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Provost's Weekly Message
January 18, 2017

I hope you have enjoyed your break and had a pleasant start to the new year.

On Monday, when the spring semester begins, we will welcome 35,230 students to campus, which is comparable to last spring’s enrollment of 35,030.

Over the next few months, we will continue our short-term work aimed at increasing the four-year graduation rate for freshmen and the two-year graduation rate for transfer students, and reducing the achievement gap, using the one-time funds provided by the State last year. As you may have read in last week’s message, the Governor presented his 2017-18 budget proposal to the Legislature on January 10. While we are grateful for the funding increase, we are hoping that the final budget will include additional funding, allowing us to offer more courses, hire more faculty, and invest more in services to students that will help us achieve our goals in the longer term.

I look forward to continuing our work together and celebrating your and our students’ many successes at our 11 graduation ceremonies in May.

CNSM Receives Gifts for Endowed Deanship, Fellowships

I am pleased to share news of two new endowments by Richard D. Green for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. I’d like to congratulate Dean Laura Kingsford and Director of Development Maryanne Horton for securing such significant support for the College. I also extend my heartfelt thanks to Richard for these extraordinary gifts and assure him that these will impact thousands of students in the years to come.

The first is a seven-figure endowment for the Richard D. Green Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The distribution from this endowment will provide future deans with about $90,000 a year in discretionary funds to support college initiatives.

This is only the third endowed dean position in the CSU — the others are within the College of Engineering at San Jose State University and the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University.

The second endowment creates the Richard D. Green Graduate Fellowships to attract outstanding graduate students to the college.

Richard’s long-standing support for our students began in 2000 when he became a President’s Associate. Since then, his generosity has established an endowed President’s Scholarship for STEM majors, and an endowed Professorship in Math Education. He also funded the development of STEM modules for elementary credential math and science methods courses as well as an Elementary Science Learning Academy for in-service elementary teachers. We are very grateful for his investment in our students and our university.

Upcoming Presentation: Internships, Experiential Learning, and Student Success

Faculty and staff are invited to attend a campus-wide presentation on how to develop best practices in integrating academic and career preparation for our CSULB students, given by the research team at EAB (formerly the Education Advisory Board) on Tuesday, February 7. The morning session of the presentation from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. is geared predominantly toward an audience of staff advisors and career counselors while the afternoon session from 2–4 p.m. will focus on issues most relevant to faculty. Both presentations are scheduled in the Beach Auditorium on the ground floor of the University Student Union.

Integrating career exploration and student engagement with undergraduate academic course work is important to helping students find meaningful employment and career advancement, whether through advanced degrees in higher education or entry into the job market. This presentation will look at how several universities across the country have integrated career exploration, experiential learning, and academic course work in a way that allows students to understand how the skills and learning outcomes obtained through their university education can relate to professional prospects in the future.

No RSVP is necessary. For more information, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Studies at extension 5-2389.

Faculty Serve on HVDI/Graduation Initiative Task Forces

I want to thank the faculty who have agreed to serve on the Highly Valued Degree Initiative/Graduation 2025 Initiative Task Forces, which focus on raising the four-year graduation rate and eliminating the achievement gap. We had a very large number of faculty members step forward and volunteer for this important work. I appreciate the commitment they have shown and I look forward to positive achievements coming from each task force.

Task Force #1: Reimagining the First Year

Faculty Member Department
David Stewart Religious Studies
Eileen Klink English
Jen-Mei Chang Mathematics and Statistics
Karl Squitier World Comparative Literature and Classics
Rosa Moreno Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
Shametrice Davis Educational Leadership

Task Force 2: Research and Evaluation

Faculty Member Department
Alexandra Jaffe Linguistics
Burkhard Englert Computer Engineering and Computer Science
Don Haviland Educational Leadership
Lisa Klig Biological Sciences
Selena Nguyen Health Science
Tianni Zhou Mathematics and Statistics

Task Force 3: Communication

Faculty Member Department
Annie Odell Nursing
Chris Karadjov Journalism and Public Relations
Jessica Pandya Liberal Studies
Venetta Campbell Social Work

Task Force 4: Student Engagement

Faculty Member Department
Christopher Warren Psychology
Elizabeth Eldon Biological Sciences
George Hart English
Jarline Ketola Nursing
Maulana Karenga Africana Studies

New Director of Research Integrity and Compliance Appointed

Dr. Jason Jicheng Wang has joined the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) as the Director of Research Integrity and Compliance.

