Search for concerns and responses

March 21 – May 9, 2018

CONCERN: As a Kines major and someone who is in the south gym for a majority of my day, I believe adding an EzH20 dispenser would benefit everyone who comes to the south gym. There are various amounts of activity classes that take place including kickboxing, karate, basketball, dance, and volleyball that all students who participate would benefit from being able to easily obtain water. If the water lines running through the building permits installation them it is understandable. Just something I believe would help the area tremendously.

RESPONSE: Thank you for the suggestion.  We will review the feasibility of adding a water- filtration station as part of the North Gym/South Gym Modernization project.

CONCERN: The Student Affairs website was revamped recently and is now virtually unusable. Any useful information has been dumped into four meaningless buckets--Access, Engagement, Well-Being, and Success--with no rhyme or reason as to what goes where. The site is full of useless stock-photos, image carousels, and "Accordion" sliding menus that hide text and make it much more difficult to simply read the site and learn anything. Critical information has not been posted or is hard to find. I'm sitting here in April trying to find information about when Fall registration begins for students, and can't. On the other hand, there's a "Freshman Admissions" guide from two years ago that still references discontinued placement tests and CSU Mentor! Someone needs to take a pragmatic approach to redesigning this site that delivers critical information in a simple, direct manner.

RESPONSE: We appreciate your concern and appreciate you bringing this to our attention. We are conscious of the sheer amount of information that needs to be conveyed to our students, and we are very intentional and strategic about how we deliver that information. We will definitely make sure to look into the Fall registration issue, as well as the out-of-date Freshman Admissions guide. It is important for us to have updated information that is easy to navigate for the modern student.

The new website format was designed to prioritize the accessibility of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management information and resources. The buckets you mentioned, located at the top of the homepage for the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, are intended to be a shortcut to key programs and services. However, the homepage has also been built out with a link to each department within the Division.

If you have any other suggestions or concerns, please direct them to Amanda Stewart ( Thank you.

CONCERN: Fresno State's social media depicts students goofing off and wasting time. It gives the impression that nothing serious goes on here. There's information about Vintage Days and sports, plus bragging about how much money people donate, but very little of substance that would indicate that we're considered a top research university in the nation, or that we offer academic opportunities that rival some of those provided by respected institutions. Neither Facebook nor Twitter nor any of the other social media channels represent the university well. Why aren't we doing a better job? We look foolish.

RESPONSE: Thank you for your concern about Fresno State's social media. We strive to tie our social media posts to points of the University’s Strategic Plan, including student success, community partnerships, preparing future leaders, improving the graduation rate, being a bold leader, the "3Ds," increasing engagement to build loyalty and philanthropy, and improving overall perception.

We also post about events like Vintage Days or corn sales because they bring people to campus, which is part of our standards, and they're big enough events to earn local media coverage.

In addition, we recently posted about the impact of alumni in transforming downtown Fresno, a local manufacturing summit for our community and the hands-on experience our Lyles College of Engineering offers, President Castro being awarded "President of the Year" by the Cal State Students Association, how city and regional planning majors are involved with an innovative master-planned community, and how the honorary doctorate was awarded to an alumnus whose work has impacted thousands of lives.

We hope this helps further clarify the type of stories we are posting on Fresno State's social media.

CONCERN: Why does the College of Health & Human Services continue to use the BETR financial system when it is touted as "antiquated" and very few colleges continue to use it? It is a very user unfriently program and if information is not entered exact to directions, it is useless. The college wants to reconcile against Data Warehouse. It is really a complete waste of time and duplicates much of what departments already do. Also, if they want to continue using this horrible system, then they need to provide training and support to departments who do not have staff that is a 'friend' or someone of color .. there is evidence of discrimination from the financial staff in the Dean's office and those who do not fit that description and have to rely on their support to learn the system are set up for failure! Someone needs to take a good look at the CHHS Dean's office for blatant show of favoritism and discrimination. I didn't want to bring this up on here as I plan to pursue that further, but please address the use of the BETR system. Thank you SO very much!

RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concerns on the BETR financial system used in the College of Health and Human Services. In order to integrate financial information into the decision-making process, the BETR system has proven to be a useful tool for our staff and chairs to communicate financial needs to the Dean's Office. By design, this tool is updated regularly to remain current and it allows departments to get detailed financial information on a daily basis to aid departments in the reconciliation of their accounts. In addition, the BETR System has been requested for use in the Center for Faculty Excellence and the Career Development Center.

Training for using BETR is provided to college and department staff in group and individual formats. If additional training is needed, our fiscal office team can provide that training and support. Please contact the Dean's office for training needs on BETR with your team as needed.

As for your concern of favoritism and discrimination, Fresno State takes such situations seriously. We are committed to fair employment practices and fostering a work environment where all staff and faculty thrive. As such, we value your feedback and welcome a chance to discuss your concern further. Please contact Dean Hironaka-Juteau at 278-4004 or Human Resources at 278-2032 regarding any specific concerns.

CONCERN: I noticed that the Calculus 3 classes for Fall 2018 are all four-day-a-week classes. This is particularly stressful for commuting students such as myself. Is it possible that Fresno State could arrange maybe a three-day-a-week schedule for some of these classes instead?

RESPONSE:  The mathematics department has studied student success and found that the amount and technical nature of the material in all calculus courses make it difficult for students to grasp in a three-day per week schedule.  The four-day schedule allows the material to be broken into smaller parts so that students can concentrate better on learning without feeling rushed. In fact, the new calculus redesign is extending time on task by including a lab component for Calculus I and II.  Since MATH75, 76 and 77 are lower-division classes, commuting students can take calculus in nearby community colleges and transfer those to Fresno State.  This may be the best option for you.

CONCERN: Parking at Fresno State is challenging most days. If you have an alternate work schedule, it's near impossible to find parking and makes it difficult to park on campus and be on time to your job (you end up being 10 minutes later or 30-40 minutes early, which is not ideal). My suggestion is to let employees purchase parking spaces as deans can do. I would be willing to pay monthly or per semester an increased fee to guarantee that I will have a parking space when coming to work. I know this is already done for deans, but I was hoping a similar program can be done with staff. Please help make parking at work easier!

RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern and suggestion. Our campus parking lots and roadways serve more than 3,000 employees and nearly 25,000 students. At this time, the option to purchase reserved parking permits is limited to the President’s Cabinet and our School/College Deans due to their position requirements. We encourage employee carpooling, and there is also additional parking available at the Save Mart Center North Lot that has a convenient drop off/pick up location for our Bulldog Express shuttle.

CONCERN: The Department of Social Work Education is a mess and is floundering. Us students are not happy and do not feel supported by admin and some in the department. We are stressed out and cry due to the workload. This was even before they only accepted 45 students for the MSW program when they have capacity for 60. That is not ok. They are intervening with people's lives by not letting them continue their education, when they have room for 15 more students. The GRE needs to be revoked as a requirement for all grad programs. They have proven to be racially biased towards white people. We are supposed to be a Hispanic-Serving Institution. How is that serving its students? The DSWE's excuse is that applicants did not perform well on the GRE, how can BSW students expect to perform well on a test not meant for them to excel at? You need to intervene. There are so many problems within the DSWE. Do something. Please.

RESPONSE: The Department of Social Work Education (SWE) is working with its admissions committee and students to understand the concerns regarding graduate admissions. This review process will allow the department to make any needed adjustments to graduate admissions in the future. In terms of capacity, the department admissions committee selected the students to be admitted based on criteria that have been used in the past. It is important to note that the program capacity is based on resources to teach the courses required, and class size considerations. The capacity of "60" students is not a target or ceiling. As for the GRE, the admissions committee and faculty in SWE have reviewed the GRE requirement and are making recommendations for the future. We encourage students to work with faculty to help find solutions to their concerns. The SWE graduate program continues to be a very popular major. While not all students can be admitted, we do strive to meet the labor-market requirements by providing a quality graduate education. Please contact the department chair, Dr. Martha Vungkhanching at 278-3992 if you would like to discuss your concern further.

