The California State University Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the renaming of the Long Beach State Student Success Center to the Shakarian Family Student Success Center.
CSULB officials submitted the request after Louise Shakarian made a “notable donation” to the Division of Student Affairs.
The creation of the Shakarian LEADS (Leading, Empowering and Developing Students) fund will provide support for student success, help to enhance existing programs and develop new ones to better assist and care for students with special needs.
The Board also discussed the impact of COVID-19 on CSU campuses. The meeting was held remotely over Zoom, a videoconferencing app.
“If my seven and a half years here and counting have taught me anything is that, collectively, we stay focused on our mission, we don’t merely survive challenges, we rise to meet them,” CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White said over Zoom. “Even as we adjust to new work settings and unfamiliar ways of conducting our operations, it’s something I’ll never forget.”
All 23 CSU campuses have halted in-person instruction and have moved towards alternative modes of instruction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am confident that we will continue to demonstrate the power of the California spirit and the strength of our diverse, unified community,” said Adam Day, chair of the board. “Working together, we will adapt and carry on the business of the California State University, the business of inclusive excellence and student success.”
Day said the CSU system is currently working with local health and government agencies to provide housing and space for those in need during the pandemic, using vacated dormitory space to provide beds.
“This will cause another level of complexity for campus officials as we deal with this unfolding crisis,” Day said. “But with the correct protection in place, and respecting local conditions, we will once again be a leader in the state as we prepare for providing relief spaces to those in need.”
The meeting did not solely revolve around COVID-19, as other agenda matters were scheduled to be discussed prior to the pandemic.
Catherine Nelson, chair of the executive committee, presented a report on the decisions of the academic senate. Although they passed seven resolutions, she only discussed two of the most impactful.
The first would prevent a student’s perception of a professor’s teaching effectiveness from appearing in their spring 2020 personnel action file and working personnel file. Faculty still considered to be in their probationary period would receive a year’s grace period for their retention, tenure and promotion processes.
“Appropriate administrators [would place] a memo in faculty personnel action files outlining the difficulties encountered during this time that might impact teaching service and scholarly and creative activity,” Nelson said.
The resolution also asks for sufficient support to be provided to professors and protections of their intellectual property during this transition period.
The second maintained the Academic Senate’s support for an ethnic studies requirement across all CSU campuses, but Nelson said an amendment was added to the resolution after a further discussion to allow campuses to implement ethnic studies how they see fit.
“The scope of the ethnic studies requirement maybe include the experiences of additional historically oppressed groups, but should otherwise retain the core definition of ethnic studies from our resolution,” Nelson said.
The next CSU Board of Trustees meeting will be Monday, May 11 either remotely or at the Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach.