The executive committee for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics has approved a five-year strategic plan to improve the infrastructure, refine student retention and graduation rates, and increase external revenue.
A strategic plan is a set of goals and objectives composed by the chair of each department of the college.
According to the Strategic Plan, the college is hoping to accomplish all goals by the end of the 2015-2016 school year. The committee hopes to prepare students for advanced degrees and successful careers in the field of science and mathematics.
The focus for this year is to raise funds to add a biomedical annex for Dan Black Hall.
David Bowman, Ph.D., chair of the Geological Sciences Department, said the annex will be dedicated to lab space for the growing biomedical student-faculty research programs within biology and chemistry departments.
That decision will need the approval of the college dean’s philanthropy task force and the Executive Committee.
The new science lab building would be built between Dan Black Hall and Nutwood Avenue.
The plans for the biomedical annex will be completed when the university succeeds in raising sufficient funds.
According to the strategic plan, the college hopes to raise $650,000 through private funds, which may include grants and donations received by the college.
Established in June 2011, the Strategic Plan is progressing in its second year of operation, with the college publishing goals for each academic year.
A fundamental goal in the plan is to implement research as an integral part of education, allowing students to pursue a graduate degree.
Undergraduate research is identified as a “high impact practice” by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. High impact practices are completed by students to benefit their education.
“There is no question that undergraduate research is absolutely crucial to getting students to graduate,” said David Bowman, Ph.D., chair of the Geological Sciences Department.
The college will establish a plan to repurpose, redistribute and renovate existing space.
The purpose of the redistribution of space is to meet laboratory education needs, pending the Executive Committee approval.
According to the Strategic Plan, the college hopes to improve student retention and graduation rates by improving their commitment to undergraduate research programs and increasing the number of student advisors.
“We’re in the process right now of trying to hire … about eight new faculty in the college,” said Kathryn Dickson, Ph.D, acting chair of the Biological Science Department. “Even though the university has had cutbacks in the budgets, we’re still committed to hiring.”
Dickson stressed the importance of faculty in a students career. She said the faculty maintains an exciting university atmosphere and offer advisement and research programs.
The college will increase external revenues by increasing the amount of proposals to public and private granting as well as developing international partnerships with Brazil and Uzbekistan.
According to Math Cuajungco, Ph.D, a cell and developmental biology professor, the college has received financial support from foundations and alumni through scholarships and donations.
An example of a alumni support is Dan Black Hall that was originally named Science Laboratory Center but was dedicated to alumnus Dan Black who donated funds to the building.
Along with the goals for the 2012-2013 academic year, the college’s Strategic Plan demonstrated similar goals to the Integrated Strategic Plan for the entire CSUF campus.
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) encourages all universities to have a campus-wide action plan in place to improve the university as a whole and for the students to be well served.
According to the WASC website action plans should be accomplished in a five to six-year span.