The work we have done for this Capacity Review has given us an opportunity to examine what we do well, and to envision a future where we continue to serve our mission of Social Justice and Civic Engagement and improve our ability to serve a student body and faculty that have changed in dramatic ways in the past 10 years. In our efforts to facilitate graduation and retention rates and revise and implement programs that will improve the educational experiences of students, we recognize both our accomplishments and our challenges. During our Educational Effectiveness review, we look forward to implementing the recommendations from this Capacity Review to expand the ways that we can better meet the needs of our students and faculty.
We are ready to implement a number of processes and policies to augment the ways that we demonstrate our commitment to social justice and civic engagement. Recommendations one through eight highlight the changes we will make in the institution, and the steps we will take to build capacity to support the campus mission and to strengthen and better recognize the work of faculty related to its mission.
SF State has a longstanding campus commitment to support a diverse student body and the success of all students. Despite the budget cuts and a student population that has undergone rapid growth and significant changes in the past 10 years, administration, faculty, staff and students have made accommodations to manage these changes. As we move into the Educational Effectiveness Review, we are developing strategies for departments to bring their academic planning and budgeting in line with the number of students they are able to matriculate, and we have already begun the task of incorporating academic technology that better meets the needs of both students and faculty [Recommendations 9, 10 & 11].
We will address the changes in faculty workload that have resulted from budget cuts, the increased population of newly-hired junior faculty, and the retirement of a great many senior faculty by not only examining how faculty are evaluated in the RTP areas of teaching, scholarship, and service, but also by finding ways to encourage junior faculty to take on service and governance activities. To this end, we will take steps to clarify how these activities can be accomplished in the face of scare resources and the demands of teaching and scholarship [Recommendation 12, 13]. We will also provide a comfortable place where faculty can meet socially and make the kind of connections that were lost when the faculty club closed several years ago.
Many factors, including the budget crisis and the enrollment and curriculum controls recently established by the University, have led to a decreasing time to degree that has had both positive and negative outcomes. Because we have been paying more attention to how students progress to graduation, students who need assistance are getting it because we are forcing them to do so.
The Facilitating Graduation Task Force (FGTF) has already made a number of recommendations that will be implemented over the next five years and will become a part of the WASC Educational Effectiveness Review. In addition, the recommendations of the revised GE requirements developed by the Graduation Requirements Task Force and passed by the Academic Senate in Spring 2010 will be finalized, implemented and assessed as soon as possible, and the recommendations of the Writing Task Force will be addressed and assessed [Recommendations 14-17]. As this occurs, student learning outcomes will continue to be assessed at the institutional, academic program, and student affairs levels, and programmatic adjustments indicated by the results will be made [Recommendation 18].
These recommendations from the WASC Capacity and Preparatory Review subcommittees provide a roadmap for the activities and products of the SF State Educational Effectiveness Review.
Summary of CPR Recommendations
Recommendation 1: Campus decisions regarding budget cuts must go beyond financial considerations and examine the impact on the university mission. [CFR 3.5]
Recommendation 2: The University should adopt and communicate a common definition of social justice for the campus community. [CFR 1.1, 1.2]
Recommendation 3: Where appropriate, course syllabi should indicate how learning objectives align with the university mission. [CFR 2.3, 2.4]
Recommendation 4: The University should consider and determine whether to award academic credit to students for community-based learning. [CFR 2.1, 2.2]
Recommendation 5: A task force should be created to recommend ways to increase awareness of civic engagement opportunities for students. [CFR 1.2, 2.2]
Recommendation 6: The University would benefit from an ombudsperson or office specifically designed to handle discrimination-related issues. [CFR 1.5, 2.13]
Recommendation 7: The University should develop definitions and standards for recognizing accomplishments in the area of community engaged scholarship. [CFR 2.8, 2.9]
Recommendation 8: Departments should develop criteria in their RTP policies that allow for the recognition of work related to social justice and civic engagement within the three RTP categories (i.e. teaching, professional achievement and growth, and service). [CFR 2.8, 2.9]
Recommendation 9: Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management, located in Student Affairs, should work together to develop methodologies for departments to analyze their optimal size given their current resources, and they should align their academic planning and budgeting within these analyses. [CFR 3.5]
Recommendation 10: Student Affairs should continue to develop co-curricular offerings that enrich the SF State student experience. [CFR 2.11]
Recommendation 11: The University should continue to incorporate academic technology into the academic program as appropriate and assess the impact of these pedagogical changes on student learning. [CFR 3.6, 3.7]
Recommendation 12: Changes resulting from recent budget cuts have altered the workload of many faculty members. The role that each RTP area (i.e. teaching, professional achievement, and growth, and service) plays in the evaluation of faculty needs to be clarified and evaluated carefully in an era of scarce resources. [CFR 3.3]
Recommendation 13: The University should provide a comfortable place where faculty, staff and administration can meet socially. [CFR 3.4]
Recommendation 14: The University should continue the work of the Facilitating Graduation Initiative 2 as planned and as required by the CSU. [CFR 4.1, 4.3, 4.7]
Recommendation 15: The University should finalize the new baccalaureate degree requirements and begin the certification of courses, implementation, and assessment of the program as soon as possible. [CFR 2.1, 2.2]
Recommendation 16: The University should continue to gather data with regard to the effectiveness of the GWAR courses on student writing, and make adjustments to the WAC/WID program based on the data gathered. [CFR 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6]
Recommendation 17: The University should consider requiring graduate departments to implement the Level 2 writing requirement before the culminating experience begins, and assess graduate writing at Level 2 across the campus. [CFR 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6]
Recommendation 18: Student Affairs and Academic Student Services should continue their newly developed assessment processes, making programmatic adjustments as indicated by the results. [CFR 2.3]