California State University, Fullerton

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Campus Members Confer at Titans Reach Higher Town Hall

October 27, 2014

Woman at a podium addresses audience.

Mary Ann Villarreal, director of strategic initiatives and university projects, addresses the gathering.

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Students, faculty and staff members gathered for two hours Monday morning, Oct. 27, to review initial efforts to execute the University's Strategic Plan and explore next steps.

The inaugural Titans Reach Higher Town Hall drew more than 300 faculty, staff and students to the Titan Student Union, where they were greeted with a hearty welcome message from President Mildred García.

Many others participated remotely from the CSUF Irvine Campus and elsewhere via streaming media or by monitoring related content on social media.

García thanked "everyone participating this morning — whether in person, through social media, on the Irvine Campus, or watching via the live stream — thank you for taking the time to have your voice heard in this crucial next step of our strategic plan implementation.

"We are no longer planning," García pointed out. "We are doing. We are no longer discussing if and how increased advisement can benefit our students; we are hiring advisers and providing them with groundbreaking tools to enhance the student advising process. We are no longer discussing if and how we can improve student persistence; we are the lead campus in the systemwide HIPs initiative ... and fast becoming a national leader in implementing proven HIPs," she continued.

She concluded her welcome by introducing Mary Ann Villarreal, director of strategic initiatives and university projects.

"Through events like this, Mary Ann will help us connect the dots of our cross-campus work, creating new benchmarks and establishing universitywide consensus and alignment on the Strategic Plan," García told the assembly.

"This is an incredible campus," said Villarreal. "Today is our chance to talk about where we're headed, where we're going and how we know we're getting there. You're helping us move this process forward."

Attendees assigned themselves to one of 22 topic-driven table groups built around the four goals of the Strategic Plan to learn from colleagues about implementation efforts, such as the Student Success Dashboard, and offer suggestions for such things as: connecting the assessment efforts between academic and non-academic units to gain a holistic view of the student learning experience; gaining wider participation in high-impact practices (HIPS); and bolstering Titan Pride, morale and philanthropy among faculty and staff members.

Student attendees got a round of applause for their participation in the session, which also introduced the Titans Reach Higher website, which complements the Strategic Planning website. Audience members also watched a slide show marking various accomplishments since the first strategic planning town hall in 2012.

"We cannot and should not achieve all four of our goals at once, but rather adhere to the plan's long-term vision over the five years we laid out as the building blocks for a brighter future," García said.