CONCERN: The amount of confusion as to our building spaces and their names is really frustrating, especially for visitors and for people who do not use specific buildings frequently. Would be nice if the name of the building itself was visible on the outside from all directions: North, South, East, West. Also would appreciate having the name of the building on the same plaque on each classroom and office door. For example, if an office or classroom number is 200, then the building code would also be on the same plaque as MCL 200, PHS 200, FFS 200, SS 200, EW 200, etc. Many buildings have the same room number, and students are needlessly waiting in the wrong building by the right number simply because we are not "labeled" effectively and accurately. This enhancement will alleviate a lot of confusion for our campus community. Thank you!

RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concern. Currently, signage is located on at least one or more exterior entries to each building. If there is a specific building(s) of concern, please email Tinnah Medina, Associate Vice President for Facilities Management ( Room signage is updated as needed to accommodate interior room modifications and ADA.  It has been a standard campus practice to only include the room number and department name (if applicable) for our interior signage. Changing out all interior building signage to add the building abbreviation is not a cost-effective solution. As you may have noticed, we have made a significant investment in improved campus wayfinding and parking signage. Our next phase is to add building-identification signage near major building entry similar to the one for the University Center that also includes the names of departments housed within that building.

CONCERN: I understand that it's OK for some courses not to have final exams. But shouldn't it be a procedure for faculty who decide not to give final exams to submit a request (with justification) and get approved by the chair and the dean?

RESPONSE: Yes. You are correct. APM 339 provides the mechanism for faculty to follow in order to not meet with their students during the assigned final-exam period. The policy does indicate that “any exceptions must receive written approval of the department chair and dean.” Additionally, APM 339 reads, “The general nature of the examination or final class meeting should be described in the course syllabus.”

CONCERN: I was disappointed when the Food Court and Kennel Bookstore were closed for Spring Break. What about those of us who are working that week and we want a snack, drink or food? 

Some of us don't have the time to go off campus to get a bite to eat, some of us forget to bring our lunch and some don't want to leave campus. I feel that at least one or two of our venues at the Food Court should be open for our convenience as well. The bookstore should definitely be open.

Also, what ever happened to the suggestion of the campus working summer hours during Spring Break? Someone suggested it last year sometime and the response was it would be looked into.

RESPONSE: Dining Services always has at least one retail dining option during spring and summer breaks. The Kennel Bookstore was open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during Spring Break, and Starbucks was also open. Historically, the volume of transactions that week is very low due to student and employee schedules. Information on campus dining hours of operation during breaks can be found on University Dining Services’ website Don’t forget that Campus Pointe has a number of local dining options that are open as well during these times.

Thank you for the follow-up question related to campus employees working summer hours over the spring break. It was determined that this schedule prior to the end of semester may be problematic in serving the operational needs of our campus community. However, supervisors/managers have the option during that week to allow for some level of schedule flexibility provided each office has at least minimal coverage during our regular operating hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CONCERN: Perhaps we could refrain from posting commercial advertisements on the Fresno State News or campus homepage? Although we have many Pink, Fleetwood Mac, or boxing might be good to remember we are a university, not an advertising vehicle for such events?

RESPONSE: The events that are promoted (not commercially advertised) on the University’s digital channels are hosted at the Save Mart Center, which is part of Fresno State. By encouraging our campus community members, alumni and neighbors to attend cultural, performing arts and music events, we continue to reinforce town-gown relations, which are at the heart of our efforts to establish even stronger ties between the University and its surrounding communities.

CONCERN: I have been working at Fresno State for 15 years and I have always been proud to work at the university. After yesterday's events it is the first time that I have truly been embarrassed. Professor Jarrar Randa made incredibly vile and horrible statements on twitter regarding the passing of Barbara Bush. A statement was put out by the university saying that she was representing herself and not the university. I understand that individuals have the right to say what they want whenever they want, but it is a understanding for employees is that you are always a representative of the university, regardless if you are at work or not. You should uphold the university's standards at all times, especially when on a public forum. It is a privilege to work at such a wonderful place, and she obviously has no respect for the university, any of her fellow employees or President Castro. She specifically called out President Castro and made a mockery of the university. She stated that she couldn't be fired, she used foul language and she made a horrible choice to belittle someone who has just passed. I understand that the university has to follow a process and there is a tenure process, but there has to be some recourse for these actions. I am truly embarrassed by this and I hope my faith in the university will again be restored.

RESPONSE: I appreciate and understand your concerns. I, too, was appalled by the reprehensible remarks that were made. However, regardless of the offensive nature of the tweets, Fresno State is bound as a public university to uphold the First Amendment. Private businesses can impose their own standards regarding employees’ speech. But Fresno State would be breaking the law if it punished or disciplined public employees for speech made in their capacity as private citizens.

CONCERN: As a student here at Fresno State, I have interacted with many different on-campus administrators and staff from different departments. There have been some helpful administrators/staff, but many who seem to not care about the students' needs. I have been sent from department to department with staff who seem to not know the answers or care to truly help me find the answer. I have been told several different answers by different people. In addition, some staff do not even direct students to the appropriate department or person of contact. Do they receive any annual training for professional development and communication improvement? Is there anything being done to help staff members provide better information to the students?

RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing, and we are sorry to hear about your experience. Our faculty and staff take very seriously their role in helping to support our students and their academic experience.  However, we realize that we can always do better, and we do strive for a culture of strong customer service and timely follow up.

Yes, we do offer workshops on communication, customer service and navigating Fresno State. We are also investing in additional training for managers so they provide additional guidance and training with their staff. If you have specific confidential feedback you would like to share, please feel free to contact Human Resources.

CONCERN: Seek and out an implement widely the latest best practices in diversity and implicit bias training in every department and academic discipline, particularly as regards how to treat women. There is widespread sexism, gender discrimination and gender-based bullying of women that is going unaddressed, resulting in a culture of fear and intimidation. Along with the positive message of a priority placed on racial and ethnic diversity that the university is already sending, a priority of sending a clear message that sexual harassment and gender-based bullying will not be tolerated should also be sent. As things stand, women are freely degraded, bullied, slandered, defamed, and humiliated rather than uplifted, supported, respected, and treated fairly and equally. This needs to change.

RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing your concerns. Discrimination, harassment and bullying are not tolerated on our campus. Currently, all employees and students must complete an annual training on discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Please contact Jamie Pontus-Hogan, our campus Title IX Coordinator at or Marylou Mendoza-Miller, Associate Vice President of Human Resources/DHR Coordinator at to discuss your concerns or situations you have witnessed. Additional resources are available on our website at and states:

“Fresno State does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation in its employment practices, or in the education programs and activities it conducts in accordance with the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as well as Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The University does not tolerate— and prohibits under CSU Executive Order 1096-the sexual discrimination of anyone on its campus and within the jurisdiction of the University by an employee.”

CONCERN: The restrooms in Science I are absolutely terrible- at least on the men’s sides. The majority of the doors do not have hangers for jackets/backpacks, only the first floor is handicap accessible, and the stalls are terrible unmaintained and honestly disgusting. The second floor men’s room recently had a major overflow and has been damaged for over a month now and still stinks from the overflow. Are there any plans to renovate the restrooms in Science I to an acceptable level? They're honestly in really bad condition and overdue for some repairs.

RESPONSE: Thank you for sharing. These restroom facilities are heavily utilized throughout the day. We have expanded custodial services to ensure multiple cleanings per day. Currently, there are no plans to renovate these restrooms. However, we will evaluate based on other Deferred Maintenance project priorities.

Facilities Management staff inspected the drains and piping of the second-floor restrooms and did not detect any water or odor issues. They will continue to monitor it. They will also be working over the summer months to fix the minor issues in these restrooms and add hangers on the doors.

CONCERN: The Fresno State Carpool program needs to be audited on at least an annual basis to ensure participants still qualify to participate. As we all know, parking on campus is expensive and available spots are very hard to find for faculty, staff and students. Employees who have been part of this program for many years no longer qualify for this program, however, they still participate in the program and park in in the preferred carpool parking spaces. 

We as employees should be held to a higher standard and not continue to participate in programs that we are no longer eligible for. An audit of the program would hopefully help to remind our employees of the criteria and free up carpool spots for those that really qualify.

RESPONSE: Thank you for your concern and observation. Our carpool program is one of many alternative-transportation initiatives. Employees are encouraged to update their carpool eligibility regularly, and our Parking staff actively monitor and ensure user compliance of this program.

CONCERN: Dear President Castro, I am writing to you as an academic. I am a Professor in Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. I want to express my support for Professor Randa Jarrar and my very strong hope that you and Fresno State University will support her academic freedom and resist the pressure from the right-wing mob that has been raised to a level of hysteria by Fox News. In these difficult political times, it is very important that universities are protected as places where unpopular and controversial views can be expressed. This sometimes does mean being 'disrespectful' toward figures of authority. That is part of the function of the intellectual in society and it is healthy for a democratic society. It is an important part of free speech and academic freedom. Professor Jarrar is a highly accomplished writer, intellectual, and teacher. The university exists to foster and protect creative, intelligent, and yes sometimes unpopular people (because they do not think like the mob) like Professor Jarrar. You should be proud to have a gifted and creative person like this on your faculty. I hope that you do right by her and protect her from the mob. This is your responsibility as President of the University.

RESPONSE: I appreciate you taking the time to write your support for Professor Jarrar. Even though I made it clear from the onset that I found the timing and tone of her tweets to be offensive and undermining our campus values of civil dialogue, I am also cognizant of the law that protects the private speech of public university employees.

CONCERN: At the beginning of the semester, I fractured my foot while crossing N. Campus Drive. This road is incredibly broken and uneven and has resulted in more than one person rolling their ankle and, in my case, sustaining serious injury. Additionally, I experienced more problems with this road while recovering from my fracture and using a knee walker. The road is so broken where the crosswalks lead to the North Gym that I could not maneuver the walker along the crosswalks without risking re-injuring myself. These crosswalks are absolutely not accessible to people using wheeled assistance. Are there any plans to repair this road?

RESPONSE: I am very sorry to hear of your injury. Many of our campus roads are in need of major repair.  This summer we are replacing Barton Avenue, and Barstow Avenue repaving will happen next summer along with Campus Drive. If you have not already done so, please be sure to report your injury to our Risk Manager, Lisa Kao (

CONCERN: (A concern regarding a teaching assistant was reported. Details have been omitted from President’s Feedback page to protect the teaching assistant’s privacy.)

RESPONSE: All of our classes are spaces where the respectful exploration and discussion of ideas are paramount. The dean has discussed this with the TA Coordinator who spoke to the TA in question in order to ensure that students are respected and allowed to represent themselves and their own beliefs.  We take all student evaluations seriously and hope that students express clearly both teaching strengths and areas needing improvement.

CONCERN: I am increasingly concerned with the ongoing harassment of pro-life students on the CSUF campus and the censorship of their university-sanctioned free speech displays by other students. The university has not taken a strong enough stance against this unacceptable behavior, which is why it continues. Students or faculty/staff responsible for trampling the free speech of others, however much they may disagree with the views expressed, must be held accountable. Students should feel safe to express themselves on their university campus. Students and staff need to understand the difference between spirited but civil discourse/disagreement and unacceptable harassment and censorship. Perhaps CSUF should implement a freshman course requirement that covers the U.S. constitution, as a preventative measure.

RESPONSE: Thank you for taking the time to express your concern. I agree with you that students should feel safe to express their perspectives on campus. A top priority of my administration is to ensure campus community members feel safe and protected from any form of harassment. We take each reported incident very seriously and often pursue with an investigation to ascertain the facts and hold people accountable, when warranted.

CONCERN: Is it possible to implement a corporate card system for authorized users who regularly purchase items for our departments? Some months, I find it difficult to financially balance department expenses and my personal expenses while waiting for reimbursement.

I know Foundation staff work tirelessly to ensure timely and accurate processing of all of our documents. If not a corporate card system, maybe hiring additional Foundation support staff would help. I’ve worked at other universities where corporate card systems worked well, but am open to other possible solutions. Thank you.

RESPONSE: Please discuss this matter directly with your supervisor to explore what alternatives might be available for the department to make purchases. The campus does provide a US Bank travel card for travel expenses as well as a Procurement Credit Card (ProCard) for allowable state-funded purchases. The Foundation’s typical timeframe for processing of reimbursements (once received with all approvals) is approximately 14 days.

