May 17, 2017
Dear Campus Community,
As our campus prepares for commencement, one of the most wonderful and auspicious events each year, it is almost unbelievable to realize that an entire academic year has already flown by! It seems like just yesterday that I was walking into MSR for the first time, ready to lead as Stanislaus State’s 11th President. I am eternally grateful for the warm welcome I received from the campus and the region, and I am overwhelmed at how quickly I became a part of the Warrior family, and how quickly my husband and I fell in love with this campus—with our talented and dedicated faculty, our devoted staff, our hardworking administrators, our incredible students, and our genuine community.
While the year has passed in the blink of an eye, our campus has accomplished so much. Over the past academic year, we welcomed four new cabinet members: Dr. Michele Lahti, Vice President for University Advancement; Ms. Julie Johnson, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Equal Opportunity and Compliance; Dr. Kimberly Greer, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Gitanjali Kaul, Vice President for Strategic Planning, Enrollment Management and Innovation. Before the semester’s end, we will also finalize the selection of our new Vice President for Business and Finance. My personal office has undergone some changes as well. Neisha Rhodes, Director for Presidential Initiatives and Naraith Lopez our new Office Assistant, have joined Amanda Theis, Special Assistant to the President to round out our amazing team here on the third floor.
In the Fall semester, we launched a series of important initiatives, some of which have come to an end and many that are continuing on through the summer and semesters to come. The Presidential Transition Team hosted nearly 20 campus and community forums to gather your feedback, perspective and advice as we assess where the campus is at now and where we want to go. The University Strategic Planning Council (USPC) is taking those ideas and putting together a Strategic Plan 2025 that will continue next Fall for final review and approval. The GREAT (Graduation Rate Excellence and Assessment Team) team has been working hard this semester as well. With their efforts, we are implementing many of the Advising Task Force recommendations and are looking to hire more advisors and improve advising software for students. The GREAT team is also helping to re-establish the Career Development Center and also expand tutoring services.
This semester, we formalized the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion (PCDI). With their support, we hosted the Day of Remembrance Commemoration of EO 1099, to remember and learn lessons from the heartbreaking Japanese Internment of 1942. We also installed our beautiful Peace Pole (designed and built by our Art faculty and students) in the quad and a hosted a lecture from Dr. Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi) on the importance of peace and nonviolent action. In addition, we are initiating a variety of new faculty and staff affinity groups. Importantly, in tribute to the fact that our campus enrolls roughly 70 percent of students who are the first in their family to obtain a baccalaureate degree, we launched the new Presidential First Generation Scholars program that will give some of our top-performing first-generation college students the opportunity to attend Stanislaus State with a scholarship that covers the cost for tuition and fees, a computer and books for four years for freshman or two years for transfer students. Our inaugural gala generated the revenue to fund five Presidential Scholars in the very near future.
It has been a pleasure and a joy to work very closely with the Academic Senate on all of these initiatives and in creating and signing a foundational Statement of Shared Governance with the Senate leadership. Similarly, we have worked closely with Associated Students Inc. (ASI) to consult and collaborate with students on a variety of issues. I am very proud of and commend ASI for their visionary leadership in the successful launch of their “Warriors Explore Downtown” initiative and their collaboration with the City of Turlock to secure free bus pass transportation for all of our students. Yet another crucial accomplishment was the creation and opening of our new Food Pantry located in the Student Union to begin to address the difficulties experienced by some of our students facing food insecurity. Several key groups on campus took the initiative to address food insecurity including ASI, USU, MSW Student Association, Hunger Network and the California Faculty Association Stanislaus State Chapter (CFA). They met and worked together to make our Food Pantry possible. Partially funded by the ASI and by a generous CFA donation of $25,000 to an endowment (and $10,000 for student emergency funds) our StanCares program now is able to offer some assistance to Stan State students in need.
It has been so reaffirming to see how much our campus cares about and willingly works to attend to the needs of others. In turn, I wanted to continue to honor and expand our sense of campus community, caring and fun. Early on, when I listened to and heard from many of you about the desire to revitalize or re-establish some past campus traditions, I approved of a number of community-building events. For example, we have committed to continuing to partner with the city to host the 4th of July fireworks on campus; we have enhanced our wonderful Staff Council campus holiday reception; and brought back the Faculty and Staff family annual picnic generously organized by our campus labor unions. Perhaps most notably, is the restoration of the Freshman Convocation, an academic ceremony at the start of the new school year that welcomes our incoming freshman to the Stanislaus State faculty, campus and community and hopefully instills in them a sense of belonging, determination and the desire to succeed in obtaining their degree and prepare for their future professional lives.
We have also established “Pizza with the President” talks a few times per semester where the ASI President and I get together to answer questions and converse with students in a casual and informal setting. For the faculty and staff, stay tuned for continuing upcoming invitations for “Coffee and Conversation” opportunities with me and my cabinet. We had our first session on Monday and it was a great success. More opportunities for staff will be coming in the summer and additional sessions for faculty, staff and students will be included in the fall.
In regards to our campus infrastructure, we are making good strides already, and we can look forward to more progress next year. First, you may be reading this message from a brand-new computer made possible by the campus-wide computer refresh program for full-time employees. If you are still sitting at an old work station, do not worry; yours is coming very soon! We are also in the process of building two new Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) that will allow faculty and students to embrace new technology in the classroom environment, and we have plans to renovate about 20 classrooms this summer! Looking ahead to envisioning and renovating buildings, we have approval for and will be breaking ground soon for our new, improved 21st century library and new student union. Furthermore, we are beginning work with Deans, departments, others on campus and our stakeholders in Stockton to envision and implement careful planned growth to improve and expand opportunities at our Stockton Center.
Lastly, it is noteworthy to mention that based on projections thus far, it is likely that we may welcome one of our largest student enrollment numbers in Stanislaus State history – hopefully reaching a headcount just at 10,000! This is a very important milestone for us. The goal though, is not to become another large CSU. We intend to safeguard our small campus family feel. We will be working closely with our campus constituencies to take calculated and intentional steps using careful enrollment management techniques to craft the delicate balance between a growing headcount and our desire to keep our cherished, campus community feel.
Next week, commencement will be upon us. As I look out my window, it is always a delight to see students in their caps and gowns posing for pre-gradation photos with proud friends and family looking on. Soon, these excited students (nearly 3,000 of them) will be walking across the stage at the amphitheater to collect their diplomas. Amidst all of the celebrations, I would be remiss if I did not mention an important word of caution to everyone out and about on campus and in the surrounding community in the coming weeks. Turlock has noted an unsettling increase in the number of traffic collisions involving pedestrians that have resulted in several tragic deaths. Our campus has been directly impacted by a number of these incidents. So please take extra caution as you drive on or near campus, especially during our commencement ceremonies. Be safe and I hope to see many of you as we celebrate commencement with our remarkable and accomplished students and their families!
Before I close, I must also share the bittersweet news that Amanda Theis will be leaving the President’s Office at the end of the month. Amanda has been a huge part of my life over the past year. She was one of the first people I connected with after I was announced as President and we have been inseparable ever since. She has confidently excelled at every task given to her and has effectively managed to keep me, my office and the university moving forward. I say bittersweet because while we are sad to lose her, she will not be going far. She has accepted a position just down the hall in the Provost’s Office as the Academic Operations Specialist. She will be taking on this new role while continuing to pursue her Master of Public Administration degree here at Stanislaus State. When you see her around campus, be sure to congratulate her on her new endeavor! We will be securing an interim administrator to fill in for her as we search for a permanent replacement over the next few months.
