Four goals to improve CSUF over next five years

Cal State Fullerton’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee inched closer toward a finalized five-year plan concerning four goals that are meant to improve workplace usable skills for students, increase graduation rates, recruiting and retaining faculty and staff and increasing school revenue.

The meeting took place on Thursday in the Titan Student Union’s Pavillion A by first looking over the first two goals and closing out with public comments about their third and fourth goals.

The bulk of the meeting was based on goals three and four, as CSUF faculty members questioned various aspects of the goals and how they would affect the campus as a whole and the community.

Specifically, goal one states that CSUF wishes to “develop and maintain a curricular and co-curricular environment that prepares students for participation in a global society and meets workforce needs,” and goal two is meant to “improve student persistence, increase graduation rates and narrow the achievement gap for underrepresented students.”

Goal three is meant to “recruit and retain a high-quality and diverse faculty and staff,” while goal four is supposed to “increase revenue through fundraising, entrepreneurial activities, grants and contracts.”

Each goal also had individual objectives such as better recruitment for hiring faculty and staff, increase philanthropic productivity and increase alumni participation.

The event was hosted by Jennifer Faust, associate vice president for academic affairs, and Robert Mead, chair for planning, resource and budget committee, as they answered questions in a town hall format.

During the announcement of goal three, Liz Breach, application development and support employee, asked about the priority of salary for CSUF staff members.

“I know management gets paid what they’re worth, but the staff do not,” said Breach. “The staff, they care about Cal state Fullerton and they work really hard and I hope you guys take this as a priority.”

As the public comments continued, John Beisner, interim associate vice president for human resources, said the goals were not fully formed and were missing important points involving finances and student involvement.

“As I read this, it seems like there’s half of it that’s missing,” said Beisner. “There needs to be some type of objective that staff must engage in mentoring students or advising student groups.”

While the language of the goals and objectives seemed simple enough, Jay Bond, associate vice president for facilities planning and management, was unsure of the meaning of specific bullet points within each goal.

“I was just reading through this and it seems like it contains a lot of jargon,” said Bond. “I’m not sure what ‘overall private solicitation baseline’ is: Does that have a meaning?”

However the goals were worded, there did seem to be an overall satisfactory feel from the present faculty and staff.

Harry Norman, associate vice president for international programs and dean of extended education, said he thought the meeting worked well, as the feedback from comments and questions would better shape the goals for CSUF.

“I think it was a good meeting with good input from the community about these particular goals and objectives,” said Norman. “I think what we’re going to see is that we’re going to take these objectives and we’re going to make some changes. Some of them will actually become strategies and there will be some change of language based on input today and I think that’s good.”

With the review for the goals and objectives nearing its end, the planning committee’s final steps are to present the goals to the campus at the beginning of March, finalize elements of the plans at the end of March and then present the final plan to the campus on April 12.

The plan is expected to be completed by June 30, 2018.

About Raymond Mendoza