with other CSU and UC colleagues and the progress that our Foundation has made in these areas is definitely in line or ahead of other higher education institutional foundations.
CONCERN: We need a conflict resolution office or a neutral place where people (without fear of retaliation or classified as a problem child) can go to sort out their differences with their co-workers, colleagues or supervisors without going through HR or the union.
RESPONSE: Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for all employees and this is an excellent resource for conflict resolution. The program offers on-campus services (see website for hours and to schedule an appointment), online services and 24-hour phone services. Some departments or work groups may also wish to engage with external consultants who specialize in conflict resolution or team building and recommend consultation with your division Vice President for identification of appropriate resources.
In addition, the President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity has developed a new ASPIRE Resource Team to provide conflict prevention workshops and alternative dispute resolution services to Fresno State students, faculty and staff, free of charge. It is a volunteer program that offers non- judgmental/neutral support to both the complainant and the respondent, helps resolve interpersonal, inter- group and organizational conflicts, and educates the campus community on existing processes for reporting incidents related to bias, discrimination and other acts of incivility on campus as well as acts of kindness, civility and inclusiveness.
CONCERN: Recent re-paving of the Joyal Administration Building's parking lot resulted in a change to the driveway approach to the loading dock. The driveway now has different elevation heights instead of one smooth surface. A Plant Operations painter had to highlight the area with cautionary coats of yellow and red paint. Employees have tripped before and after the paint application.
RESPONSE: Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We will look at this to address this safety concern.
CONCERN: Is it possible to get some of the staff/faculty parking spaces in Lot 0 widened? The spaces are really narrow and my car has been dinged on numerous occasions even if both cars are in their correct spot. I understand it could cause us to lose some spaces, but there is usually room.
RESPONSE: Sorry to hear about your dinged vehicle. The parking spaces in lot P16 (formerly called Lot O) are slightly smaller than other spaces on campus. However, adjusting the size of these spaces would cause a loss of faculty/staff parking stall inventory. We should be able to address the reduction of any stalls after additional faculty/staff parking stalls are added as a part of the P1 lot renovation.
CONCERN: The lights in the Library appear to be on 24 hours a day. I work in the Library, and I have come in to campus late at night when we're closed to pick things up, and every single light in the building has been on. This includes weekends, holidays, hours when we're closed
RESPONSE: The lighting panel is currently down on the first floor and half of the second floor so the lights are on bypass which means they stay on 24/7. We are working on a solution. The other half of the second floor and floors three and four are operating normally, which means the lights go off at 1 or 2 a.m. and come back on at 5 a.m.
CONCERN: I have a question regarding the Electric Vehicle (EV) charging systems located near the Save Mart Center. Currently the charging is free due to a state grant which afforded the university to install the four level 2 charging units and two level 3 charging units.
Most of the vehicles which use the charging stations are only capable of using the Level 2 charging stations. It is my understanding that when the state grant expires users will be charged $1 per hour for charging. With a Level 2 (220V) charge this would be $4. However, someone using the Level 3 system using the same amount of electricity would be charged $1. For my hybrid, which will only take a Level 2 charge, it would be cheaper to run it on gas. Can you make a commitment to maintain the charging systems free of charge for users and demonstrate the University's commitment to improving Valley air quality?
RESPONSE: At this point no decision has been made on the future pricing for the charging stations. We are committed to sustainability and are pleased we can provide this service for our students, faculty, staff and community visitors.
CONCERN: This University needs to find a way to remodel the Science 1 building and Engineering buildings for better quality labs and offices for faculty. The University needs to make a bond so the state can give state funds to remodel these buildings.
RESPONSE: We are investing $20 million over the next two years to address our deferred maintenance backlog around the campus. One of the priorities for investment is modernization of labs and classrooms. A statewide bond act requires approval by the Legislature and Governor.
CONCERN: Would it be possible to install some sort of shelving or table so that we can place items like coffee cups or water bottles there while using the restrooms?
RESPONSE: Several of the restrooms across campus already have this feature. Please submit this request via our online work order system and make clear which building and which restroom you are referring to and we will assess the feasibility. Click here to submit. We are in the process of investing in a backlog of deferred maintenance work and have had to prioritize our campus needs.
CONCERN: Can you guys please apply WD-40 on the doors? Students that are coming late to class distract the class with a very annoying screech sound coming from the door.
RESPONSE: We will forward to our Facilities Management team. It would be helpful if you could let us know if there is a specific door that is causing the disruption. This is best submitted via our online work order system. Click here to submit.
CONCERN: The shuttle buses purchased a great investment but may be a bit too big. Our public transportation is hardly utilized and we might not have as many students taking advantage of this service.
RESPONSE: Ridership on the shuttle has gone up considerably and there are many times when the seats are filled. We continue to develop ways to decrease demand for on-campus parking.
CONCERN: It would be nice to add a couple of more food places to eat at the USU. A hamburger joint would be nice, and maybe some sushi.
RESPONSE: We are always exploring alternative dining options and expect to have a national burger concept shortly at Campus Pointe. However, don’t forget about the great burgers available at The Bucket!
CONCERN: Fresno State should make a general plan of some sort to relocate all sorority and fraternity homes from Millbrook Avenue and perhaps rebuild along Sierra Madre Ave. (from Cedar to Maple avenues). There has been a lot of crime and theft within Bulldog Lane each year. I live in my sorority house and find that it is quite scary to walk home, especially when I'm on campus some late nights.
RESPONSE: Relocating sorority and fraternity homes is not feasible at this time but we do take your safety seriously. We encourage you to take Bulldog Express, the free campus shuttle. Click here for the route and times.
CONCERN: As a homeowner who has lived near the University for the last 20 years, I feel concerned not only for the safety of students but other homeowners (or neighbors) in the area are always on alert taking the necessary precautions to protect their properties. It would be ideal if the university hired more officers from the help of Fresno and Clovis Police Departments or even private security companies to help monitor nearby neighborhoods within the university. Also, the university should invest in having a police substation in the neighborhood.
RESPONSE: We increased the number of officers in our police department last year and our public safety team patrols the campus as well as a one-mile radius around the campus 24/7.
CONCERN: The University should invest in having motion activated bathroom faucets and toilet flushes.
RESPONSE: Our priority now is to address the backlog of deferred maintenance issues across campus. As restrooms are upgraded we will consider these features.
CONCERN: Regarding ATMs: (1) We should have a Chase bank ATM on campus. A lot of students have Chase because there aren’t any annual fees or late fees, or overdraft fees. (2) There should be multiple EECU and Golden 1 ATMs across campus so that it is convenient for students.
RESPONSE: Thank you for this suggestion. Chase Bank has not expressed interest in installing an ATM on campus. Please be advised that there is a new EECU ATM at Campus Pointe.
CONCERN: What can we do about the trees that drop sticky stuff on vehicles? The back parking lot at Joyal has a lot of those trees and there are a few at Lot P17 by the McLane building.
RESPONSE: Sorry about this inconvenience. The honeydew dripping on the sidewalks and cars is caused by aphids and other insects infesting the trees. Our grounds department is monitoring the landscape for pest presence and treating the trees in the locations in question to get the pest problem under control.
CONCERN: My concern for my peers and for victims of sexual assault such as myself is the lack of justice and an interest in protecting students from other students who committed sexual misconduct. HAVEN training is not being taking seriously by students. As well, I would like know why there is an interim Title IX coordinator who currently holds another position when most CSU campuses have more than one Title IX coordinator.
RESPONSE: Fresno State takes sexual assault seriously and we are doing everything possible to prevent violence and support victims. In addition to our Title IX Coordinator, our campus also has a dedicated Victim Advocate. Haven training has been replaced by Campus Clarity, an online training tool used to educate about sexual assault. This is just one of many resources we have available to educate and protect students. Many CSUs have Title IX coordinators who hold multiple responsibilities. Title IX responsibilities were previously held by our AVP of Human Resources. Resources to fund a dedicated, full-time Title IX Coordinator have been identified and a new search will commence later this semester. There will be an open forum on campus when finalists are named.
CONCERN: Why aren't lockers available for commuters who consider the University our second home until classes are over for the day? Lockers are available for students who are in the athletic or music programs. It's something that I, as a Child Development major, could use.
RESPONSE: Thank you for this suggestion. We will share with our Student Involvement colleagues to see if there is an opportunity to install within the existing University Student Union. Also, the proposed new student union might provide another opportunity.
CONCERN: The road between Science 1 and Science 2 has a sign that is clearly marked no stopping, and yet every day I seem to get stuck behind people who are dropping students off. Is there a way to add a lane for drop off in that area since people seem to be too lazy to drop off in P6 nearby?
RESPONSE: We will look into adding a drop off lane. In the meanwhile we will alert traffic operations to monitor this area.
CONCERN: Allow lecturers and other non-tenured faculty to pay for their parking passes using payroll deductions. Currently, only tenured faculty are allowed to have the cost of parking passes deducted from their monthly pay.
RESPONSE: We have explored this in the past, but there are some limitations due to our payroll processes. We will explore if other CSU campuses are able to accommodate this.
CONCERN: Please use funds to improve the Art Department. The building is old and cramped, ceilings leak, and the tools, supplies and equipment are very old and outdated.
RESPONSE: Over the next two years we are investing $20 million in deferred maintenance work across campus. The Conley Art Building has been the beneficiary of over $2.7 million of improvements this year, including modernization of Conley Art 101, new heating/air conditioning, new roof, renovated restrooms, ADA path of travel improvements and new elevator to meet ADA requirements.
CONCERN: It is upsetting that you responded to a request to provide yearly training for administrators with "We are investing more resources into professional development for our staff and emphasize quality service in serving our students.” We staff members find it offensive that you assume and mention staff as needing training and not administrators as was first commented. Your assumption to say the least is disappointing and does not help with staff morale.
RESPONSE:Thank you for sharing your perspective with me. Please know that our response was not intended to be offensive or to infer that staff needed training and not administrators. Our portfolio of training resources includes topical areas applicable for managers and staff. The Cabinet shares my view that everyone can benefit from professional development. I support professional development for all members of the Cabinet and Chancellor White supports it for me. I apologize if the earlier response implied that only staff and faculty would benefit from professional development. We are one team!
CONCERN: The Bold Ideas campaign is an example of how the university is attempting to continually improve and get better. However, from personal experience and from speaking with colleagues, it is clear that the program is adding a huge amount of work to individuals on the planning committees and the implementation committees. In many cases, seemingly good ideas are forwarded for further planning and/or for implementation.However, in reality, there are people and programs that already exist and could be supported in ways that would not only provide similar benefits to the Bold Ideas, but could do so with much less strain on already busy schedules. Also, the one-time funding likely creates one-time programs with no lasting impact and, quite possible, negative attitudes about the added workload or programs/services getting started, then abandoned due to lack of resources. Please consider major changes to this campaign.
RESPONSE:I appreciate this feedback.Our Bold Ideas campaign has been organized to elicit the best ideas from faculty, staff and administrators for improving programming or services on campus. The committees have been assembled to help assess the ideas and recommend whether they should be funded.The ideas that show promise are considered for funding. This funding can be one-time while further assessment is conducted or permanent for ideas that we believe are sustainable.I do not believe that major changes are needed to the Bold Ideas campaign but I assure you that we will be sensitive to your concerns about workload and financial sustainability.
CONCERN: Please look into the possibility of extending summer hours and ending them a week before the fall semester begins instead of two weeks before the semester as it is presently.
RESPONSE:Thank you for sharing this idea. I will discuss it with the Cabinet.
CONCERN: I'd like to make a suggestion in regard to the University's naming conventions. I saw the Olympics listed Paul George as a "Fresno State University" alum and in the call-up of New York Yankees rookie Aaron Judge he also was listed on national TV as a "Fresno State University" alum. It begs the question of why we fight the Fresno State University or FSU name instead of embracing it. Our sister universities, San Diego State and San Jose State, both have embraced a similar naming convention with SDSU and SJSU. It seems Fresno State would be wise to further consider doing the same.
RESPONSE:Thank you for the suggestion!
CONCERN: We have a number of colleagues who have been obstructive in diversity or student success activities. These individuals do not like change, cannot adapt and simply want to keep the status quo and prevent any kind of new workflow. If some of us have done well in supporting student success and promoting diversity on campus, why are we still shut down or criticized by these individuals and their supervisor?
RESPONSE: Our campus strategic plan clearly prioritizes student success and diversity.I am pleased with our recent progress in strengthening student success and enhancing the diversity of our faculty and staff. Our extraordinarily talented cohort of 69 new tenure track faculty includes a significant number of women and people of color. Please feel free to share with me specific examples of challenges you are facing in promoting diversity at Fresno State. I support you and everyone else on campus who is working hard to strengthen our diversity efforts.
CONCERN: While using a Google search of our website, I came across the page at http://fresnostate.edu/president/mission/initiatives.html and I am unsure of the accuracy of the information. The navigation on the page mentioned above is inconsistent when navigating the president's site from http://www.fresnostate.edu/president. There is no "Mission and Vision" link on the president's site so I assume the listing of initiatives is old information.
RESPONSE: Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention. I have reached out to our team responsible for these web pages, and the team will follow up to update the content.
CONCERN: I am enrolled in a DISCOVERe class and was never provided information on how to obtain a tablet. When I went to the library after my first class, I found out I could have reserved the tablet as early as Aug. 10. This information should have been communicated to me via email. I shouldn't be learning how to use a brand new iPad during the first week of school. I should have been able to learn how to use Blackboard and other online tools before the start of classes.
RESPONSE: There is an automated notification when a student registers for a DISCOVERe course providing information regarding purchasing a tablet, borrowing a tablet, or bringing one's own tablet device. In addition, our DISCOVERe team communicates through email, Blackboard announcements and social media to registered DISCOVERe students at the end of the spring semester and during the summer. We are working on improving our communication based on feedback from our students and faculty. I urge students who are still in need of a tablet to visit the DISCOVERe Hub in the Library to find out whether they qualify for a no-cost loaner and the process of obtaining one.
CONCERN: This semester every time I am in the library I see seven student workers at DISCOVERe Hub sitting around and doing nothing. When they are helping someone I see two or three workers standing around a tablet/computer. Every other desk in the library has one or two workers, why does this desk need so many additional workers?
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback and your desire for Fresno State to use its resources more effectively and efficiently. We staff our DISCOVERe hub based on anticipated demand, such as through demand for web and application training, Guides on the Go requests, and demand through walk-in appointments. You will observe that staffing will vary throughout the semester, with more support for our campus during the first few weeks of each semester. As DISCOVERe grows, we are consistently gathering feedback and data to understand how we can adjust based on the needs of our students, faculty and staff.
CONCERN: I think there should be more activities, clubs and/or anything that includes anyone that has disabilities.
RESPONSE: All student activities are open to everyone, and we encourage participation. Ideas for new activities or student organizations should be sent to our Student Involvement staff. It is easy to start a club and/or organization with eight of your friends.
CONCERN: Because of mistakes of the financial aid staff regarding parents filing for an extension on taxes, my younger brother has to take this semester off. If there is something new about financial aid, then it should be communicated clearly to students whose parents file for extension.
RESPONSE: The financial aid office is always looking to make improvements. We can look into this concern and address it accordingly if you contact Kelly Russell, Director of Financial Aid at 278-2182. Thank you for your feedback.
(1) Why don’t you hold "white only" meetings to promote free tuition, study assistance, college "freebees" insider track promotions and spend $300 per student from the Activity Fund? The result is equal opportunity.
(2) You are certainly going the extra mile to assimilate black students onto campus. I just have to wonder why you need to do this. Do you do this for Asians? Won't the Latinos, and then the Latvians want the same thing? Soon you will spend all your time and resources accommodating groups and the actual education process will be secondary, as it already is on some campuses.
RESPONSE: Student success for all students is our number one priority! In keeping with that, the University provides special support programs, resources and high impact practices to help students achieve their personal and academic goals. However, we find students at the highest risk for attrition require more focused support to maximize their potential for success. The University is committed to educate and empower all students for success.
CONCERN: Last semester, my friend fell down in the campus parking lot and got a huge cut on her leg. We went to the Health Center to get some treatment for her bleeding leg but the lady at the desk told us to wait until 4 p.m. It was about 1 p.m. at that time. She told us that there was nothing she could do and did not offer any suggestions. I hope that something can be done in the future to help students who need to seek immediate treatment for injuries on campus or at least for the staff to give better and quicker suggestions.
RESPONSE: The Student Health & Counseling Center treats students on both an appointment and walk-in basis. While immediate care of an injury is not always available, any student presenting with an injury should be evaluated by medical personnel upon arrival. The SHCC is currently expanding the nursing staff to ensure that this kind of care is provided in a timely manner.
CONCERN: This is in response to the previous Feedback on priority registration. I think there should be a form to request priority registration. In this request they show the reason why they NEED it. Clubs should not be given special treatment.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. We are currently reviewing our priority registration requests and will take your feedback into consideration.
CONCERN: Scholarship opportunities should be made more widely known, especially for those attending graduate school and do not qualify for anything except loans. I never see scholarship opportunities promoted.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. We will look into the marketing of our scholarships to ensure students know of the opportunities available to them. We will update/enhance the Scholarship Office website at www.fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/scholarships where you can view all the available Fresno State Scholarships.
CONCERN: All students should be able to qualify for Family Pact, regardless of insurance. The Health Center is part of our fees and we should qualify for anything offered.
RESPONSE:Family PACT is a program offered by the State of California to provide comprehensive family planning services to eligible low income (under 200% federal poverty level) men and women. Eligibility criteria are set by the Family PACT program and the California Office of Family Planning, not the Student Health & Counseling Center or the University. The Student Health & Counseling Center participates in the Family PACT program to improve access to family planning services for those students who qualify for the program.
All students may be seen at the Health Center for these services. There is no charge for a Health Center visit. Students who do not qualify for Family PACT can discuss the possible cost of medication or testing with the health care provider.
CONCERN: It's not fair that only undergraduates are allowed to join sororities/fraternities. Graduate students should be able to join anything and enjoy their graduate experience as much as possible.
RESPONSE: Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to participate in our Greek Life programs. Contact the Greek Life office for more information at 278.2741.
CONCERNS: Regarding Dog Days and transfer students: (1) You should have Dog Days early because that way you can allow us to get classes. (2) You should call all transfers students before their Dog Days and review their transcript so that way they know what classes they already completed and how many classes they need to graduate.
RESPONSE: DOG DAYS are strategically planned to work with deadlines for submission of final transcripts from community colleges and to allow evaluation of them prior to class registration. An email from the Registrar is sent to transfer students prior to their DOG DAY with a link to a video which explains how to access and understand the Degree Progress Report. Contact information is also provided for further assistance if needed.
CONCERN: The student cupboard has mostly expired products or about to expire products. I request you to take necessary measures.
RESPONSE: The Student Cupboard procedure is not to distribute food that is past an expiration date. Our staff takes caution in screening donations and items that come in to make sure food that is expired is discarded and not distributed. Some of our items are near a "best by" date. Best by dates refer strictly to quality of flavor, not the safety of the food.
CONCERN: My request for a publication fee of $400 for publication of two peer-review journal papers based on my research conducted at Fresno State was denied by my dean. Every college should have a fund set aside similar to the fund for research travel or professional development for faculty/staff for publication fee for the publications of peer-review papers in the journals instead of getting it only from faculty member’s return indirect and/or research travel fund.