I want to wish all of you a wonderful summer! For the faculty and students leaving us for a few months, enjoy the time away. For the staff and others remaining on campus for the summer, I hope you have the opportunity to embrace a slightly slower pace, catch up on projects, and plan for the year ahead. I know it will be another exciting and successful year and it will be here before we know it! As you can see this message is very long because we have accomplished a great deal in the past ten months! Thank you to each one of you for working to make this past year so prosperous, memorable, and remarkable!
With immense gratitude,
Ellen Junn, Ph.D.
May 3, 2017
A Message to the Campus Community
It is with great sadness that I write to you today about the troubling incident that occurred in the Village dorms on campus last night. As a University family, we care deeply about each other and the safety and well-being of each member of our campus community is our number one concern. I have been reassured by the University Police Department that this was an isolated incident and the situation has been contained. The suspect is in custody, is at the hospital, is being evaluated and is no longer present on campus. Our thoughts are with the victims and we are thankful that none of the injuries appear to be life threatening.
I would like to commend the courageous Resident Advisors, Village staff and University Police officers who responded immediately. By working together, their quick response de-escalated the situation and safeguarded our campus. I thank them for their commitment to our students and greater campus community.
As we continue to monitor the incident, we must take time to heal and support each other. I encourage you to seek out resources on campus through the Student Health Center, Psychological Counseling Services or our StanCares team. If you have questions or concerns as a student or parent and would like to talk with the Dean of Students, Matthew Lopez-Phillips, he may be reached at email@example.com or 209-667-3050. If anyone has any information regarding this situation, please contact the University Police Department directly at 209-667-3114.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to support one another.
Ellen Junn, Ph.D.
Apr. 25, 2017
Community Unity Event at Stan State
Dear Campus Community,
Today I write to you to share information about an event called Community Unity that will take place in the Stanislaus State Quad at Noon on Wednesday, April 26. University leadership is aware and supportive of this planned rally.
According to the student group, this rally has been organized for the purpose of “taking a stand against hate speech, violence and white supremacy while supporting and protecting each other.”
As a campus community, we need to embrace a peaceful demonstration where we can begin the conversation. As your President, I want to assure you that our campus and administration supports peaceful dialogue. It is my intent to launch an annual series of workshops, seminars and trainings in collaboration with students, faculty and staff that will embrace diversity and inclusion. We’ve organized and hosted a Day of Remembrance and look forward to the dedication of the Peace Pole and lecture from Dr. Arun Gandhi this Thursday.
We must begin the difficult work of listening to one another, of understanding our shared values, of establishing effective strategies that address acts of prejudice and intolerance and of promoting respectful, constructive dialogue.
We are a campus committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of every member of our University family. We will be with you in the quad tomorrow. We look forward to a positive experience.
Ellen Junn, Ph.D.
Apr. 18, 2017
An Important Message to the Campus Community
Dear Campus Community,
I write to our campus community in light of recent events and to communicate some important information.
First, ensuring campus safety and the well-being of our students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members is of paramount importance to me and my leadership team. Our campus has zero tolerance for violence and will always work collectively to protect and safeguard our students and campus community. In that spirit, and in response to the unease that has been communicated to me and others on our campus, I have asked our campus leadership, including our University Police, to redouble their vigilance in working to ensure a safe and welcoming learning environment.
Second, we at Stan State cherish and uphold our core commitment to diversity and inclusion. As a community, we expressly and directly reject acts of racism, prejudice and intolerance. This strong stance for diversity and inclusion is clearly enunciated in multiple campus statements and resolutions, such as Respect for Campus Diversity of all Members of Campus Community (Sense of the Senate 10/AS/10/SEC). Reflective of this strongly articulated commitment, and in collaboration with the Academic Senate, last fall I convened our President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion (PCDI) and charged the commission to lead the establishment of a campus-wide institutional plan for diversity and inclusion. The PCDI and our entire campus community recognize our commitment to free speech and the 1st Amendment. In particular, we support the exchange of divergent views in the search for knowledge. We seek to balance this commitment with our core values of diversity and inclusion. As part of its work, and to assure this balance of free expression and a welcoming learning environment, PCDI and campus leadership will promote seminars, trainings and programs designed to help our campus community understand our shared values and establish effective strategies for addressing acts of prejudice and intolerance. To accomplish this, it is critical that our community address the underlying mindsets that endorse these acts.
Third, if you feel unsafe or observe anything of concern, we encourage you to contact the University Police Department (phone 209-667-3114; Public_Safety@csustan.edu). In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1. The StanCares team is available to address the needs of students who have a concern or need support and guidance (contact Jill Tiemann-Gonzalez, Judicial Affairs Officer, 209-664-6700; firstname.lastname@example.org). Additional resources are available through Psychological Counseling, which provides professional, ethical and confidential psychological counseling to students (209-667-3381; Vasche Library Building, Room L185).
As I have shared with you in an earlier message, our collective future lies in the hands of our students. We as a community want that future to be safe, secure and welcoming. Please join me as we strive to build more supportive mentorships, enhanced friendships and constructive relationships across our campus and in our community. We must commit to our collective efforts to educate, model and learn. We can achieve this by promoting respectful, constructive and peaceful dialogue and interactions with others, and by building a society and ethos of greater understanding and harmony for everyone.
Ellen Junn, Ph.D.
Apr. 16, 2017
A Message from President Ellen Junn
The campus received communications last night regarding a serious incident possibly involving one of our students and very troubling actions that may have taken place at a demonstration in Berkeley on Saturday, April 15th.
The university takes these allegations seriously, and as President, I have initiated an immediate investigation on campus to verify and confirm details of this incident. The university has zero tolerance for the use of violence and we will take all of the necessary legal and disciplinary measures to ensure that all students and everyone on campus have a safe and secure environment. While this incident understandably raises many negative emotions and calls for urgent actions, we must also hold true to our American system and principles of justice and due process.
Please rest assured that we are in constant contact with relevant officials and will take appropriate and timely actions to address this issue. As I have said in an earlier message, as a campus, we should redouble our pledge to work with all of our students, both in and out of the classroom, to learn to have respectful, constructive and peaceful dialogue and interactions with others so that together we can build a community and society of greater understanding and harmony for everyone.
Ellen Junn, Ph.D.
Feb. 23, 2017
University Strategic Planning: Current Two-Year Strategic Goals
Dear Campus Community:
I am pleased that the current strategic planning process is underway and progressing well. There has been, and continues to be, widespread consultation by the University Strategic Planning Council (USPC), which is building upon the results derived from the many town hall meetings conducted by the Presidential Transition Team, as well as extensive in-person consultations with governance and representative groups on campus.
We value your ideas and ask that you continue to participate fully in this process! We need to know your story, your experiences here, as we build on the foundation of this excellent campus—its traditions and legacy—and create a future of even greater achievements. My thanks to all of you, throughout the campus and community, for providing your ideas for the best direction of the university over the next few years. But before we complete and implement our new strategic plan, I want to affirm the importance of continuing the process and timeline for submission of reports in accordance with our current strategic plan goals.
President Sheley outlined the process for achieving the goals, objectives and action items identified for work through the end of this year, in his memorandum Two-Year Strategic Goals (January 4, 2016). The first reports under this process, submitted in September 2016, have been summarized for review by USPC and other governance and administrative groups. Attached please find an Executive Summary of these reports, illustrating the excellent progress the campus is making toward achieving the six main priorities.
As a reminder, the next progress reports for the Two-Year Strategic Goals are due to Provost Greer, via Campus Labs, on September 1, 2017. These results will inform next steps for campus action and fold into the implementation of the new strategic plan, which will commence in Fall 2017.
I wish to extend my greatest appreciation to the members of the Strategic Plan Working Group (SPWG) and the Committee to Implement and Prioritize the Strategic Plan (CIPSP) for their diligence and dedication. Their efforts have kept the campus moving forward in achieving important goals during this time of transition. The charge and work of the SPWG and CIPSP have now been folded into the charge of the USPC. The USPC membership includes many who have served on CIPSP and/or SPWG, and we are fortunate to have these members to ensure linkage between our current and future strategic plans.
Again, thanks to all for this excellent, continuing collaborative work! I am proud of our campus community and the dedication of faculty and staff in support of students. You are the best!
Feb. 23, 2017
Modifications to US Federal Policy Regarding Border Security and Immigration Enforcement
Dear Campus Community,
At Stan State, we are an inclusive campus that values and embraces our rich diversity, and we are dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members.
In an effort to update and reassure our campus community due to recently posted modifications in US federal policy regarding border security and immigration enforcement, CSU Chancellor Timothy White and I want to provide information on any possible impacts to our campus. Submitted on February 21, 2017, new US policy memoranda issued by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly currently are under careful review by the CSU system office to determine any ramifications for our students and campus. Please open and read the attached letter from Chancellor White where he reaffirms the CSU's commitment to safeguarding the security and well-being of all students and others on our campus.
It is important to note that there is no information to suggest that federal enforcement will focus on our CSU campuses. However, Chancellor White states:
"We do advise any member of our CSU community – students, faculty and staff – who is approached while on campus by federal, state or local officials asking for information or documentation regarding immigration status, to immediately contact the University Police Department. The University Police Department will act as a liaison with the on-site official, and will coordinate with the [CSU] Office of General Counsel to provide guidance, references and resources as available."
Therefore, if you or anyone else on campus is approached by a US official regarding immigration concerns, please call the Stanislaus State University Police Department at 209-667-3114. All questions from dispatch will be referred to Chief Andy Roy, Lieutenant Matt Dillon or Lieutenant Clint Strode and they will coordinate with the CSU Office of General Council (OGC) to liaison with the officials making the inquiries.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know on campus observes anything unusual or feels unsafe, we encourage you to report any safety concerns to the University Police Department at (209) 667-3114 or email Public_Safety@csustan.edu. Two other key resources available to the campus community are:
- StanCares team which is available to address the needs of students who need support and guidance. Contact Jill Tiemann-Gonzalez, Judicial Affairs Officer, (209) 664-6700; https://www.csustan.edu/stan-cares.
- Psychological Counseling Services which provides free professional, ethical and confidential psychological one-on-one counseling to students. Vasche Library Building, Office: L-185, Phone: (209) 667-3381; https://www.csustan.edu/counseling.
While these recent changes in US federal policies may be unsettling, as a member of our Stan State family, if you notice that someone is under stress, please reach out to them to provide a helping hand and remind them of our campus resources.
Finally, I want to assure you that Stanislaus State and the CSU will fully support students, faculty and staff who may be impacted. We are a campus that believes in and supports the beauty and power of a safe, warm, welcoming and diverse learning community.
Jan. 26, 2017
Welcome Back, Warriors!
Good morning, Warriors!
It's exciting to welcome everyone to the new semester! It was such a delight to drive on to campus this morning and feel how the atmosphere comes alive when students and faculty return. The parking lots are full of cars, faculty are busy in classrooms and labs, the pathways are full of students looking for their new classes, staff are greeting students in hectic offices, and main dining is packed. It's a great feeling!
We have made good progress this past Fall, and we have even more to look forward to in the coming semester. For example, we will continue to pursue achievement of our GRI 2025 graduation rate goals set forth by the Chancellor's Office and the Board of Trustees. Faculty advisors and our GREAT Team have been hard at work over the last semester implementing new strategies to enhance student success. Stay tuned for some exciting new events coming down the pipeline as well.
I am pleased to announce that we will be joined on campus by Dr. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, for the installation of a peace pole on our campus on March 27. It will serve as a pillar of hope and inclusivity as we embrace diversity of all kinds at Stanislaus State. In that same spirit, we will be launching the new President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, an adaptation of the former Committee on Affirmative Action and Diversity. This Commission will work with the campus to assess, create and implement to a truly comprehensive institutional diversity action plan for our campus.
Finally, there are a few important dates that I hope you will put on your calendars:
- First, this Monday, January 30th from 3pm-5pm in Snider Recital Hall the University Strategic Planning Council will be hosting an open forum as they continue their work on developing our new University Strategic Plan. Come share your thoughts about what you'd like to see in the future for Stanislaus State.
- Second, I will be holding a Spring Convocation on February 13th from 10am-12pm in Snider Recital Hall. I'll be providing a campus update, introducing our new university leadership team, and presenting the report produced by my Presidential Transition Team. As you know, they hosted almost 20 open forums last semester with students, staff, faculty and community members. I'm excited to reveal their report and share how we will address many of the issues that emerged from the forums. Please try to attend this informative campus meeting.
- Finally, I would be very honored if you would all join me for my inauguration as the 11th president of Stanislaus State. It will be an exciting day for the campus community as we celebrate this cherished tradition together and look to the future in this new chapter for our community. The inauguration ceremony will be at 10 am on March 30th in the Fitzpatrick Arena. Special seating will be available for faculty, staff and students. Please watch for emails and website announcements for more details about other related events and activities.
Best wishes for a wonderful Spring semester and see you soon!
Jan. 10, 2017
Announcement of New Dean for the College of Science
Dear Campus Community,
I am pleased to announce the appointment of the new Dean for the College of Science, Dr. David Evans. Dr. Evans is currently a professor of geophysics at Sacramento State and the interim Director of International Programs and Global Engagement. He also served as chair of the Department of Geology at Sacramento State for nine years.
During academic year 2012-2013 Dr. Evans held a prestigious fellowship with the American Council on Education (ACE) in which his work focused on the elements that create exceptional student experiences. During his fellowship he met with senior leadership at colleges and universities across the country and worked closely with the leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno. He also wrote a successful grant to the W.M. Keck Foundation for $400,000 to support hydrogeology field studies at Sacramento State. While his academic training is in geophysics, Dr. Evans has published research on earthquake seismology, hydrogeology and applied mathematics.
Dr. Evans earned his bachelor's degree, master's degree, and Ph.D. in Geophysics from University of California, Berkeley, University of Kansas, and Louisiana State University respectively.
About his appointment to a leadership position at Stanislaus State Dr. Evans said, "As I visited other universities it became clear that I want to be at a university that provides life-changing upward mobility to its students. That is why I am so excited to be joining Stanislaus State. I am very proud to be joining a science college in which the faculty and staff are so profoundly committed to their students."
Chair of the search committee, Dean Oddmund Mhyre said about Dr. Evans, "The Science Dean Search Committee evaluated more than 40 applicants for the position. Dr. David Evans stood out as an experienced leader who has deep knowledge of the CSU and its people, processes and policies."
Finally, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. Mark Grobner who graciously served as interim Dean for the last 18 months. He has been a steadfast leader for the college and we thank him for his outstanding service.
Dec. 27, 2016
Announcing our new Vice President for Strategic Planning, Enrollment Management and Innovation (VP SPEMI)
Dear Campus Community,
It is my pleasure to announce the selection of Dr. Gitanjali Kaul as the new Vice President for Strategic Planning, Enrollment Management and Innovation (VP SPEMI), effective January 15, 2017. This position is an already existing VP position which reconfigures and consolidates multiple offices across divisions in order to significantly innovate and improve the use of data analytics for conceptualizing budgetary decisions and enhancing enrollment management and strategic planning for the campus. Given the vital importance of proactively managing enrollments, supporting student success and staying within budgetary constraints, this new collaborative VP position will be critical to ensuring our continued success. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Kaul join our team to work with us.
Dr. Kaul has over 25 years of keen expertise and experience in executive higher education administration. She comes to us from California State University, Dominguez Hills where she currently serves as Acting Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. In this role, she supports student success, retention and graduation initiatives and has direct responsibility for the division's budget. She also serves as the campus' WSCUC Accreditation Officer and leads implementation of the WSCUS strategic planning process. Prior to this appointment, she served as Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment also at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Dr. Kaul relocated to California from Florida Atlantic University where she served as Vice President of Strategic Planning. In her role at FAU she oversaw strategic planning, enrollment management, institutional research and information technology. At FAU her accomplishments included working with the campus community to craft and deliver FAU's 2012-2017 Strategic Plan: Celebrating and Cultivating Discovery, Diversity, and Distinction; doubling FAU's applications in 2011 for freshmen admission from approximately 10,000 to over 19,000; and successfully completing a 2-year campus-wide effort that resulted in the unconditional reaffirmation of FAU by SACSOC.
Prior to working at FAU, she was at Cleveland State University where she served as Vice Provost for Planning, Assessment and Information Resource Management from 2003-2010 and as Associate Provost for Academic Assessment and Institution Research at Ohio University from 1999 to 2003.
Dr. Kaul shared that "CSU Stanislaus is a remarkable institution dedicated to upholding the highest levels of liberal education in the country. I feel very privileged and honored to become a member of this family. I share President Junn's commitment to campus-wide collaboration and student success. I am filled with a sense of passion and purpose as I look forward to joining the campus. I know that together we can realize local dreams and have a significant impact on the region".
Dr. Kaul earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi in New Delhi, India. She holds two master's degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Utkal University and Northern Illinois University respectively. She also earned her Ed.D. in Educational Psychology from Northern Illinois University.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Gitanjali Kaul to our Stanislaus State team!
Dec. 22, 2016
Announcing our new AVP for Faculty Affairs
Dear Campus Community,
I am excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Jason Myers to the position of Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs at Stanislaus State effective January 1, 2017. Dr. Myers is already a proud Stanislaus State Warrior, having served as a valued faculty member in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration since 2001. He also served as the Department Chair from 2005-2010. In addition to his role in Political Science and Public Administration, he has served as the chair of our campus CFA chapter's Professional Rights Committee for more than six years.
When speaking with Dr. Myers about his appointment he said, "I'm honored by the invitation to join President Junn's team and to have the opportunity to serve our university in this new capacity."
Our new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kimberly Greer, said about Dr. Myers, "I am very pleased that Dr. Myers has accepted the position of Associate Vice President Faculty Affairs. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to shared governance and a passion for supporting faculty excellence. I look forward to working with Dr. Myers in our new roles at Stanislaus State."
Stuart Sims, Speaker of the Academic Senate, also commented saying, "I'm genuinely pleased to welcome Dr. Myers as our new AVP for Faculty Affairs. He is well known and widely respected on our campus, and brings outstanding experience and knowledge to this essential role."
I am so grateful that Dr. Myers has agreed to accept this important position. I am confident that he will serve our campus and our faculty very well. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Myers as he transitions to the administration from the ranks of our valued faculty.
Dec. 16, 2016
Announcement Regarding Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dear Campus Community,
It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr. Kimberly Greer as Stanislaus State's new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She will join our campus on January 24th.
Dr. Greer comes to us from Minnesota State University, Mankato where she served as dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Minnesota State University, Mankato since 2011. Prior to that appointment, she had been a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Corrections since 1998. In 2013 Dr. Greer assumed a 2-year interim position serving the university as associate provost and associate vice president for Academic Affairs before returning to her role as dean.
Throughout her career, Dr. Greer has demonstrated a passion for assuring access and success for all students as well as a strong commitment to faculty excellence and community engagement. She has worked to establish procedures and practices that improve student retention and completion rates as well as close the opportunity gap for underrepresented students. Similarly, she has collaborated to lead and support a number of initiatives designed to recruit and retain diverse faculty and staff members.
Dr. Greer is a respected academic administrator who values authentic leadership, collaboration and innovation. As interim associate provost, she substantially supported two major initiatives in the Division of Academic Affairs – Integrated Academic Planning and creation of 4-year academic maps for all undergraduate and graduate programs. Dr. Greer fulfilled the role of the Academic Liaison Officer in preparation for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) reaccreditation, served as chief of staff in the Office of the Provost and managed financial as well as other material resources for the Division of Academic Affairs. As dean, Dr. Greer led a strategic planning process for the college, designed collaborative classroom spaces and successfully advocated for designation of a new interdisciplinary research lab. She is recognized as being committed to shared governance and has demonstrated a highly consistent ability to build strong, positive professional relationships across campus and in the community.
When speaking with Dr. Greer she said, "I am honored, humbled, and incredibly excited to have been selected to serve Stanislaus State as the next Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. It is a privilege to join an impressive community of faculty and staff committed to preparing students to fully utilize their knowledge, creativity and passion to engage with, and succeed in a dynamic and interconnected world."
Dr. Stuart Sims, Speaker of the Academic Senate, said, "I'm excited to join in welcoming Dr. Greer to our campus and community. She brings outstanding professional preparation and acumen to her new role, and will provide excellent leadership for Academic Affairs."
Dr. Greer earned both her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (1984) and her Master of Science Administration (1991) from Southeast Missouri State University and her Doctorate in Sociology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (1998). She and her husband, Nick, look forward to joining the community of Turlock and exploring the Central Valley.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Kimberly Greer to the Stanislaus State team!
Dec. 7, 2016
Announcement: Interim Vice President for Business and Finance
Dear Campus Community:
I am pleased to announce the appointment of our Interim Vice President for Business and Finance/CFO, Mr. Darrell Haydon. Darrell comes to us from California State University, East Bay where he currently serves as the Associate Vice President for Financial Services. In this position, he is responsible for managing the business services and accounting operations for the university and three campus auxiliary organizations. Prior to joining the Cal State East Bay campus, he spent over two decades in private business in a variety of Controller and Director of Finance roles. He comes to us after being highly recommended by others in the system for his strong experience and expertise, dedication, and sincere professionalism.
