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Strategic Plan, General Education on the 2018-19 Academic Senate Docket

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It’s going to be another busy year for the Academic Senate as it tackles such issues as a recent CSU Chancellor Executive Order, finalization of the university’s 2018-23 Strategic Plan and the upcoming reaccreditation review and onsite visit.

The challenge has not daunted Senate Chair Mark Hoven Stohs, a 22-year campus veteran who has served as Finance Department chair, associate college dean, director of the Business Honors Program and chair of Mihaylo College of Business and Economics’ faculty senate. Although his teaching and research speciality is corporate finance, he has published widely in finance, philosophy, economics, real estate, insurance and education journals.

The professor of finance has served on more than 50 campus committees, including four years as a member of the Academic Senate’s Planning Resource and Budget Committee. In addition to now serving as CSUF senate chair, Stohs serves on the statewide CSU Academic Senate.

He admits that serving as senate chair can be, at times, “more than a full-time job.

“We believe that with the spirit of collegiality and a goal of doing the best for the campus,” says Stohs. “I think we do a pretty good job serving all the campus constituents.”

Such is the case with Executive Order 1110 — “Assessment of Academic Preparation and Placement in First-Year General Education Written Communication and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning Orders,” signed by CSU Chancellor Timothy White last August.

“Last year, it almost consumed the senate,” he says, explaining that the senate’s GE Task Force is reviewing the order’s calls for the establishment of systemwide placement standards and a student course-placement appeals process. The group also is giving direction in creating preparatory requirements for general education written communication and mathematics/quantitative reasoning courses “appropriate to each student’s major and skill level….”

The order has been the focus of the senate’s GE Task Force for nearly a year.

“We believe that we will have this resolved this fall and be able to move forward to the final stages of our strategic plan development and the upcoming accreditation review and visit,” he adds.

Next up for the proposed 2018-23 Strategic Plan is a call for electronic feedback during the month of September and finalization in the fall.

“A comprehensive WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) Senior College and University Commission accreditation review will take place in 2018-19 before an onsite visit in fall 2019,” says Stohs, who co–chaired one of Mihaylo College’s successful accreditations as well as chaired program reviews at CSUF and San Diego State.

While working collaboratively with the university on the large tasks of the Strategic Plan, the physical master plan, WSCUC accreditation, Graduation Initiative 2025, and GE (general education) realignment, “the senate also plans to review CSUF’s online course strategy and establish a task force to examine faculty evaluations/student opinion questionnaires (SOQs),” says Stohs. “It will be busy, and we’ll also be expecting the unexpected.

“Collegial governance will be a focus throughout,” he adds. “We need to debate openly, listen to all relevant positions, ask hard questions and arrive at sound, workable solutions. Most importantly, all involved need to be willing to be corrected and change their minds as based upon sound argumentation.”

Already this summer, Stohs continues, “it has become obvious that discussion and the willingness to talk openly leads to fruitful and creative ideas for campus.”