RESPONSE: College/school support of faculty research is determined by the individual college/school. Most colleges/schools have a faculty committee that has this within their purview. I encourage you to work with the relevant committee in your college/school on this issue.
CONCERN: Dr. Castro mentioned that Fresno State hired 69 faculty members this year. As a search chair last year, I experienced the incredible amount of work needed to hire one faculty member. As we continue to hire more faculty, the next logical step would be faculty retention efforts. One potential avenue to encourage retention would be incentivizing early tenure. In keeping the Be Bold vision, Fresno State would benefit from a more aggressive plan for early tenure to retain outstanding faculty at Fresno State.
RESPONSE: I am grateful to all of our campus and community members who assisted in recruiting the largest cohort of tenure-track faculty in a very long time to our campus. I am also heartened by the incredible diversity of this cohort of faculty. The retention of tenure-track faculty is highlighted in our new strategic plan. The current process and criteria for early tenure is part of the Academic Policy Manual. I support the consultative process and should the Academic Senate determine that this is a priority, the administration will participate in the conversation.
CONCERN: I find it unfair for a professor to curve the class in a bad way, making it more difficult to pass. 74% is a low C? 73% is a D? It's unfair when working in groups that are lacking in team power.
RESPONSE:Faculty are genuinely concerned about student learning and are careful to create a course that facilitates learning in a manner that they believe is appropriate for their discipline. Assessment of learning is usually unique to a course. The 90/80/70/60 traditional split is neither a mandate nor a guideline, it is a tradition followed by faculty at some universities. Individual effort in courses with group projects is uniquely difficult to assess. For example, in a course with 40 percent of the grade determined by group projects and attendance, an individual could fail every exam (earn less than 50%) show up for class, choose to not participate in any of the group work and depending on the group and its willingness to let the particular student slide, receive a C in the course. In such a course, it would not only be unfair to students who studied and did the work required to earn a passing grade, it would make it difficult for students who do not learn the material to be successful in future courses. If you are concerned about the grading methodology used in a particular course, I encourage you to discuss it with the faculty member.
CONCERN: Currently library fines must be paid in person, but not cash. If a student wants to pay his/her fine in cash, they must obtain a form from the library, walk over to the cashier at Joyal, then return to the library. Could there be a kiosk set up in the library to pay with credit/debit cards as well as set up the ability to pay online?
RESPONSE:Following the campus auditor's recommendations, all cash payments are to be made centrally at the Joyal Administration Building. Joyal needs the form from the library prior to processing the payment to apply the correct amount of money owed to the correct student account. If you would like to pay with credit/debit card, you can do so at the Circulation Desk in the library at any time the library is open. We are investigating online credit card payments.
CONCERN: As an MSW (PPS) student who needs to take an internship to obtain her masters, the program did not allow me to do my internship experience at my work site. The district was willing to accommodate Fresno State's policies but the department was unwilling. I worked at this school for six years and gained valuable networks and built a wonderful connection with the community. I unfortunately had to resign. I thought Fresno State would be more willing to help me build a better future for the community I worked in. Please rethink the policy about disallowing master level internships at work site.
RESPONSE:MSW students at Fresno State are allowed to complete an internship at their place of employment if the agency and the proposed internship meet all of the requirements for an in-agency placement. These requirements are publicized online, derive from the accreditation standards of the Council on Social Work Education and must be followed in order for the MSW program to meet the accreditation standards. In addition to accreditation requirements, the department also has policies for field placement regarding conflict of interest to ensure that students have an educationally sound learning experience at the internship agency. While the department endeavors to support students to the greatest extent possible, as an accredited program it is also our responsibility to provide students with internship experience that is consistent with department policies, the graduate curriculum, and national accreditation standards.
CONCERN: I, along with my fellow lecturers, lost half my classes (and half my income) three days before school started because 20 percent of the first-year writing courses were cut and classes had to be reassigned. We are half way through week two and we are still all teaching without contracts, showing our continued commitment to Fresno State. What changes are you going to make in the future to show commitment to your lecturers and prevent such negligence affecting our lives so severely in the future?
RESPONSE:Thank you for bringing this concern to my attention. There are a number of offices that need to coordinate in order to process temporary faculty contracts. We are aware that there were some challenges this fall. The appropriate offices are currently working to avoid this problem in the future.
CONCERN: Like many faculty members at Fresno State, I participate in various initiatives and professional development activities. Some of these activities offer a stipend. It's a wonderful surprise to receive an unannounced check or direct deposit stub some months later! The problem is that these stubs provide no specific information about where the money came from or to which activity it corresponded. It would be so much easier to keep track of stipends paid (and other monies owed by the University) if relevant information were included on pay stubs, rather than only the internal accounting codes that nobody seems able to decipher.
RESPONSE:Thank you for raising this issue. We will review the process for additional pay to find ways to improve the paper flow and feedback to the faculty, departments and colleges.
CONCERN: I am a senior who is looking forward to graduating this fall. I wanted to stay and work toward an MFA, but to my surprise, your school does not have one. I'll have to look elsewhere if I want that degree. I was told that due to the lack of full-time professors and much needed equipment, the department cannot offer an MFA.
RESPONSE:The campus has 67 different undergraduate programs and 44 graduate (Masters) programs. We do have an MFA program in Creative Writing. Priorities are established based on the needs of our region, student demand for programs, and available resources (faculty, staff, technology, lab/studio space, money, etc.). Additionally, as part of the 23 campus CSU system, we do not duplicate highly specialized degrees that other campuses already offer. We can help students access these programs on other campuses. You may wish to contact the Division of Graduate Studies for this kind of assistance.
CONCERN: Classes should not be later than 7 p.m.
RESPONSE:In order to effectively meet the demand for higher education in our region, we offer courses at a wide variety of times, plus online courses. Many students have work schedules which allow them to take courses only in the evenings. In 2015-16, the campus offered 281 sections after 7 p.m. These sections enrolled almost 6,300 students.
CONCERN: Regarding deaths of campus members, I don't think that departments submitting death notices to Bulletin Board is completely acceptable. Being a member of this campus community and having lost a spouse (who was also a member of the campus community) I was appalled that my spouse's death was announced over Bulletin Board. Out of respect, I think the immediate family member should be contacted to see if they even want an announcement made.
RESPONSE: Please accept my sincere apology for the dismay this caused you and your family. I’m sure the department meant no disrespect and was just trying to alert the campus to the loss of a valued colleague. Bulletin Board is the best tool for this, but we will remind departments that before posting about these losses they must make sure the family approves.
CONCERN: Consider solarfication of all the golf carts on campus. These carts are will be head-turners to the visitors and might earn more good news for Fresno State.
RESPONSE: Thank you for this interesting suggestion!
CONCERN: Lecturers are treated as though they’re second-class citizens. This is expressed in a number of ways: No contract after teaching for over two weeks; notification of teaching schedules and classes is completed far too close to the semester start. If the University values students, how will Fresno State change its policies for lecturers?
RESPONSE: Let me begin by saying that I and the University value our temporary faculty. For example, temporary faculty are welcome to take advantage of virtually all professional development opportunities offered by the University. This includes faculty learning communities, DISCOVERe, and the Provost’s research, scholarly and creative activities grants. As you likely know, our Collective Bargaining Agreement stipulates the order of assignment for all faculty. In order to keeps student costs to a minimum across the campus, we need to be flexible when it comes to scheduling courses. Unfortunately, that means that in some cases temporary faculty are asked to teach a course or courses on very short notice. We continue to work with department chairs and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness to increase our ability to accurately predict course offerings. As we improve the model on predicting demand, we will be able to let temporary faculty know sooner about the need for their services
Posted on: 08/25/2016
CONCERN: During the Preview Day, President Castro said that freshman would get "priority enrollment" but that never happened. We struggle to get classes.
RESPONSE: I am sorry to hear that you have issues getting classes. We have added enough new faculty and courses this fall to ensure that freshman and new transfer students are able to enroll in at least 15 units each semester.We offer courses throughout the day, so it may require some flexibility in your class schedule. Please contact the chair of the relevant department (Chair of the Anthropology department, for example, for an Anthropology class) if you have specific concerns with getting the classes you need. Let me know if, after your contact, your concerns are not reasonably addressed.
CONCERN: I would like you to bring back the University testing center. As a faculty member, it is a major problem not having it available. I know that I had students cheating during finals. It would be beneficial for the students, too. They can have more time at the University testing center and they are not so physically close.
RESPONSE: Thank you for expressing your opinion. I have listened carefully to all views on this topic and I want you to know that virtually everyone I hear from is relieved that we have paused on the prior use of the university testing center. I would suggest that you work with your department chair and Dean to identify a suitable testing space and proctors, if necessary, to help address your concerns about the risks of cheating. Recently, I charged a task force to provide advice regarding how to improve testing services in the future. The report was shared with me this summer. I am working closely with the Provost and Vice President for Student Affairs to review the report's recommendations and determine our next steps.
CONCERN: Provide yearly training for Administrators. I had multiple incidents where people who were supposed to know their jobs didn't, and made it very difficult, caused delays and was just a waste of my time in trying to get things done.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry that you have not experienced full satisfaction in your interactions with our administrators. We are investing more resources into professional development for our staff and we emphasize quality service in serving our students. Please feel free to share any specific incidents with me so that we can work to address them.
CONCERN: As a long-time staff member on campus it is very upsetting to get a parking citation. I chose the decal to hang on the rear view mirror. From time to time, it slides under the window shield (in the summer) and/or I simply forget to hang it. Since a parking citation is $50 and is recorded with the DMV, is there a way to verify that the car I drive to work has paid its monthly fees and not issue a citation?
RESPONSE: We recognize the challenges of a hanging parking permit. As such, our plan this year is to implement new software that will provide the ability to check license plate numbers to ensure a permit has been issued for that vehicle in the event that a permit is not shown. This will be a major service improvement.
CONCERN: Walking across lawn on campus, I see a man spreading chemicals on the grass. With the bee colonies and bats dying these days, could we use environmentally safe herbicides?
RESPONSE: Fresno State is deeply committed to role-modeling responsible environmental practices in all that we do to maintain and operate our grounds and facilities. Typically we fertilize the lawns three to four times per year with a nitrogen based fertilizer. Also we spray various products at times to control specific weeds that grow in the lawns. We do not apply any chemicals that are harmful to the bee population. We are especially sensitive to this issue given our proximity to the farm and our crops that rely on bees for pollination. Neither bats, other small mammals nor birds of any type are harmed by the products we use. Also, as one of our measures to conserve water during the drought, we apply a product to "open up" the soils so water gets to the root zone in compacted areas and another product is applied that helps the soil retain moisture in the root zone for the lawn.
CONCERN: We recently experienced a power outage in the Library in which the elevators ceased functioning. An employee who is handicapped had no way of reaching the ground floor. What is being done to assure handicapped employees of safe and reliable access to their offices and their cars when the elevators are down?
RESPONSE: We are terribly sorry to hear about this. The power did go out unexpectedly and impacted a portion of the Library for approximately 50 minutes. However, other building elevators continued to be operational during the outage and access was available at all times during the outage. In the future, if there is an emergency that of this sort where a person with a disability needs assistance, our Public Safety team can be called upon for help.
CONCERN: I'm wondering what type of handbook we have for our student assistants. I think it's important that students have some (universal) guidelines on what is expected from them and what they can expect from us while being employed on campus. I've contacted Student Affairs and HR but neither seem to be able to come up with a campus-wide handbook for student employees.
RESPONSE: We agree that is a great idea and will ask Human Resources to work with the Career Services to develop such a handbook as a resource guide. In the interim, we suggest that departments and hiring managers communicate clear expectations and guidelines when hiring student assistants. Our Office of Organizational Excellence has been providing training for student assistants.
CONCERN: I noticed the old blue signs that say "J.E. O'Neill Park" are starting to look a little shabby - especially when compared to the new wayfinding signs. Are there any plans to do any new signs for O'Neill Park?
RESPONSE: We are exploring the opportunity to do a major upgrade and enhancement of J.E. O’Neill Park and new signage would be part of this plan. However, in the interim, we can replace the existing signage.
CONCERN: The sidewalk between Conley Art and the Joyal parking lot has sprinklers that are still running at 6:45 a.m. Some of us like to get here early to make our coffee and open the doors for our students at 7 a.m. sharp. I suggest that they be turned off by at least 6:30 a.m.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your feedback. Recently, we installed a master irrigation controller that has helped to remotely identify leaks, broken sprinklers and overwatering. Our grounds team manages over 36,000 sprinklers to irrigate our 327-acre main campus and does its best to schedule watering to minimize disruption to students, staff and faculty.
CONCERN: There are many staff/faculty/administrators on campus and it would be great to have the photos taken for our IDs made into something like a phone book.
RESPONSE: Great idea. We don’t prepare a printed phone directory, but future plans for a new online directory could have the option for photos, so we'll definitely keep this in mind. Many schools, colleges and departments already post photos on their respective websites. We encourage all staff and faculty to connect through the many means we have available to build a more cohesive campus community. Red Fridays, professional development workshops, campus events, open forums, receptions, celebrations, STAR Day, diversity events and lectures are just a few way we can connect and help welcome our newest faculty and staff colleagues.
CONCERN: We need enforcement of campus rules and police visibility. In particular, certain students and visitors to campus violate the smoking policy. Now it is affecting my ability to work on campus because someone is smoking in the building where I work, Family Food Science. This has been happening during summer break. I reported it several times, but it is difficult to catch a moving offender.
RESPONSE: Thanks for calling this to our attention. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management and Sustainability is the department in charge of overseeing issues related to the smoking policy, including non-compliance with the policy and monitoring the locations of the designated areas, as traffic patterns or needs require. In fact, they have recently launched an online form that can be used to report violations of the policy. We have called this issue to their attention and suggest that specific questions and problems regarding smoking policy should be directed to 278.7422. The Chancellor’s Office is in the process of drafting a system-wide smoking policy so look for more details on this in the coming year.
CONCERN: With more studies on the dangers of being sedentary most of the day, it would be great to allow staff to have adjustable standing desks or exercise desks to promote better health while working. Unfortunately, not all staff are able to take their regular breaks.
RESPONSE: If there is a medical reason an employee needs a standing desk they should contact Human Resources for assist with an accommodation. Unfortunately converting all workstations to standing desks is not financially feasible at this time. We do encourage all employees to take advantage of the wellness programs provided through the Office of Organizational Excellence. There are fitness classes available nearly every day and are free to all Fresno State employees, walking groups that enjoy the Bulldog Trails throughout the day and many other ways to stay fit.
CONCERN: I, along with multiple program heads, oversee summer residential programs on campus. With the heat reaching past 100 degrees during the lunch and dinner hour, our students eating at the Residence Dining Hall are having to wait in line stretching to the outside heat. It would be nice if they had shade.
RESPONSE: Thank you for the suggestion.
CONCERN: The Joyal north lobby women's bathroom is disgusting. It needs to be thoroughly cleaned every day. We see a lot of students on a regular basis. The janitor often goes in flushes, fills dispenser, takes out garbage and they call it good. Thorough scrubbing is needed.
RESPONSE: Thank you for letting us know. We have asked our custodial team to check the restrooms more often. We encourage all employees to use the online customer service request form maintenance requests. For emergency or urgent repairs such as flooding, leaks, broken windows, rooms too hot or cold, power outages, elevator issues or other problems which pose an immediate health, safety, or security risk, please call the Work Control Center at 278.2373.
CONCERN: I have noticed more than once this week, golf cart drivers going very fast on the sidewalk when people are present – even when there was no traffic on the street and no reason the golf cart needed to use the sidewalk. I think it is time for a refresher on safely driving golf carts on campus.
RESPONSE: Thank you for calling this to our attention. Safety is always a priority. Please report any incidents immediately to Public Safety including if possible the department name on the golf cart. Golf carts are used by many University departments for a variety of purposes including transporting disabled students, delivering mail and supplies and providing catering services. Employees who are authorized to drive these carts are required to complete a driving authorization process, pass a defensive driving fundamental course and abide by all applicable vehicle laws. Employees misusing University vehicles are subject to disciplinary action. We encourage all managers who authorize use of golf carts to review safety standards and appropriate pathways for use with employees or students who are authorized to drive.
CONCERN: Similar to the faculty (current and emeriti) Obituary and Memorial Service Notice announced on Bulletin Board, there should be an announcement for staff (current and retired) who have passed away.
RESPONSE: Our practice is to have the department of any former or current employee who passes away – faculty, staff or administrator – submit an announcement to Bulletin Board (https://www.fresnostate.edu/bulletinboard/). Employees who have passed away are also recognized in Fresno State Magazine, which is published twice a year.
CONCERN: Cross collaboration projects between the Jordan College and Lyles Engineering College, especially in the water arena, is needed. The UCs do this well. We can learn a thing or two and try to become a little more research orientated since Fresno State is so important to the southern San Joaquin Valley.
RESPONSE: The University is focusing on collaborative research across campus and water is one of our key areas with several collaborative water research projects currently underway. The latest edition of the Fresno State magazine highlighted a major research project between the Lyles College and the California Water Institute dealing with water desalination. A scan of ongoing collaborative research projects involving researchers from the Jordan and Lyles Colleges found six water related projects funded at $850,000. There is also collaboration in the area of Unmanned Aerial Systems where we have two dedicated labs – one in each of the colleges – that are used jointly. As you point out, Fresno State is an important resource to the San Joaquin Valley and our newly restructured California Water Institute is designed to be the front door to the campus for water-related research and educational efforts. We invite interested parties to contact the director of the institute, Dr. David Zoldoske at 559.298.2066 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONCERN: There should be tutoring for summer courses. It doesn't make any sense why they wouldn't since they offer summer classes.
RESPONSE: Thank you for the feedback. We identify and allocate resources based on student enrollment and demand. Some student services are scaled back in summer. If you need extra help in class, please advise your instructor. You may also try using online tutoring resources such as the following: Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/; Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/; University of Maryland Online Writing Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO1EOfXWVUTrtEmTtiQhCpA/videos; Purdue Online Writing Lab: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/; MIT OpenCourseware: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
Posted on: 06/29/2016
CONCERN: Why does President Castro shake the hands of all of the students at Latino Commencement -- and their names are called -- and not the official university ceremony? According to your news stories there were 1,345 student at the main ceremony and 950 at the Latino ceremony. That’s only 400 more. He should honor students at the main ceremony, not just the Latino ceremony. Department ceremonies typically do not offer the pomp and circumstance that is attributed to the main graduation ceremony and are small and have limited numbers of seats available for guests. Fresno State can look at the majority of other universities and colleges to see that they find ways to accommodate large groups of graduating students by breaking the large ceremony into two or three different large ceremonies that still leaves students feeling like they graduated with their class and not feeling discriminated against because their race or ethnicity does not have a special graduation ceremony. We should not be lost faces in a crowd on graduation day.
RESPONSE: Thank you for asking this good question. My preference would be to call out and shake the hands of individual names at the main ceremony. We have not done so because of time constraints on that morning. This constraint is less of a factor with the Latino ceremony because it is the final ceremony of the evening.
All but one of the eight colleges/schools at Fresno State provide ceremonies where graduating students (both undergraduate and graduate) are recognized by name by their Dean. These events range in size from 170 to 600 students with audiences ranging from just under 2,000 to almost 6,500 families and friends. Six of the seven were held in the Save Mart Center with the seventh in the Student Recreation Center. This is similar to most large universities where a single event is simply not practical. I will explore with the Cabinet creative options for addressing your concern.
CONCERNS regarding proposed Student Union and Faculty Center: The plan for the new Student Union is exciting but we have classrooms that need renovation and we need more faculty offices and research spaces. Addressing these needs first could have a bigger direct impact on student learning and student success. The new Student Union will be a great addition to the University, but it should be something you do later - after addressing the other critical academic needs.
RESPONSE:Thank you. We are reviewing all of the feedback and comments regarding the proposed Student Union and Faculty Center. This includes comments from faculty, staff, students and community members submitted via the President’s Feedback page, at the open forums and via the www.fresnostatenews.com/BoldNewU webpage.
Please be advised that a new Student Union is a priority project identified by our student leadership and will be funded with debt supported by student fees (similar to the Student Recreation Center). If the students support this project, they will have to pass a fee referendum that would increase their fees to support the construction and operation of this facility in addition to any fundraising efforts.
Although the feasibility and concept for a new Student Union/Faculty Center is a priority as part of our Five-Year Capital Outlay Program, it is not the only project priority. One of the Strategic Plan priorities is to update our physical and technological master plan. As part of this effort, we will be engaging and partnering with Academic Affairs and our entire campus community to review and evaluate our campus space needs with a priority on instructional spaces such as classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices.
We have also had some very preliminary discussions with the College of Arts and Humanities and Advancement staff about the potential location and cost to build a Humanities Building that includes a Concert Hall. In our current Five-Year Capital Outlay program we have included the modernization of the Social Sciences building and the Grosse Industrial Technology Building as priority projects for our campus.
We appreciate and recognize we have a lot more work to do in modernization and renovating our academic buildings, including faculty offices. Administrative Services is working closely with Academic Affairs to ensure the priority of these projects is aligned and supported by the academic needs and priorities of our University. Over the next two summers we will be investing over $20 million in projects that specifically address deferred maintenance. The campus cumulative backlog is long and over $200 million. However, with financial support from Office of the President and Office of the Provost progress is happening. Please get involved this fall when we have forums and discussions about project priorities and our master plan for the future. We need your voice and participation to help shape and guide these discussions.
CONCERN: The campus mail use to be delivered twice each day. You knew that what you sent via campus mail was being routed to the intended recipient on that day or the next. Now, campus mail is only one time per day, which can mean three days for each piece of mail to get to the intended person. Then if it needs to be routed to say one, two or three additional signatures/departments this can add up to nine business days just to get to the ultimate goal of reaching the final contact person. It is so inefficient and counterproductive. We do not have the time to hand deliver all documents and then pick them up. But sometimes we have to make the time. It is just wrong to pay staff and/or student assistants to run errands on campus. If the mail room has inadequate funds, what solution can the campus come up with to help them/us.
RESPONSE: A few years back Mail Services was reduced to cut costs and redundant daily services. To go back to a twice a day service, Mail Services would need to double the number of Student Assistants it currently employs at the higher minimum wage rate. Procurement is currently in the process of designing online Purchase Requisition and Purchase Alteration forms to be implemented soon. These online forms will be a more effective and efficient process with electronic approvals (no more needing hard copy signatures) and faster electronic delivery of the forms to Procurement. Within the next two years we hope to have all Procurement, Warehouse and Mail Services forms needing signatures moved over to an electronic form with electronic approvals.
CONCERN: How can we make Fresno State Magazine available in retail outlets, as well as receiving them by mail?
RESPONSE: Our magazine is mailed to 58,000 households and an email version is sent to over 100,000 addresses, so the audience is already substantial. Making the magazine available in stores is an interesting idea. We’ll ask our University Communications staff to explore the feasibility of this idea to determine if the increased costs for printing and distribution could be recouped.
CONCERN: Two words: speed bumps. Too often have I seen drivers speed through our campus both on streets and in parking lots. Many drivers don't even stop at stop signs or crosswalks opting to blame anyone or anything that comes in their way. Speed bumps would help force irresponsible drivers to slow down and help protect pedestrians from harm. I know the university can't do anything to keep bad drivers off the road but it can at least do something to force them to stop driving at such dangerous speeds.
RESPONSE:We agree and have identified locations for speed bumps and rumble strips. Our plan is to install them upon completion of roadwork following our electrical infrastructure project (fall 2016). Please be advised that campus speed limit signs were recently updated and 11 solar-powered flashing stop signs have been installed at high-traffic intersections.
CONCERN: Please build the bridge for the students to cross at every stop sign. It is dangerous to cross.
RESPONSE:Unfortunately this not a cost effective approach and bridges need to be ADA accessible. We have our Public Safety and parking officers monitor traffic in order to ensure a safe environment for all pedestrians and vehicles.
CONCERN: I'm a commuter student and drive 131 miles a day up to four times a week to Fresno State. As you can imagine, my back aches a lot even while sitting in the classroom and studying in the library. My suggestion is offer ergonomic stand-up tables inside the library that allows for those who have back pains or just prefer to stand up and study.
RESPONSE: Thank you for that recommendation. We will evaluate with the Library staff and identify cost and funding opportunities.
CONCERN: I planned to go to the Celebration of Student Research and Achievement for the College of Science and Mathematics. It was in the Residence Dining Hall. I will admit that I should have looked on line to see where the Dining Hall is, but I didn't. The signage that I saw was too small to be seen from a car and I did not see one Directory although I drove all around the campus. Since parking is difficult I was not willing to park and get out and wander all over so I came home. Please do what you can to improve the signage - both the small directional signs and, if there is a map and directory, please put it in a prominent place near one, or all of the main entrances.
RESPONSE:Thank you and we apologize for this inconvenience. We are constantly working to improve our wayfinding signage and visitor experience. One of the projects is adding wayfinding signage in Lot P27 near the Residence Dining Hall. Signage includes a landmark lighted sign map in P27 and directional signage along the walkway near the Residence Dining Hall. The signs are currently in fabrication and are scheduled to be installed this summer. For future reference, a campus map is posted here.
CONCERN: There have been several construction/heavy machinery vehicles driving on campus over the past several months, working on our infrastructure upgrades, which is great for the entire campus community. However, within the past month, I witnessed two near-misses with large bulldozers and students who obviously had their headphone volume set too loud to hear the large tractors as they drove through campus. I am surprised these large machinery operators don't have escorts guiding them as they drive on campus, especially during class changes.
RESPONSE:Thank you for reporting this. We have advised our campus construction safety and project team and will ensure that there are precautions in place when needing to have large machinery navigate areas where pedestrians are walking.
CONCERN: Why aren't there free 30-minute disabled parking spots? All the disabled parking stalls require a Fresno State parking pass in addition to the disabled placard or license plate. Parking passes are not required of those who park in the other 30-minute parking stalls. Those free 30-minute stalls are not accessible.
RESPONSE: In accordance with Title 5, CCR 42200 (c), campus parking regulations do not permit complimentary parking for matriculating students or employees who display valid disabled placards or license plates. Employees and students must display a valid parking permit along with DMV issued placards or license plates in all Fresno State parking spaces. We do offer a number of areas with metered parking and 20-minute loading zones but those stalls are not designated as disabled parking stalls.
CONCERN: The three-way stop located in front of the Alumni House and Lot P2 (solar panels parking lot) need to be modified. There should be at least two "right lane must turn right" signs installed. Additionally, the arrows that have worn off over the years need to be repainted on the road. Perhaps the solid yellow lines should also be replaced with broken yellow lines to allow lane changes. I’ve noticed that many drivers are making a bad habit of turning left from the right side of the lane. I was nearly involved in an accident three times during the fall semester by those different drivers and witnessed a student encounter the same situation.
RESPONSE:Thank you for this suggestion. This issue was recently discussed and is a priority on our parking project maintenance list. It will be fixed this summer.
CONCERN: As a recent graduate (2014) and a current staff member, it is frustrating to see the constant complaints about student parking. As a former student who took night classes, I understand that parking away from your class is not always ideal, but Fresno State does offer services to transport you to your car. It is irritating to me to see that students want to park in faculty spots at 5 p.m. There are many people who would be put out if the time of student parking was moved to an earlier time. It is unfair to the staff and faculty who have worked hard for their positions to not be able to park because a student is parked there. It is one of the perks of being a faculty or staff member and it should be kept this way.
RESPONSE:Thank you and we understand and respect your position. Please be advised that we have been in discussions with representatives from the bargaining units regarding the ability to allow students to access faculty/staff parking lots earlier than 7 p.m. We have reached agreement with CSUEU and discussions are continuing with CFA in an effort to reach mutual agreement so as not to negatively impact faculty and staff. Also, please be aware that our students pay more than faculty and staff to park on campus and it is difficult to explain to students when they see many open spaces in these lots after 5 p.m. We will continue to ensure our entire campus community is supported with adequate parking facilities and services.
CONCERN: Put a fence up around the school farm. All sorts of people wander through the ag farm and as a result many problems occur. Other schools with school farms usually have them fenced in, most notably Cal Poly and UC Davis. Why are we always the ones behind others? Also people bring their animals and have no regard for the area they let them play in. This breaks at least three global gap protocols and demonstrates that we really don't care about food safety. Some people come and play in the area and as a result one student died on the farm last month. Several items are either stolen or broken. I know we have a police force but unfortunately they cannot be everywhere all of the time so a fence would aid in keeping people out.
RESPONSE:Yes, warning signage was installed as a part of campus signage upgrade. The signage is installed around the perimeter of farm areas and at various farm area access points. Our Public Safety and Risk Management staff are consistently working with our Farm staff to monitor and respond as needed. Fencing the entire farm laboratory is not feasible at this time, but we may want to consider certain areas of the farm laboratory that are adjacent to the residential areas. Some of the difficulty is being able to farm those areas and having enough turnaround radius for the tractors and large ag equipment if fencing was to be installed.
CONCERN: Add changing tables into all the handicap restroom stalls, and if not all, at least the ones in the Library – men's and women's. Mothers and fathers should not have to change their child on a table or a counter. We especially should not have to leave and go to a different building in order to change our children. You've made gender inclusive bathrooms, so why not parent inclusive?
RESPONSE: Thank you for the suggestion. We will look into the feasibility of providing changing stations in high traffic buildings, including the Library. We do have them in some buildings currently.
CONCERN: Regarding faucets and sinks: the restrooms on the first, second and third floors on the west side of the Madden Library (toward the Laptop Lending center, the Blackboard center and the Media Center) only dispense hot water. There is no cold water in the faucet system/piping, even after adjusting the faucet levers. It is so hot that hands cannot be washed. It has been like this since the beginning of the semester and there is no sign around the faucets regarding the issue. The hot water can severely cause burns in sensitive people.
RESPONSE: Thank you for reporting this. We have informed the Library maintenance coordinator. Please contact Plant Operations at 278.2374 if the problem has not been resolved.
CONCERN: Why is there no means for staff to evaluate their MMP, director, etc., just like staff members are evaluated every October? Who evaluates them? Some of them need to know how they too can improve or for staff to express what a great job they are doing.
RESPONSE:All MPPs are evaluated annually by their immediate supervisor. It is up to the supervisor what feedback is solicited as part of the MPP evaluation. If you have feedback you feel would be important for the supervisor of an MPP to have, you are always welcome to share that feedback directly.
CONCERN: Don’t charge departments to use Fresno State facilities like NG 118 or SSU. Don’t require departments to utilize Fresno State resources if they're able to do it themselves (for example, charging to use tech guys for graduation even though department has their ownresources to do it).
RESPONSE:Thank you. NG 118 is a state-owned, campus-operated facility and there is no charge to use the room. However, if your event requires catering, special set up or special technology, there is a chargeback so that the expense is properly charged to the department utilizing the space.
The Satellite Student Union (SSU) is a facility leased and operated by one of our campus auxiliaries and the fund source to support its operation is student fees. As such, rental and usage fees are required when used by on-campus departments and off-campus organizations.
CONCERN: Both Army and Air Force ROTC units need bigger rooms to operate in.
RESPONSE:Thank you. This last year additional modernized space was provided to both Army and Air Force ROTC programs in the North Gym building. We understand many departments would like to have additional space and will consider as we update our master plan this next year as part of the Strategic Plan priorities.
CONCERN: Why did the men's restroom on the third floor of the library become an all-gender restroom? When men are using the urinals and a woman walks in is it is very uncomfortable and disconcerting. I was slightly ashamed when three women walked in and I was standing at the urinal. I don't know these women and they were as embarrassed as I was. Please change this back to a men's restroom.
RESPONSE:This conversion was part of our commitment to a safe campus that supports and values all members of our community. The majority of our gender neutral restrooms are single stall and lock from the inside. We regret the embarrassing situation and will see what we can do to address this space. The gender inclusive restroom on the third floor of the library is the only multi-stall gender neutral restroom we have on campus. We will explore adding floor to ceiling stalls around each toilet and removal of urinals so that all users are comfortable.
CONCERN: Why are you modifying multiple campus restrooms to accommodate transsexuals? They make up less than 1 percent of the student population, yet you are making concessions for them at the expense of the vast majority. Do you have to share a bathroom with a transsexual? I bet not. Your time and energy could be better spent taking care of the majority populations on campus, instead of pandering to the loud minority and special interest groups.
RESPONSE: Fresno State strives to create and sustain a safe and inclusive campus environment that supports and values all members of our diverse campus community. National studies have shown that transgender students have expressed concern with harassment and emotional distress when using gendered restrooms. On our campus, we currently have five gender inclusive restroom locations (http://www.fresnostate.edu/president/pchre/across/neutral.html). We will be changing the signage for additional single-stall restrooms this summer that lock from the inside.
CONCERN: The south curb of P24 (north of the North Gym) needs to be painted red immediately. For years we have been told the curb will be changed from a loading zone to a red, yet it never happens - even when the entire curb was rebuilt following the construction of the pool. It is a very dangerous area. There is not enough room for vehicles in opposing directions to pass each other and people step out in front of moving vehicles with no warning. With limited visibility, approaching vehicles often get boxed in while students park in the untimed "Loading Zone" for hours at a time. There is no signage to tell drivers which direction to go on the narrow one-way aisles. There is a loading zone located on the side of the North Gym at the turnaround. It's even worse when buses are loading in that space - there's no room to safely turn into aisles. It's a complete mess that would be solved by $5 and 10 minutes of painting.
RESPONSE:Thank you for the feedback. We are aware of this safety concern and the curb will be painted this summer.
CONCERN: You responded previously to a concern about hot water in Joyal. Would you also kindly provide a small under-counter hot water heater for the women's restroom on the third floor of the Peters Business Building? I work on the third floor but often go to the second floor restroom because it contains one small under-counter hot water heater.
RESPONSE:Yes, we will identify if this is feasible, and if so, will have one installed in each women’s restroom in the Peters Business Building. It may not be completed until the sometime during the fall 2016 semester due to other priority projects already underway.
CONCERN: I have a variety of concerns and suggestions to share for making the campus better:
(1) As of April 20 the water fountain near Taco Bell is broken. I have fixed it temporarily but it needs a permanent fix.
Yes our Facilities Management team is aware. There may need to be a large investment soon to continue to operate this fountain. Stay tuned…it is definitely an important campus landmark with lots of important campus history.
(2) Provide food at a low cost. Currently Taco Bell is the only service that has a dollar menu.
There are several affordable retail dining options across campus. Please know we strive to keep our prices affordable while at the same time our Dining Services operation is required to be self-supporting and with minimum wage and food cost increases, we cannot absorb those increases and continue to increase in new facilities and new food concepts.
(3) The tables are massive at the Fresno State Library, and I think it's overkill. Can you make smaller tables, so that we can have more people per table? It's always packed, and I have a hard time finding spots.
Thank you for your feedback.
(4) Can you provide more charging stations at tables? Technology is changing, and most
people are using laptops or tablets.
Yes, we agree and when there are opportunites through renovation and modernization projects, we are adding more charging stations at tables.
CONCERN: In regards to the DISCOVERe Hub, in recent months there has been no tracking of services, training or managing of employees. I hope that these issues can be addressed and the DISCOVERe initiative can pick up where it left off at the end of summer 2015 with the momentum and intentional presence on campus that DISCOVERe had before.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. I will ask our Chief Information Officer, Orlando Leon, to investigate and address any issues he discovers.
CONCERN: Eduroam has been a big problem this semester. It seems many complications, such as password updates, have arisen and tech services is not fully aware of how to fix them.
RESPONSE: I apologize that you have not received satisfactory support from our support teams. Our Technology Services Helpdesk would be happy to assist in resolving any wireless issues that you may be having. The Helpdesk can be reached online at help.fresnostate.edu or by phone at 559.278.5000
CONCERN: It would be ideal to have a Blackboard resource person available by phone or email after 5 p.m., especially since the University recommends faculty use this platform. There have been a number of glitches with Blackboard this semester and there has been no one to reach to help address these problems. When staff are available, it appears that there are some issues with coordination, with numerous people responding to the same Tech Support ticket who are unaware of the efforts other Blackboard staff.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your feedback and suggestion. During business hours, students can report Blackboard issues to the Technology Services Helpdesk. Faculty can contact the Blackboard resource center directly (559.278.7373 or email email@example.com). Outside of business hours, the Technology Services Helpdesk can address Blackboard access topics, such as password issues. The Helpdesk will route other Blackboard-related after-hours messages to staff in Academic Technology or the Faculty Development Center the next business day.
Our Chief Information Officer and Provost are working closely to improve our services for our students. Technology Services and the Faculty Development Center staff share a common issue tracking system to help ensure issues are resolved promptly, while minimizing missed opportunities and overlapping responses. Our technology infrastructure includes automated monitoring that alerts staff of major system malfunctions 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The technology team is also moving toward a common technology support structure and coordinated service "desk" for students, faculty, and staff with the goal of a "one-stop shop" service model within and outside of usual business hours.
CONCERN: As a department within a college, I think that evaluation of our deans are needed each year. There are times in which we have something to say or report that needs to be done in a confidential way. I think also this will help our deans be better leaders if they know how they are doing and what they can do to improve their relations with faculty and staff.
RESPONSE:The Provost evaluates each of our deans annually. She solicits input from their colleagues and from those they supervise but would also welcome your input. If you would like to provide her with information, please contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
CONCERN: In the event of a program losing accreditation, what does the University do for the students that will be graduating with the degree in which accreditation was denied? I am currently in this situation as I am scheduled to graduate in May 2017, however, we are facing possible loss of accreditation, which will be taken away a few months before my scheduled graduation date. I feel it is very important for the students in this program, including myself, to know what degree we will be graduating with. I have addressed this question multiple times to the Dean of the college and the department, as well as multiple submissions of this question on the comment form found on the Fresno State website and have yet to get a direct answer.
RESPONSE:Accreditation is an assessment of program quality conducted by an outside entity. Such as assessment supplements campus level assessments and provides programs with additional information from experts in the field about how a program can be strengthened. The University grants the degree and this is not impacted by the loss of accreditation. Students will graduate with the degree they have earned. It is possible that some in an industry may give more attention to students graduating from an accredited program. An accreditation review seldom results in an immediate loss of accreditation. Typically an institution is given a list of suggested and required actions and provided with a timeframe in which to take them. The accreditor would then take a look at the end of the timeframe and, if no actions were taken, might pull their accreditation. A number of Fresno State programs will be undergoing accreditation review in the next year but without more specific information, I can not provide you with better information. You can contact Dr. Xuanning Fu, Dean of Undergraduate Studies at email@example.com, for additional assistance.
CONCERN: The recent salary increase makes it a challenge on financial efficiency without more state budget support. There are two things we can do: (1) increase international student enrollment as many state universities do or (2) consider supporting graduate programs that have high demand/enrollment. Some graduate programs are too small to make it financially sounds. Offering graduate courses with less than 6-8 enrollments prevents us from investing resources in more sustainable and high priority programs.
RESPONSE:The campus intentionally increased international student enrollment from 356 students in Fall 2011 to 853 in Fall 2015. Initally, the goal was to provide Valley students with opportunities to interact with those from other countries and gain insights into cultures other than their own. It is true that out-of-state residents, including international students, do support the University with their fees. We anticipate that we will have over 900 international students on campus next fall and believe that this is a sustainable level that will continue to help us meet our goals.
As for graduate students, they are a distinctive and valued part of the University. At our May Commencement, almost one in five graduating students earned a master's or doctoral degree, a total of 1,031 students. With 43 master's degree programs, one educational specialist degree and three doctoral degrees, Fresno State invests heavily in graduate education. These programs vary in size, which is most often determined by faculty capacity within the department to deliver a quality program. Regardless of the size, these programs provide a rigorous and valuable experience for students. And, our comprehensive program review process ensures that each graduate degree maintains that high level of quality. In a few cases, graduate degrees have suspended admissions due to a lack of enrollment, but that is rare. Continued investment in graduate education at Fresno State is good for the institution, good for our students and good for the community.
CONCERN: I believe one of the areas that needs much improvement is the Nursing Advising office. I am a third year pre-nursing student planning on applying to the Nursing program. I am aware of their walk-in hours, but I feel the office does not abide by these hours. There has been several instances in which I have walked in with a sufficient amount of time left for walk-in hours and I am told they cannot take me in nor can I set up an appointment. What is the point of having advisers if they are not available to advise us?
RESPONSE: We are sorry if you were not able to see an advisor when you came for Walk In advising. Walk In Advising is a first-come, first-served process and depending on the time of the semester in can be very busy. We do try to meet with all students but it is unavoidable that sometimes a student may not be seen at the exact moment they come to the office. We continue to work on improving and updating our Walk In process. As a third year Pre-Nursing student you should have received an email notice to set up a mandatory advising appointment. During these appointments students receive advising on remaining prerequisites, nursing applications processes, remaining GE/graduation requirements and overall academic progress. Additionally, the advisor provides his/her contact information for follow up questions. Please contact the office at 278.5027 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
CONCERN: I know you can do better for faculty evaluations. How the evaluations are set up right now is terrible. There are zero incentives to give honest answers, and there are more consequences by giving negative feedback. Please use email to do evaluations or have at least a cover page to hide the answers.
RESPONSE: The purpose of an assessment is to help faculty and programs improve. We recognize the need for a comprehensive faculty evaluation system -- including input from both students and faculty colleagues. Currently IDEA, a student rating instrument, is used as a part of the overall faculty evaluation system and appears to be your focus. It measures a student’s learning experience in a particular course and provides a mechanism for students to provide feedback that may be used to improve the teaching and learning. The University is currently assessing the value of IDEA. In fall 2016, a working group will be formed to discuss assessment needs, identify and review other alternatives and select potential vendors. We invite faculty to participate on this process and welcome your input in identifying and developing best practices in faculty evaluation.
CONCERN: As a student from Visalia and a mother of a newborn, I would appreciate more online courses.
RESPONSE:Online courses are a great way to offer students scheduling flexibility and long-distance access in completing their course work. Fresno State has been encouraging programs and faculty to increase online offers. Whether a course can be offered online is largely based on student learning success and course content. For example, language courses, communication courses, lab courses, and math/statistics courses do not fit the online delivery model. Face-to-face instruction is required in these courses. In Fall 2015, 22%, 23%, 32% and 15% of all courses in lower division GE were offered online, respectively in areas A3 (critical thinking), D1 (History), D2 (US government), and D3 (Social Sciences). In comparison, very low proportions (0 to 7%) of lower division GE are offered online in areas of A1 (communication), A2 (English composition), B1 (Physical Science), B2 (Life Science), B4 (quantitative reasoning), C1 and C2 (Arts and Humanities) and E1 (life-long Understanding and self-development). These courses are all in areas where online delivery does not facilitate student learning.
For upper division GE, we have 9%, 23%, 42% and 48% course sections offered online in Fall 2015, in IC (Arts and Humanities), ID (Social, political and economic institutions), M/I (multi-cultural and International), and IB (Physical Universe). The relatively lower proportion in IC is due to the nature of the courses, similar to lower division GE area C1 and C2.
The number of courses offered online varies by discipline, largely based on the same principle whether online delivery facilitates student learning. Our faculty are constantly evaluating the feasibility of their courses and new online offerings are gradually increasing. The process of approving a course to be offered online is thorough and rigorous, and involves faculty training and course redesign. All these take time but ensure quality of instruction.
CONCERN: Can you please stop "Priority registration?" It's totally unfair for students that are working hard in school and have good grades to be the last in line.
RESPONSE: Registration appointments have always been assigned based on class level and total number of units completed. The student groups that receive priority registration have received approval either based on a mandate from the Chancellor’s Office or belong to an official campus program that limits class scheduling opportunity due to program requirements. For fairness to all students, the Registrar’s Office plans to establish a yearly review of all existing priority groups, with the first review to be completed this summer.
Posted on: 05/09/2016
CONCERN: I am a student at Fresno State, and I plan on graduating December of 2016. I have two sisters who graduated from Cal Poly and Monterey Bay, both graduated in the winter and both of their schools had a cap-and-gown ceremony for the students graduating in December. It upsets me that the University does not have a ceremony for the winter graduating students.
RESPONSE: We will explore the possibility of holding a December graduation ceremony.
CONCERN: Help students who are not athletes or ASI members. We are making a difference too and we also would love our tuition to be paid off.
RESPONSE: Fresno State's mission is "to educate and empower students for success." Our goal is to provide a high quality education and support system for all students. The campus provided over $225 million in financial aid to students in 2015-16. About 80 percent of our students receive financial aid and over 50 percent of our students do not pay any tuition to attend Fresno State because of their family's modest financial resources.
CONCERN: Fresno State does a good job at keeping the “status quo” of the surrounding Fresno
County and Central Valley in regards to culture, intent and expectations. I believe
this is the historical default of this particular University....but it needs to change....and
I believe it is changing. Do not allow the surrounding culture of Fresno County and
the Central Valley to influence the ultimate climate of the campus, student body,
administration and faculty! Yes, it's difficult since local businesses, individuals
and movements want to dictate how Fresno State represents Fresno itself, however,
Fresno State does not just represent Fresno, California. The student body, administration
and faculty come from all over the world. Fresno State needs to ask itself a question:
Does it want to be a local "Mom & Pop" Cal State that only caters and represents the
neighbors who live across the street in Fresno? Or, does it want to be a competitive,
cutting-edge, cosmopolitan, international university with a diverse global population
where significant teaching, learning, research and cultural enlightenment is taking
place to the point where the rest of the world is watching because they have to...because
we are relevant and part of the global community, rather than just a local community?
A city alone shouldn't be calling the shots on a university as a whole! I say go global
RESPONSE: Universities are among a few institutions in our society that simultaneously shape and are shaped by their external environment. Fresno State will continue to educate students from across the nation and world even while a large majority come from cities across the Central Valley. We will also conduct research that impacts issues across the globe. Fresno State plays a critical role in shaping the health and vitality of the Central Valley. I believe we can do this while also playing a vital national and international role.
CONCERN: I would like to suggest that staff be allowed to have an alternate work schedule of
summer hours during Spring Break. Campus traffic is usually slow during this time
and working 7-3:30 will allow staff to spend more quality time with family.
RESPONSE: Thank you. I will share this idea with the Cabinet.
CONCERN: I was reading through the page with “concerns” and was shocked how many people think
that having their needs fulfilled is taken for granted. It's almost "give us... give
us more..." No matter how much the University gives, it is still not enough. What
about questioning "what WE can do for our school to improve our life on campus." I'm
sure the administration is working hard to make the best they can for us. Isn't it
time for us to step up and think that we -- under supervision of administration --
can improve our life?
RESPONSE: Thank you! I appreciate your bold suggestion! Please model this approach with our colleagues.
CONCERN: There appears to be very little effort to personally invite members of the community
to the community forums featuring President Castro. I found out that he recently came
to Lemoore, and yet we did not receive any invitation in the mail, or even a phone
call. Given the fact that you seem to have very few forums offered, it does not seem
likely that he will come back to Lemoore soon, or that we will even know about it
if he does. I feel we have been left out simply because you do not care enough to
send us invitations in the mail or contact us personally so that we can attend.
RESPONSE: I am sorry that I missed you in Lemoore. It was a great event! We invited all alumni and we publicized the forum in local newspapers. Please send an email to me via the Office of the President we site and I will invite you to join me for a future event. I look forward to meeting you!
CONCERN: I am really concerned about the recent announcement that Fresno State is moving $2
million in state funding to the Athletics Department to fund wrestling and water polo.
This is money that could be used to increase tenure-density and student success. Do
we have a plan for getting athletics off of state money so we can use it for students?
RESPONSE: We are not moving $2 million in state funding to the Athletic Department to fund wrestling and water polo. In fact, we have received significant private funding to help restart the wrestling team. In 2015-16, we have allocated 71 percent of our state funds for salaries and benefits of faculty and staff. The largest portion of these funds is used for academic (mostly faculty) salaries and benefits. The recent agreement with the CFA will result in millions of dollars more for faculty salaries and benefits in the next two years. In addition, this year we allocated state funding for nine new tenure track faculty members and for student success efforts. Those investments, along with a robust salary equity program for faculty and staff, were among the largest single investments of state funds that we made this year.
CONCERN: Regarding speakers platform:
(1) Fresno State does a great job of ensuring that students are safe on campus. However, I did not feel safe on campus today. My concern is about a religious group that visited campus today and made me feel very uncomfortable and unsafe when they were there. The group was saying very hateful things, especially toward women. Many students formed a large crowd around this group and made attempts to dispel their hateful words. This only made the group gain more momentum and continue on for the rest of the day. As a woman, witnessing this made me feel unwelcome on my own campus. I understand that this group is able to be there and has freedom of speech. However, I feel that they were creating a very hostile environment for the women students. The campus police were there to make sure the situation did not turn violent, but the religious group's words were very damaging. What action can the school take against this group? Does the campus have the power to ask them to leave?
(2) I am writing in response to President Castro's email addressing our complaints about the recent events occurring in the Free Speech Area on campus. I completely comprehend the freedom of individuals to express their values and ideas to others in an open and free manner. What I do not understand is how the administration allows people to create a hostile environment on campus. These specific speakers are not addressing their values in a manner that is acceptable on a college campus. They use vulgar language toward students and suggest that our female students are "whores" for attending college or for the clothing we happen to be wearing that day. I would like to be able to walk to my class without being called offensive and sexist terms simply because of the fact that I am wearing pants. The fact that this administration allows for these individuals to remain on campus and claim that they are simply "expressing their freedom of speech" is extremely offensive to all students, especially to the women and LGBT community on campus. I can simply stay away from that particular area of campus; however I do not find it right that as a student I don't feel comfortable around the Library and Student Union.
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concerns. My advice is to not engage speakers, like the one you reference, who express ideas that offend you. Doing so gives them the attention they crave, while ignoring them will likely result in them leaving campus sooner. Another option is to express an alternative opinion at another campus location.
(3) I do appreciate the Free Speech area. This is a good platform for students to be exposed to different cultures and perspectives outside of their own, even if we do not agree with what is being said. However, the volume with which these messages are being are projected has become exceptionally intrusive to my work day and others I've spoken with in our building. My office is just past the Peace Gardens and I can hear yelling this far away even with my windows closed. I absolutely respect their right to express their opinions, but when they are yelling so loud and the crowd they draw gets even louder, it negatively affects my work environment. I am hoping that my rights to work in an environment free of yelling and extreme negativity will be considered in addressing and resolving this.
RESPONSE: Thank you. I understand your concern.
CONCERN: Regarding sustainability efforts:
(1) I would like to see a more green campus: banning bottled water sold on campus, Styrofoam and plastics. We are supposed to be educated students, yet we do not understand the harmful effects of these. Not only are we polluting and trashing our campus, we are teaching the next generation that this is acceptable. The UC college campuses are green schools and we should be too. Please collaborate with the Fresno State Sustainability Project.
RESPONSE: Thank you for your recommendations for identifying additional opportunities where we can enhance our sustainability practices and initiatives. Banning the sale and availability of bottled water may be more difficult, but we are continuing to add filtered water locations in various campus buildings and we have eliminated the usage of any Styrofoam products in our Dining Services operations. In addition, our campus waste contractor segregates and recycles all applicable products from the waste stream. We have more work to do in this area, but we have made significant progress over the last few years.
CONCERN: (2) I have noticed that there are many trashcans on campus, but no recycling bins.
There are many students just throwing away their water bottles, cans, glasses and
paper. Is there any reason why we can't add recycling bins for paper, bottles and
other recyclables? Or at least point in the direction where we can take our recyclables?
RESPONSE: Fresno State is deeply committed to sustainability practices across campus including
recycling. Separate recycling bins aren’t need because all campus trash is co-mingled
and sorted off site for recycling. Under our waste and recycling contract the University
receives 100 percent of the recycle proceeds. We have a 72 percent diversion rate,
meaning that we divert three quarters of waste away from landfills. For recycling
questions please contact Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Management and Sustainability
CONCERN: Regarding The Collegian’s Trump editorial:
(1) I'm embarrassed for the school and the school paper. To compare Trump to Hitler is disgusting, immature and downright wrong!
(2) I am still disgusted by the Collegian anti-Trump attack. To compare Trump to a mass killer and fanatic like Hitler is irresponsible and just plain wrong. I am not satisfied with the school's attempt to back pedal and distance itself from the student paper. Obviously the school is creating a liberal atmosphere where faculty and students are moving way left. I have in over 37 years donated in excess of $100,000 to the school by way of the Bulldog Foundation. I hold a BS degree and an MBA from Fresno State. I am truly disappointed in the school and at this point maybe the school is just not my cup of tea.
(3) You have a student newspaper with balls. When the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination says "I love the poorly educated" you need to own some of that. You have trained thousands of American public school teachers over the years. The students of your teachers are about to elect a "reality TV” star. Don't you dare back away from your journalist students; they are our only hope.
(4) I would like to know if the University is going to ask for Troy Pope's apology for his "Sieg Heil" article or encourage him to step down as editor-in-chief. There is a point where your freedom of speech is inappropriate, even in a student-run paper, and that article went well beyond that line. It's obvious that Troy has no self-control on what is appropriate as he selfishly choose to print his editorial on the front page, which obviously lacked the proper consideration that an editor-in-chief should have. I'm also disappointed in the faculty that give guidance to The Collegian as they should have informed Troy that his decision is unwise from a business point of view, would be suicidal in the real world. We are ultimately educating our students so they will succeed post-graduation and our faculty clearly failed in this case. I'm embarrassed for Fresno State.
(5) As a Fresno State alum, I'm appalled at the Collegian's editor-in-chief's arrogant,
snarky depiction of Mr. Trump. It is offensive, despicable and borders on hatred –
another black eye for Fresno. I believe in free speech, but this diatribe is beyond
RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your views with me. The Collegian, like other newspapers across
the nation, has a constitutional right to express its opinion through editorials.
I believe that it is important for The Collegian to exercise this right while also
printing letters from readers who have different opinions. They have done so. I
encourage those who have an opinion that differs from The Collegian's editorial board
to send a letter to the editor.
CONCERN: Non-handicapped individuals are parking in the handicap parking spaces located
on Maple Mall near Peters Business in order to utilize the parking ticket dispenser.
For those of us who have a handicap placard this is unacceptable. My suggestion is
that the dispenser be moved to another location.
RESPONSE: Thank you for pointing this out. We have moved the dispenser.
CONCERN: As a faculty member, I find myself having the time to write this because for the second
time this semester I am not able to conduct my class because students in my lecture
room do not have Wi-Fi access once again. We need modern Internet access! Eduroam
was predicted to solve all of our problems on campus but continues to be unreliable
in many lecture halls. IT needs to properly identify the needs of the faculty, staff
and students and not merely installed the newest, "fastest," smallest tech toy to
impress their own ranks. Implementing tablet technology into our classrooms makes
for good media coverage but without a reliable Internet backbone and encouraging,
helpful IT support, our tablets are nothing more than shiny paperweights.
RESPONSE: We apologize that you and your students had difficulty using our wireless Internet. Our technology team strives to continuously improve our services and will respond promptly to issues we have in our learning spaces. Please contact our Technology Help Desk (278-5000) to provide the location where you have experienced this issue with the wireless Internet, and the team will work to resolve the issue.
CONCERN: I am an online-only student. I live in Visalia and never go to campus. Is there a
way I can unsubscribe from the deluge of emails pertaining to on-campus issues? I
get a report of every police call, every traffic issue, every maintenance issue and
so on. It sure would be nice to be able to unsubscribe from what amounts to spam from
the school. Most of the mail is junk and unnecessary for distance and online learners.
RESPONSE: Our Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President for University Communications are looking into the volume of University email (not school/college or department) that is sent to students, as well as faculty and staff. We do try to limit communication to topics of high importance or matters that affect a majority of students.
CONCERN: Regarding printers:
(1) I would recommend more printing stations be installed throughout the University. It’s a hassle to walk a far distance to print out a paper when you only have 15 minutes between classes.
(2) There are multiple computers for use on the first floor and throughout the entire Library, but there are like only three printers and sometimes when I need to print something in between class I am often late because the lines are so huge. So if a few more can be added that'd be great and much appreciated.
RESPONSE: We currently have 41 locations throughout the campus that allow for student printing: https://www.fresnostate.edu/adminserv/accountingservices/pay-for-print/locations.html. Our CIO is assessing whether there is need for more student printer locations.
CONCERN: The study room located on the second floor of the Henry Madden Library would be more
operational and useful to students if the VGA adapter cords were updated with HDMI
cords. The majority of laptops today no longer support VGA ports. Without the ability
to connect with the two TVs inside the group study room, it becomes obsolete to have
a study room with media equipment. With the replacement to HDMI cords, it will allow
students to share, demonstrate and teach peers, colleagues and teammates more effectively.
On an additional note, another reason why it would be beneficial to update to HDMI
is because majority of the VGA cords are worn out and do not perform effectively,
making it difficult to maintain a view-able screen. The majority of classrooms around
campus have a working HDMI cord so it should be standard for group study rooms to
have the same.
RESPONSE: Thank you for pointing out the issue with worn out VGA cables and your recommendation to add HDMI cables to our group study rooms in the library. This is a good idea, and I will ask our CIO to look into this possibility.
CONCERN: I'd like to get a Zimbra account for my office manager. Since she is part time and
Fresno State does not allow her to have an email account. She is not a student and
because of that we had to create an outside-of-Fresno State email. She doesn't get
campus alerts, doesn’t have access to our calendars and can’t receive other important
communications since she doesn't have csufresno.edu email. We've petitioned but have
been told only full-time staff get csufresno.edu emails. Any advice?
RESPONSE: Please contact our Help Desk and provide them with your request to create an email account for a part-time employee and justification, and they will help you set up an account if approved.
CONCERN: Can we please have more Scantron vending machines across the University? It seems
there are sometimes two or more beverage vending machines per building but not enough
Scantron machines. That would be really helpful.