CONCERN: I love Fresno State. I have worked here for the past couple of months and so far I think that there is a lot of good happening. However, I am involved with some of our LGBTQ+ groups on campus offered to faculty and staff, sometimes students, and it seems like there is a lack of support for this community in particular. I know that the CCGC is new and thriving, however, it seems with all the work that needs to be done it should definitely be its own entity and center. It doesn't really make sense to have it there anyway. Having their own space could maximize community and campus education around LGBQ+ and Trans Issues. This task alone is too much for a staff of ONE to complete. Most CSU's have their own Pride Center, and I feel that it would be best that we as an institution have conversations around this as a possibility. This way we can launch research into how many LGBTQ+ students we serve, what type of education is most needed/necessary, and provide intentional programming that will impact the student experience. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope this can encourage the campus to have conversations around these issues.

RESPONSE: Thank you for expressing your concern and we appreciate your involvement in and acknowledgment of the good things happening here at Fresno State. The Cross Cultural and Gender Center (CCGC) developed three years ago out of our former Women’s Resource Center and Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute. One of the reasons for the shift was specifically the lack of intentional programming and services for our LGBTQ+ community. Hence LGBT+ Programs and Services was included as a part of the CCGC. Trans issues are also addressed through both our LGBTQ+ and Gender Programs and Services. As you may know, the CCGC provides inclusive programs and services for all groups on our campus through their Cross Cultural Programs and Services as well as targeted programs and services for some groups i.e. African American, American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander and Latino/a. One of our goals strives for is cross-cultural interaction among diverse groups. Having all of these program and service areas under one roof results in that. In addition, current space and resources do not allow for separate centers. On a system level, we continue to have the conversations regarding data collection that will give us more insight into our LGBTQ+ community so we can provide the best services. We agree there is more work to be done.

CONCERN: The parking lot in front of Education Building should be improved. Some cars parked more than 30 minutes and some parked in the middle of a big space. Lines should be drawn. It's also annoying to see big pickups parked in the small lot, making it difficult for other cars to move quickly.

RESPONSE: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This area gets congested at peak times. Our Director of Parking and Transportation will review possible options for adding lane lines in the 30-minute parking area. Parking is enforced on a regular basis, including those vehicles not complying with 30-minute parking or if they have not parked within parking lines.

CONCERN: As a faculty member, I hold class on the university-published finals day for my courses. More and more, I get complaints from students about this because, as they tell me, other faculty hold their finals on the last day of class, not during the scheduled time during finals week. There is a policy that faculty are to hold class during finals week, but it is clearly not upheld. I value using all of my instructional days and am beginning to resent that this “policy” is widely ignored by many faculty. Students don’t see that I value instruction, they see me as the “mean professor” who makes them come to class during a week that is purposely designed to wrap up the semester. How are you holding faculty accountable for this part of their teaching responsibility?

RESPONSE: First, thank you for adhering to the campus’ established policy (APM 339) and fulfilling your teaching responsibility. Each semester, the Provost’s Office sends a reminder to all faculty about the policy stipulation that faculty must meet with their students during the assigned final exam time. We encourage faculty to hold each other accountable for adhering to policies, and best practices, that are virtually impossible to monitor and “enforce” at the University level. The Workplace Quality Survey administered in Spring 2017 indicated that one of the areas we, as a campus, need to address is holding people accountable. I welcome any suggestions you have that may help us address your specific concern.

CONCERN: Last month's feedback was interesting. One was regarding dropping a formal search and simply give the position to an internal candidate the department prefers. Another was regarding the education dean search. Posting such questions indicate that faculty need to get training on academic policy. Such questions could also be answered by chairs easily, too.

RESPONSE: You make an excellent observation. Since, by design, we do not know who is submitting content to the President’s Feedback Page, we do not know if training or better communication would mitigate the issue. Search committees should certainly know and follow the appropriate policies and procedures. We also understand the need to provide more support to our academic department chairs. In the past year, the Center for Faculty Excellence and Faculty Affairs have encouraged deans to support new department-chair participation in systemwide new department chair training. This team has also published a Department Chairs’ Handbook, thanks to the work of former chair Jose Diaz. In conjunction with the Office for Organizational Excellence, the Center for Faculty Excellence and Faculty Affairs has developed a two-day “Principles of Supervision” workshop tailored for academic department chairs. We will be developing additional support for department chairs.