Campus Conversations about Elections and Politics

politicsAs the country prepares for a change in presidential leadership, PSU is acting to ensure that our campus community has the resources necessary to learn, engage in dialogue, and act in impactful ways. I wish to draw your attention to some upcoming sessions for faculty to support students for political transition, and to a campus-wide lecture series to understand the complexities of how government works and its implications.

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Vlog: Highlights from the PSU Foundation

We are entering the season of giving thanks.

In this Vlog (video blog), we acknowledge the significant role that philanthropy plays in the success of our students and faculty and in advancing PSU’s mission and purpose.It is through the generosity and support of friends and donors of PSU that we can provide student scholarships, endow professorships for faculty, and fund centers and programs.

The vlog features a discussion between Professor Rob Gould, PSU Foundation CEO and President Bill Boldt, and me, highlighting the valuable philanthropic work at PSU.

Please contact your dean or appropriate vice president if you wish to get involved in fundraising, or to become a donor.



PSU Opens Two New Cultural Centers

centers1PSU held a grand opening celebration two weeks ago for the new Pan-African Commons (PAC) and Pacific Islander, Asian and Asian American Student Centers (PIAAA). The centers were created in response to the December 2015 PSU Students of Color Speak-Out. While these centers were long overdue, the hard work and dedication of many students, staff, faculty and administrators made it possible to plan and open them in less than ten months.

The recent presidential election has brought to the forefront how important and valuable these cultural centers are in creating safe spaces for dialog, reflection and support.

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Seeking Input on Final Recommendation of Advising Redesign

redesign-update5The PSU Academic and Advising Redesign Workgroup will present their final report and recommendations on the next steps for advising on Thursday, November 10, 10-11am and 1-2pm in SMSU, 209M. I encourage everyone interested in this topic to RSVP and attend the event and to read the report to be released at the event and subsequently posted on the Redesign Project website.

The Redesign Project is designed to increase PSU student retention and completion rates, improve the student experience, and make advising more rewarding and effective for both professional advisors and faculty.  It is intended to create a unified advising framework to increase student self-efficacy and a sense of agency, as well as improve the experiences of academic and career advisors. It aligns with PSU’s Strategic Plan, Goal #1: Elevate Student Success, Initiative #3.1: Increase advising capacity, revitalize advising systems and improve the visibility of student support services.

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Guest Blog: Highlighting Complexities of Free Speech

free-speechIn a recent letter on free speech, President Wiewel commented:

“We work hard to make PSU a safe, inclusive and welcoming campus. That can be a challenge at a time when we as a nation are experiencing inflammatory political rhetoric and racial and ethnic unrest.”

President Wiewel reminds all of us that our campus is a place where individuals can express themselves freely and disagree, but, “there is no place on our campus for harassment of individuals or discrimination of any kind.”

We are living in a society with an ever-increasing desire for individuals and groups to express their views. For many of us, it can be challenging not to impose our own individual values on the shared obligation to uphold the rights of all.

At a retreat this summer, David Reese, our University General Counsel, led the President’s Executive Committee through a case study on free speech. I learned that circumstances I felt passionate to act on and prevent were protected.

I asked David to write a guest blog about free speech in order for us to better understand  where the boundaries and our own values can be in conflict with recognizing the rights of others.

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Launching New International Faculty Writing Program

2014-may_14-tara-11Our multilingual faculty has shared with me the unique challenges they face in their scholarly writing. Their desire for professional development opportunities that enrich their research efforts are explicit goals in PSU’s Strategic Plan: Goal 2, 1.3, “Make professional development for all faculty a personal and institutional priority”, and 3.2, “Create opportunities for faculty and graduate students to develop and enrich their research efforts.

While we have had a very successful Jumpstart Academic Writing Program in the Office of Academic Innovation, application of our equity lens for Goal 2 of our Strategic Plan calls for “committing internal resources to support academic, research and creative activities that diversify our scholarly portfolio and the knowledge we generate on campus.”  It is with this in mind that I charged an ad hoc committee to investigate the different approaches we could take to provide international faculty writing support.

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Conducting Successful Faculty Searches

nowhiring-flickrWe are entering the season of faculty searches. It is one of the most important decisions a department and college make. There are many things to think about in the process: determining if a department will be conducting a search; the focus and expertise desired for the position; committee role and membership; planning for on-campus interviews and the final selection process.

Someone once told me, “the only failed search is when you hire the wrong person.” They are so right.  It is better not to make a hire than to settle for a choice just to fill a position. Doing due diligence throughout every step of the selection process can ensure we make a great hire.

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