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Speech Delivered by Provost Margaret Hartman at Fall Faculty Day, September 22, 1998

I would like to welcome all of you back from what I assume was a productive summer and I hope you are ready to begin the new year.

I plan to highlight some accomplishments from last year and give you an update on what you can expect for 1998-99. First, however, I have a very short special report on the status of the library. The ad hoc subcommittee which reviewed the JFK Memorial Library recommended that the faculty receive a very brief update on the library at the Fall Faculty meeting as well as a full presentation before the academic senate every year.

The library completed its second program review in 1996-97. Overall, it was a very successful review and progress with information technology was particularly praised. In their summary comments, the external review team said (and I quote):

"Through its new internet site, the library provides library information, instruction components, full-text materials and pointers to other information on the world wide web. This extraordinarily significant new service is exemplary within the CSU and a source of pride nationally."

The ad hoc review committee recognized another major development, the new library organization, quote:

"The team-based library organizational plan developed during the 1995-96 academic year and implemented in early 1997 has resulted in greater efficiency and focus for library faculty and staff, as well as the CSLA community at large."

A major concern remains the adequacy of the current collection. The final materials budget last year was 1.18 million dollars, the first time it has been greater than one million dollars since the reductions of 1990-91. This year (1998-99) the library will receive a one-time augmentation of about $450,000, which will be used to buy books not purchased in the nineties and additional copies of missing, heavily used and damaged books.

While recovery is encouraging, purchasing power will be only about 60% of what it was in 1985-86 due to inflation.

While the physical collections of the library are making a recovery, the electronic resources are already in the forefront. The library web page is a comprehensive guide to vast online internet resources.

With major improvements such as this new database access page, the library web continues to improve and expand access to online resources. In recent years, students and faculty at Cal State L.A. have used major databases such as Lexis-Nexis and OCLC FirstSearch more than at any other CSU campus.

Pharos, the CSU library unified access system, will be introduced during the coming year. It will permit users to search scores of major databases with a single interface. It can search multiple databases at once, has links to full text online, and permits automated requests. Our library personnel are playing a major role in this project and are members of three of the six CSU task forces involved in its implementation.

Finally, a major goal of our library faculty is greater collaboration with the teaching faculty. Liaisons have been established and they are ready to work with you in collection development, library instruction and the incorporation of the latest library technology into the curriculum and in support of research. You are all encouraged to contact your library liaison and collaborate in developing a stronger library for our students and for us.

Here are some highlights from our past year, which marked our fiftieth anniversary as a campus.

Although final figures are not yet available, we received more that 17 million dollars in externally funded grants and contracts

The campus as a whole raised over 22 million dollars in gifts to support our campus programs, a substantial increase from last year. The largest single gift was a gift of engineering software, arranged by our Northrup endowed chair. For comparison, two years ago we raised less than 4 million dollars.

We have met and exceeded our FTES target for at least five years in a row.

In the summer of 1997, our engineering students won the solar car race. Mattel has recently issued a Hot Wheels version of this national champion. Then, this last spring, the engineering students won the Mini-Baja race. The music jazz ensemble won second place in the western regional competitions. And the campus was chosen as the site of one of the first Beckman scholars programs which will support four of our outstanding undergraduate science students.

The following new programs will be starting this academic year: the MS in Information Systems; an option in Animation in Arts and Broadcasting; a major modification of the MBA. And, of course, the new General Education program goes into effect this fall.

The programs in the Charter School of Education received maximum re-accreditation from NCATE. All of the credential programs in the university, including two in health and human services, received full accreditation from the California Commission on Accreditation. The Master of Social Work was awarded candidacy by its accrediting agency.

Repairs on campus continue. Currently, the Engineering and Technology building is undergoing a $29 million dollar upgrade. If the bond measure passes in November, there will be an additional $4 million for equipment for that building. And there will be money for the retrofit of the Music building in 1999-2000 and a retrofit of the Physical Sciences building in 2000-01. The date of this major capital project has been moved forward as a result of a fire which occurred on the seventh floor of the Physical Sciences building last month. I would like to commend our colleagues in Administration and Finance, under the direction of police chief Greg King, who worked very hard to accomplish the miracle of having all but the two top stories of the building ready for re-occupancy for the beginning of fall quarter.

What is going to happen this year? Of course, the unexpected is going to happen. But here are some things that we know are going to happen.

WASC is coming for our nine year accreditation. The team will be on campus March 30 through April 2. Drafts of the Compliance Report and the three special documents on Student Success, Student Satisfaction and the use of Technology in Instruction will be available on the web and in your departmental office in hard copy on October 23. We desperately need comments, not final editing, but comments on errors of commission or omission so that we can incorporate the information into a second draft.

The Chancellor has approved funding for a proposal submitted by us for a Free Summer Quarter, called the FSQ Plus. Any undergraduate student who agrees to take 36 units during the next academic year and to maintain a GPA of 2.25 can attend Summer Quarter without paying any fees starting in Summer of 1999. Not only will we be given money to replace the lost fees, but we will also receive an increase in our FTES target of 455 FTES with a concommitant increase in our budget. This is very good news given that for the past several years, the FTES that we have achieved in one year has been greater than our FTES budgeted target for the subsequent year. While the promise of substantial additional funding comes as a great relief to many of us, it is up to us to prove this year that we have the potential to increase our FTES and up to us to recruit the necessary numbers of students to meet next year’s target.

Another thing that we can count on this year is our continued commitment to making our Strategic Initiatives our top priorities, including our commitment to the baseline access to computer technology. Among the 16 Strategic Initiatives are some of particular focus for faculty activities, including improvement of services to students, such as better scheduling of classes and improved advisement, customer service with students as the top priority, continued movement to an active, student centered learning environment, and working on even more effective ways to ensure that our students graduate with a high degree of proficiency in basic skills. SNAPS, the student needs and priorities survey, on which we have based a number of our measurable outcomes, is scheduled to be administered during this academic year so we can see how successful our tactics have been.

The Executive Committee of the Academic Senate and I have agreed that half of this year’s Innovative Instruction money will be set aside for competitive grants for departments who are interested in moving ahead with programmatic assessment.

We will also be announcing a new program of Distance Learning development grants to support the conversion of existing courses to internet web-based delivery. There will be one such award per school, based on proposals submitted by departments or divisions.

One big uncertainty is with Proposition 8, also on the November ballot. If it passes, students will have to pass a test in order to enter a teacher preparation program. The Multiple and Single Subject preparation programs will cease to serve as a substitute for passing the test.

To conclude, I welcome you to an exciting year. In our day to day work of "getting the job done", let’s not forget to celebrate successes and use our celebration to improve our sense of community. I encourage you to stop by the P.E. building next to the mural at 11:30 today to celebrate the interment of the time capsule which marks the end of our 50th Anniversary.

And now I would like to introduce our Chief Executive Officer, President James M. Rosser.

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