RESPONSE: We will have our Kennel Bookstore staff explore additional locations. We’re pleased to hear the existing vending machine is providing a service after-hours when the Bookstore is not open. We also sell Scantrons at the Paws-N-Go Market located in the North Gym.
CONCERN: Are students allowed to carry pepper spray on campus for self-defense? I heard from
an instructor that we are not allowed to carry pepper spray. I have a night class
and want to have a pepper spray with me, especially when I'm walking to my car.
RESPONSE: Over-the-counter pepper spray is allowed on campus as long as the following criteria are met: it is carried for self-defense, is not larger than 2.5 ounces and includes a warning label. More information on weapons on campus is available on our public safety website: http://www.fresnostate.edu/adminserv/police/documents/ProhibitedWeaponsOnCampus.pdf
Also, the campus police department provides safety escorts upon request to accompany individuals to their destinations on campus. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 278.8400 or use one of our emergency phones to request a safety escort officer.
CONCERN: Every day I notice that people are driving faster and faster on Keats from Maple to
Campus Drive. When the New Science Building was opened they striped off the street
between the Old and New Science buildings for pedestrian crossing. I believe that
if they did the same thing between Education and Music it might deter drivers from
speeding through that section.
RESPONSE: Thank you. We have advised University Police of this safety concern, The current campus master plan envisions a pedestrian pathway (no vehicle traffic) along Keats Avenue between Maple and Campus Drive similar to the area south of the Engineering East building along San Ramon Avenue. In the meantime, we will ensure the pedestrian crossings are well marked and identifiable.
CONCERN: At the northwest entrance of the Student Union there is sign etched into the glass
door that is supposed to say "shoes and shirts required." However, for as long as
I've worked here, it has said "shoes and shi*t required," as someone has etched out
the “r.” It has been this way for over two years. It's rather unpleasant to see. Can
this please be fixed?
RESPONSE: Thank you for calling this to our attention. We have passed this report to the University Student Union staff. They have already removed the lettering and have ordered the replacement letters.
CONCERN: Regarding parking:
(1) As a staff member it is quite frustrating to struggle with finding parking in the designated faculty/staff parking lots, especially after lunch. Why are students being issued the yellow restricted parking passes? I have approached several students when I see them because it is very obvious that they are not faculty or staff. They don't want to say how they get the yellow passes. Is there any truth to the rumor that Smittcamp Family Honors College students and student-athletes are afforded restricted parking privileges?
RESPONSE: The only students issued faculty/staff parking permits (yellow) are those in bargaining unit 11-- Academic Student Employees (Graduate and Teaching Assistants). This is per the collective bargaining agreement. In the past, Smittcamp Honors students were provided with faculty/staff parking permits, but that practice was changed several years ago.
(2) This is in response to a concern posted on 01/29/16 regarding student use of faculty parking. As bargaining units consider changes in parking rules for yellow faculty/staff parking spots, please keep in mind that many classes are held after 5 p.m. Many faculty members, including tenure-track and adjunct faculty, have obligations that keep them from arriving to teach prior to 5 p.m. Without the current restrictions of 7 p.m., it would be nearly impossible for these faculty members to find reasonable parking. Please forward these concerns when bargaining units meet to discuss any changes to faculty/staff parking restrictions. Faculty have worked hard to earn their degrees and their positions; they should not have to fight hard for parking spaces in order to fulfill their teaching obligations.
RESPONSE: We have been in discussions with representatives from CFA regarding the ability to allow students to access faculty/staff parking lots earlier than 7 p.m. CSUEU has agreed to 5:30 p.m.; and discussions are continuing with CFA in an effort to reach agreement.
(3) Parking is way too expensive. I literally have to use my month’s grocery money the month I buy my pass.
RESPONSE: Fresno State has one of the lowest parking rates in the entire CSU system. We offer a number of transportation options for our students and employees who do not wish to purchase a parking permit. These include bikeway access, the Bulldog Express (our new campus shuttle) and free area bus passes (FAX, V-Line, etc.). For more information, please visit http://fresnostate.edu/adminserv/police/transportation/bus/index.html .
(4) There are many comments on parking and students using restricted parking. I witnessed students getting out of a car while I circled for parking spot as a staff member. I asked the students if in fact they were students, faculty or staff. They said students. I asked how it is they were parking in the restricted faculty/staff parking. They responded that their grandpa used to teach here so they use his emeritus parking pass. I phoned parking and gave the license plate of the car and was told by a staff member that anyone can give their parking pass to someone else to use. She told me that I could sell my pass if I wanted and so long as I didn't report it stolen it could be used by whoever I give it to. Frustrated with the comments, I mentioned that the website states that parking passes are "Nontransferable.” Now I was told "non-transferable" was left up to interpretation! Why is this being allowed and why are we training staff to encourage unlawful behavior?
RESPONSE: We regret that our parking staff provided misinformation and we have corrected this. Emeriti passes are not to be transferred and are not valid for resale. A citation should have been issued. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
(5) I am repeatedly infuriated with Fresno State's parking. I understand that our campus is impacted, and thus we have limited parking, but I would like to additionally address "faculty" vs. "student" parking. Student parking is not only impacted, but distant from the center of campus, which poses several safety concerns. As both a student (with night classes) and an employee, I am bewildered that you would then change the validity of student passes in faculty lots from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.! There are plenty of open spots for faculty AND students in these lots after 7 p.m., and I now feel both angered and unsafe on this campus.
RESPONSE: We understand and apologize for this frustration. As such, we have been working closely with the student leadership this past year to work toward changing the time when student permits would be allowed to park in faculty/staff parking stalls to earlier than 7 p.m., not later. We have agreement from one bargaining unit to allow access at 5:30 p.m. and we have one more bargaining unit (CFA) that we need to reach agreement with. Our goal is to communicate this new policy in the 2016-17 academic year. In the meanwhile, please don’t forget about Bulldog Express and the Campus Escort service.
(6) Need to have parking available for parents to park and drop off their children to the child care in Family and Food Science Building. There is no parking due to new painted red lines for the large buses.
RESPONSE: We are working with the child care center staff in the Family and Food Science Building to address this issue. We agree that two spots are not sufficient to meet the needs of parents dropping and picking up children. Given this, we have provided parents parking permits to load and unload children safely in other areas. If you are a parent of a child that attends the PFC site at the FFS building and you have not received your permit please contact Derek Brantley in Traffic Operations (email@example.com; 278.6709).
CONCERN: The lobby area on the third floor of the Peters Business Building has become a gathering
place and is not in compliance with ADA. The furniture consists of six love seats
and two coffee tables that have been here since the building opened some 20 years
ago. The furniture is often moved around, thus blocking the entry and exit doors and
creating a potential for disaster in the event of an emergency. The students would
better be served by having four or five non-movable study stations attached to the
north wall and non-movable chairs. Having framed art on the walls would be appealing
as well. This area is definitely in need of an upgrade.
RESPONSE: We are aware of this situation and plan to replace this furniture with non-movable pieces that will be more conducive and accessible for our students.
CONCERN: Regarding smoking:
(1) I would like to make a friendly suggestion on something that has bothered me for a while and has recently been brought up by students who have come to my office so I know I'm not alone in this request. I would love to see all designated smoking areas moved from high foot traffic areas. I work in Engineering East and have to pass a smoking area to and from the parking lot every day. Being a non-smoker, it is extremely unpleasant. There is also a large lecture hall just north of the smoking area that creates a lot of foot traffic to walk by the smoking area as well, and students who ride their bike are being asked to secure their bikes five feet away from the smoking area. A student in my office, asked “why are those who are making healthy choices like riding their bike to school being subjected to those who are making unhealthy choices like smoking to share/use the same small space?” I think it is a great question and would love to see something done to change this.
(2) Fresno State should ban the use of smoking/e-cigarettes/vape. It is a very unwelcoming
experience to someone walking around campus to have a big cloud of smoke to walk through.
I know there are "No smoking areas" but people even smoke there. Many other campuses
have already banned smoking.
RESPONSE: Please be advised that here is a proposed system-wide policy to implement a tobacco free environment on all CSU campuses by Sept. 1, 2017. In the meantime, we agree the designated smoking areas should not be located near high traffic pedestrian areas. We will have our Environmental Health and Safety Manager explore an alternative location.
CONCERN: Please fix Library women's restrooms. The sinks and toilets on the second floor near
the old elevators are in desperate need of fixing.
RESPONSE: Thank you. We reported this to the Library facilities coordinator and the issues described have been corrected.
CONCERN: I was in the Science 2 building on the second floor where the faculty offices are
located at. I needed a place to sit so I sat in the open area (almost like a lobby)
where there were a lot of open seats. I was minding my own business and studying for
an exam. Then an assistant comes up and tells me that I cannot sit there. Those seats
are only for students who made an appointment to see an adviser. At that moment, I
felt like Rosa Parks. All the chairs were not used. I was the only person sitting
there. I felt humiliated, not only because I had to get up and leave, but also because
there were no students there but me. One of my suggestions is that Fresno State should
offer more seating areas in necessary areas, like the Science 2 building. There is
a lobby area, but there are never enough seats for students. That is why I attempted
to find a place to sit on the second floor, which did not go as I expected.
RESPONSE: We are very sorry you had that experience; asking you to move was not appropriate. We will follow up with the College of Science and Math and identify opportunities where we can add more seating/study areas for students.
CONCERN: Are there plans to make the crosswalk on Barstow near the Enology Building safer for
students? My suggestion would be for the crosswalk sign to light up (like those around
the stop signs) when a student either pushes a button or starts to cross the street.
Making it easier for drivers to see students during the day and especially at night
would make it easier, and quicker when walking from the main campus to the Enology
RESPONSE: Yes, there are plans to address this safety concerning. In fact, this will be completed as a part of the Barstow bikeways project during summer 2016.
CONCERNs: Regarding all-gender restrooms.
(1) I have a safety concern. A number of restrooms on campus have been converted to "all gender." If campus must have unisex bathrooms, please add new restrooms. Don't convert them, thus taking away existing restrooms from those who use them. Design unisex bathrooms to lock from the inside. Those unisex bathrooms that supposedly lock now often jam, so that they cannot be locked. This puts people at risk for sexual assault. Again, if you must have unisex restrooms, clearly mark them as unisex ("all gender" is meaningless), design them to be unisex and make them safe for use. They are not safe now, and they have not been designed to be.
(2) I appreciate the University efforts at campus equality and inclusion. However
I have a question regarding the placement of the "all-gender" restrooms. How were
these locations decided upon and why were some men/ladies restrooms converted and
their counterpart restroom was left the same, i.e. a ladies room turned into an all-gender
restroom and the men's room 10 feet way left as a men's restroom. We need better locations
for all-gender restrooms and the campus should be asked for input on those locations.
RESPONSE: Fresno State strives to create and sustain a safe campus environment that supports and values all members of our community. One aspect of creating a supportive environment is providing safe, accessible and convenient restroom facilities. There are currently five gender neutral restrooms available across campus. (http://www.fresnostate.edu/president/pchre/across/neutral.html) If there is a specific restroom door that jams or cannot be locked please report this to facilities management (http://cwweb.ad.csufresno.edu/AiMCSR) and we will have it fixed. We are working with the Cross Cultural and Gender Center to identify additional single-stall restrooms that can be identified as Gender Inclusive in an effort to provide additional locations in various campus buildings. For more information about our gender programs and services please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONCERN: regarding carts on campus: (1) It is concerning to see that there are so many carts being driven on this campus. Even more so to see the drivers of these carts texting while they're driving. I almost got hit by one when I was crossing the street and the young girl driving it thought it was funny. She didn't even stop at the stop sign. (2)I had to wait at a crosswalk today for not one but two traffic officer driven golf carts who did not yield to the stop sign or the pedestrian waiting to cross - they just went on through! From my office window, I notice this on a consistent basis. Shouldn't the officers have to abide by the rules as well?
RESPONSE: Thank you for calling this to our attention. We have reported this concern to Public Safety. Golf carts are used by a number of University departments for a number of business purposes including transporting disabled students, delivering mail and supplies and providing University catering. Employees who are authorized to drive these carts are required to complete a driving authorization process, pass a defensive driving fundamental course and abide by all applicable vehicle laws. Employees misusing University vehicles are subject to disciplinary action.
CONCERN: I can't give the great Fresno State wine or olive oil as a gift if either the recipient or I am flying with them as carry-on. Can the Gibson Farm Market produce three-ounce bottles of wine and oil so that I can give "taster pack" samples? That way I can more freely give out gifts that are uniquely Fresno.
RESPONSE: Thank you for supporting and promoting the great farm products produced by our students. There are some bottling size limitations especially with wine, but we will forward the suggestion to our farm unit enterprises that bottle these items.
CONCERN: Patch the sidewalks to make them safer for students on wheels.
RESPONSE: We are in the process of repairing sidewalks and parking lots with deferred maintenance and parking funds. A significant investment will be made this summer including a complete replacement of the asphalt walkways in the quad area.
CONCERN: A writer recently expressed concern about needing cameras in the parking lots to view cars being damaged and for safety. The answer was that “We have cameras on campus in various locations and in some parking lots. In the future, please report the accident to the campus police department so that they can investigate further.” Here is my story: My vehicle was parked three stalls in from the Peters Business Building when it was hit. I filed a report with campus police. I asked to review the video footage but was told the cameras were not working.
RESPONSE: Thank you for reporting this. We check all cameras regularly to make sure they are functioning properly. It could have been that the camera was not pointing to your vehicle at the specific moment the accident.
CONCERN: We need better air conditioning in the Social Science Building.
RESPONSE: We agree that this is a priority and, as such, the entire HVAC system in the Social Sciences building will be replaced this summer as part of the University’s investment in deferred maintenance projects.
CONCERN: I would like some clarification on how the Bulldog Shuttles are being funded. I see these buses running all the time with no more than a handful of people on them, and they seem to cater to those who live at Campus Pointe or in the frat houses on Bulldog Lane. I know a vast majority of the students on campus do not use this service. As a student who has struggled to survive while paying tuition, I would like to know, am I somehow paying for this service?
RESPONSE: Bulldog Express is funded with parking fines revenue as one of our alternative transportation initiatives. The shuttle is helping to reduce the number of vehicle trips to campus and the demand for additional on-campus parking. It is serving students who live on the west end of campus, as well as Campus Pointe. It also stops at the Save Mart Center lot so that students who park there can get on the shuttle to get to the west side of campus more expediently.
CONCERN: Why are international graduate students paying more than twice of the amount that a domestic student pays? I ended up paying more than $16,000 for my one year (19 units). I work on campus and earn minimum wage. If you cannot reduce the tuition fees, you can increase the wages for international students working on campus. I am serving Fresno State as an "international ambassador" and working part-time as a student assistant. But I can barely cover my living expenses.
RESPONSE: The State of California requires that all non-resident students pay the full cost of education. The tuition rate is set to cover all costs of their education. The State of California does not support non-resident education costs.
CONCERN: I don't think that suggesting a new Student Union is satisfactory since I don't want to pay more than what I already pay. It's already a struggle to keep up parenthood, work and school. To me education happens between educator and someone to educate. Make improvements that will impact directly to that.
RESPONSE: We are exploring the feasibility of a new facility. Feedback can be submitted at www.fresnostatenews.com/BoldNewU. Next April there will be a referendum where students will weigh in on whether this funding is of a high priority. I’m sorry finances are a struggle for you and your family.
CONCERN: I see a lot of hate toward the testing center, but mostly it is from students who
don't follow the simple rules. I have seen student assistants harassed and bullied
for simply doing their job, but nothing has ever been done about it. Instead, the
students who complain about having to follow rules get the priority. I would suggest
looking at both sides before pointing fingers.
RESPONSE: A task force is reviewing all issues relating to the Testing Center. More is to come with report due soon.
CONCERN: The Student Recreation Center funding needs to be increased. It is extremely common to have multiple machines broken for months. The issue is reaching a safety risk by not replacing the weight lifting bars that are literally bowing. Someone is going to get seriously injured if not killed if the bars break.
RESPONSE: We’ll have our staff look into this matter immediately. You are correct, our fees are very low -- lowest in CSU -- and that does prevent us from further enhancing this facility, but rest assured we will always deal with safety issues.
CONCERN: I was hoping you may consider attaching a spouse to a student I.D. at the Recreation
Center and maybe charging a monthly fee for a spouse.
RESPONSE: We will certainly look into this matter and see if our rules allow for this or if they can be changed if not in place.
CONCERN: I went to get a passport two weeks ago and there were over 40 people in line. I looked
inside the room and there was only one, maybe two people working. Can the passport
office have more staff?
RESPONSE: Fresno State’s Passport Place was created for Fresno State students preparing to study abroad and revenue it generates helps students defray the expense of studying abroad. Having a passport acceptance facility on campus provides our students convenient access to an acceptance facility with significantly shorter wait times than other local acceptance facilities. There was a huge demand during spring break that resulted delays but the wait times were even longer elsewhere. Our application acceptance agents are specially trained Fresno State students who work part-time between classes. Other local passport acceptance facilities include the Fresno County Clerks’ Office (2220 Tulare St., 1st floor) and the Downtown Fresno Post Office.
CONCERN: Remove the cap, offer more classes throughout fall, spring and summer. Classes are
so impacted it takes away from the learning environment. If that means bringing on
more staff, please do so, for the sake of our quality education.
RESPONSE: The number of students who can enroll in a course is constrained by classroom capacity and the type of class (e.g., lecture courses may have higher enrollment caps than lab or supervision courses). Course enrollment capacity therefore cannot be freely raised. The available budget constrains the number of courses that can be taught. For fall 2016, Fresno State has identified funding for 3,000 additional seats in key GE courses compared to last fall. Student course access is a very important component of student success and timely graduation, and Fresno State will continue looking for ways to improve it.
CONCERN: When checking out laptops, students should be told about the $10 a day fine. There is a big sign at the rental desk but sometimes people don’t notice signs and need a verbal reminder. It's wonderful to rent a laptop for free, but I am sure there are a lot of unhappy students who have wound up with huge fines. I see this as poor customer service. There could easily be a sticker mentioning the fine on the laptop itself. I shouldn't just be told it is my responsibility to know what the fines are.
RESPONSE: The purpose of library fines is to serve as an incentive for people to return library materials. Anyone checking something out from the library implicitly agrees to abide by the terms of that loan, including any fines for late returns. We do not enjoy enforcing fines, but sometimes it is our only means of ensuring that we get items back -- and those items belong to the entire campus and not just to the person who checks it out. Laptops have higher fines than books because they are in higher demand and have a higher replacement cost. When one person keeps a laptop beyond its due date or time, other students are deprived of use of that device. Most people return materials on time and never see these fines -- it is only those who fail to return materials that encounter fines. There is a sign at the laptop desk that lists fines, as well as the policy page on the library's website. However, your suggestion of having that information on the laptops themselves is a good one and we will look into that. We can also explore verbally informing students of the fine policy at point of checkout. We will reach a solution soon and will update laptop lending to reflect our decisions.
CONCERN: I am in the 60+ Fee Waiver Program. I was wondering if students in this program could
enroll for classes when the regular student and staff population does. I know that
the Employee Fee Waiver Program has the regular registration period as well. Students
in this 60+ Fee Waiver program have to register for classes seven days before class
instruction begins every semester. I have to go talk and plead to professors to enroll
me in their classes. It is a very stressful and trying situation when you are wait-listed
and cannot get into classes even after submitting a Wish List plan. I hope you will
consider this problem and have the older generation students attend Fresno State.
