CSUSB academic leadership meets to discuss closing equity gaps at the university
Office of Strategic Communication
Photos by Robert A. Whitehead/CSUSB
About 65 members of Cal State San Bernardino’s faculty senate, deans, department chairs, faculty as well as university administrators met for a one-day retreat on May 10 to discuss equity gaps in the university and how to close them.
“Building a Shared Vision: Creating an Inclusive Environment” featured presentations on equity gaps on campus, ways to close the gaps as well as roundtable discussions.
“We want to get into the habit to get together to really discuss institutional challenges that impact us all,” said Shari McMahan, CSUSB provost and vice president for academic affairs in welcoming the retreat attendees. “We’re the ones that help make the changes to make a difference in the university. By working together, we can solve lots of institutional problems.”
Karen Kolehmainen, a professor of physics and chair of the CSUSB faculty senate, also welcomed the group, reminding faculty members what brought them to the university.
“I thought it might be helpful to start why many of came to CSUSB in the first place. Most of us faculty members had offers from other institutions and in some cases more prestigious institutions and we chose to come here largely because we want to teach the kind of students we have,” Kolehmainen said. “We wanted to have freedom for social justice, we wanted to teach first generation college students, a diverse student body and again many of us are here for that reason.”
Kolehmainen said she faced a little bit of discrimination bias herself over the years as a woman in the STEM field, but felt she was luckier than many women in the field because she did not experience the overt sexual harassment that many have had.
“So let’s recapture that commitment to social justice that I think brought many of us here in the first place. And so let’s think seriously about changes that we can make whether they are policy changes, changes in our procedures, changes in the way we interact with others or think about others, put some of that commitment that we all have in practice,” Kolehmainen said. “I think we owe that to ourselves, to our colleagues to our future colleagues and most of all students.”
The agenda featured:
- Closing the Equity Gaps — Wil Greer, Educational Leadership and Technology
- Data Presentation: Equity Gaps at CSUSB — Tanner Carollo, Institutional Research
- Roundtable Discussions and Report Out — Craig Seal, Undergraduate Studies
- Achieving Faculty Diversity — Angie Otiniano Verissimo, Health Science and Human Ecology, Donna Garcia, Psychology
- Data Presentation: Faculty Hiring To-Date — Lori Caruthers-Collins, Faculty Affairs and Development
- Roundtable Discussions and Report Out — Seval Yildirim, Faculty Affairs and Development