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California State University, Long Beach
Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs
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Division of Academic Affairs

Message from the Provost

Brian Jersky

Well, here we are in the middle of finals and less than a week away from the university’s 2017 Commencement Exercises. It seems as if this first year of mine at The Beach has just flown by.

Graduation is always one of the happiest, and certainly one of the proudest, occasions in the lives of our students, their families and friends. I love attending commencement because we have so few official ceremonies or rituals in our lives like it, and this is one that marks the “going out into the world” for our students.

For those of us who have been to many of these ceremonies, it can seem long and dull, but it really means a lot to the students when faculty are there, especially when they can introduce parents and family to those faculty members who have made such a difference in their lives. I encourage all of you to attend.

Unfortunately, a CSU Board of Trustees meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday (May 23-24), and President Conoley has asked me to attend the meeting in her place. So, that means I will miss the first two days of ceremonies. I will be back on Thursday, however, to march in with the Platform Party and present thousands of degree candidates for conferral of their respective degrees. I hope to see you there.

For those who haven’t heard, I recently announced that Dr. Curtis Bennett has accepted the position of the Richard D. Green Dean for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He will begin his duties July 31.

Dr. Bennett received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1990. He was at Bowling Green State University for 10 years before moving to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in 2002. He served as chair of mathematics at LMU from 2006-11 and was associate dean for the College of Science and Engineering from 2011-15. As associate dean, Dr. Bennett led several college initiatives, including spearheading LMU’s successful 2012 McNair grant proposal.

Of our final candidates, Dr. Bennett had the best future vision for the college and focused on both its undergraduate and graduate responsibilities. He also is very aware of the key role of research within the college. I look forward to working with him.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dean Laura Kingsford for her many years of remarkable leadership and devoted service to the college. Her reputation mirrors and reflects that of the college – both are shining stars in the Long Beach firmament. I am happy she has agreed to stay on and continue to lead the campus’ NIH BUILD—Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity—efforts.

Recently, I was privileged to attend presentations from both the Data Fellows and Leadership Fellows programs. The two-year Leadership Fellows Program offers CSULB faculty and staff an opportunity to enhance their leadership abilities for administrative advancement, increase their knowledge of higher education systems, policies and processes, and enrich their personal development. The goals for Data Fellows are to foster a culture at the university and college level ownership for data and for solutions that drive change to positively impact student success.

In any event, the presentations given by these fellows were impressive and at a very high level. It is pleasing to know that the future leadership of our system and university is in such good hands.

Finally, let me note that the NCAA recently released its Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the four-year period ending 2015-16, and CSULB once again exceeded the minimum score requirements in every sport. Developed by the NCAA in 2004, the APR measures the academic progress and performance of athletic programs at its member institutions.

It is my understanding that our campus is the only one in the California State University system to have passed the minimum standard in all sports since the inception of the four-year standard. I want to thank all of the faculty and staff whose work has made that "perfect record" possible. Your efforts continue to prove our university's commitment to the academic success and graduation of our student-athletes. You can learn more about the campus’ 2015-16 APR here.

As the academic year comes to a close, I hope your semester is ending well and that your grading is not too onerous. I also hope that the thought of a refreshing and rejuvenating summer keeps you going in these last few busy and difficult days.

Division of Information Technology Shares
Results of Important Supreme Court Ruling

Officials from the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) are reaching out to the university community to make individuals aware of a recent ruling by the California Supreme Court. Learn more about the Important Supreme Court Ruling.

Sustainability Task Force Inviting Faculty
to Its Green Thread Workshop on June 8

The Sustainability Task Force is inviting faculty members to participate in the Green Thread Workshop, a free resource for faculty interested in integrating issues of ecological, social and economic sustainability into courses across the CSULB curriculum. Learn more about the Its Green Thread Workshop on June 8.

Writing Across the Curriculum Program
Calling for Teaching Writing Fellow Nominations

The Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program is seeking nominations for inaugural members of its Teaching Writing Fellows Program (TWFP) for the 2017-18 academic year. The deadline to submit applications is June 30. Learn more about Writing Across the Curriculum Program.

Faculty Members Encouraged to Participate
in Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE)

Faculty members can participate in the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), which is the complement to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), through May 31. All are encouraged to take the survey. Learn more about the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement.

Employee and Faculty Centers Available
Soon Through Single Sign-On Application

This summer new "chiclets" (clickable icons) will be available within the campus single sign-on (SSO) application for the three MyCSULB service centers: Student Center, Faculty Center and Employee Center. Learn more.

Next Message

The next Provost’s Message will be published on Wednesday, May 31. Items for the upcoming message should be submitted by Friday, May 26, to