Posted on: 3/11/15
Concern: Admissions office needs to be open and staffed 8-5.
Updated Response: All units of the Admissions and Records Office are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Posted on: 3/9/15
Concern: I am concerned about the latest e-mail regarding keeping the offices open at lunch. While I understand the reasoning behind the order, I don't think the Cabinet realizes the unintended reaction staff has had to this order. We are not happy about it for several reasons. One is that it is not practical. By requiring offices to remain open during the lunch hour, staff feels as if we are not allowed to leave our office at all. This is a morale buster for us.
Response: We understand there may be some concerns regarding the recent announcement about keeping offices open during the noon hour. Please know that this directive was never intended to change, modify or alter any current staff work schedules or to make anyone feel that they could not leave the office during their lunch hour. We appreciate and value the support that our staff provide to our students on a daily basis. We also understand that we have many campus offices where there is a limited number of staff and, as such, it is not feasible nor was it expected for that office to be open during the lunch hour. Please know we only recommended signage as an option to communicate where assistance could be provided for those offices that need to remain closed recognizing that many College/School Dean's Office or Division VP Offices may not be located in the same building as their respective departments. Your comments are valuable as we continue to re-evaluate and examine ways on how to best make this work for our entire campus."
Concern: We need to demystify the undergraduate research application process. There is no flowchart or explanation of the steps for applying to do research.
Response: The program is explained online at http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/offices/undergraduate/research.html. Included on the page is an explanation of the program, the application form, a budget template and a timeline template. ASI manages publicity for the program and collects the applications.
Concern: We need to work to create a graduate school-going culture. Research relationships between students (at Fresno State and beyond) and between students and faculty should be encouraged and funded.
Response: We agree there is a need to expand the graduate school-going culture. To that end, we applied for and received a Title V(B) grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create the Graduate Net Initiative. The mission of Fresno State’s Graduate Net Initiative is to serve the campus and community by expanding access to our postbaccalaureate academic programs and support services, harnessing technology to bolster the ability of all graduate students to succeed academically and professionally. Housed in the Division of Graduate Studies, the Graduate Net Initiative is partnering with the University’s graduate faculty and community members to capitalize on the latest technological advances and best practices, including an expanded offering of the highest quality online programs and resources that have proven to be effective and realize equity of access and of outcomes with Hispanic and other under-represented students. Made possible by a U.S. Department of Education Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities to Hispanic Americans (PPOHA) grant, the Initiative consists of three interrelated parts. The first is the creation of the Graduate Net, our new digital postbaccalaureate hub. The Graduate Net will serve as a portal to services such as dedicated library support and direct financial assistance for research and publication, online peer writing and statistics consultants, and digital professional development seminars. The second part, meant to support and expand online graduate programs and bolster faculty-student relationships, is the delivery of cutting-edge faculty training on digital postbaccalaureate pedagogy and mentorship. The third key enhancement is a campus-wide expansion of mentorship and internship programs now housed in individual programs, strengthening links to our community and helping better prepare our students to be leaders in their chosen fields. For more information, please contact Project Manager, Dr. Tere Lopez in the Department of History.
Concern: Equity between State and Auxiliary employees.
Response: Auxiliary organizations are required to be self-supporting and given the various types of programs and operations handled by auxiliaries organizations, many auxiliary staff positions are not the same or comparable to state positions. However, when appropriate, comparability studies are conducted on positions to ensure equity and fairness within the auxiliary organization and in comparison to other CSU auxiliary organizations that have similar positions. Auxiliary Human Resources is very responsive to any requests for review of position comparability. The CSU’s fee waiver program does not extend to auxiliary employees; however, each of our auxiliary organizations has an Educational Policy for support of educational goals for our employees.
Concern: Remove the wheels off area.
Response: The Free Speech Area has always been a densely populated area. The campus is constantly challenged with how to keep foot traffic moving in that area, and ensure that persons with disabilities have the appropriate access. The campus buildings and grounds policy restricts the use of skateboards, in-line skates, bicycles, motorized vehicles and scooters in the Free Speech Area building breezeways and structures. These restrictions are in place primarily for the safety of our campus community. The newly installed signage designating the wheels off area is a new communications approach.
Concern: Traffic is too fast on Keats, where there are a lot of pedestrians.
Response: A work order has been submitted with Plant Operations to repaint all of the crosswalks on Keats between Maple and Barton.
Concern: University Dining Services’ vehicles block the sidewalk for pedestrians behind the University Center.
Response: Parking and University Food Service have worked together to resolve this issue, and will ensure that vehicles are parked in the loading dock and not blocking any sidewalks or path of travel for pedestrians.
Posted on: 3/3/15
Concern: Need to improve procedures in order to expedite financial aid awards as students graduate and move into graduate programs.
Response: Processing necessary paperwork for students who finish coursework in December and then move into graduate programs the following January is challenging. Grades are not turned in by faculty until after Christmas and every person who files a December graduation application must have their last semester carefully reviewed to make sure they did fulfill requirements. We continue to look for solutions to improve this process.
Concern: Open Bulldog Stadium for the purpose of exercise, in a limited capacity, to the university community and public on certain days when it is otherwise unused.
Response: This sounds like a great idea and is consistent with our commitment to wellness but unfortunately, use of Bulldog stadium by the university community is not practical at this time. The availability of Bulldog Stadium fluctuates throughout the year due to practice, games, game preparation and camps for Football, Soccer and Lacrosse. Additionally, there are risk, liability and accessibility issues that prevent us from opening up this venue to the campus and the community.
Concern: Campus catering is overpriced and requests for off-campus food waivers are usually denied.
Response: We continue to see improved quality in our catering services and take great pride in ensuring customer satisfaction. If there are specific catering event concerns please contact Megan Sarantos (firstname.lastname@example.org or 278.4345). We welcome feedback.
We do grant waivers for donated items or unique menu items not supplied by university catering. In 2013-14, 228 waivers were granted and in the first six months of 2014-15, 121 waivers have been granted. Catering services is part of the Association, an Auxiliary organization. All of the sales and revenues generated help support our campus community.
Concern: I work in the Education building and would love to have a filtered water station.
Response: This is a great suggestion and one that we are in the process of making a reality. A filtered water station has been ordered for the Library 2nd floor and we are working to identify an appropriate and accessible location in the Kremen Building. The units cost approximately $5,000. We are assessing their use as we consider expanding these across campus.
Concern: Entrance to P1 should be reviewed as it gets backed up when people are getting permits from the dispensers. And trim the landscaping at the entrance so that you can see the parking spaces north of the dispensers and pedestrians walking through the area.
Response: This is currently in design as a part of the reconstruction project planned for next academic year. The dispensers will be moved which will allow vehicles to queue separately from the drive thru lane. The grounds staff will create a clear line of site by removing and trimming the landscaping. This work is expected to be complete in the next few weeks.
Concern: Phones are not working.
Response: The software that supports our phone instruments was recently upgraded. During the upgrade there were additional disruptions which were resolved in a timely manner. Please contact the Help Desk at 278.5000 or submit a work order at https://help.fresnostate.edu/forms/general-request.php if there any further issues.
Concern: Make parking available for students with small children who attend the Huggins Center so that they don't have to walk through the parking lot.
Response: There are nineteen 30-minute stalls in the driveway on the east side of the Education building. This is the most concentrated area of timed zones on campus to accommodate parents dropping off their children at the childcare centers. We will continue to assess usage and traffic patterns.
Concern: Provide more information on our website on the nature of Intersession classes, especially online courses, so that students get a better idea of what to expect before they pay and enroll in the class.
Response: Providing guidance to students about the nature of condensed semesters is an excellent idea. CGE will work with former Intersession instructors to craft a description of the condensed nature of intersession instruction.
Posted on: 12/19/14
Concern: Incorporate healthy, farm fresh options in campus dining facilities.
Response: University Dining Services makes every effort to provide our campus community with diverse retail dining options. We regularly look for ways to collaborate with the Gibson Farm Market, the Food Science and Nutrition Department, and solicit campus feedback to enhance our dining operation as well as opportunities for increasing the availability and variety of healthy food options.
On many occasions we do serve produce and products from the farm at the Dining Hall but due to seasonality and quantity available, it is not always possible to offer on a daily basis. However, the salad bar at the Dining Hall is one of the largest, freshest salad bars with healthy options such as tofu, cottage cheese, as well as fresh vegetables and fruit. The Dining Hall also offers a balanced menu items of protein, vegetables, and carbs depending upon an individual's dietary preference.
In addition, residents with their flex dollars can eat at other campus dining locations like Subway and The Bucket where healthy menu items are available. Dining Services also sells healthy, non-perishable items from our Gibson Farm Market at the Paws-N-Go Market located on the east side of the North Gym.
University Dining Services is also revamping its resident meal plan options for the 2015-16 school year that will provide an option for unlimited meals as well as options with more flex dollars to use at other campus retail dining establishments. Also there is regular feedback solicited from residents and students through the Residents Hall Association and Food Service Advisory Committee.
Concern: Students don’t know about the Campus Pointe project. Is tuition being used for its construction?
Response: The Campus Pointe project, a public/private mixed use development was approved by CSU Trustees as a concept in May 2002 and as a project in November 2005. There are no student fees or state general funds being used on this project. This project is 100 percent funded by private developers who have a ground lease with one of the University's auxiliary organizations.
The ground rent received is helping to support repayment of the bonds on the Save Mart Center as well as financial support to the Jordan College for the loss of the ag land. The developer is responsible for all on-site and off-site improvements including the required utility (underground infrastructure).
During the preparation of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) many campus forums and meetings were held including specific meetings with student leaders to confirm that the land uses being proposed would meet the needs of our students.
Palmilla (multifamily) was the first housing project completed in July 2009 and Palazzo (student) was completed in July 2010. Since that time and with the economic impacts in 2008-10, the retail portion of the project slowed down but we are pleased that the first phase of retail including the 19-screen theatre will be completed by January 2015.
We are in the process of working with the master developer to create a website site that will have a link from the Fresno State website. We are fortunate to have such a project on campus that will improve the campus experience for our students by providing the ability to walk or bicycle to a variety of new amenities and services currently unavailable on or near campus. The quality of life for students living on and around campus will be improved by the addition of new housing, entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities.
Concern: Employee texting while driving a Fresno State pickup.
Response: Safety is a priority for Fresno State. Employees driving state-owned vehicles are required to participate in driver’s training and are regularly reminded of their duty to adhere to driving laws and principles. University Police works closely with local law enforcement to monitor drivers in and around the campus. In spite of these efforts, we cannot monitor every single driver. For this reason, we appreciate the community’s assistance and feedback in ensuring that our employees are acting responsibly in this area. We have reminded all of our managers to reinforce this message with their teams.
Concern: Psychology and Human Services building issues: hot water was tuned off during the summer and still off, classrooms not cleaned, rooms too cold or too hot, Internet connection and phone not functioning in one classroom.
Response: We recognize that we have a number of issues on campus that need to be addressed related to the replacement of or repair of existing building systems. Many of our campus buildings are over 50 years old. Fresno State has $148 million in deferred maintenance backlog. Facilities Management receives an annual allocation of $500,000 to address these issues. Our economic realities are such that we must prioritize the needs of the entire campus and focus first on items that impact safety, security and issues of ADA compliance.
CSU campuses across the state are actively engaged in conversations with the Chancellor’s Office to develop alternative means to fund a system-wide deferred maintenance backlog in excess of $1 billion. Fresno State recently secured a commitment from the Chancellor’s Office for $31.3 million to support phase I of our electrical infrastructure repair work. This funding will begin to address the infrastructure challenges.
Concern: Student parking should be allowed in Yellow spaces after 5 p.m. if there are vacant spaces.
Response: We will review the parking data with Omni Means, our traffic engineer and explore this issue with the campus community to determine if this is doable.
Concern: Noise levels from fraternities and inability to reach campus official to talk to.
Response: We have addressed this issue with our students and asked they be more responsible community members taking into consideration the rights of others. Eddie Dominguez or Melissa Ginotti can help you in the future at 559.278.5987 during normal business hours or you can call Fresno State Police Department at 559.278.8400 after 5 p.m. or on weekends.
Concern: Admissions office complaint regarding service, staff response, portal.
Response: We are very sorry you feel you have received poor service from our staff. It is our intention in Student Affairs to always provide superior customer service. If you would like to let the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs know the name of the individual who was rude we will follow up. We also will look into the issues with posting to student portal.
Concern: Let affiliated club sports use the aquatics facilities at little to no cost.
Response: We are looking into sharing the facility with club sports, passing on only the real costs of facility usage. More information will be forthcoming.
Concern: Student Affairs staffers concern that they don’t count.
Response: We’re sorry to hear that anyone in the Division of Student Affairs would feel this way. Vice President Frank Lamas would be happy to meet with individuals one-on-one to discuss concerns. We agree student learning is a very important facet of what we do, as is great customer service.
Comment: Spring Break should not be scheduled in conjunction with the Easter holiday occurring April 1 or later. The performance of our students, faculty and staff are negatively impacted when we wait this long for a break.
Response: Previous campus discussions have led to scheduling Spring Break the week of Good Friday which is determined by the lunar calendar. This does occasionally result in a late date in the semester break. However, the campus expressed a preference for Spring Break to coincide with K-12 school schedules. Child care and family issues were instrumental in this decision. Other scheduling constraints (number of instructional days, number of work days, number of days for an intersession program, holding Commencement the week before Memorial Day weekend) preclude an earlier start date for the spring term.
Comment: There should be a Commencement ceremony for December graduates.
Response: All students completing their degrees in the previous summer or fall are invited and encouraged to attend Commencement in May. This is the practice at most universities including other CSU campuses. Last year, Fresno State awarded 4,265 degrees at commencement, of which 1,322 were earned in fall.
Comment: Work with Valley agricultural leaders, students and faculty in partnerships to research better practices to improve soil, air and water quality. Promote organic, pesticide-free produce and dairy products.
Response: Last year, President Castro appointed a Presidential Commission on the Future of Agriculture. That commission addressed some of the same issues you raise and the campus is moving forward to implement many of their recommendations. You can find a copy of the report online at http://www.fresnostate.edu/president/documents/Ag-Commission-Prelim-Report-digital.pdf.
Comment: A more serious and restrictive General Education Program is needed. Also, too many Fresno State graduates exhibit poor writing skills, as many majors have very little writing assignments.
Response: The components of the Fresno State General Education program are mandated by the CSU. The CSU requires that students complete a minimum of 12 semester units “dealing with human social, political, and economic institutions and behavior and their historical background.” The faculty at Fresno State have designed a program that includes 3 units of American History, 3 units of Political Science, 3 units of a lower division social science and an additional 3 units of upper division social science coursework.
Additionally, students are required to take an upper division multicultural/international course that enables them to “explain and interpret aspects of race, gender, culture, class, ethnicity or the relations among nations in a multicultural world, and identify systems of oppression, inequality, or discrimination within and among groups, cultures, subcultures or nations.”
Relative to writing, the campus continues to emphasize writing. All lower division GE courses require 1,000 words of writing and upper division courses require 2,000 words. All students must complete an upper division writing requirement – usually a course. The campus is actively promoting a “writing across the curriculum” approach to get students writing more in their disciplines. Discussions are underway to require all students to complete a culminating experience in their discipline that would likely require additional writing.
Comment: Lack of diversity in Art Department faculty.
Response: Our campus leadership is committed to attracting and recruiting highly qualified underrepresented candidates, including women. Our current processes are outreach-focused and we expect to continue making progress in attracting faculty who are prepared to meet the needs of our diverse student body.
Comment: Extend the summer hours at the Henry Madden Library and include weekend hours.
Response: There is a significant staff cost to keeping the Henry Madden Library open. We concentrate our hours during fall and spring semesters to provide benefits to faculty and students when the most people are on campus. Without an increase in the library budget, we cannot be open more during the summer without reducing hours during the fall and spring. We established our hours based on usage patterns to maximize service to the majority of people on campus. Our summer hours do allow students to come in after class, since the library is open until 5 p.m. and the summer campus workday ends at 3:30 p.m. And all of our electronic resources – including our research databases, over 60,000 journals and over 100,000 ebooks -- are available 24/7 whether the library building is open or not. If you need to check out materials and are unable to come to the library during our open hours in the summer, please contact Associate Dean Dave Tyckosen at email@example.com and he will try to make other arrangements for you.
Comment: Reinstate Friendly Visitors Center so that senior citizens can hire Fresno State students to do in-home care.
Response: The former Friendly Visitor Services Program was taken over by Catholic Charities of Fresno a number of years ago. The program is now referred to as the Senior Companion Program. You may contact Catholic Charities at 559.237.0851 for further information.
Comment: Graduate students enrolled in “0 units” for thesis have to pay full tuition.
Response: The Registrar requires that students must be continuously enrolled while working on their thesis (and using University resources) up to and including the semester they will graduate. The previous option to pay a lower fee and continue to work on thesis was through Division of Continuing and Global Education. However, the Chancellor’s office no longer allows that. At the present time, the only option available to students to maintain continuous enrollment is to register for 299C for 0 units and pay the 0-6 units fee. A possible solution might be to revise the fee structure to accommodate graduate students trying to finish their thesis who must stay enrolled but are taking 0 units. However, that is a CSU system-level decision.
Comment: The Lyles College of Engineering lacks adequate faculty, funding, supplies, recognition to improve rankings and draw more competitive students to the campus.
Response: There is renewed support for the Lyles College of Engineering from the University, Fresno State Foundation, industry and donors. We are building many new partnerships. All of this support is resulting in the addition of new faculty, new scholarships, updated laboratories and professional development of faculty and staff. Thirteen new faculty have been hired in the last three years and searches are underway to add four more faculty in 2015. New funding has also been allocated to update the laboratories. We have reviewed our communication strategies. We will be expanding our communications to include more Web, social media, email and print media to showcase the College's programs, highlights and accomplishments. A professional writer and photographer will be assisting us with print media publications. We are also expanding our community relations and participation in professional organizations. We fully concur that focusing attention on the College will bring up the University's rankings and draw more competitive students to campus.
Our graduates are finding employment in a wide range of companies, large and small, in our region here and also statewide and nationwide. Some of the companies include: General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Dell, Cisco, Boeing, Intel, Apple, Synopsys, Honda, Raytheon, Lockheed, Parsons, Granite, URS, McCarthy, Turner Construction, Kiewit, Qualcomm, Skanska, and many more. We are also expanding our outreach to many other companies.
Comment: Graduate student advising concern.
Response: Our faculty typically work closely with graduate students on their projects but it is ultimately up to the student to conduct the work. Each faculty member has a department chair with whom a student can meet if a problem arises. The dean of the Division of Graduate Studies is also available to meet with students and does so regularly.
Comment: Concerns about Mechanical Engineering program regarding faculty, labs, safety.
Response: The Mechanical Engineering program has been ABET-accredited since 1965, which means it must satisfactorily meet stringent standards. The faculty have designed a balanced curriculum of theory and practice-there are seven “wet” labs, five computer labs and three design lab courses. In addition, the two-semester, year-long senior capstone design sequence focuses on a culminating experience involving engineering design and analysis that results in the testing, refinement and demonstration of either a working prototype or a competition-ready system that addresses a “real-world” problem or challenge. A higher percentage of the curriculum is lab-based at Fresno State than at Cal Poly.
The Mechanical Engineering faculty is aware of inconsistency in the delivery of some courses. The department has hired a number of new faculty but the large increase in student numbers has necessitated the use of temporary instructors who may not always provide the quality of instruction expected. Additional new faculty now being hired are expected to ameliorate this.
Safety is a top priority in any laboratory-intensive environment. Mechanical Engineering labs meet current University ESH requirements for safety equipment and MSDS availability. While no injuries have occurred or been reported in Mechanical Engineering labs for many years, a portion of the $175,000 of Mechanical Engineering lab upgrade budget for 2014 is providing safety upgrades to all Mechanical Engineering “wet” labs. Supervision is mandatory during all “wet” lab activities and the college has processes in place to ensure that students 1) never work alone and 2) have a qualified supervisor in the immediate vicinity even during off hours.
Concern: President’s Advisory Board appointments.
Response: President Castro has appointed distinguished alumni and other friends of Fresno State to campus advisory boards. The appointees provide the campus with a wide range of perspectives on issues of importance to the campus.
Concern: Lack of involvement on campus by the President and senior leaders.
Response: President Castro and members of his Cabinet are actively engaged with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. The president speaks at and participates in many campus and community events each day. President Castro also advises graduate students and plans in the near future to teach a seminar.
Posted on 12/13/13
Concern: Encourage faculty-student interactions so that campus feels more like a family.
Response: Setting the tone for the faculty/student community within an academic program is a mutually shared responsibility of the faculty, chair and college/school leadership. There are many good examples across academic departments and programs where students have a regular opportunity to gather with faculty and college leadership to socialize and share challenges and propose solutions.
Concern: Need more research stipends for graduate students; more scholarships for grad students, especially doctoral level; graduate fee waivers to improve research productivity and improve graduation rate.
Response: Overall, the budget picture for CSU campuses has been stabilized following several years of reductions and increases in student’s tuition and fees. That stability, while offering a sense of relief, has not yet generated sufficient new funds that could provide flexibility for new student support. Going forward, fundraising will continue to be the best venue for seeking and securing funds in support of undergraduate and graduate research. Much work remains to be done in this area.
Concern: Provide more opportunities to graduate students to get internships or volunteer to help reach their career goals.
Response: Faculty in academic departments and programs are the primary source of new internship and volunteer opportunities. One department sought support from the dean’s office to hire an individual for two years with the sole intent of developing new field placement sites. That effort has been very successful and provided a number of new opportunities where students can gain valuable experience working in a professional setting.
Concern: Recognize need for additional resources to support research (infrastructure, consistent assigned time for faculty).
Response: The need for additional resources to support research, infrastructure and assigned time) is well documented. The Provost Assigned Time for Research program is a multi-year opportunity that will, in the 2014-15 academic year, provide $1,000,000 in support for faculty research. Faculty members also have been successful in securing grant funding that provides time buy out. Each school and college should have a prioritized plan for enhancing facilities and laboratories should new funding become available. The Office of the Provost continues to work with leadership in the Administrative Division to identify every funding opportunity available and stands ready to move quickly to respond to new resources.
Concern: Negative culture does not respect work-life balance
Response: One of the most difficult challenges to overcome is consistent negativity expressed by our colleagues. Wounds from wrongs that were committed twenty years ago can appear to be fresh at the mention of another office, level or individual. President Castro and division leaders are committed to clear, honest and consistent communication with students, faculty and staff. Everyone is encouraged to forward questions to managers, deans and other campus leaders when questions arise or rumors persist. Trust rises from open communications and transparent transactions. We must work as a community and demand that this occur at every level. Our goal is to be a campus where faculty, staff and administrators see each other as citizens of Fresno State; a citizen being one who is engaged, pitches in, voices concerns and rightfully expects an honest response and one who participates in community activities while looking out for each other. We are committed to supporting employee engagement and work/life initiatives by promoting and advancing wellness programs and professional development across all faculty, staff and administrators. President Castro recently established The President’s Organizational Engagement Work/Life Review Task Force to further discussions regarding the challenge of enhancing the sense of community and perceived sense of campus citizenship among faculty, staff and administrators.
Concern: Budget allocation to Academic Affairs; reallocate resources to support better academic outcomes. Heavy teaching load is detrimental to meaningful research and discourages commitment to teaching engaging classes.
Response: Our budget allocation model allocates most of the funds available within Academic Affairs. We continue to support appropriate assessment of learning that is supported by sound outcome measures. Each office, department, program and school/college can set priorities for the academic year or multiple years. The increasing recovery of the state economy, coupled with renewed enrollment should produce increased allocations to system campuses.
Concern: Tossing aside plagiarism workshops demonstrates lack of support for academic integrity. Originality in ideas, work, research etc., must be expected and taught, not dismissed as irrelevant.
Response: Funding for Plagiarism Workshops was not eliminated. Requirements were placed on the program to develop an assessment process by the spring of 2013. When that requirement was not met, the workshops were suspended until the assessment was developed. That has now been accomplished and funding for workshops will resume in the near future. A group working on enhancing plagiarism education continues to work toward creating an enhanced online program delivered via Blackboard that would make this important information available to all students.
Concern: Not enough time to advise students. Graduate advisers have too many students.
Response: Student advising is an area that will receive more attention and resources this academic year. The entire advising process will be reviewed to determine what best practices exist that can be scaled up for the entire campus. The number of advisees varies across academic departments and programs to include situations where faculty members have no advisees to other areas where faculty has 80 advisees or more. These disparities will be reviewed as well. Please look for opportunities to engage in the review process.
Concern: Faculty are underpaid.
Response: Faculty salaries are bargained through the activities of the California Faculty Association and the CSU System. Funding to the CSU has not been enough to provide relief to many of the salary disparities on our campus and other campuses. We hope that the future will hold more promise for salary increases.
Concern: Lift travel ban for faculty.
Response: There is no ban in place for faculty travel. Department staff has the information faculty need to apply for approval to travel. Overseas travel, especially to areas deemed hazardous, takes additional time and justification. Funding support for faculty travel is provided by the Dean in each school and college.
Concern: Review need for Graduate Studies Division and Sponsored Programs.
Response: Graduate Studies remains a vital and important office that serves the needs of graduate students and faculty. To further enhance the programs and services provided by the office, Graduate Studies returned to its former home in the north wing of the Thomas Administration Building during the week of November 4, 2013.
The services provided by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) are reviewed on a regular basis. New programs that provide outreach to faculty across campus are in place. Faculty can contact their Dean’s Office for information about college and school support for grant development or contact ORSP directly.
Concern: With increased enrollment, we need more people in Advising Services and more professors.
Response: We agree. As budgets improve, more advisers and professors will be hired.
Concern: Number of students seen at Student Health Center is growing. Need to find way to serve students more quickly and efficiently. Need more staff, services, extended hours.
Response: Students can make appointments if they wish to be seen at the Student Heath Center, in addition to walk-in appointments. The wait time for walk-in appointments is between 15-20 minutes (17.34 on average).
Concern: Students should be able to have a one-stop shop for Student Financials and Financial Aid. Each department cannot answer the others’ questions and students are frustrated when they need help.
Response: President Castro will work with Interim Vice President Coon and Student Affairs staff to explore this option in greater depth.
Concern: Financial Aid Advisers with flexible hours to accommodate students in early morning, lunch hour, evenings.
Response: Current student usage does indicate that extended hours are needed in Financial Aid. New options will be explored.
Concern: Add dental services at health center and increase fees to cover.
Response: The topic of dental services has been discussed with our Student Health Advisery Committee. A recently passed student fee was dedicated to other health care priorities. The Health Center is not in a position at this time to provide dental services, but this issue remains a consideration for services to be added in the future.
Concern: Hot water is turned off in some buildings for a portion of the year. PHS Building listed. Buildings in poor condition; poor ventilation, temperature, design, maintenance of some classrooms; bathrooms are generally dirty and many need remodeling; many facilities out of date and haven’t been remodeled.
Response: We recognize that we have a number of issues on campus that need to be addressed related to the replacement, or repair of existing building systems. Many of our campus buildings are over 50 years old. Fresno State has $148 million in deferred maintenance backlog. Facilities Management receives an annual allocation of $500,000 to address these issues. Our economic realities are such that we must prioritize the needs of the entire campus and focus first on items that impact safety, security and issues of ADA compliance. CSU campuses across the state are actively engaged in conversations with the Chancellor’s Office to develop alternative means to fund a system wide deferred maintenance backlog in excess of one billion dollars. We recently secured a commitment from the Chancellor’s Office for $31.3 million to support Phase I of our electrical infrastructure repair work. This funding will begin to address the challenges that resulted in the campus-wide power outage last winter.
Concern: Parking and traffic:
Need more parking.
Do not sell more parking passes when there is not enough student parking. Do not allow yellow parking permits for students.
Repave parking lots (especially G, M, N, O) and have clear lines.
Don’t build a new leveled parking lot system and then raise price of permits. Traffic monitors to improve flow at busy pedestrian intersections.
Improve parking and more bike racks.
Do not close parking lots for football parking.
Students in classes on NW side of campus had to park in SMC lot.
Let staff leave early on game night.
Response: Due to utilization patterns across the day, the university sells more permits than parking spaces because not all students are on campus at the same time. This method follows CSU and higher education best practices.
Yellow permits are no longer sold to students.
Traffic Operations oversees more than 70 acres of campus property dedicated to parking lots, which includes 7,452 total parking stalls, plus 24 additional spaces dedicated to rideshare. Parking fees provide the only funds available to support the construction, repair and maintenance of the campus parking lots. The most recent student parking fee increase funded the reconstruction of parking lots A & J (which added 500 new stalls) and will also fund expanded repair and maintenance projects in existing parking lots.
Police personnel currently manage traffic control at designated intersections along Barstow Avenue several peak times throughout the day. The campus’ traffic engineering firm, Omni Means, has recently been re-engaged to examine how traffic patterns have changed over the last five years across campus and where additional control measures should be in place.
There are approximately 2,133 available parking spaces for bikes. Changes in class schedules, class locations, student housing locations and gas prices make the quantity and locations of bike parking demanded in constant flux. Parking staff actively monitor and manage this inventory. A special team will further assess bike issues on campus this year. After a successful pilot project in the University Courtyard, we are now exploring the installation of bike barns in popular locations. We will break ground soon on the Barstow Avenue Bikeways project with funding from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The project will improve bicyclist access and safety while also serving as a critical connector between the bikeways systems of Fresno and Clovis.
The closing of parking lots for large-scale campus events happens infrequently, and is communicated, through various channels, well in advance.
Managers are notified and encouraged to support employee work schedule changes on game days.
Concern: No succession planning or mentoring; Positions created for selected people, not posted. New positions hired from off campus. No hiring from within younger staff leaving or looking to leave because no promotion opportunities.
Response: The university is dedicated to promoting the success of every individual. We are devoted to supporting faculty and staff in exploring a multiplicity of career paths (Strategic Plan for Excellence IV). We are committed to ensuring fair hiring processes and we are aggressively preparing future leaders. We completed a successful pilot of a staff mentoring program in 2012-13 and have recently launched a second cohort.
Concern: Need healthy food options. Review University Dining exclusivity. Allow alternatives to catering services that are less expensive. Improve food services. Add vending machines with healthy food and that take credit cards. More options in Food Court. Need Faculty dining room. Need permanent food services and Starbucks on east side of campus. Improve Residence Dining hall food.
Response: University Dining Services makes every effort to provide our campus community with diverse retail dining options. Last spring, University Dining Services contracted with Envision Strategies, a national campus dining consulting firm, to conduct a comprehensive study of our retail dining operations. Envision Strategies spent considerable time getting feedback from students, faculty and staff through survey instruments and focus groups in order to better understand customer opinions and preferences for campus retail dining options. They are now in the process of finalizing their data analysis and recommendations and presented their findings in November. University Dining Services, along with members of the Food Services Advisery Committee, have been reviewing the preliminary research results and will be developing short-term and long-term plans that address the priority needs. The goal of this effort is to implement enhancements to our current retail dining portfolio that increases the variety of healthy food options and addresses facility constraints within existing operations, as well as addressing areas of the campus that currently have limited or no dining options. The implementation of this multi-year plan will require a collaborative master planning effort as well as a significant financial investment from the California State University, Fresno Association, Inc. which is the auxiliary organization that includes University Dining Services.
Concern: Inspect buildings, elevators to make sure they are meeting disability requirements. Have been instances where disabled have had problems; Make sure faculty is sensitive and responsible in positive manner in working with students with disabilities; Problems with disabilities center; staff do not appear to follow up with the students; Problems for disabled when keycards are not functioning. Police do not have keys to open elevators.
Response: All campus elevators receive an annual inspection as mandated by the State of California. Some older buildings and smaller buildings (VERC, Industrial Technology, McKee Fisk, Social Science, McLane Hall, Joyal Administration, Conley Art, Smittcamp Alumni House, University Center, Kennel Bookstore and USU) only have one elevator. In these buildings, when an elevator outage occurs, the university relocates second floor classes impacting students with known mobility issues (who are registered with Services for Students with Disabilities) and provides temporary accommodations for impacted employees until elevator service can be restored. All campus buildings have at least one ADA accessible entry with a ramp and powered doors. Facilities Planning verifies all new classroom and office furniture layouts for ADA accessibility.
Concern: Examine need and effectiveness of directors, assistant directors, associate directors; assistant and associate VPs. Many could be returned to teaching.
Response: We take great care to manage non-classroom and administrative spending wisely. Fresno State has a leaner top level of administration than most other CSUs. We have a total of 142 MPPs, 7 percent of the total number of faculty/staff. The top administration - 4 vice presidents and 13 associate vice presidents, represent just 1 percent of the total university employment.
Concern: Restore two mail deliveries a day.
Response: Returning to two mail deliveries a day is not practical given our financial constraints.
Concern: Money wasted on hiring outside consultants.
Response: The university is very judicious in our use of consultants to support key campus initiatives and activities.
Concern: Staff morale low; provide staff a raise.
Response: University administration has listened intently to the feedback expressed in this area. We recognize the prolonged period of no compensation increases due to lack of funding in the state of California. We acknowledge the hardship and frustration this has created for our staff and faculty and the toll it has taken on staff morale. The CSU Board of Trustees supports compensation increases as the budget situation improves. Working within the confines of budget and the collective bargaining agreements, we will continue to explore opportunities to build morale and strengthen employee engagement.
Concern: Professional development:
Provide more professional development opportunities.
Revisit programs that had staff reductions due to budget. Staff, especially exempt, now work longer hours to get job done.
There are limited professional development for supervisors and managers; unclear process of how people are selected to participate.
Provide workshops for promotion opportunities and hiring from within; provide inner-department promotions based on qualifications; lack of opportunities for upward mobility.
Treat staff with dignity, not as second-class citizens. Sometimes current culture seems like a caste system where faculty have special status.
Staff should have same opportunities to earn stipends, funding to attend national conference and workshops for professional development, memberships/fees, subscriptions, etc. More staff recognition (faculty get Provost Awards with stipends.)
Response: Beyond salary, there is much we can do to motivate staff and faculty to continue to contribute to our students’ and the university’s success. In recent years we have built successful learning and development programs dedicated to the needs of faculty and staff. These include Regional Education for Achievement in Leadership (REAL), the Leadership Breakfast Series, Learning for Excellence and Development (LEAD), Staff Training and Recognition (STAR) Day and the Staff Mentorship program. We have also embraced the Lean University philosophy of transformative change and applied it effectively to thirteen process improvement projects across campus. In order to harness and embrace a lasting culture of innovation and process improvement we are launching a new program this fall – Innovation for Change and Effectiveness (ICE). ICE will blend individual development with focused efforts to enhance organizational effectiveness. The effort will combine a professional development program with innovative projects aimed at moving the campus forward. Recognition, stipends and ongoing communication and collaboration are critical elements of this initiative.