Darrell received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from CSU Hayward, his MBA from Saint Mary's College, and is currently pursuing his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership for Social Justice at Cal State East Bay. Darrell is a Certified Public Accountant, a Chartered Global Management Accountant, and a Certified Internal Auditor. In addition to his campus responsibilities, Darrell is the Vice Chair for the CSU Financial Officers Association (FOA), helps host the annual FOA Business Conference, and serves on the CSU Enterprise Information Systems Advisory Committee for Finance Information Systems.
The division of Business and Finance will host a welcome reception for Darrell on January 18th from 9am-10am in MSR 290. We hope to see you there!
Dec. 2, 2016
Presidential Transition Team – Online Survey
Dear Campus Community,
Thank you so much to those of you who have participated in the many Presidential Transition Team open forums this semester! We've talked to hundreds of people so far, but we want to hear from even more! Please consider filling out the online survey so that the team can incorporate your thoughts into the final report and action plan. The deadline to submit responses to the survey is Friday, December 16th. We hope to hear from you.
Thanks again and best wishes as we enter the holiday season!
Dec. 1, 2016
Best Wishes, Doug Dawes
Dear Campus Community,
It is with a heavy heart, that I have accepted the resignation of Doug Dawes, Vice President for Business and Finance. He has chosen to leave our campus to be with his wife, who has embarked on a new career path out of state. Since his arrival to our campus, he has been a tremendous advocate for student success, environmental sustainability, made improvements to our information technology, and has been a careful advisor on fiscal matters and the budget.
Under Doug's leadership, the Business and Finance team has won systemwide awards for the new cooling tower filtering project that saved our campus over five million gallons of water annually, implemented numerous paperless processes throughout campus, created the Barnes & Noble textbook charging program that allowed students to charge textbooks to their student accounts, upgraded the entire campus' network infrastructure, implemented online parking permit sales, assisted with the design and development of the new University Student Union, and launched the classroom technology upgrade process. In addition, Doug oversaw all areas of the Foundation Board and recently helped in the transition of the board back to University Advancement. After the transition, he continued to play a key role as the treasurer of the board, managing investments and audit and compliance areas.
In talking with Faculty Speaker Stuart Sims he said about Doug, "I've enjoyed my work with Doug Dawes a great deal. He is an enthusiastic and supportive member of our campus community, and his leadership and willingness to actively collaborate has greatly enhanced the connections and communication between Business & Finance and the campus as a whole. While I wish him only the best and offer my support as he and his family transition to a new chapter, we will miss him here."
Although his time with us was short, his tremendously positive impact on Stanislaus State will be with us for years to come. His kind and thoughtful demeanor will be greatly missed across campus. Please join me in wishing Doug and his family the best of luck in this new chapter.
Doug will be with us until December 16th. The division of Business and Finance, in collaboration with the President's Office, will be hosting a reception in his honor from 3pm-4:30pm in MSR 290 on his last day. We hope you can stop by to give Doug your best wishes.
An announcement regarding an interim Vice President will come very soon. This month, we will embark on a national search for a new Vice President that will continue through the spring.
Nov. 15, 2016
We are here to support you and to listen ...
Yesterday you received a message from me encouraging campus unity. I am very pleased to forward this additional statement from and to our community. Please know that we are proud to be members of this community and very happy that our campus unity is so clearly evidenced.
Take a look around our wonderful campus and you will see that we are a diverse community. Given our diversity and in light of recent events, some of us may feel uncertain, threatened, or unsafe at this very moment because of our race, ethnicity, disability, gender, orientation, undocumented status, religious beliefs or worldview. As members of our community, we want each and every one of you to know that you belong, you are one of us, you are valued, and you are loved. We will work ceaselessly to ensure our campus is a safe space for you.
If you don't feel safe today, please reach out to someone. It's crucial to us that you are safe and that you feel safe, but we also want you to be healthy and happy, to know that you are valued and are part of our community. Our campus is full of faculty and staff who have big hearts, available ears, sturdy shoulders, and open offices, and they are here to help students and colleagues in any way they are able.
If you want to talk or need support, our community has resources available to you. If you have someone you have built a personal relationship with, don't hesitate to contact them. If you don't have a personal relationship with someone you can reach out to, please contact any of the people listed below, and they will put you in touch with someone who can help.
If you do feel safe in this moment, we ask that you please be kind, warm, and welcoming to those who do not, and that you support them as you are able. Ask yourself, "What can I do to make sure that every person in our campus community feels that they belong to our community and feels safe here?" Make a conscious decision to be good to people, to go above and beyond regular, casual interactions to make sure that our campus is a safe haven for everyone. Of equal importance: if you see someone being mistreated, harassed, or discriminated against, say something. Often those who most need help are scared to ask for it, for fear of unwanted attention or retaliation. Part of our responsibility as a community is to stand up for each other and make perfectly clear that we will not tolerate poor treatment of ourselves or others.
As it does in nature, diversity makes a system robust and resilient. Now more than ever, we must come together, all of us—faculty, staff, students, the entire university community—to ensure that we remain resilient, that diversity continues to be one of our strongest attributes, that we are inclusive of every individual, and that our campus remains a safe and welcoming environment for all.
On behalf of CFA Stanislaus
Steven Filling, President
On behalf of CSUEU Stanislaus
Dawn McCulley, President
Speaker of the Faculty
On behalf of APC Stanislaus
Tammy Worthington, Chief Steward
President, Stanislaus State
Encouraging Campus Unity
Dear Campus Community,
Stanislaus State is a University with a strong history of providing a welcoming, inclusive and safe learning environment for all members of our community — students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors. While recent events have shown a level of discord across parts of California and the nation, Stanislaus State is committed to ensuring that our inclusive and safe environment continues. We stand together to support and care for one another and we will continue to do so by encouraging constructive dialogue and enhancing mutual understanding.
Together we are an extraordinary institution of higher learning and we are proud of our success in preparing our students to become leaders in a global society. Our students are well-informed critical thinkers who can share different ideas and perspectives in a respectful environment. As a University community, we believe strongly in democracy, acceptance and equity. We share the continuing commitment to diversity and inclusion in the joint statement from the CSU Chancellor's Office and the California State Students Association.
Reports at some campuses elsewhere chronicle difficult and problematic interactions that have caused concern and sometimes fear. I want to let everyone know that our University takes any such interactions very seriously. If you have been or become involved in any such interaction, we need and want to know. I urge you to report details of any such incidents to StanCares through our Behavioral Intervention Team (a report can be submitted online or by contacting Jill Tiemann-Gonzalez, Judicial Affairs Officer, (209) 664-6700). Your reports are essential so that our University can conduct investigations and take further steps as appropriate.
If you feel unsafe for any reason, please contact University Police. In an emergency dial 911 or use one of the Emergency Blue Light Phones located across campus. For non-emergency reports please dial (209) 667-3114 or visit the University Police Department.