I truly love this college!
RESPONSE: Pursuant to Executive Order 734: Fee Waivers for California Residents Sixty Years Age or Older, students enrolling in classes under this program "shall be registered last, after regular students have been registered in classes." In conformance with this Executive Order, we have always set the registration appointment date/times on the Monday of the week before instruction begins. The Registrar’s Office will evaluate the current practice and will notify students in this group of any changes.
CONCERN: I am dumbfounded why there is a finals schedule. Tests and midterms are done in normal
class time and tests are even spread over a few days if the test is too long. So why
do we have a finals schedule? It inconveniences the students by having to re-work
the entire schedule we have grown accustomed to and also causes a problem with those
who work off campus.
RESPONSE: According to University policy, classes are required to meet during the final exam period. (APM 339). It is a faculty decision whether to have a final exam or use that time for another type of culminating experience. Because final exams may last longer than a class period, not all final course meetings could be held during the normal class period in the room they are normally assigned. Final exam schedules exist so we can provide faculty with a space to offer an exam longer than a typical class period and still use classrooms efficiently.
CONCERN: Could you please work with the Alumni Association in exploring new ways to maintain
contact with the University's alumni? For instance, I would like to know if there
are any new Fresno State alumni chapters outside of California. It would be a great
opportunity to meet and network with other graduates around the country and abroad.
RESPONSE: We love staying in contact with our alumni and have a number of ways this can be done. Every month we send the Alumni Newsletter to all of our alumni. This newsletter features stories about Fresno State Bulldogs, upcoming events and class notes. You can also follow us on Facebook for daily updates. The Fresno State Alumni Association has more than 30 chapters, clubs and networks. Joining is free to all alumni and friends of Fresno State. You can find the listing of our chapters, clubs and networks on our website: www.fresnostate.edu/alumni/chapters. Many have Facebook group pages or LinkedIn communities they participate in as a way to stay connected. In the last year we began focusing on regional networks, including San Diego, San Francisco/Bay Area, Seattle, Sacramento, Washington D.C., New York and Las Vegas. If you would like more information about regional and international alumni engagement opportunities please contact Matthew Schulz, director of Engagement with the Fresno State Alumni Association, at email@example.com.
CONCERN: Please look into a case of nepotism (specifics provided).
RESPONSE: Thank you for this information.
Posted on: 04/04/2016
CONCERN: Fresno State should separate itself immediately from the company Higher One. This shady (at best) financial institution is making millions of dollars off the backs of students who are already being burdened by student debt.
RESPONSE:There is no charge to any student who chooses the option to have Fresno State refunds direct deposited to their own bank account or have a paper check sent to their address. A student may incur a fee if they use their Higher One debit card at an ATM other than the Higher One ATMs located in Joyal, Student Housing or USU. If you swipe your debit card as a credit card there are no fees incurred. Overdraft fees charged by Higher One have been found to be comparable to other fees charged by financial institutions. The U.S. Department of Education has issued new guidelines for refund services provided by companies like Higher One and Higher One has committed to comply with all of the new guidelines in a timely manner.
CONCERN: As a new student, I couldn't find the area of campus I was supposed to go
to. When I searched maps on my phone it would tell me how to get to Fresno State,
but not the specific site. It would be great if there was an electronic map where
everything is located and a link provided to students.
RESPONSE: We continually strive to improve our digital services for all students, faculty and staff. From your note, it sounds like you may be using the built-in Maps app to search for a specific location on the Fresno State campus. Rather than using your phone's native maps app, please go to your (iPhone or Android) app store to download the Fresno State mobile app. Once installed, there is a handy Fresno State map feature that is searchable. Alternatively, you can access a Fresno State map via the following website: https://www.fresnostate.edu/map/.
CONCERN: It should be easier for Foundation employees who have been employed with
the University for over 10 years to get state jobs on campus.
RESPONSE: We encourage Foundation employees to apply for jobs on campus that present promotion
or development opportunities. Campus positions often give preference to employees
with higher education and CSU experience.
CONCERN: We need real toilet paper. What we have now is so cheap it breaks.
RESPONSE: Thank you for feedback. We will check with Procurement, as we may be required to purchase off of a system-wide CSU contract.
CONCERN: I would like to ask if the Joyal building could get hot water in the restrooms.
Also, we are appreciative of the break room that was recently set up for the building,
but there is an instant hot water heater under the sink that has never worked since
it was installed. I have put in several work orders and nothing has been done. I don't
think it's sanitary to have no hot water in either of these places.
RESPONSE: : Thank you for reporting. We will have Plant Operations evaluate and repair the one in the break room. We will explore the feasibility and cost to add small under-counter hot water heaters in the men's and women's restrooms. Having hot water is restrooms is not a code requirement, but we understand many people prefer it.
CONCERN: As I was looking through past Feedback and Responses I saw one regarding
Auxiliary employees who were not eligible to receive equity raises. I found it interesting
that the response made no mention of the ways in which money from these self-supporting
corporations is used to fund things at the direction of the administration -- saving
the state side money. If you are saying that auxiliaries are limited in terms of resources
to pay their employees because they must do so without state funding, perhaps the
state should endeavor to fund some things without the support of auxiliary funds.
Then those employees, who already lack many benefits available to our fellow members
of the "campus community," could receive more equitable compensation.
RESPONSE: Yes, we echo your statement that our Auxiliary employees provide tremendous support to our campus. Please be advised that many of our Auxiliary employees did receive a 2 percent equity increase in 2014-15 and 2015-16, provided their respective board of directors approved that based upon fiscal viability. However, we cannot use state funds to provide equity increases to auxiliary employees. Salary increases for Foundation employees who are hired through a sponsored program (grants and contacts) have to comply with funding agency and budget limitations.
CONCERN: I have a disability (lost limb) and some student desks are not to standard
according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as some student desks do not
provide enough soft sitting support.
RESPONSE: We sincerely regret that our current student desks do not meet your needs. We appreciate
you bringing this to our attention. Please work with the Office of Services for Students
with Disabilities so they can assist you and us with identifying a student desk that
will accommodate you. Please contact Ms. Janice Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONCERN: We need additional parking permit machines.
RESPONSE: Please send specific suggestions to Tom Gaffery at email@example.com.
CONCERN: Fresno State needs to make better parking areas or possibly put more cameras
in place in the parking lots. I say this because my car bumper was hit while parked,
and whoever hit my car last year did not leave a note. It would be nice to know that
there are more cameras in parking lots or possibly more traffic operations that patrol
each parking lot if something does happen to a student's car. Cameras could also help
students be reassured when walking to their cars.
RESPONSE: We are sorry to hear about the damage to your vehicle. We have cameras on campus
in various locations and in some parking lots. In the future, please report the accident
to the campus police department so that they can investigate further.
CONCERN: I think it would be helpful to allow students who work on campus to purchase
faculty/staff parking passes. I, as a student assistant, receive faculty/staff emails
because of my job. I should be able to get the same parking benefits.
RESPONSE: Unfortunately we are not able to offer student assistants yellow permits, given limited
number of yellow parking stalls for faculty and staff. However, we are working with
the employee unions to move up the current 7 p.m. restriction to allow students to
park in faculty/staff lots at an earlier time.
CONCERN: Non-handicapped individuals are parking in the handicap parking spaces located
on Maple Mall near Peters Business in order to utilize the parking ticket dispenser.
For those of us who have a handicap placard this is unacceptable. My suggestion is
that the dispenser be moved to another location.
RESPONSE:Thank you for pointing this out. We have moved the dispenser.
CONCERN: My concern is for students/faculty/staff who walk to and from campus on Barstow Avenue between Willow and Chestnut. Their safety is compromised because there are no sidewalks. They are left to use the bike lane and are, too often, in danger of being hit by a vehicle. With the recent abundance of rain, students are also having to tread through puddles and mud to get to campus. Is there something already in the works to alleviate this concern?
RESPONSE:Yes, our Barstow Bikeways project is underway between Cedar and Woodrow avenues and a future phase will address the corridor all the way to the Willow Avenue trail.
CONCERN: What can be done to slow down the skateboarders who zoom around and have little regard for walking students who may get in their way? Would it be advantageous for Fresno State to have a separate roadway for walkers and all others using different modes of transportation. I think there would be fewer collisions and walkers would not have to dodge long-borders and scooters from class to class.
RESPONSE:Our active transportation plan outlines a number of strategies to allow the University
to better accommodate active and healthy transportation modes for the entire campus
community to move to and around campus. The plan recommends separating wheeled devices
and pedestrians in some areas, bike lanes in others and the widening of many shared
use paths. For more information please visit.
CONCERN: Making the campus more wheel-friendly would lower the number of accidents caused by cracks, large lips and missing pieces of concrete.
RESPONSE:We are in the process of repairing sidewalks and parking lots with both deferred maintenance and parking funds. A significant investment is going to be made this summer.
CONCERN: The hand dryers in the restrooms should be banned, especially those in the library. Research showed that the noise hand dryers make can lead to hearing loss.
RESPONSE:This option is preferred as part of our commitment to sustainability. We will have our Risk Manager evaluate noise level.
CONCERN: I notice a lot of new construction and my concern is the campus is spreading out as opposed to up. The sprawl on campus not efficient use of space.
RESPONSE:Our campus master plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the transformation of the university and assists Fresno State in supporting the University's mission, academic plan and projected enrollment growth. The current master plan assumes no additional ag land to be used for campus facilities and promotes a plan of infill and demolition of existing buildings that have exceeded their useful life.
CONCERN: Fresno State may consider bringing more Bulldog Spirit imagery to Campus Pointe. I have noticed that there is a lack of school representation in the plaza. This imagery will help the community and prospective students understand that Campus Pointe is part of our campus. There are many options, such as statues, signage and school colors.
RESPONSE:Great suggestion. In fact, we are exploring the ability to locate a Bulldog Shop location as part of the next phase of retail, which will definitely promote the University brand and Bulldog spirit. Campus Pointe is not owned or operated by the University or our Auxiliary but we can work with our developer on ideas such as this.
CONCERN: I think the parking fee is too high at the Save Mart Center. It makes absolutely no sense to charge more for parking than the price of admission. One suggestion is to have some type of validation system for shoppers at Campus Pointe or surrounding businesses.
RESPONSE:The parking fee of $10 has not increased in many years and is comparable with the parking fee charged at the downtown convention center. The Save Mart Center is required to be a self-supporting operation and parking revenues help to support the debt service and operating costs. We do allow students to park in these lots during the daytime at no additional cost, which is a huge benefit to the University since these parking lots were not built with state funds. Regarding validation, Campus Pointe and Save Mart Center are two separate venues and so unfortunately that would not be practical.
CONCERN: Faculty parking lots are not open to students early enough in the day.
RESPONSE:We are working with our employee unions to negotiate an earlier time and hopefully we will be able to implement this change starting with the fall 2016 semester.
CONCERN: Many classrooms need improvement.
RESPONSE:We agree! I have approved $20 million over the next two years to address our deferred maintenance backlog. One of the priorities for investment is modernization of classrooms.
CONCERN: Need improved bike racks in the Engineering West area.
RESPONSE:We will evaluate the existing bike rack area and replace with new ones if feasible.
CONCERN: Fresno State's Veteran Services office is a pain in the butt. My friend who has been in the Navy for five years wants to come to Fresno State but was denied because there has been lack of effort and communication between the Veteran Service office and admissions. Please look into the process on veteran admissions. They deserve the utmost respect.
RESPONSE:The Veterans Services Office makes every effort to serve the unique needs of our current and former service members. The staff are committed to providing assistance and support to our veteran students as they transition from service to academic life. Understanding that their timelines are inconsistent with the University calendar, exceptions are considered for application deadlines and when appropriate, for special admission. Students not eligible for admission are often referred to the community college or to Fresno State's Veterans Education Program through our Continuing and Global Education Office. That program is designed to provide returning veterans with a parallel admission route into Fresno State. The program offers required coursework necessary for admittance into the University. After successful completion of this program, student veterans may transition to matriculated status at Fresno State. For more information see http://www.fresnostate.edu/cge/veterans/onboardprogram.html.
CONCERN: Is Fresno State planning a Pride center on campus? I am happy that there is more attention for LGBT students, but it still feels like an afterthought. The staff at the Cross Cultural and Gender Center is nice, but LGBT isn't even in the name. I hope that there are plans to have a separate space on campus for LGBT students to show that Fresno State does care.
RESPONSE:The Fresno State Center for Women and Culture transitioned to the Cross Cultural and Gender Center (CCGC) during the summer of 2015. Much thought was put into both the name of the CCGC and the inclusion of specific programs and services to meet the diverse needs of our campus community. Among the programs and services is LGBTQ+ Programs and Services, which is staffed by a coordinator and a student assistant. We understand the concern about LGBTQ+ not being in the title of the CCGC. Our hope is that by having the designated LGBTQ+ Programs and Services it will help to demonstrate the support the University has for that constituency group. Finally, there are plans to have a dedicated space for LGBTQ+ students in the CCGC. This space should be available this coming fall.
CONCERN: I'd like to propose that we sunset the antiquated University Journal as a means to distribute internal news and updates to staff and faculty. If duplicate content already exists on fresnostatenews.com as the authoritative source for campus news, is there a need to have an entirely separate publication?
RESPONSE:The Campus News e-newsletter (the name was changed from University Journal in 2015) serves a valuable function as the official faculty-staff newsletter for the campus. University Communications endeavors to provide content of interest to employees that is not found elsewhere – for example, feature profiles of faculty and staff, campus news and photos, plus recognition that employees have earned. Some of our content is linked to www.FresnoStateNews.com – a news site aimed at the external community members – because we know that sometimes employees haven't seen the stories there. We have plans to create a fresh new template to make Campus News even more inviting for our employees and we welcome suggestions. Please send them to Bruce Whitworth, director of Community Projects and Publications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONCERN: I am offended by the vulgar music that I was subjected to in the quad on Feb. 1 from one of the booths. There were several inappropriate words, as well as sex and drug references. This is a university, not a college party. There needs to be some level of censorship.
RESPONSE:At Fresno State, freedom of expression is welcomed and encouraged across campus. Freedom of expression takes place throughout the campus, including at student organization booths and areas outside the University Student Union, whereby students, faculty, staff and community members can openly express ideas and points of view. While the content of messages - whether conveyed through music, performance, lecture, visual imagery - can be interpreted as inappropriate, vulgar, offensive or hostile, the University is guided by the interim Policy on Time, Place and Manner of Free Expression to address free expression activity.
As noted in the policy, universities cannot restrict free expression solely because it causes offense or discomfort. At the same time, all members of the Fresno State community should recognize that freedom of expression includes respecting the dignity of others and acknowledging the right of others to express their opinions. Fresno State will maintain control of its grounds and facilities in a manner that will not censor communication based on its content. In exercising content neutrality, the University will not necessarily sanction or condone the messages that are being declared or the methods of communication used, but will recognize the right to express those messages.
With any questions regarding the Free Expression policy or for further resources available to students and campus community members, contact the Dean of Students Office at 559.278.2541 or by visiting Joyal 262.
CONCERN: Services to Students with Disabilities is a mess. I have experienced so many frustrating ways the University isn't accommodating these students. For example: the elevator for Kennel Bookstore is outside, which is a problem when it is raining, the walk from the parking lot through the library and to the back of the library to get to the SSD office is long and inconvenient for students whose needs are meant to be accommodated. The SSD office is run very inefficiently and we often have to go in multiple times to fill out different forms for services needed. And classes offered only online are a huge difficulty.
RESPONSE:It is the responsibility of the office of Services for Students with Disabilities to receive, research, and document issues and complaints related to program, academic, architectural and technology access presented by students. Where the resolution of an issue/complaint falls outside of the function and responsibility of the SSD office, referral for resolution will be made to the appropriate campus office.
A student complaint can be filed by using the online form available at SSD. More information is available under the tab "Complaint Resolution" http://www.fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/ssd/complaint/index.html
In addition, the campus Accessibility website has a form to "Report an Access barrier" http://www.fresnostate.edu/accessibility/report/index.html
We addressed the issue of this elevator with facilities several years ago, with special signage (also braille) placed inside and outside the elevator.
We recognize that the walk to the south wing of the library can be difficult for some students. SSD has met this need in multiple ways. Forms that generally are required are all available on-line so limited visits are needed. Also, students who have identified themselves as having difficulty have arranged to call the SSD office and a representative meets them in the front to assist with some issues.
The side entrance to the south wing is closed for security purposes, and it is not ADA accessible and the path of travel to the south wing doors is not a designated entrance or exit path.
A student with a disability has a legal right to self-report and request accommodations
as needed. Therefore the individual request forms allow for specific accommodation
However, to make the process easier for students, all required forms are accessible and are posted on-line and can be submitted by email, fax or dropped off the office. SSD is in the process of converting all forms to a direct submission and hopes to have this project completed by fall 2016.
The CSU system recognizes some of the challenges online courses bring. SSD has been working closely with the campus representatives to educate faculty and those who work in technical services about accessibility and accessible materials when teaching online courses.
It is critical when a student with a disability experiences a problem with accessibility that she or he notify SSD as soon as possible so staff can assist with resolution.
CONCERN: What can we do as students to increase the African-American population here on campus? Can the University offer certain programs for this particular group? Can we do early outreach to potential African-American students to get them here on campus?
RESPONSE:We're happy that you want to get involved in this important endeavor! Fresno State is committed to the enrollment and success of African-American students and all students on campus.
We engage in various outreach efforts with and in the African-American community and are always looking for new ideas on how to expand our efforts. We encourage students to speak to their family and friends about attending Fresno State, and to urge them to schedule a campus visit to learn more. You also can contact Martina Granados, director of Outreach and Special Programs at email@example.com, 559.278.5374 to participate in outreach initiatives and/or discuss innovative ways we can have greater impact.
A few of the events offered in efforts to increase our African-American student recruitment
1. African-American Educational & Academic Success Conference (offered in fall to high school and middle schools students and held on campus).
2. Pastors Breakfast (local pastors meet with President Castro and other University staff during the month of January on campus).
3. Super Sundays (President Castro and senior administrators make local church visits throughout February).
4. African-American High School Graduation Recognition (during June at Save Mart Center).
5. African-American Student Leadership and Educational Conference (February at Convention Center).
6. West Fresno Ministerial Alliance Education Committee (Outreach staff members serve on committee).
7. United Black Student Unions of California Conference (Fresno State hosted).
8. We hire University students that are African-American to serve as Ambassadors and visit local schools.
9. We have an on-campus African-American Initiative (AAI).
10. An outreach counselor is a member of the CSU AAI Steering Committee.
11. Attending conferences in the community and meeting with various community organizations to reach more African-American students.
12. Black Student United Cultural Night (Vice President Lamas' office provided support as well as raffle items).
CONCERN: Catered Cupboard seems to be an amazing idea, however, nobody I've spoken with knows how it is implemented or even if it is up and running. Why is Fresno State advertising a service for students that is not being implemented? What is holding Catering back from implementing Catered Cupboard?
RESPONSE:The Catered Cupboard has pushed out several notifications for after-event guests since officially launching in October. Although we have been experiencing technical difficulties for iPhone users receiving notifications, we are currently working with IT and the app company to find a resolution. In the meantime, we continue to push notifications for Android users, as well as send notifications for events through our Twitter account.
CONCERN: A lot of jobs on campus such as academic peer mentoring are only available to undergrad students. Why are they not open for both undergrad and graduate students?
RESPONSE:Qualifications for student employment positions are established by departments/programs based on the role and function needed in their operation. Peer mentoring and peer academic advisors are not limited to undergraduates. The basic qualifications for such positions include upper division class standing (55-60 units earned), a 2.5 Fresno State GPA and a strong desire to work with students in a helping role). You are encouraged to inquire about qualifications for positions you are interested in with the specific program/department. The Career Development Center is a resource that will assist you with preparation for a job search as well.
CONCERN: It's apparent in a class poll that most students hate the Testing Center. They have a very rude attitude. They need to start caring about students.
RESPONSE:Our No. 1 priority is servicing students well. The goal of the Testing Center is to provide a proctored, secure, quiet, relaxing environment for test takers. Our facility gives the option for faculty to set up a multiple-day testing window, allowing more in-class instruction or learning support. This also gives students additional flexibility to organize their own test-taking schedules. In addition, the staff have participated in customer service training and we are committed to improving services. The president recently appointed a task force on Testing Services to address all aspects of the program.
CONCERN: Fresno State does not have a clear appeal process for financial aid. As a student I had a major issue with the department. It remained unsolved. Make an appeal processes more accessible to students so that we feel our problems are solved fairly. I could not find any clear appeal policy online.
RESPONSE:Due to the diversity of financial aid programs available to students, there are several online forms to request an appeal. These forms can all be found under the "Online Forms" section of our website at www.fresnostate.edu/financialaid.
Students are welcome to stop by the Student Services Center in the Joyal North Lobby or call the office at 278.2182 if they have any questions. Our office staff will advise students which financial aid determinations can be appealed and which forms to complete. The customer service staff can also refer students to see a Financial Aid Counselor in person at their convenience to further assist with an appeal.
We are currently revising our website to make forms and information more accessible and user-friendly. We will take your suggestion into consideration in our revisions. You are welcome to use our online feedback form located under "Contact Us" on our website to provide us with further suggestions.
CONCERN: We need more grants and scholarships for out-of-state and international students. The number of on-campus jobs should be doubled and each department should be given funds for hiring student assistants because there are fewer work opportunities for international students. International students should be able to pick classes at the same time as the in-state students.
RESPONSE:Fresno State places great priority on increasing scholarship opportunities for all Fresno State students, including those from abroad. The International Student Services and Programs (ISSP) office is working closely with Development to formulate a strategy to increase private donations to create additional scholarship programs to support high-achieving international students.
Federal regulations governing international students and scholars place limits on the number of hours and types of employment international students may engage in. As a result, there is a high demand for on-campus jobs among international students. While international students account for less than 4 percent of the total enrollment at Fresno State, more than 13 percent of on-campus student jobs are occupied by international students. This is up considerably over previous years. At the same time, it is important to note that these positions are not intended to offset non-resident tuition and fees or provide students with a sustainable single source of income. These positions provide all Fresno State students some supplemental income while allowing them to gain valuable experiences outside of a classroom setting.
Continuing international students are afforded the same opportunity to register for classes as their domestic classmates. They are assigned registration appointments through the same process that assigns registration times to all Fresno State students. Our challenge is to find a process that allows international students to register earlier. International student orientation and Dogs Days for international students typically take place in early-to-mid August, approximately a week to 10 days prior to the start of classes. This creates a particularly challenging situation for international undergraduate students who find many course sections already filled. The Dean of Undergraduate Studies is working closely with ISSP to identify solutions.
CONCERN: The American Indian Studies program at Fresno State is almost nonexistent. The faculty that left have not been replaced and there are no full-time American Indian Studies faculty. There is only one class offered a semester. With such a concentration of Native Americans in the area that obviously support Fresno State, I would expect more in the way of the curriculum when it comes to AIS classes.
RESPONSE:The American Indian Studies minor is offered through the Department of Anthropology at Fresno State. Interest in these courses is steady and we hope to provide a greater variety in this area of specialization in the near future. The Anthropology faculty are actively pursuing an American Indian tenure-track hire next year. Additionally, faculty in Anthropology and Political Science, along with faculty from around the University, are involved in a number of American Indian studies initiatives. There is a new native student learning community as well as a First Nations Student Organization, which consists of 30 members under three advisors who are committed to Native American recruitment and retention at Fresno State. The 25th Annual Fresno State Powwow will be held on Saturday, April 9, in O'Neill Park on campus.
CONCERN: There should be some programs or assistance to help faculty spouses with job searches, including on-campus jobs. The living cost in Fresno makes it difficult for a family with only one income source. It also helps improve faculty retention.
RESPONSE:The Office of Faculty Affairs is actively exploring options to help with faculty spouse/partner job searches.
CONCERN: I am a Latino working on a master's degree in history. I feel it is imperative for Fresno State to diversify its history department faculty and courses offered, as they do not reflect the diversity in its students. With all due respect to professors, I feel like the program perpetrates Eurocentric histories by not offering ethnic studies courses or more Latin American Studies courses.
RESPONSE:The Department of History is actively engaged in hiring full-time faculty representing diverse backgrounds and research interests. The department continually strives to provide a high quality education to its undergraduate and graduate students. To this end, the Department of History is actively engaged in several campus collaborative teaching and research partnerships with faculty from the Africana Studies, Armenian Studies, Chicano and Latin American Studies, and Women's Studies programs. The Department of History faculty actively works with students on many community and regional research efforts that reflect the diversity of the San Joaquin Valley. The department regularly offers classes on Latin American history. Lower division courses entitled Colonial Americas and another on the Republics of Latin America are offered in alternating semesters. Several upper division courses are also offered in regular rotation. The department has just hired a tenure-track public historian who specializes in Mexican migration and Mexican diaspora.
CONCERN: Does policy allow professors to give students access to their Blackboard and input all the students grades because they are too lazy to do it themselves? Isn't that violating confidentiality?
RESPONSE:It is difficult to respond to your concern without some more information. Some faculty members do have teaching assistants to help with some administrative aspects of their courses, including grade entry. This support allows the faculty member to focus her or his energy on teaching. This experience also gives student teaching assistants "real world" experience with this aspect of teaching. This kind of experience may help our teaching assistants get jobs in education and/or admittance to masters or doctoral programs.
CONCERN: I highly recommend that Fresno State faculty attend the University of Michigan Center for Intergroup Relations summer Institute on Intergroup Dialogue. I attended last summer and have integrated this pedagogy into the Social Work undergraduate class on diversity (SW136). The curriculum promotes creating safety and focuses on social identity before moving into hot topics and ally building. The idea is to encourage students' engagement in non-judgmental interaction by emphasizing awareness building and linking one's responses to their lived experience, i.e., develop critical thinking. Here is the link to the Institute: http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=fdd7c43948b3ee66e2f08dc2f&id=a81af48708&e=539a1b5fe9
RESPONSE:According to their website, the Program on Intergroup Relations is "a social justice education program that blends theory and experiential learning to facilitate students' learning about social group identity, social inequality, and intergroup relations." The Institute on Intergroup Dialogue is for faculty from other universities wishing to establish such a program on their campus. You clearly benefited from attending and were able to integrate elements into your course and there may be other faculty interested in a similar approach. They are encouraged to work with their department chairs and deans to explore this. However, establishing a new program would require working through the curricular process. You can speak with Dr. Xuanning Fu, Dean of Undergraduate Studies about this.
CONCERN: Many classrooms show available in PeopleSoft but then turn out to be unavailable. Finding a classroom is much more difficult than before.
RESPONSE:We may not be clear about your comment. PeopleSoft is not the correct application to use to find available space on campus. One needs to go to 25Live at https://25live.collegenet.com/ to check any space on campus and its availability. PeopleSoft only captures academic events. 25Live captures all events – academic and non-academic.
CONCERN: One we no longer have is the Friendly Visitor Program through the Nursing Program, which provided assistance when people are injured or sick and have to stay at home or to the older population. I know many people who appreciated the Fresno State students coming to their homes for help with household chores, helping with daily personal care, driving to grocery store or doctor visits, etc. This program provided jobs for Fresno State students. Thanks for considering reinstating the Friendly Visitor Center.
RESPONSE:The former Friendly Visitor Services Program was taken over by Catholic Charities a number of years ago. The program is now referred to as the Senior Companion Program. You may contact Catholic Charities at 237.0851 for further information.
CONCERN: I was upset to find out that one of the super-popular group study rooms (not the glass-enclosed ones) in the library is now unavailable for student use. Can you please give me more information on this?
RESPONSE:The Library was asked for a lockable room where the committee reviewing faculty files could meet and be assured of the strictest confidentiality and security. Our only option was to put a lock on a group study room. The committee will use the room January through April and then will revert back to student use. Also starting in several weeks, the Library will be building three more group study rooms (in addition to the four completed last year) on the second floor. When these are completed, we will have increased rooms available to students from the original eight to 15.
CONCERN: Is Fresno State really about the students? In my opinion, I feel that this university is about the professor. I feel like some professors are just here for the money. For example, a department does not want to hire more professors and instead they rehire or request a retired professor to come back and teach for a semester. In the end it is all about money and this is why this university is all about their staffs only. This needs to be fixed.
RESPONSE:"To boldly educate and empower students for success" is the University's new mission statement. Note that this is not all about students nor is it all about faculty but it about student success. A key part of student success is hiring well qualified faculty to ensure student success in the classroom. Hiring is driven by faculty who understand their disciplines and are in the best position to make decisions about who is qualified to teach. While most of our faculty are here because they love what they do and sincerely want to help students succeed, there may be those who are not. Department chairs work with their colleagues to help those improve their craft. If you have concerns about a particular faculty member, please contact the department chair.
CONCERN: It frustrating being a graduate student in Agriculture at Fresno State. It would be nice not to have to compete for space – three acres of land for student research projects is nothing. There is already a joke going around that the new Jordan Agricultural Research Building will be filled with everything but agriculture. Also, there is nowhere to study.
RESPONSE:Thank you for reaching out and giving us an opportunity to give you accurate information related to the farm and the Jordan Agricultural Research Center (JARC). Research needs utilizing the University Agricultural Laboratory (Farm) are determined by the faculty working with students in collaboration with the Farm Manager. The faculty member and farm manager then communicate the needs to the UAL Committee so that all of the entities on the farm are aware of student activities and are prepared to provide support as needed. If there appears to be greater need, that can be addressed through students' faculty advisors. The Jordan College dean and the Agricultural Foundation Board are very supportive of both graduate and undergraduate students having access to the farm, including for research purposes.
Relative to your second point, the JARC is currently nearing completion and a significant number of faculty in the Jordan College are highly engaged in equipping laboratories and planning for future research projects. The JARC was planned from the beginning to focus on agriculture-related research using a collaborative approach. Given the nature of agriculture, particularly challenges that agriculture faces in California, the synergistic effect of researchers from across campus working together is critical to success. The Lyles College of Engineering and the College of Science and Mathematics have many researchers already engaged in agriculture-related research that complements the research done by Jordan College researchers.
CONCERN: Fresno State needs to do a better job of making sure that professors are doing all they can to help students achieve success. Do not provide professors with raises until they begin to show a real passion for teaching. There are too many professors and staff that only show up for a paycheck, specifically, in the chemistry department.
RESPONSE:Teaching is a high priority at Fresno State and teaching experience and ability is the most important factor we consider in our hiring and retention decisions for faculty. All faculty are regularly evaluated on their teaching, including through student ratings of instruction and through peer evaluations. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't occasionally problems. If you have concerns about a particular faculty member, please bring this to the attention of the department chair.
CONCERN: Can you please provide more accounting tutors? The table is always full each day, and most of the time we take another table. It takes about 30 minutes to get around.
RESPONSE:From Jan. 25 to March 4, we had 246 accounting student visits to the Learning Center, which averages 49 visits per week. The four accounting tutors currently provide 33 hours of tutoring weekly. On average, accounting tutors say students stay one hour so there are about nine visits per day. The tutoring schedule can be found at www.fresnostate.edu/learningcenter.
Tutoring is offered in the Library and in the Peters Building. Accounting tutors make a short-term suggestion of attending between 9-10 a.m. on Friday if possible, as that hour is not heavily attended.
CONCERN: "Student success" is the slogan used by most faculty and top wigs around campus. In reality, this is not happening. Most of students continue to struggle to finish courses and graduate on time due to the lack of "help" for some majors, in my case the computer science department. There is a lack of rooms and labs, tutoring, teachers, classes offered (every other semester most of the time) and funding for the department.
RESPONSE:Student success is indeed a top priority for Fresno State and the University provides additional support for students to succeed academically in many ways. These supports include tutoring and supplemental instruction offered through the Learning Center for most of our large enrollment, high failure rate courses. All faculty have posted office hours when they are available to answer student questions. In the specific case of the computer science department, we are aware that there are too few tenure-track faculty members and the department is currently hiring new faculty. The department is also remodeling a room to provide an additional computer lab for its courses.
CONCERN: Please provide specific information on plans to increase tenure density. Without any specific information about growth or an increase in new tenure-track faculty hiring, lecturers will just assume that they will not be offered any classes in the near future. Part-time lecturers are technically unemployed between semesters as it is, without a guarantee of employment during ensuing semesters (even during the middle of a "three-year" appointment). While an increase in tenure density is worthy goal, instigating job insecurity in a large portion of the faculty can affect morale, and thus teaching effectiveness.
RESPONSE:The governor, the legislature, the California State University system and Fresno State leaders have all made increasing tenure density a goal. To meet the campus goal, we estimate that we would need to add 10 new (net) tenure-track faculty positions in each of the next 10 years. That will require substantially more dollars than we currently are receiving. While we were able to search for nine new positions in the STEAM areas this year, in the coming year we may not be able to hire any. We have completed an analysis of tenure density in each of the schools/colleges and are beginning the discussion of priority areas. Such a discussion will consider the impact on lecturers.
CONCERN: The University should improve scheduling efficiency and set priorities, as well as seriously consider building a classroom building.
RESPONSE:We are trying our best to maintain and improve room utilization efficiency. We utilize scheduling guidelines, which result in high space utilization and efficiency. These guidelines also optimize student schedules and help prevent final exam conflicts. Last year, Fresno State had a 93 percent classroom utilization and was ranked fourth among CSU campuses in utilization as a percentage of standard.
Relative to construction of a classroom building, state policy recently changed to require the CSU and its campuses to fund construction of any new facilities on their own. This will require use of already scarce state dollars or additional dollars from other sources. The campus will need to have significant discussions about such an effort.
CONCERN: I think we need more staff and faculty commenting more on the positive activities and actions happening on campus. These Feedback comments need to be better balanced. It also rubs me the wrong way. We only read the nasty tone of many of these suggestions.
RESPONSE:Thank you! I hope others will follow your lead and share Fresno State's many positive attributes or express their concerns in an appropriate manner.
CONCERN: Something that I hear time and again from staff all over campus is how poorly they are treated by their faculty and upper administration. Just because these people are academically qualified for their jobs does not automatically mean they are socially qualified to manage others. It would seem beneficial to require faculty in management positions and upper administration to go through "soft skill" or some sort of compassion training.
RESPONSE:Thank you for sharing your concern and suggestion. Everyone at Fresno State deserves to be treated with respect. As a kid growing up in Hanford, I observed my mother and grandparents use a consistent level of kindness and respect as they interacted with people from all backgrounds. I will continue to model this behavior as President and I expect that each Cabinet member will do the same. Each Cabinet member is also expecting the same from those in their respective divisions. The leadership development programs that we sponsor on campus also emphasize this critical characteristic. Finally, as each search committee for Cabinet members knows, I will only appoint senior leaders who demonstrate high levels of technical expertise AND emotional intelligence. I am optimistic that stories of the kind you may be hearing will move closer to zero each day ahead.
CONCERN: We spent a lot of money remodeling NG118 as a suitable auditorium for some much needed space. Why is Athletics allowed to book it every day for the next year to feed their student-athletes? Why can't they use the Residence Dining Hall instead?
RESPONSE:We recognize that NG 118 has become a highly utilized meeting room and has also become a good venue for our Athletic Training Table. With additional staff support for changeover of room configurations, we are trying to ensure we can accommodate as many events as possible. When there is a conflicting request to use NG 118 for a large campus event, we do try to accommodate and relocate the Athletic Training Table to the Residence Dining Hall. However, given the demands for usage of this room, we will be re-evaluating the scheduling process this spring semester for next academic year. In the meantime, if you have specific scheduling concerns, please feel free to contact Debbie Adishian-Astone, Interim Vice President for Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on: 02/23/2016
CONCERN: The University has new advising centers for the colleges, which I think is a great idea. This is a bold change needed to better serve our students. However, it is frustrating that faculty and departments across campus are not getting involved. How can these centers be effective when you have departments who do not want to work with these advising centers? If change is going to happen all must be on board.
RESPONSE: The college/school advising centers are in the early stages of implementation. Professional
advisors in the college/school advising offices will provide students with needed
support. Faculty also have an important role to play as advisors and mentors. The
interaction between the professional and faculty advisors is designed to be collaborative
and will, as you point out, provide our students with better service.
CONCERN: Is there any way the fall semester calendar could be set up so that Thanksgiving week is an entire week without classes for students and faculty -- a fall break? I'm raising this issue for two primary reasons: (1) Our university schedule should more closely match the local school district calendars (both Clovis and Fresno districts take Thanksgiving week off and (2). More importantly for student success, many students are taking Thanksgiving week off for a variety of reasons (including child care and family reasons), even though classes are scheduled. The solution seems relatively easy for us to implement: begin the fall semester two days earlier (e.g., start on Tuesday instead of Thursday).
RESPONSE: Taking Thanksgiving week off has been discussed before but a suitable tradeoff has not been found. Calendaring is constrained by state payroll dates, accreditation requirements, system mandates, federal/state holidays and campus practices. The state payroll calendar sets the earliest possible start date for each semester since the initial pay period of both the fall and spring terms may include up to 45 calendar days. This rule means that fall 2016 cannot start before Aug. 17, 2016 and spring 2017 cannot begin before Jan. 16, 2017. WASC requires 15 weeks of classes in a semester. The CSU has established several other requirements: “The typical academic year shall consist of 147 instructional days … There shall be a minimum of 170 academic work days in the academic year.” We allow several days at the beginning of each semester for the president to have University-wide meeting; deans to bring their colleges/schools together; and faculty to prepare for courses. Once these are factored in, there is usually no leeway. To find two days would require eliminating the meeting days at the beginning of the term, eliminating consultation days or extending the semester – which in many years is not possible because of the holidays.
CONCERN: As a parent paying full tuition and fees for my child to attend Fresno State, I would like to see the University honestly and openly report how much of the money I pay goes to support financial aid for other students. Those receiving financial aid should also be aware that some of their classmates are helping finance the cost of their education.
RESPONSE: At the present time, approximately 30 percent of tuition dollars collected are used to fund the State University Grant program to assist students with financial need. Fresno State has always disclosed in all of our documents that tuition and fees have been set aside according to CSU Trustee policy to allow students with the most financial need to receive assistance.
CONCERN: On Dec. 23, Facilities Planning conducted an unscheduled and unannounced test of the fire alarm in Kremen. This is disruptive to productivity and could frighten members of the public and small children who use the building for childcare and passport application services. Better announcement efforts would be appreciated in the future.
