Faculty and staff across campus attended the annual Cal State Long Beach Convocation at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on Friday to hear President Jane Close Conoley address recent achievements, new ideas as well as welcome new colleagues.
“We have many people to thank for our beautiful campus, it’s a great place to work and learn,” said Conoley.
This year’s convocation brought remarks from Provost Brian Jersky, Academic Senate Chair Norbert Schürer and Associated Students Inc. President Marvin Flores along with a special guest performance by the Bob Cole Conservatory Chamber Choir.
The choir recently returned from winning the 2016 Choir of the World and Pavarotti Trophy this summer in Wales.
Here is a breakdown of some key highlights from Convocation:
Conoley touched on inclusive excellence and on past campus turmoil.
The turmoil she referred to involved a student brandishing a knife on campus, the deportation of Jose Alvarez and the potential California Faculty Association strike – all of which happened last semester.
“Our diversity is not proof of inclusiveness,” said Conoley. “If we listen to and learn about each other we will value and respect a wide range of contributions that each member of our university brings to advance our goals.”
Due to the incidents that occurred during the spring, Conoley said the campus is now working hard to rebuild trust with the students.
CSULB is under a mandate from Governor Jerry Brown to increase the four-year graduation rate.
“We have a new challenge from the governor…by 2025 our four-year-graduation rate must go to 39 percent; it is currently at 15 percent and our average enrollment time is about five years,” said Conoley.
Conoley said that Provost Jersky has assured her that it is achievable with support from across campus and is not a threat to quality of education.
“We can have a fully funded course schedule, we can increase summer schedules, we can do winter session, we can do things to help those students who are on a four year pathway to succeed,” she said.
Conoley thanked the Breathe Task Force for all their work with the new Breathe campaign that will be implemented on Sep. 1 to help promote student health with the new smoke-free campus.
“Following two years of research and planning…we are now officially a smoke-, tobacco- and vapor-free campus. We all know kicking or getting rid of an addiction is very hard,” said Conoley.
Skateboards and Bikes
“Starting this semester we will work to decrease the number of injuries to pedestrians,” said Conoley.
CSULB Police will crack down and enforce the “no cycling or skating” rule in pedestrian walkways.
Conoley said the campus police is looking to decrease pedestrian injuries and be more insistent about pedestrian safety.
The new upper campus parking lot will now have 150 more spaces and has eliminated the carpool spaces to ensure enough parking for students.
New parking pay stations will use a new licence plate recognition system and virtual permits, as CSULB is striving for a more sustainable campus.
“In terms of upgrades, I hope you notice the good news that we have on the other side of campus a new reconfigured parking lot,” said Conoley. “You’ll notice some changes in Lot 7 on Seventh Street with the addition of 150 new parking spaces.”
This article contains corrections to the spelling of Sean DuFrene, photographer responsible for the images featured.