We are a caring and proactive community devoted to fostering a campus climate where all members of our community can thrive. Thank you for your commitment to working together to ensure that our University continues to be a great living and learning environment.
Nov. 11, 2016
A message from President Ellen Junn and Dr. Dave Colnic
Dear Campus Community,
As many of you may have heard, our campus suffered a tragic lost last week. The son of Dr. Nancy Hudspeth, one of our beloved faculty members, was hit and killed by a car while crossing Monte Vista Avenue near Stanislaus State. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Nancy and her family. We grieve alongside them as they deal with the devastating loss of their son, Ben.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Monday November 14, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church located on 2619 N. Berkeley Ave. Turlock, CA 95382. Lunch will follow the service. Everyone from our campus community is invited to attend. For those interested, donations can be made in Ben's memory to the Sotos Syndrome Support Association (SSSA) at sotossyndrome.org, or to Friends of Turlock Library, PO Box 1260, Turlock, CA 95382. Additional information on the memorial service and donation opportunities can be found here.
Please join us in wishing Nancy and her family peace during this difficult time.
Dr. Ellen Junn, President, and Dr. Dave Colnic, Department of Political Science and Public
Nov. 4, 2016
A message from President Ellen Junn
Dear Campus Community,
It is with great sadness that I write to you regarding an accident that occurred near our campus late last night. There was a pedestrian fatality involving members of our campus community. Our sincere condolences go out to everyone involved.
During times like this it is important to remember that resources are available on campus to assist you. Faculty and staff may access counseling services through the Employee Assistance Program by calling 1-800-367-7474 or on the Web: www.mylifematters.com and enter company password "stanislaus".
Psychological Counseling Services is available to provide support for students. Students may call (209) 667-3381 or visit the office in the Library Building, room 185.
Please share this information with anyone you feel would benefit from these support resources. You may also contact StanCares if you are concerned about the well-being of any member of our campus community.
Nov. 3, 2016
Reminder: Staff Presidential Transition Team Open Forum Tomorrow
Good afternoon, staff members!
I hope you can join my team tomorrow, November 4th from 9am-10:30am in MSR 130 for the second staff-focused Presidential Transition Team open forum! We want to hear from you about how we can take our campus to the next level! Come share your thoughts with the team!
Oct. 28, 2016
My first 100 days ...
To the Campus Community:
People often ask me, "What does a President actually do?" It's hard for me to respond; there are so many activities and no day is the same as the one before. Since my journey as the president at Stanislaus State began on July 1, I have been involved in numerous substantive meetings with key campus groups dedicated to supporting our vibrant, student-centered community with a focus on academic excellence. And I am really enjoying using Twitter to keep the community up to date on my many activities both on and off campus.
The Office of the President and the Division of University Advancement have created a wonderful photo timeline highlighting some of the many activities during my first 100 days as President of Stanislaus State! I am incredibly grateful for the wonderful staff who effortlessly coordinated my introduction to the campus and surrounding community. I hope you will enjoy this lovely reflection on the warm welcome I have received!
I invite you to follow the link below for an overview of what I've been up to and for more information about new initiatives and committees that are being coordinated by my office.
Oct. 20, 2016
Cancelled: Family Picnic
Dear Campus Community,
In coordination with CFA and CSUEU leadership, we have decided to postpone the family picnic scheduled for this Saturday, October 22nd. With additional time, we can revive this cherished tradition in a more meaningful and robust way. I was really looking forward to spending time with you and your families at the picnic, so we will let you know of the new date very soon. Thank you all for your understanding and have a great Thursday!
Oct. 19, 2016
Reminder: Presidential Transition Team Open Forum – October 19th
Good morning and happy Monday! I hope you will be able to join my Presidential Transition Team for our first staff-focused open forum this Wednesday, October 19th from 9am to 10:30am in FDC 118! At the forum, you will have an opportunity to share with the team, your thoughts about Stanislaus State. I will use what we learn in the open forums as I settle into my new role and develop campus wide strategic initiatives and goals!
For more information on this and future forums, please visit the Presidential Transition Team website at www.csustan.edu/presidential-transition. On the website, you can also submit comments if you are unable to attend the forums. Supervisors, please encourage your staff to attend at least one open forum!
My team hopes to see you there!
Oct. 12, 2016
President's Message Regarding Recent Campus Flier Incident
Dear Campus Community,
The University is aware of an incident that has raised concerns from a number of students, parents, faculty, staff and community members regarding a flier that appeared on our campus last week. The flier in question made allegations about a Stan State student's involvement in an organization and related activities that some may find offensive. Fliers that did not comply with Stan State's posting policy were removed. Please see a copy of the posting policy here. To our knowledge, the student named in the flier has not posted his materials on our campus.
While the issues and the facts in this matter are complex, I want to assure the campus that as soon as the University became aware of the flier that appeared on our campus last week, we responded promptly in assessing, monitoring and investigating the incident.
As President, it is my top priority to ensure the safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff, administrators and the community. To this end, the campus has been in contact and consultation with the CSU Chancellor's Office, campus entities and community offices for updates and relevant next steps. It must be recognized that the University represents a microcosm of our society at large. As such, we cannot withdraw or suppress the viewpoints of others that do not violate the law or campus policy, nor is it in the best interest of the learning experience to do so.
I personally believe that the University should strive to be a guiding light that shines a path to be inclusive and affirming of all forms of diversity. I will continue to stand for promoting a warm, welcoming and respectful learning environment for everyone on our campus and in the community. Though it may be difficult to hear disparate viewpoints, it is ever more vital to remember that Stanislaus State and the CSU have an obligation and commitment to the founding principles of our American democracy—a democracy that upholds the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech, even when that speech may be controversial or offensive to others. Sometimes speech that occurs on campus is inconsistent with Stanislaus State's core institutional values of inclusiveness, diversity and respect.
Let us also reflect on the fact that universities have a critically important responsibility in complex societies in their role in educating and preparing our future generations to become well-informed critical thinkers, leaders, professionals and successful members of our communities. We should further renew our pledge to work with all of our students, both in and out of the classroom, to learn to have respectful and constructive dialogues so that together we can build a community and society of greater understanding and peace for everyone.
Sept. 28, 2016
Announcing Vice President for University Advancement
Dear Campus Colleagues,
As you know, Dr. Michele Lahti assumed the interim position when Ms. Shirley Pok announced her resignation in mid-July. At that time, I announced that I would conduct a national search for a new vice president.
However, over the course of the past 90 days, I have worked closely with Michele and witnessed first-hand her exemplary knowledge, expertise and deep personal connections to so many external partners in our surrounding communities. It has been clear in my interactions that the community has a genuine trust and strong relationship with our campus through Michele. I have also received encouragement from faculty leaders and members of our Philanthropic Foundation Board who agree that having Michele assume this role as Vice President would be very beneficial to the campus and our region. Finally, I have consulted with Chancellor White and his team who support this decision.
Therefore, I am delighted and pleased to share that I will permanently appoint Dr. Michele Lahti as the Vice President for University Advancement, effective immediately.
Michele has more than 15 years of progressively responsible experience as a leader and administrator in higher education advancement. Her record of success includes building programs, partnerships and systems that have increased private support, fortified relationships and fostered collaboration. She received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and master's degree in Communications both from the University of the Pacific and her undergraduate degree in Communications from Sacramento State.
