From the Desk of the President Archive - February 2011

President GonzalezTuesday, Feb. 22, 2011

I want to thank everyone who participated in yesterday’s University Convocation.

Thanks to all the students, faculty and staff who took part in the day’s activities, the event was a resounding success for Sacramento State.

I was able to attend four of the breakout sessions, and the honest, constructive dialogue I heard will be very helpful as we work to build a greater community at our University. It was very inspiring to see that this goal of building a greater community is one that we are interested in pursuing collectively.

I hope everyone who participated learned as much as I did, and I look forward to reviewing the convocation committee’s final conclusions.

The committee members include Dean Vanessa Sheared of the College of Education, Don Taylor from Academic Affairs and professors Kimo Ah Yun, Margarita Berta-Avila, Tim Fong, Janet Hecsh, Greg Mark and Steve Perez.

My special thanks go to them and to the staff in University Advancement who organized this outstanding event.

I will keep everyone posted on the conclusions and actions we take as a result of yesterday’s discussions.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez 


Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 

I am pleased to announce that Bob Shook and Nicole Johnson are the February employees of the month.

Bob Shook is an Athletic Advisor in the Student Athlete Resource Center.

One of Bob’s nominators states, “he represents the epitome of dedication and professionalism.  He is an excellent academic advisor and a motivating mentor with exceptional organizational skills.  In his short two years back on the campus, he has created a welcoming environment for our incoming new football student-athletes and created an excellent system of academic accountability for the entire team.” Another mentioned that, “he is a great staff person, who has taken the responsibility of improving the academic success of the football team to a level consistent with the university’s goals.”

Nicole Johnson is a clerk in Dining Services, University Enterprises, Inc.

Nicole’s nominator described her as “being extremely efficient, meeting all deadlines, and treating others with kindness and grace.”  The nominator continued, “the staff in Dining Services holds Nicole in high esteem and values her contributions to the work environment. She exemplifies a strong, conscientious and professional role model for all those she leads and supports.”

Nominations are currently being accepted for the Staff Employee Recognition Program.  Names of the recipients will be announced in March.

Details about nominations, eligibility, criteria, and procedures are available on: www.csus.edu/president/staffrec/staffrecform.stm.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez 


Monday, Feb. 14, 2011

You likely have heard that President Gonzalez, at the request of and in cooperation with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, will be convening a University convocation on Monday, February 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom.   The focus of the convocation will be fostering community at Sacramento State, with a special focus upon stress-, intolerance-, and bullying-related behaviors on this and other campuses nationally.
 
The keynote speaker for the convocation will be Helen Zia, an award-winning journalist and scholar and former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine whose writings have focused public attention on important matters of law and civil rights.  The format of the convocation will be interactive, with breakout sessions, and will produce a set of strategic goals that we, as a community, can pursue.
 
How does this affect you and your students?
 
On occasions like this, the aim is to bring the campus community together to share ideas and participate as a whole.  Faculty members are encouraged to attend, and University Policy permits the cancellation of class meetings during this period to facilitate involvement by faculty and students.  Furthermore, even for classes that have not been canceled, students are free to attend the convocation and may not be penalized for class absences attendant to the Convocation.   Faculty canceling classes or office hours to attend the convocation should follow established department procedures in alerting the department office of such cancellations.  Students who attend the convocation instead of class should inform the instructor of the class beforehand of their decision to attend the event.
 
Again, we encourage you to join us for this special event and to communicate this opportunity to your faculty and staff colleagues and your students.
 
Thank you for your attention.

Posted by: Provost Joseph Sheley and Faculty Senate Chair Anthony G. Sheppard


Monday, Feb. 7, 2011

Sacramento State had visits from three key individuals on Friday.

I met with Consul General of Japan Hiroshi Inomata and discussed how we can work together to send more Sacramento State students to study in Japan and vice versa. Consul General Inomata was also interested in our Foreign Language program and promoting education in the key workforce areas, such as the environment, Smart Grid and health care. He and his delegation also toured the Sokiku Nakatani Tea Room and Garden at the University Library.

Later in the day, in what will likely be two of many meetings I will have with our local state legislators, Sen. Lois Wolk and Assembly Member Roger Dickinson came to campus for separate visits. The state budget is very much on their minds, as well as ours.

We took Sen. Wolk through our science labs and shared our vision for a new science center. Faculty in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics have been doing outstanding work, and a new science center would allow these programs to reach their full potential. If we are able to secure state funding for a new facility, we would renovate Sequoia Hall into classrooms, which in turn would allow us to tear down the old buildings in the center of campus.

Assembly Member Dickinson toured the current science labs, and in Folsom Hall, he saw some of the excellent teaching done by our Nursing faculty. We also discussed our science center plans and the California Smart Grid Center at Sacramento State.

We are going to be showcasing Sacramento State’s teaching, learning and service a lot in the weeks and months to come as state budget negotiations continue. Our students, faculty and staff are wonderful ambassadors for our campus and for the California State University.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Friday, Feb. 4, 2011

I promised it would be a busy semester for our campus, and as such, I invite you to two important events later this month.

In cooperation with the Faculty Senate, I am convening a University Convocation on Monday, Feb. 21 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom.

The topic will be fostering community on campus.

Last semester, the Senate approached me about a convocation to focus on some very important issues facing Sacramento State, as well as university campuses across our nation. The apparent bullying-related suicide of a Rutgers student in September renewed attention on the role that higher education institutions play in creating a sense of community that is better equipped to respond to issues before they become tragedies.

We have seen discussions on similar topics in the media and elsewhere following the Tucson shooting and, just this week, the horrific death of an elementary school principal in Placerville.

To make this convocation as productive and relevant as possible, we created a committee of faculty members to plan the afternoon’s activities. They include Dean Vanessa Sheared of the College of Education, Don Taylor from Academic Affairs and professors Kimo Ah Yun, Margarita Berta-Avila, Tim Fong, Janet Hecsh, Greg Mark and Steve Perez.

The keynote speaker is noted journalist and scholar Helen Zia. Breakout sessions led by faculty will follow, and the day will end with a reception.

Our eventual goal is a set of recommendations that can inform campus policies and guide our work to reshape the University’s strategic plan.

I encourage all students, faculty and staff to participate.

I also invite everyone to attend a budget town hall the following day at noon, Tuesday, Feb. 22 in the University Union’s Hinde Auditorium.

At the town hall, I will present more information on the CSU budget and how it could affect our campus. I will receive an update in Long Beach at the Chancellor’s Office prior to the town hall.

In the meantime, budget information will be posted on Public Affairs’ Budget Central page at www.csus.edu/pa/budget. You can also check my web page for additional updates at: www.csus.edu/president/fromthedeskofthepresident.html.

I appreciate your continuing efforts as we work to improve Sacramento State and enhance the value we offer students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez