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Spring 2003 l Capital University Journal
Across Campus

Gonzalez named next Sac State president
Grading state higher ed
South Koreans aren’t buying Wal-Mart
Sac State too
Pesticides croaking more frogs
Serna Center reflects new California
FYI
Healthy battle
Enrollment soars
Geo ‘spy’

Bond helps campus
At your service

Tough facade isolates caregivers

Weekend study
  


Gonzalez named next Sac State president

Alexander Gonzalez - Photo by Sam Parson:The California State University Board of Trustees chose Alexander Gonzalez as Sac State’s 11th president in mid-March, following a six-month national search.

Gonzalez has been the president at CSU San Marcos since 1998, after serving a year as interim president. He will take the reins at Sac State this summer, succeeding Donald R. Gerth, who after 19 years of service is Sac State’s longest-serving president.

Gonzalez was one of three finalists who were chosen to visit the campus in early March.

The committee that selected the new president was chaired by CSU Trustee Bill Hauck, and also included Trustee William “Denny” Campbell, Trustee Martha C. Walda, Board of Trustees’ Chair Debra Farar and CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

The selection committee was advised by a campus committee from Sac State made up of faculty, staff, a student and a community member, and chaired by Sonoma State University President Ruben Armiñana.

More on Gonzalez


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Grading state higher ed

California is woefully behind most of the country in evaluating its higher education systems, and a “culture gap” between legislators and academics has hampered efforts to do so, says Nancy Shulock, director of Sac State’s Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy.

Shulock says California needs a clear, statewide perspective on higher education performance. There is currently no such “big picture” summary, she says, and that frustrates both education leaders and legislators.

Shulock’s recommendations for a new higher education accountability system are in her institute’s report for the California Senate Office of Research.

The report says a higher education accountability system should measure broad statewide goals such as making education affordable and educating enough teachers, while avoiding campus-by-campus comparisons and micro-management. It also argues the state should use existing processes to reward performance rather than adopt performance budgeting that hasn’t worked well in other states.

Details: www.csus.edu/ihe


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South Koreans aren’t buying Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart may be a giant among U.S. discount retailers, but South Korean shoppers aren’t impressed, says Sac State management professor John C. Clark.

Clark says that since opening its first store in 1996, Wal-Mart’s South Korean operation has chosen bad locations, set prices too high and had a poor selection of merchandise. The stores have taken a beating from South Korea’s local E-Mart chain.

Clark’s study, “A comparative analysis of satisfaction of American and Korean customers with discount stores,” was co-written by HoJong Hwang of Yong-In University in South Korea. It was published in the proceedings of the 2002 conference of the Academy of Business and Administrative Sciences.

The study examined a dozen factors in customer satisfaction, including merchandise price and quality, politeness, and service.

“Wal-Mart just hasn’t adjusted well to the South Korean market,” Clark says. “They tried to put in a cookie-cutter operation, and it isn’t working for them.”

Wal-Mart is the largest corporation in the United States, with $220 billion in revenue in 2001 and 1.2 million employees.


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Sac State too

Proposed site for a Sac State Placer campus in South Placer County campus in South Placer County - Photo by Frank WhitlatchDeveloper and education philanthropist Eli Broad and Sac State are in negotiations for a gift of more than 250 acres for a Sac State Placer campus.

The campus would offer new educational opportunities to residents of the fast-growing Capital Region, which has just two major universities. And it would allow Sac State to continue serving the area’s qualified students as its main campus reaches enrollment capacity of about 35,000 over the next five to seven years. The University currently enrolls 28,500 students.

“This region is growing rapidly. The current Sac State site is rapidly reaching capacity. To continue to provide access and service to the people of the entire region, we need to develop more educational opportunities such as this will allow,” said Sac State President Donald R. Gerth.

The proposed site is near Fiddyment Road and Sunset Boulevard West in South Placer County. It is in Placer Ranch, a proposed development of 2,200 acres in the Sunset Industrial District.

As envisioned, the Sac State Placer campus would offer undergraduate and graduate programs in fields related to the Capital Region’s growing employment needs. The campus would serve upper-division students who transfer from a community college as well as graduate students. Initial academic programs would likely include information technology, communications, computer science, computer engineering and education.

Classes could be offered by fall 2006.

Details: www.csus.edu/placer.


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Pesticides croaking more frogs

Photo of  Foothill yellow-legged frogPesticide use, already considered a factor in the decline of the threatened California red-legged frog, may also be affecting other frog species.

Sac State environmental studies professor Carlos Davidson, who previously linked pesticide use to reductions in red-legged frogs, says in a new study that upwind agricultural use is also associated with declines in the mountain yellow-legged frog, the foothill yellow-legged frog and the Cascades frog.

The findings were featured in the journal Conservation Biology.

Davidson and colleagues studied the effects of four environmental factors—windborne pesticide use, habitat destruction, UV-B radiation and climate change—on eight declining amphibian species. Of the four, upwind agricultural land use—with the potential for windborne pesticides—could be linked to the declines in all four frog species.

Concerns over sharp declines led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to add red-legged frogs to the threatened species list in 1996. The Center for Biological Diversity is now suing the Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly failing to consult with Fish and Wildlife about the possible affect on the frogs when pesticides are reregistered.


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Serna Center reflects new California

Photo of Isabel Hernandez-SernaSac State has a new research and cultural center focused on Latino issues. The Serna Center—named in honor of the late Joe Serna Jr. and Isabel Hernandez-Serna—opened this spring in the University Library next to the Multi-Cultural Center.

It promotes research on Latinos in the Sacramento Region, and will sponsor lectures, conferences and other special events.

“The Serna Center will be studying the new California, the increasingly diverse California,” says Joseph Sheley, dean of the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies. “The changes you now see occurring in California, you’ll soon see in the rest of the country. We think that it is important to understand those changes and to help shape responses to them. As the state’s Capital University, we have an excellent opportunity to do that.”

Photo of Joe Serna Jr. The center is directed by David Leon, who heads the University’s Chicano studies program and is a professor in the ethnic studies department.

While its mission is to study Latinos, the center will welcome people from all backgrounds and scholars from many disciplines. Areas of possible study include art, politics, health and education.

Discussions about the new center began during the University’s “Year of Unity” in 2000. Its naming honors Joe Serna Jr., a longtime Sac State professor and Sacramento mayor who passed away in 1999, and his wife Isabel Hernandez-Serna, a longtime Sac State professor and administrator who passed away in 2000.

Details: (916) 278-6344.

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FYI

More than 300 Sac State students volunteered in the community at the fall’s Community Service Day.

The semi-annual event, sponsored by the student government, sends groups of student volunteers all over the Sacramento Region for a day of work.

More than a dozen groups were served during the latest effort. They included the Effie Yeaw Nature Center and SunBridge retirement center. Volunteers also cleaned up along Arcade Creek.

Details: (916) 278-4241.

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Healthy battle

Photo of bananas and an apple For children, a wholesome snack and vigorous play are good prescriptions for a healthy life. Simple changes can stave off several serious diseases, says Jennifer Park, a Sac State kinesiology and health science professor.

To show the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for children who are already significantly overweight, Sac State has joined with Sutter Children’s Hospital at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento to test a program that addresses healthy eating, physical activity, family support and a positive self-image.

In the fall the first group of 6- to 11-year-olds and their families entered the program. A second group this spring is targeted at 12- to 18-year-olds.

The Pediatric Healthy Lifestyle Program emphasizes hands-on nutrition and physical activity. It also engages each youngster’s family and includes work with a nutritionist, social worker and exercise physiologist.

Park notes that Type II diabetes, elevated blood insulin levels, elevated cholesterol, and sleep apnea can all be controlled through good health management. She says that Type II diabetes is occurring in more people at earlier ages.

Details: (916) 278-5032.


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Enrollment soars

Students are flocking to the state’s colleges and universities, and Sac State has become one of their top destinations.

The University reached an all-time enrollment record this year of 28,558 students, up about 1,500 in a year. More enrollment growth is expected this fall.

Sac State had the third largest growth in the 23-campus CSU system—behind San Jose State University and CSU Fullerton—and is now the sixth largest campus in the system.

With that demand has come a tightening of application deadlines.

While the priority application deadline for the CSU system has been Nov. 30 for years, Sac State and many other campuses were usually able to extend that into the summer. But this year, freshmen applying to Sac State for fall 2003 had to apply by Feb. 1. Future applicants are being advised to apply by the priority deadline for both fall and spring semesters. Priority application for spring 2004 is Aug. 1-30.

Details: (916) 278-7362 or (800) SAC-IS-IT.


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Geo ‘spy’

Geo Truck - Photo by Sherry Mark
There’s a secret inside the geology department’s hulking new field truck—it’s loaded with sophisticated surveillance equipment.

And the target under scrutiny is the region’s groundwater.

“This is our spy truck,” jokes geology professor Dave Evans. The rolling laboratory allows students and professors to monitor water wells at the source.

The truck and its equipment, along with a new set of wells for the campus water well field, were funded by a $400,000 grant from the Keck Foundation. The gift is helping the applied hydrogeology program become one of the most comprehensive in the state.

Dave Evans - Photo by Sherry Mark The tools are designed to take on-site readings of a well’s subsurface geology. “This type of equipment has been used in the oil industry for years. Now it’s being used more frequently in environmental settings,” Evans says.

The geology department put the setup to use recently when deciding how to construct a set of 12 new wells along the base of the levee on campus.

Keck funding also added a new extraction well. The expanded well field, which was already the largest on-campus water well field in the country, provides students firsthand experience with conditions they’ll encounter as professionals.

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Bond helps campus

Photo of TractorPart of the $13 billion education bond approved by voters in November will make needed improvements at Sac State.

The University has $20.6 million of projects that will be funded with the bond. Of that, $18.6 million will be used to upgrade deteriorating infrastructure—necessary because much of the campus was built in the early 1950s. Work includes upgrading the original sewer pipes, changing aged and inefficient heating and air conditioning units, some wiring and a new fire alarm system.

The remaining $2 million from the bond is for projects such as safety upgrades in a research laboratory, a new mechanical engineering lab, renovations for a graphic design lab, improvements in Shasta Hall, renovation to the High Tech Center, a remodel of the Maryjane Rees Language, Speech and Hearing Center, and various classroom improvements.

Since the 1980s the Legislature has determined that construction projects and major renovations at California public universities and colleges need to be financed by voter-approved general obligation bond issues. Bonds are repaid from state general funds, primarily income and sales taxes.

The November bond measure was one of two approved by the Legislature to go before voters. The second will be on the March 2004 ballot, and if passed would provide for three additional buildings at Sac State.

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At your service

Graduate student Laura Rizzi works with a young client - Photo by Sherry MarkMany Sac State community service programs allow students to get professional experience. They are supervised by experienced professors.

Among them is the Maryjane Rees Language, Speech and Hearing Center, which provides low-cost speech and language therapy, hearing screenings and audiologic assessments for both children and adults. The center serves as a training clinic where graduate students in the University’s speech pathology and audiology program conduct the sessions as part of their coursework.

The Center is located on campus in Shasta Hall. Referrals are not required but there is a waiting list.

Details: (916) 278-6601.

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Tough facade isolates caregivers

Though at least a quarter of prime caregivers in the United States are males, not much is known about the challenges they face. And much of the reason can be attributed to men, says Sal Arrigo, a recreation and leisure studies professor at Sac State.

“Women write about women’s issues and talk about feelings,” he says. “Men go and hide.”

Arrigo learned about caregiving firsthand, taking care of his father for three years through a fatal illness. He joined a growing number of adults taking care of their own kids as well as older relatives or friends.

Arrigo now teaches a workshop for male caregivers, sprinkling his advice with sports and car analogies.

He says caregiving may be tougher on men than women. “Men overreact. They tend to make things bigger than they are,” he says. “They want to jump on subjects and analyze them. And when they come out the other side, they suppress their feelings and don’t want to talk.”

He hopes that as male caregivers realize they are not alone, more will open up and seek help. That’s crucial because 88 percent of caregivers develop some sort of serious illness, he says, and depression is a real issue.

As tough as it can be at times, caregiving also teaches resilience, he says. “Caregivers find they can do things they didn’t think they were capable of and see situations they never would expect to,” he says. “They can’t look past the circumstance—it has to be dealt with. If the person you’re caring for wets himself, you can’t just let him sit there.”

Arrigo warns that the relationship between caregivers and their parents will change in other ways. In facing death, the relationship may become more loving but it can also be more businesslike. “All of a sudden you know their affairs,” he says. “You can’t have secrets.”

Societal roles change too, he adds. Men may have to take on chores they might not ordinarily do. “Men can’t fix caregiving like they can a car. But they can be successful if they give it the same amount of loving attention,” he says.

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Weekend study

Tutor Brenda Corona with scholar Justin Harris - Photo by Sherry Mark Seventy-five high school students have been sacrificing their weekends and getting a jump on their futures in the Saturday Scholars Academy, a program that prepares teenagers for the rigors of higher education.

The students, all with personal or social obstacles, attend specially designed math, English and critical thinking classes several weekends each semester. Parents have to make a commitment as well, attending meetings on peer pressure, studying and family communication.

And the program has proven popular, growing by more than 50 percent in the past four years.

Being a Saturday Scholar doesn’t guarantee admission to Sac State or any other school. But 100 percent of the Scholars from the spring 2002 session have gone on to a college or university. And 64 percent of them are currently attending Sac State.

Organizers hope the program will grow beyond Sac State and eventually be represented on all 23 CSU campuses.

Details: (916) 278-7362.

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