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Michele Lahti on her new role as Vice President for University Advancement at Stanislaus State.
Sept. 28, 2016
Congratulations, Julie Johnson
Dear Campus Community,
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Julie Johnson to serve as the University's Associate Vice President for Human Resources, Equal Opportunity and Compliance. She will also serve as our Title IX Coordinator and Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Administrator. Ms. Johnson came to the campus four years ago as the Compliance Officer and Deputy Title IX Coordinator. During her time here, she has been instrumental in establishing the campus's Title IX awareness campaigns, bringing in the Haven Victim Advocate, starting the Safe Campus Committee as well as handling investigations, and the regulatory and legal compliance needs of the University.
Prior to joining Stanislaus State, Ms. Johnson was an associate of a civil litigation firm in Modesto specializing in labor and employment law, family law and estates and probate. Ms. Johnson received her Bachelor's degree in Economics from University of the Pacific and her Juris Doctorate from McGeorge School of Law. She and her family currently reside in Turlock.
Please join me in congratulating Julie on her new position!
Sept. 27, 2016
Back to the Future Family Picnic
Dear Faculty, Staff and Administrators:
It is my pleasure to invite you to join us for a campuswide family picnic on Saturday, October 22nd from 3pm-6pm at the Faculty Development Center.
Please feel welcome to stop by for an afternoon of family fun, complete with delicious complimentary food and beverages, music, games and activities for all ages! The attached flyer contains additional information.
I'd like to give my special thanks to our representatives from CFA, CSUEU, SETC, SUPA, and APC for making this event possible! We hope to see you there!
Sept. 20, 2016
Reminder: Unconscious Bias Workshop this Friday!
Dear Campus Community,
This Friday, September 23rd from 11:30am to 4:30pm the Division of Faculty Affairs and Human Resources and the California Faculty Association are co-sponsoring an event of critical importance to our campus – "A Journey into Change: An Unconscious Bias Workshop."
This workshop is intended to help faculty, staff and administrators become aware of microaggressions and unconscious biases in the workplace. This is an issue that is extremely important to me and I hope that you will be able to attend. Please RSVP to Julie Johnson (email@example.com).
Sept. 15, 2016
Welcome, Dr. Ted Wendt!
Dear Campus Community,
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ted Wendt to serve as Interim Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs. Dr. Wendt previously served as AVP for Faculty Affairs at Stanislaus State from 2003-2010 and has agreed to return in an interim capacity for the Fall Semester. Dr. Wendt will fulfill many of the responsibilities held by former Vice President Dennis Shimek, including coordination of the retention, tenure, and promotion process for tenure-track faculty, providing counsel and advice to the President on all faculty personnel matters and participating in Faculty Governance.
Since his departure, Dr. Wendt has served as AVP for Faculty Affairs at Fresno State, and as a Special Consultant for several other CSU campuses. Dr. Wendt started his CSU academic career as a faculty member in the Theatre Department at Chico State, where he eventually became the Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Humanities. He then went on to become an academic dean at Cameron University (OK), Murray State University (KY), and the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
Dr. Wendt holds a Ph.D in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. He and his spouse, Mary Sue Jackson, currently reside in Modesto.
Please join me in welcoming Dr. Wendt back to Stanislaus State!
Sept. 12, 2016
Announcement regarding James Strong, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dear Campus Community,
It is with great respect that I accept the resignation of James T. Strong from his position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective December 31. He has decided to return to the classroom as a professor in the Department of Management, Operations and Marketing and to have more time to care for his family.
Jim has been a standout administrative leader for more than 18 years, having built an outstanding reputation before coming to Stan State. He was an associate dean at the University of Akron for five years, a dean at California State University, Dominguez Hills for nearly seven years and has been Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Stanislaus State for more than six years.
He led the University in initiatives to improve working relations between administration and the faculty, laying the groundwork for a revived campus climate that emphasized transparency and communication. "Jim has been a steady hand on the rudder of our academic ship, helping the University find its way through very difficult times, internally and externally, to far smoother and sunnier waters," said Stuart Sims, Speaker of the Faculty and Chair of the Academic Senate. Following the WASC Fall 2014 Special Visit, the team reported, "The campus atmosphere has moved from one featuring animosity and conflict to one punctuated by reasonable levels of trust and collaboration."
He restructured and revitalized the Student Success Committee, provided leadership to the Strategic Plan Working Group and created the Enrollment Management Committee. He led efforts to rebuild enrollment at the Stockton Center and has been the key leader in the planning that enables the University to serve the needs of an ever-increasing student population.
Jim has prioritized the hiring of tenure-track faculty, supporting the hiring of more than 130 tenure-track faculty in six years. He co-chaired the University Budget Advisory Committee, assisting senior leadership through substantial and difficult budget cuts in 2010-13.
During his tenure, Stanislaus State received a series of national accolades including recognition for being among the top five universities in the nation for improving upward mobility; as a top university in value-added; and for being among the top thirteen 4-year public institutions with large Pell recipient student populations to have high first-time freshmen 6-year graduation rates.
In addition to all of his efforts focused specifically on our campus, Jim provided leadership and support to increase contact, connection, and communication between the University and our regional educational partners.
These are just a few highlights of the accomplishments that Jim has achieved for the benefit of our entire campus community during his time as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. I could certainly go on for many pages.
Jim is appreciated by his colleagues for his sense of humor, candor, kindness and passion for student engagement and success. He is the longest-serving Provost in the CSU, and he has built many strong partnerships across departments and divisions. "For the last several years, Provost Strong has been an integral part of rebuilding trust and a sense of community at Stanislaus State," said Steven Filling, immediate past chair of the Academic Senate. "His loyalty to our mission and our University and his willingness to persevere through some very challenging times demonstrates his enduring commitment to public higher education and to our community."
The campus will initiate a national search this fall for a new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs to join the campus in January for the spring semester.
We'd like to honor Jim by hosting a campus wide reception in his honor in December. An announcement will follow later this semester.
Please join with me in thanking Jim for his immeasurable service to the University.
August 24, 2016
Dear Stanislaus State faculty, staff and administrators,
Welcome back to the first day of classes for the new 2016-17 academic year! Even though I imagined it would it would be an exciting time to join the campus, my experiences so far have well exceeded my imagination for just how wonderful, exciting, warm and welcoming my first 55 days have been. I am very humbled and inspired to join you as the new 11th President at Stanislaus State. As your new President, I promise that it will be an exciting, engaging and important year for at least three major reasons.
First, on a historical note, as you can see from some of the photos here, Stanislaus State welcomed our largest freshmen class in the history of the campus with 1,416 freshmen. We hosted our first Freshman Convocation in over 12 years! It was deeply touching to see so many faculty attend to welcome our newest freshmen and watch the students have the opportunity to meet and mingle with our faculty, Deans and Vice Presidents this past Monday as they start their college journeys to become graduates of the Class of 2020.
Second, my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting many of you at the beginning of July at my initial campus event. We had the wonderful experience of participating and riding with Mayor Soiseth in Turlock's Fourth of July parade and we truly enjoyed the firework festivities on campus later that evening. I've been meeting so many wonderful staff, faculty and administrators on campus, as well as meeting key donors and important elected officials and other dignitaries in our surrounding community. It's also been a pleasure greeting our newest faculty and students. Since I've met hundreds of people so far, please feel free to reintroduce yourself to me when you do see me! My visits to offices around campus have been a joy, and I feel so warmly welcomed.
Third, working closely with the Senate, faculty and many across campus, we will be launching a Presidential listening tour Transition Team and beginning work on our new University Strategic Plan. Please watch for more emails to attend over a dozen open campus forums this Fall. It is my hope to host many opportunities for everyone in our campus community to be involved with the dialogue that will shape how we want Stanislaus State to continue to thrive as a destination university for our region.
Finally, I am inviting everyone to attend my Fall Convocation address next Tuesday, August 30. The pre-convocation reception begins at 10:30 a.m. outside Snider Recital Hall and the Convocation address will start promptly at 11:00 a.m. until noon.
As we welcome the 2016-17 academic year, I cannot thank all of you enough for what you do to help Stanislaus State achieve its mission and for making our University what it is today. We are a small enough university to have a personal touch, so I know that together we will work to further build and enrich our outstanding university, and I'm looking forward to seeing you around campus!
August 16, 2016
Fond Farewell to Dennis Shimek
To Campus Community:
It is with a heavy heart and great fondness that I must inform the campus community that Vice President Dennis Shimek has announced his decision to leave his position on August 31.
Dennis arrived on campus seven years ago and has told me he wants depart with little fanfare. I will do my best to respect his wishes, but I would be remiss not to recognize his decades of service as a leader in higher education. While I've only known him for a short time, I've quickly grown to value his wisdom and expertise in matters related to the success of Stanislaus State.
Prior to joining the administration at Stanislaus State in 2009, Dennis spent more than 40 years in a variety of administrative roles in the area of human resources at UC Davis.
Since the moment he arrived at Stanislaus State, he made numerous and significant contributions to the University. Dennis has been a strong advocate for shared governance and a tireless supporter of faculty and staff. We especially thank him for his critical role in improving the campus climate and the relationship between the administration and the campus community.
Dennis was also instrumental in revitalizing the University's Affirmative Action and Diversity Committee, which led to the development of new diversity principles and improved procedures for hiring a more diverse faculty, staff and administration.
Dennis played a vital role in moving the campus forward in meeting and exceeding Title IX requirements. He worked with students to create programs to improve student safety, especially in the area of sexual violence on campus.
Dennis Shimek is well-loved in the Stanislaus State community. In addition, I know that Dennis is an extraordinary man with impressive accomplishments including having climbed Mt. Everest! When I discussed his departure with Dr. Stuart Sims, Speaker of the Academic Senate, Dr. Sims noted that Dennis was an exceptional administrator who genuinely valued collaboration, collegiality, fairness, diversity and open communication.
Dr. Sims and all of us at Stanislaus State will miss him very much.
In the interim, Julie Johnson will serve as the Executive-in-Charge for the Division of Faculty Affairs and Human Resources. Wendy Miller will be responsible for faculty matters within the division. I will take some time to consider next steps and will inform the campus as progress is made.
Please join with me in thanking Dennis for his work and in wishing him the very best in his future endeavors.
July 18, 2016
Thank you and congratulations to Shirley Pok
Dear Campus Community,
Please join me in thanking and congratulating Shirley Pok, Vice President for University Advancement, for her outstanding service. With Vice President Pok deciding to begin a new chapter in her life and professional career, I want to publicly thank her and recognize her many accomplishments.
Vice President Pok's contribution to the University over the past three years has been praiseworthy. She leaves with a spirit of gratefulness to have worked alongside a dedicated presidential cabinet, the talented University Advancement team and the faculty and staff…all of whom are committed to our students. She has helped foster opportunities for enhanced private support with our community of fundraising volunteers and donors. University Advancement has successfully raised awareness and advocacy for the university, and reinforced and expanded alumni pride and engagement.
During the transition and as we pursue a national search for this position, I am appointing Dr. Michele Lahti as the Interim Vice President for University Advancement. Michele will continue upon the great work of the division and will be in contact with all members of our community soon.
Again, please join with me in congratulating Vice President Pok. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.
July 5, 2016
Thank you for the warm welcome!
Dear Campus Community,
What a wonderful and warm welcome the campus and the Turlock community has extended to me and my husband, Dr. Allan Greenberg since my official arrival this past week, including the wonderful 4th of July celebration with the amazing behind the scenes work of many including Toby Bushee and so many others!
Heartfelt thanks also go to former President Joe Sheley and Dr. Bernadette Halbrook for leaving this beautiful campus with such a strong and positive record of engagement and success. I am deeply honored to have been appointed the president of California State University, Stanislaus, and I am truly excited about what we can achieve together in the coming years!
Although I have heard many wonderful things about this remarkable campus over the years, I still have much to learn and I plan to spend the next few months getting to know many of you better and I hope that you will have a chance to get to know me as well. I believe strongly in the concept of shared governance and am committed to engaging with campus, faculty, students, staff, administrators and community constituencies to understand, discuss and dialogue together to create a collaborative vision for our university and surrounding region. You will soon hear of various opportunities to engage with me in hosted events, town halls, small meetings and other venues, both informal and formal to share your ideas and engage in this dialogue. I believe that universities truly are learning institutions, meaning that we can all learn from each other both within and outside of the university and I will seek to generate more opportunities for us to dialogue with each other.
While by definition the future is always uncertain, we have much to be grateful for and we can work to shape our destiny by facing head on any future challenges by working hard and collaborating as a team together in the fundamental need to support our students' success, harnessing the power of our talented faculty, staff and administrators and considering how to integrate the strengths and needs of the community and our region.
Finally, others often have had difficulty knowing how to pronounce my name, so just remember that Junn rhymes with "fun" or "sun", or better yet, know that you also are welcome to address me informally by Ellen.
Thank you again for your making us feel so welcome to Stanislaus State! I am looking forward to auspicious years ahead.
July 1, 2016
A message from Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn
Good morning! I am honored to greet you as the 11th president of California State University, Stanislaus.
I first want to thank President Joseph F. Sheley for his wisdom and counsel over the past month, which helped prepare me for the journey that begins today. I am committed to carrying on his mission of engaging and empowering students, faculty and staff, alumni, and friends of the University throughout the Central Valley and beyond. On his watch, Stanislaus State transformed from a "best-kept secret" into a destination University that fosters pride — a place that nurtures the dreams of students, their families and the region. That is a wonderful legacy. I wish President Sheley and Dr. Bernadette Halbrook all the best in the next chapter of their lives.
I am so excited to be joining Stanislaus State because I have heard so much about the extraordinary and impressive faculty, staff and administrators on campus who are dedicated to supporting our talented and wonderful students, as well as the strong support from so many of members of the surrounding community, including many civic, government, artistic, business, and industry leaders and members in our region. I am very happy that I am able to join the Stanislaus family!
During my first weeks on campus I hope to meet as many of you as possible, whether in scheduled get‑togethers or during casual time on campus. Though you certainly may address me as President Junn, please trust that I prefer to be called Ellen.
I would be pleased to hear your thoughts or questions as I begin my presidency. Feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.