Thinking Big: PSU’s Comprehensive Campaign

idea-1195914_960_720My November blog post on philanthropy and fundraising focused on how faculty involved in these efforts can change PSU through the generous partnership of our donors. The Academic Leadership Team (ALT) has been working closely with President Wiewel and the PSU Foundation to frame the next set of ideas that will serve as the scaffolding for PSU’s Comprehensive Campaign. This campaign will be an intensive, catalyzing fundraising effort to build endowments and one-time funds to support students, faculty, and staff, as well as facilities and programmatic needs. We have yet to launch the campaign, but the building blocks are in place.

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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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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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Convocation 2016 Highlights and Looking Ahead

convocation166It is a tradition to start the new academic year with our Faculty and Staff Convocation (video). Faculty Senate Presiding Officer, Professor Brad Hansen, kicked off the September 21 event with a welcome speech.

He recognized the contributions of Professors Gina Greco and Bob Liebman, our most recent past presiding officers, Faculty Secretary Richard Beyler, and the approximately 60 Faculty Senators. He spoke of the recently formed task force to examine the feasibility of teaching intensive faculty ranks, the implementation of Post-Tenure Review, the newly formed Academic Quality Committee, and an adhoc committee on Liberal Education.

Professor Hansen let the audience know that the Senate will engage in work related to the Strategic Plan and that they look forward to working more closely with our Board of Trustees.

Recognition of fconvocation164aculty and staff
Convocation is a time we recognize new faculty and staff, faculty receiving promotion and tenure, and excellence award recipients. A preview of PSU’s new video, Do Something Great, reflected the attitudes embodied by our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Continue reading

Starting off 2016-17 Academic Year: Achievements, Goals, and Events

psu-campusI hope everyone had a great summer achieving goals while also spending time to relax and recharge. We are entering a new academic year which means I will resume my blog on a regular basis.

There were many accomplishments in FY16 through both individual and collective efforts; too many to list here, but they include:

  • Adopting a new PSU Strategic Plan
  • Finalizing our joint School of Public Health with OHSU and hiring its founding dean.
  • Creating five new academic programs and 10 certificates.
  • Completing or making significant progress on 24 reTHINK PSU projects; including advances in advising redesign.
  • Working collaboratively through the Interest-Based Bargaining process with our faculty unions, PSUFA and PSU AAUP, to establish collective bargaining agreements.
  • Individuals and groups of faculty and staff publishing articles, and receiving grant awards and honors.
  • Continuing to improve our campus space with building renovations and expansions.
  • Establishing task forces on African-American/Black and Asian/Pacific Islander Student Success.

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