Before diving into a slew of issues, University President Soraya M. Coley offered practical career advice to start the winter quarter Pizza with the Presidents.
“Those of you who are sophomore and juniors, try to avoid waiting and thinking about that career path until you’re a senior,” Coley said. “You need to start early. Start exploring these options and using your internships and other avenues to create pathways for yourself.”
At the March 3 discussion in the Bronco Student Center, Coley also sought to reassure students that a possible strike by the California Faculty Association in mid-April would not affect classes or hinder those on pace to graduate.
“The faculty remain committed to the academic success of our students,” Coley affirmed.
Coley and Associated Students Inc. President Julian Herrera then tackled an assortment of questions.
Coley noted that a majority of universities nationwide operate on a semester calendar. Community colleges and the K-12 system also utilize semesters. Even textbooks are written to accommodate lessons on a semester timeline, Coley said.
Converting to semesters would align Cal Poly Pomona with the other campuses in the California State University system and also make transferring from community colleges less cumbersome. Coley said the university is already offering a way for students to beat semester conversion that arrives in just over two years.
“One of the reasons that we are offering the lower summer school rate is because we want to facilitate students who are near graduation to get the courses so they can be completed before fall 2018,” Coley said. “We want to roll out schedules that will give students some awareness of when courses are going to be offered so you can plan accordingly.”
A referral is winding its way through the Academic Senate that addresses raising the quarter unit limit from 17 to 20.
The strategic planning process will chart Cal Poly Pomona’s course for the next several years and seeks to identify top academic and campus initiatives and the resources and facilities to achieve those objectives.
“It’s not going to be goals defined by the president,” Coley said. “It’s going to be a process where we are going to engage the campus community as well as alumni, as well as non-profits, the business-corporate sector in looking not only at our rich past but also helping us build a bridge from the current to the future.”
Focus groups, town halls meetings and outreach programs are part of the input process.
Vice Presidential Searches
Coley and Herrera addressed the key characteristics they value for the next vice president of student affairs and the vice president of administrative affairs.
“We look for individuals who are principled, who have a clear sense of the alignment of their values with the guidance of the institution, who brings demonstrated experience, but also passion and a sense of purpose and added value to the already rich legacy of the university,” Coley said.
Herrera, who is a student member of the search committees, had another perspective.
“We’ve been in a steady state of moving forward and not really looking at our peripherals in terms of what other what other opportunities and what other options do we have. I think we need to bring in an individual who has a different perspective of the goal,” he said.
- Undocumented students: A search is underway for a full-time staff member to be the coordinator for undocumented student services. Nearly 550 students on campus self-identified as undocumented.
- Violence prevention program: The Title IX coordinator and survivor advocate continue education and outreach efforts, which include required student training before registering for classes, to ensure a safe campus environment and prevent sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic and dating violence, and stalking. PolyCARES also is a conduit to report incidents.
- Alternative transportation: Ideas for less costly and more eco-friendly alternatives will be incorporated into university strategic planning initiatives. ASI will conduct a survey in the spring about the desire for a campus transit center.
- Food Insecurity: The CSU recognizes that this is an important issue to students and has extended ongoing research to better understand and tackle the problem.
A full recap of Pizza with the Presidents is available on the video at the top of the page.