RESPONSE: Our sincerest apologies for this disruption. National Fire Code mandates that we perform annual and quarterly tests of the fire alarms. We do our best to schedule these tests during non-academic days. Facilities Management selected Dec. 23 thinking the impact would be minimal as the campus was relatively quiet before the holiday. Prior to all fire alarm tests, staff walked through the building notifying occupants. In the future we will do our best to ensure better communication for scheduled tests of our alarms is delivered to all building occupants.
CONCERN: What is the point of having search committees when administrator(s) continuously disregard the recommendations and select the candidate they "like" the most? It is a waste of employees’ time, and frustrating for all their hard work to be thrown out. Administration should have a cap on how many employees they can self-select or appoint, especially when they are selecting employees who all fit the same mold (all slim, attractive, women who are/look young).
RESPONSE: The policy related to all administrative appointments is outlined in the Academic Policy Manual (APM) 320. The Academic Senate is currently reviewing this policy in collaboration with the Vice President for Administration and University Human Resources to ensure that our search process is inclusive, consistent, fair and equitable and consistent with CSU HR Technical letters. If you have a concern related to a specific recruitment, please contact Marylou Mendoza-Miller, associate vice president for Human Resources.
CONCERN: Your online employment application process needs a great deal of work to make it more user friendly. The process is unbelievably difficult to complete, especially when you are talking about temporary help to proctor or observe tests. Also I was dumbfounded to find out that current Fresno State employees must jump through all of the hoops as well. One issue I find very irritating is the statement that the application must be completed for it to be processed. If you submit it thinking is complete and it isn't, you will be out of luck.
RESPONSE:Thank you! We agree that our process was unnecessarily cumbersome. I am pleased to report that based on your feedback we have revised our application process for testing proctor and casual worker positions. Fresno State is committed to process improvement and efficiencies and we are continuously evaluating opportunities to reduce administrative burden across the entire University.
CONCERN: I suggest an updating of the lock and key situation at Fresno State. I suggest that it be updated to a key card or proximity card system that can be remotely (or at least easily and quickly) loaded with access to specific rooms. These keycards could be programmed to expire after 1 year so that past TAs or research students will not continue to have access to labs/supply rooms long after they have left/graduated. This solution would also improve the pace at which access is granted to new employees and improve security with the added oversight of the keys expiring.
RESPONSE: We agree and we are aware of the frustrations and security issues you raise related to campus keys. A cross-functional process improvement team has been addressing the key and access control issue for nearly two years. Significant progress has been made in this area including a new key policy; an automated key request and key control database system (read more); and the systematic conversion of many of our mechanical (traditional) locks to electronic (bulldog) card access. The new policy defines a system of access to provide security for University facilities, assets as well as the safety of all those on campus. The policy establishes responsibility for campus employees including student employees, students and others issued keys, as well as outlining the responsibilities of managers in approving and regulating access to University facilities. When students become inactive their key access is automatically deactivated. This effort is still a work in progress as updating our lock systems will take some time. If you have questions or would like to discuss converting specific doors to an electronic entry system please contact the Lockshop at 278.2373.
CONCERN: Protect our private personal information. In my college, gossip runs amok with the administrative support staff. I have frequently heard our department secretary on the phone sharing details about other faculty members’ medical problems and others marital problems. I would like to see some sensitivity training and answerability.
RESPONSE: We regret that you feel confidentiality was breached. We are providing training on a number of workplace issues and will see that this issue is included. If you have a specific complaint or concern within your department, please meet with your immediate supervisor.
CONCERN: Do you realize that the home links on many of your main Fresno State pages do not take people to the actual home page, but to the same exact page they are already on? For example: http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/wasc/index.html. A home link should take you to the home page, not the same page you are already on
RESPONSE: Yes, all sites are designed to work this way. The home menu, when clicked, displays "Home" in red as the on-page indicator, showing which page you're on. This is part of the navigation design. However, each department controls how they have implemented menus on their sites. So there is occasional variation away from the intended navigation design. A department decides how to implement its website. If you want to contact the department, you can find an email address in the footer of its site.
CONCERN: When are you going to add more sessions of the President’s Forum? I keep missing my chance, and there aren’t very many.
RESPONSE: I’m glad you’re interested in attending! We schedule a forum for faculty and staff in the fall and again in the spring. We also have a forum for students each semester. The next forum for faculty and staff is March 10, 10:30-11:30, in North Gym 118.
CONCERN: It looks like the following page has not been updated since before 2009-10. http://www.fresnostate.edu/adminserv/budget/faq/. Why are you still running this page when it’s more than five years old? You also have enrollment listed from fall 2013 on the following page. &nsp;http://www.fresnostate.edu/home/about/fastfacts.html.
RESPONSE: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We do our best to keep our more than
300 webpages current and up-to-date. This year, we will be convening a committee to
review our website guidelines and standards. In the meantime, I have brought this
specific website to the attention of our Financial Services department.
Posted on: 01/29/2016
Concern: As tenure/tenure-track faculty, especially junior faculty, we are required to engage in research, apply for (and obtain) grants, present at conferences, and publish in top journals in our field. For many of us, the reason we were hired is precisely because we are good at research and contribute to the body of knowledge in our discipline. Research is a requirement for us to both obtain and keep our position at Fresno State, yet, there is no time allocated in our workload in the APM for research. We teach a 4-4 and we have service requirements, and those are both accounted for in the APM, yet we also have the requirement of research and publication and the University does not officially recognize this in the APM, nor allocate any of our normal time to this endeavor. If Fresno State wants to continue to carve out a path as an emerging research university, shouldn't they encourage research by officially allocating a portion of t/t faculty time toward this endeavor? Are there any plans to move toward a 3-3 teaching load?
Response:The University provides support in the form of reassigned time for new tenure track faculty for several semesters to assist them in getting their research and scholarship activities underway. Research, scholarly and creative activity support in the amount of $700,000 to $800,000 annually has been provided to the colleges/schools which use their own processes to determine how that funding is allocated. The hope is that faculty will be able to use these dollars to develop ongoing funded research programs. Additionally, the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/grants/ ) provides support to faculty pursuing external grants, which often include funding for reassigned time. The office helped with awards totaling over $38 million during the 2014-15 year. Any changes in teaching loads would be negotiated by the Chancellor’s office with the California Faculty Association.
Concern: More supervision in the library of inappropriate language and behavior. I was present when a group of young men were talking very inappropriately about women in a very vulgar and harassing way and no one did anything about it. If I were younger, I would have felt violated and not safe.
Response: Thank you for writing and sharing this unfortunate experience. The library does not tolerate inappropriate language or behavior anywhere at any time, and especially denigrating speech. Every hour we are open we have three Public Safety Assistants (PSAs), trained in police procedure, walking every corner of the library. They can be identified by their dark blue vests, red lanyards and earpieces. We urge all library visitors to report immediately any sort of inappropriate behavior, either to these PSAs or to any library employee. Once notified of inappropriate behavior the PSA will respond and ask the perpetrators to desist. We rely on our patrons who use the library properly to help us monitor any sort of disruptive behavior. This includes loud and derogatory speech of any kind. We do show people who persist in these antics to the door if they continue disrupting the study of our students.
Concern: As one of Fresno State’s alumni, I encouraged my son to attend Fresno State for his undergraduate work. I received a quality education that provided me the basis for a rewarding career. My son is NOT receiving a similar education. One of my biggest concerns is the lack of professionalism on the part of his instructors. He is in his third year at Fresno State and every semester his teachers cancel many of the class sessions. It is common for him to have as many as 5-7 sessions cancelled for one class! I feel he is not receiving the instruction that we pay for.
I am also very tired of the syllabus rhetoric. Often the teachers change their minds and shift assignments at will. He has had teachers that never refer to the syllabus and others who never mention tests in class because “they are on the syllabus.” If you really want the students to look at and follow the syllabus, then your professors need to be following them as well.
Finally, I find staff referring to my son in class as a “dumbass" as totally unprofessional. His current history professor has used this term more than once. If your staff wishes to be respected, they need to show some respect themselves.
Response: The University expects faculty to maintain high standards of professional behavior both in and outside the classroom. (See the policy on faculty rights and responsibilities at http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/facultyaffairs/documents/apm/336.pdf .) The issues you raise are troubling violations of this policy. Please contact Dr. Xuanning Fu, dean of Undergraduate Studies, at 559.278.4468, so we can follow up.
Concern: Here is a link I saw about water quality in the Valley related to high levels of uranium: http://abc30.com/news/uranium-contaminates-water-in-the-west/1113734/. My questions: Why is the research being done by outsiders and NOT Fresno State? We need to get ahead of the curve in research and technology. This is in our back yard. We want to be the “water university,” yet we are being out staged/out played. Who are our leaders on these issues? I am very angry that others seem to know more about us than we know about us.
Response: Fresno State is actually quite involved in this issue. Uranium is one of the natural contaminants in Valley groundwater and is mobilized when oxidized. The science community recently figured out that carbonic acid formed in irrigated soils can mix through the shallow groundwater and more rapidly mobilize the uranium in groundwater below the irrigated lands. Since most water is delivered by public systems that meet the drinking water standards, it has not been a priority to address the long-term alteration of the groundwater conditions. Now that more shallow wells have gone dry and the replacement wells get sampled for other constituents, we have been able to build a larger database on the quality of all groundwater in the San Joaquin Valley.
Fresno State is also looking at the treatment options and is currently working with Lonex, a British firm specializing in ion exchange processes as part of our Vapor Compression Desalination project funded by the Department of Water Resources. Fresno State is dedicating laboratory space to evaluate water treatment equipment for efficacy and energy demand.
We are also actively working to establish a Center for Disadvantaged Communities (DAC’s) on our campus, along with other CSU campuses. One of the main foci will be on access to clean drinking water. We have received funding in the past from the USDA to place faculty and students in DAC’s to provide technical assistance. We hope to build on that experience going forward. Also, as noted in the article, managing groundwater pumping in agriculture is an important mitigation factor, and Fresno State staff has trained an estimated 4,000 growers in 2015 alone on better water management practices. Finally, Fresno State staff are active in many venues concerning water quality. They are now serving or have served as members of the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the California Department of Food and Agriculture Nitrogen Tracking and Reporting Task Force. They have also been actively involved in facilitating the development of county groundwater ordinances.
More information about Fresno State’s involvement in water related issues can be accessed at www.californiawater.org.
Concern: You should hold a President’s Forum every week, so that every Friday you have either a forum for students, faculty, staff or the community. Each time you could follow up on the suggestions from the prior forum and let everyone know what progress you have made. That way the forums would be meaningful instead of haphazard and disorganized.
Response: Thank you for the suggestion. We will continue to provide many different avenues for feedback from students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. These avenues include our website, several social media sites and many open forums. The forums allow for a mixture of listening to various perspectives and providing answers to questions. I have found each forum very meaningful with important steps taken to enhance our overall effectiveness in meeting needs. An open forum each week is not feasible at this time, but I will consider it for the future.
Concern: I have concerns regarding President Castro's recent message about salary support for staff. While I am glad to see money being used to bolster staff salaries in general, I am concerned that those still making less than average wages for their position after seven or more years might not deserve that money due to performance concerns. What guarantee is there that those eligible for the increase aren't making less than average because their performance is less than average? The less than average have to exist to help balance the average.
Averaging equity raises such as this is largely upsetting and demeaning to employees that work hard for their higher salaries. While there is no perfect solution, equity raises based on some measure of performance seem more appropriate.
Response:I am pleased that we are a leader in the CSU in providing salary equity funds over the past two years. Those faculty and staff who received equity increases have good performance evaluations from their supervisors. We will continue to use many different strategies to recruit and retain talented and diverse staff and faculty. We will also be more aggressive in increasing tenure density on the campus.
Concern: I have a follow up question after reading your responses to the faculty and staff “equity 2” questions. First of all, I would like to thank you for the two rounds of equities in the past two year. This is really the first step in the right direction. I hope you can keep doing that with “equity 3” and even more after that to gradually solve the faculty and staff salary problems that you inherited.
Having said that, I would like to bring to your attention that Equity II this year has been a problem because it increased the salary inequity between the professional schools and academic schools. Those who already made at least 30K more in Business get a further boost while people who do the same job in Arts and Science and Social Sciences did not get their fair share. (On average, I am not sure about the real figures as there is no place to find the results.) At least this is what we heard about what actually happened. If this is not the case, then why was the outcome of equity 2 not published on the website like it was for equity 1? One of the reasons could be that the whole process was not transparent. For equity 1, all faculty members were consulted for feedback and the union had a voice to represent its members. Why did Faculty Affairs go on its own this time?
Response:Thank you for your question. We followed the same procedure of consultation with the CFA on this campus equity program as we did last year. We addressed the significant concerns of the CFA including impacting only faculty who were not included in equity increases last year, including long-time lecturers, and focusing on the full professor rank. After doing so, I had hoped that they would join me in announcing the new program. They opted not to do so. I felt an obligation to staff and faculty to announce the new equity program on my own after setting a reasonable and flexible timeline for implementation beginning last August. Our campus equity program addresses important salary issues that existed within schools and colleges. I will pass your concerns on about posting the outcome of this program on the campus web site.
Concern: Fresno State should allow professors, faculty and students to carry concealed weapons. Fresno State has a great police force, but what would happen if there were an active shooter situation and the police could not respond fast enough? What happened in San Bernardino is an example. If there had been a person or two with a California concealed weapon permit, there might have been more lives saved. Because we live in a world where terror is in our back yard, the state university system should rethink, and adapt to the world we now live in.
Response: Safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top concern. In 2015 the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 707 banning concealed weapons on college campuses. The only exceptions are active law enforcement and retired law enforcement. If you have not already done so, we urge you to attend one of the Seconds to Survive training sessions offered by our campus Police Department. This training is designed to help individuals and teams plan, prepare, practice and perform in critical situations so they are empowered to make life saving decisions in the crucial first seconds of an emergency.
Concern: Having worked as a student assistant for a number of years, I always noticed that many parking spots in the staff/faculty parking lots go unused. Would it be feasible to allow student workers access to staff parking lots? Perhaps in the summer time that can be done, since there are far fewer people on campus.
Response: We realize that at times especially during the semester breaks that there is capacity in faculty and staff parking lots. However, even during the summer months we still need to maintain these stalls for use by faculty and staff who are working on campus and teaching summer session courses. Any changes to our current parking operations regarding access to faculty and staff (restricted) parking lots requires consultation with our collective bargaining units. This semester we will be meeting with some of the collective bargaining units to explore the feasibility of allowing students to parking in yellow lots at 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m.
Concern: More police presence in the south parking (Shaw) lot for night courses. I have yet to see a police vehicle or police officer when I leave the building and walk through the parking lot at night. Also, better lighting and more police deterrents placed in the parking lots. Deterrents play a role in making potential criminals aware that they are being filmed and crimes will not go unnoticed.
Response:Thank you for bringing this concern/observation to our attention. Our University police officers make regular patrols throughout the entire campus 24-7. Also, all of our exterior lighting has been upgraded with LED lights, which has made a big difference in the lighting level at night. Please utilize the Escort Service by calling University Police Dispatch at 559.278.8400 if you would like assistance in getting from your classroom to your vehicle during the evening hours.
Concern: Fresno State needs to make fresh, healthy food as affordable and accessible as the soda pop it sells! Has anyone considered bringing refrigerated vending machines to campus? These vending machines can contain dairy products, vegetables and fruits (produced on campus) and could be placed in every building at this university. This would make it much easier for students/faculty/staff to make healthy food choices. Walking across campus to the Food Court or Paws-N-Go market is often not an option for students for many reasons, including not enough time between classes, breaks for three-hour classes are often only 10 minutes or less, and hours of operation for these locations are limited.
Response:Great suggestion. We have the ability with our current vending contractor Canteen to bring in vending machines that offer healthy and fresh food items. Please know we also sell fresh fruit in the USU Snack Bar which is located in the center of campus and which is open late in the evening. If there is a particular building vendor you would like us to replace, please contact University Dining Services at 559.278.3904.
Concern: It would be fabulous to have heat in the Conley Art Building restrooms. Our students have the experience more like using an outside bathroom in a park (with the lack of heat and warm water to wash their hands) and not a premier college experience. After speaking with Plant Operations, I learned that when the building was built, heating was not included. Does this mean that we can never have heat? I have traveled to other buildings at times in the winter, when it is really cold, to just wash my hands in hot water and not freeze my tush off.
Response: We have good news! Thanks to funding support from President Castro, we will be investing approximately $20 million in deferred maintenance projects over the next two years. One of the priority projects is to replace the heating/ventilation/air conditioning units in the entire Conley Art Building. This is a project that will take some time but the investment is over $1 million to fix the existing antiquated system. Heat is on the way!
Concern: Are you aware that the stairwells in the library jam frequently, creating a fire hazard? There was an incident recently on the third floor in which maintenance had to be called. Isn’t there some way to prevent this?
Response:Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We will have our Facilities Management team evaluate.
Concern: If we are to take campus safety seriously, it is imperative that the police department telephone line not have a long recording at the beginning of the message. It is past time to either remove that recording or to create a phone number that can be used specifically for emergencies, and not parking inquiries as well. In a serious emergency situation, waiting for the recorded message to end and a real person to answer the line could mean life or death.
Response: Thank you for letting us know about this concern. As you know, we take the safety of our campus very seriously and we are working to enhance our Emergency Communications systems. If you need to contact University Police to report an emergency, please call University Dispatch directly at 559.278.8400.
Concern: Based on what I understood from the documentary "The Hunting Ground," rapes and other sexual assaults that occur on college campuses are handled by campuses rather than in our case the Fresno Police Department. The documentary also showed that on many college campuses the Athletic Department handles discipline for athletes who are accused of rapes and other sexual assaults. What steps are taken here when a student reports a sexual crime?
Response:Our campus interim Title IX coordinator, Erin Boele, should be contacted immediately (email@example.com, 278.2677) if you are aware of any type of sexual assault or harassment, including student-athletes. She will reach out to the student and advise them of the resources and assistance available to them, including initiating an investigation. A student may also contact our confidential victim advocate, Lisa Risch (firstname.lastname@example.org, 278.6796). Our victim advocate, Title IX coordinator and University Police Department work closely together to ensure there is training and resources for our students and campus community.
Concern: I enjoy attending various events on campus but find it to be a challenge to attend when the email notifications are sent just one to two days before the event. For an employee who has scheduled appointments to advise students regularly, it is difficult to make arrangements to attend if notifications are sent too last minute. Sending out earlier emails weeks in advance would definitely be appreciated.
Response: This is a valid concern. We’ll certainly try to do better when the messages are coming from the Office of the President or Cabinet members. There are many other offices and individuals on campus that send announcements, so perhaps this notice will help them remember to get them sent out earlier.
Concern: Please consider listing your Feedback for President Castro archives by subject or provide a search option for your users. When checking the archives to see if anyone had provided feedback about a topic I wanted to write to you about, I was overwhelmed by the number of comments/concerns I had to read, as they were archived simply by date.
Response: You’re right! We have added a search function in order to make searches easier and faster. You’ll see a search box on the Feedback Responses page and the Archive of Responses page.
Concern: Please investigate a staff member who appears to have a conflict of interest (details provided).
Response: Thank you. Information of this nature should be submitted to Kirsten Corey, HR conflict of interest officer, at email@example.com.
Concern: When will the online campus map be updated so that the Jordan Building and the PT Building will be available under the "Select a Building" section?
Response: Thanks for pointing this out. The map has been updated.