With classes underway and a new academic year unfolding, Provost Kimberly Greer drew staff and faculty together for a fall address, outlining what the deans and the Office of Academic Affairs have in store.
The Stockton campus will see a major expansion of programs, adding three new full-time faculty in business, criminal justice and communication studies. The satellite campus is undergoing a top to bottom review as it grows to better serve San Joaquin County, she said.
Provost Greer announced that as part of the University’s emphasis on student success and lifelong learning, all freshmen received a copy of the book “Mindset,” by Carol Dweck.
“We want them to understand their abilities are not fixed. Resiliency and grit are skills and characteristics people are not born with; rather, they can be developed,” she said. Dweck’s book was provided to incoming freshmen, but University administrators, faculty and staff have been encouraged to pick up a copy and see how they can apply growth mindset principles to their own lives.
“We want to remove the barriers that as an institution we put in students’ way. We want to inform them about their options and we want to give them tools to be successful at Stan State and beyond,” Greer said.
Other top initiatives are the WASC accreditation self-study, working through a three-year process toward 2019 reaffirmation by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. A draft of the Strategic Plan is moving toward adoption, with plans to raise the proportion of graduate students, add academic pathways and find innovative fiscal efficiencies to focus resources on students and faculty.
There are 32 faculty and staff searches underway, including seven new tenure track teaching positions. In addition to the faculty positions, the College of Science is recruiting one instrument technician, a staff position intended to directly support faculty using laboratories for their research and instruction. A staff salary equity review is underway, aiming to erase disparities for veteran staff members created by factors such as recession-era pay freezes. Faculty salaries are also being reviewed.
She finished by addressing the difficulties of remaining a community open to diverse ideas even as some use that platform to foment discord and anticipate violence. A nascent campus task force will work on a campaign promoting University values of diversity, equity and civil dialogue.
“As challenging as the times are, we are one team, and we are so committed to our students,” Greer said.