Concern: Bring back wrestling; bring back men’s soccer.
Response: President Castro has announced a review of all sports programming in 2014. There are many components included in these reviews. Among them are conference affiliation and NCAA sponsorship, facilities, operation costs, access to prospective student-athletes, scheduling and Title IX considerations.
Concern: Name Margie Wright Field to honor one of our legends.
Response: A proposal has been submitted to President Castro to rename our softball field to Margie Wright Diamond. These actions are governed by CSU policies and procedures and the proposal is being reviewed at this time. http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/documents/apm/643.pdf
Concern: Sports drain scarce resources and deprive academics of resources.
Response: Fresno State Athletics is among the most self-supporting programs in the CSU and Mountain West Conference. Further, a great deal of the money that is derived from Athletics’ annual revenue streams (tickets, donations, corporate sponsorships, etc.) is, in fact, expended on the Fresno State campus in the form of tuition, books, game management costs and numerous campus services.
Concern: Put Jerry Tarkanian’s name on the basketball court with an official portrait of him at the SMC entrance; encourage Alumni Association to make Jerry Tarkanian a 2013 Top Dog in recognition of his Naismith Hall of Fame induction.
Response: The Department of Athletics continues to enhance the visibility and create a presence of Jerry Tarkanian in the Save Mart Center. Within the arena, the entire Athletics hallway f student-athlete facilities is named in honor of Coach Tarkanian. In the coming weeks, a plaque recognizing Coach Tarkanian will be relocated to a place in the Save Mart Center that is more accessible for the public to view.
Concern: Bullying exists (variety of details provided).
Response: President Castro has announced his plan to eliminate bullying practices from Fresno State. The university strives to provide a place free of discrimination, harassment, retaliation consistent with federal and state law and CSU policy. We are committed to maintaining a campus known for integrity, civility, equity, respect and ethical behavior. These efforts depend on the continued dedication of every member of the University community. We must be safe and inclusive. We are all responsible for upholding these core objectives while working and learning at Fresno State. The President's Commission on Human Relations and Equity (PCHRE) supports acceptance and fairness at all levels of the University. The Commission developed a comprehensive plan to make sure this commitment is understood across our campus. To learn more about this plan visit the diversity and inclusion webpage at fresnostate.edu/president/pchre/. (Watch our diversity video posted at http://www.fresnostate.edu/president/pchre/resources/index.html)
Concern: Bring back old logo on letterhead and business cards; use California State University, Fresno as name.
Response: The official name of the university, California State University, Fresno, is unchanged and may be used in all references. The nickname, Fresno State, may also be used in all references.
Following the launch of new branding and integrated marketing procedures in spring 2012, several revisions have been made, including policy regarding use of University Seal on letterhead and business cards. Here is the current policy:
The seal MAY be used on (but is not required on) the following:
- Office of the President – all uses
- University-level formal and official documents such as diplomas, academic awards and certificates, transcripts, resolutions and Commencement invitations
- University business cards
- Letterhead stationery for academic business functions (including but not limited to reports; grant applications; certificates; professional correspondence with academic societies, colleagues and publishers; and letters of reference).
Exceptions: The Vice President for University Advancement or designee will review requests for exceptions.
Please note: Letterhead stationery with the seal must be obtained from Printing Services; the seal cannot be used on electronic letterhead.
Concern: Desegregate graduation ceremonies and not be separated by race; recognize and celebrate the diversity together.
Response: We have the best of all worlds by providing opportunities for students to celebrate their accomplishments by participating in their own school/college convocation, the university Commencement ceremony and with a cultural group with whom they identify.
Concern: Why is cell phone service and internet connection provided for highest compensated staff?
Response: The university will typically provide a cell phone for vice presidents and other senior leaders; MPPs can request reimbursement for monthly phone costs based on business uses. The university does not pay for home internet usage for the vice presidents.
Concern: Lack of African Americans in mid-level and senior leadership positions.
Response: That is a valid concern. There are few senior leaders on campus who are African American.
Concern: Longer library hours that are student-friendly.
Response: During the regular semester, the Henry Madden Library is open 86 hours per week, including 16 hours on weekends and 20 hours during weekday evenings (after 5pm). We have monitored library hours and usage over time and see a sharp decline during the evenings, especially after 8pm. We accommodate most students by being open until 11pm Monday-Thursday. At the end of each semester we also stay open until midnight on weekdays to provide more study time during finals. Many of our resources are available online even when the library is closed, including reference assistance through our Ask Us page http://www.fresnostate.edu/library/ask_us/ which links to the nationwide Questionpoint Service when the library is closed. Given our current funding level, we feel that we are open the hours that best meet the needs of the majority of Fresno State students.
Concern: Special Library Software
Response: A campus-wide license for media production software would be prohibitively expensive, but we have alternatives. The Library has media production and editing software available in the Music and Media area on the 3rd floor north. Six computer workstations with graphic design software and two workstations with music composition software are available for student use. Students may reserve a workstation in advance or on a walk-in basis if any are available. These workstations are available at all times that Music and Media is open.