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President and Senators Welcome New Colleagues

Academic Senate Holds First Meeting of the 2013-14 Academic Year

Aug. 29, 2013

Hispanic woman in floral dress speaking at podium

CSUF President Mildred García praised the senators for their work in helping to forge the strategic plan and discussed joint efforts in the coming year.

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President Mildred García, Provost José L. Cruz and three new administrators spoke of their goals for the 2013-14 academic year at the Academic Senate's first meeting of the fall semester.

García thanked the senate for its role in the University's success and revisited the themes of her convocation address, particularly the goals of the strategic plan and the task forces working to implement the plan.

She reminded the senate about the focus on student success and the formation of a Graduation Initiative Committee, co-chaired by Cruz and Berenecea Johnson Eanes, vice president for student affairs.

"The good news is that our graduation rate has gone up to 52 percent and may even go higher as the summer graduations are added."

"We are proud that we are moving in the right direction and we applaud that," she said, "but we have some way to go."

The graduation rate of Cal State Fullerton's peer institutions averages 77 percent, she noted. "If we are to be the premier, comprehensive university in the country, we've got to beat that, and I know we can.

García also reiterated that she has authorized the recruitment in the next few years of 133 new tenure-track faculty members — "an incredible commitment," noted Diana Guerin, chair of the statewide Academic Senate and a past chair of the campus senate.

García praised the faculty for the high quality of their proposals submitted to the CSU for its systemwide effort to address bottleneck courses and spur student success. Cruz then pledged to allocate additional funds for pilot efforts of proposals not funded by the system, in order to secure results for the next round of proposals to the CSU.

Attending her first meeting of the Academic Senate, Lori Gentles, vice president for human resources/diversity and inclusion, said the University's newest division aims "to position ourselves to provide high-quality, high-value services that help you meet not only your professional needs, but your personal needs." 

"Human resources is one of those support functions that has the privilege and honor of being able to affect the personal and professional lives of our employees from recruitment to retirement and everything in between," she added. "You're going to see more visibility, more interest in finding creative solutions to the work problems that you may have that challenge you. With your help, I think we can be pretty successful."

New Dean of Students Tonantzin Oseguera acknowledged her two predecessors in the dean's office — Kandy Mink Salas and Lea Jarnagin, both associate vice presidents for student affairs. "They have helped me frame the position to move it forward, in terms of engaging our student leaders and students, and providing that Titan experience that I think we're defining and growing and developing."

Rochelle Woods, director of student academic services, previously served as assistant dean of student affairs in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and said she was excited to be continuing her tenure "leading a team of really dedicated professionals as we move forward to increase student service, while aligning what we do with the University's new strategic plan."

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