President Jane Close Conoley kicked off Cal State Long Beach’s annual Convocation on Friday at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center, addressing the importance of embracing diversity on campus during a politically and socially tumultuous time. Conoley also used this event to introduce the notion of a CSULB with “no barriers.”
“We need to work together in order to create resources for everyone,” Conoley said.
She said that one of those resources she wants to create is a new budget system, one which rewards risk and innovation. While the president was not specific about the logistics of this system, she hopes that it will bring a positive impact to the campus and everyone at CSULB.
Conoley added that she’s optimistic about the coming school year and wants to keep the best of the past, while also moving into the future.
Being a strong believer in growth and innovation, Conoley made sure the audience understood that change was coming, with stronger communication being a big focus for the upcoming year.
“This year everything is possible, and that is the truth,” Conoley said at the end of Convocation.
Led by Provost Brian Jersky, Convocation introduced other speakers as well, including Academic Senate Chair Norbert Schürer and ASI President Joseph Nino.
Jersky announced animation student Theresa Reyes will soon intern for Pixar Animation Studios. This was the beginning of what Jersky called the creation of a path for future students, and the start of a relationship with a major companies such as Pixar. Reyes’ animated short film was then shown to the audience of hundreds.
Nino followed Reyes’ presentation with his personal story of overcoming health issues while also pursuing an education. The ASI president said that obstacles were around him his entire life, but through programs such as ASI Nino was able to find the help he needed to overcome over them.
Nino stressed students are being overworked, overlooked and lack a platform to voice their opinions.
Academic Senate Chair Norbert Schürer focused on communication throughout campus as an important factor. He asserted that in order for CSULB to be successful, the entire campus must be able to voice opinions and ideas to find solutions to issues that arise.
Schürer was conflicted on the true purpose of general education requirements.
“I’m not sure if general education is supposed to supplement majors or expose students to courses that have nothing to do with their major,” he said.
Student evaluations are also a priority for Schürer and the college as a whole. A major goal for this year is implementing school-wide evaluations through an online platform for feedback.
Jersky also said the college received a record 103,605 applications for the 2017-2018 school year. He stressed CSULB is an attractive campus because of collective achievements of several departments.
The last part of his agenda involved the importance of the development taking place in the Downtown Village. The development of this will provide more space for students to dorm as well as new classrooms for the student residents.
“What we accomplish now collectively will help us down in the future,” Jersky said.