Dr. Wang holds both a Ph.D. from Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Industry and a MPH from Shanghai Medical University. He brings to the position teaching, leadership and administrative experience, most recently from the Office of Research Subjects Protection at the Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope. Dr. Wang has served as an administrator for various committees, including the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), Occupational Safety and Biosafety Committee (OSBC), Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (SCRO), and Radiation Safety Committee (RSC).

We are fortunate to have an individual with Dr. Wang’s credentials, background, and education in ORSP, and look forward to his leadership in the areas of research integrity and compliance at CSULB. He can be contacted at or (562) 985-2502.

BUILD Symposium Highlights Faculty Health-Related Research

Discover research conducted by faculty at the Second Annual BUILD Research Symposium on Friday, February 3 from 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. in the University Student Union Ballrooms.

This year’s theme is "Inspiring Student Research for Better Health Tomorrow” and all are welcome to attend. Dr. May Ling Halim (Psychology), Dr. Houng Wei Tsai (Biological Sciences), Dr. Ted Yu (Chemical Engineering) and Dr. Michelle Alencar (Kinesiology) will present their health-related research. Dr. Tony Iton of the California Endowment, a leader and innovator in public health, will give a keynote address. Complimentary lunch is available for those who are registered, followed by research demonstrations.

Registration is required for this free event. Register online. For more information, visit the BUILD website.

Info Sessions on CSULB Mentored Research Programs

Faculty, please share the following opportunity with undergraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Health and Human Services, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Undergraduate students interested in advanced degrees in health-related fields are invited to learn more about the BUILD, MARC U*STAR and RISE programs and how to apply at an upcoming information session.

  • Sessions for CHHS and CLA will be held on February 8 and 15 at SSPA-006 from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
  • Sessions for COE and CNSM will be held February 9 and 16 from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. at PH1-117.


Benefits for students include mentored research training, professional development, a salary/stipend, partial tuition support, priority registration and more.

No registration is needed. Additional information is available online.

CSULB Recognized for Value and Service

With a combination of increasing graduation rates, relatively low sticker price and robust financial aid among other factors, CSULB was again selected as a “Best Value College” in ratings announced by Kiplinger. CSULB earned a spot on both the overall list, which combines private and public colleges and universities, as well as the list of public colleges.

CSULB was also one of 14 CSU campuses to be named this fall to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal honor that universities can receive for their commitment to community service, service learning and civic engagement.

2017 Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan Information

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that the annual contribution limits for 401(k), 403(b) and 457(b) plans will remain unchanged.  Therefore, in 2017, the maximum annual contribution limits on these voluntary tax-deferred retirement plans will continue to be $18,000.  For those who are age 50 or older by the end of the calendar year, there is an additional $6,000 age-base catch up contribution available.

For more information regarding the CSU TSA 403(b) plan, please visit Fidelity’s website. Representatives from Fidelity will visit the campus for one-to-one meetings throughout 2017 to meet with participants regarding their 403(b) plans.  We will provide a schedule of these meetings in mid-January.  

If you would like additional information regarding the Deferred Compensation 457(b) or 401(k) Thrift Plans, please visit the Savings Plus website at

Please feel free to contact the Benefits Team at extension 5-2381, via email at or in-person at Brotman Hall 358 if you have any questions regarding tax-deferred retirement plan offerings. 


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