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From the Dean's Desk

A letter from Interim Dean Rider

January 27, 2016


Dear CHABSS Community,

Welcome back.

As I transition into the role as the Interim Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral & Social Sciences (CHABSS), please join me in thanking Adam Shapiro for all of his efforts and contributions to the College and University. We wish him continued success in his new position as faculty in the Sociology Department.

CHABSS continues to be a remarkable College. Three faculty and one staff from the College received President's Awards presented on January 21, 2016. These are Oneita Billings (Modern Language Studies) - Employee of the YearKendra Rivera (Communication) – President’s Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Innovation and ExcellenceCarmen Nava (History) – President’s Outstanding Faculty Award for Service LeadershipSharon Hamill (Psychology) – Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award. In addition, Kristine Diekman (School of Arts) won the Wang Family Excellence Award for Visual and Performing Arts and Letters. Outstanding!

Faculty are actively engaged in grant writing. Kristine Diekman (SoA) and Joely Proudfit (AIS) recently received $250,000 a Keck Foundation Award. Bob Brown (ECON) received $350,657 from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service. Kimberly D’Anna-Hernandez (PSYC) received $131,029 from the NIH. Kimberley Pulvers received $45,000 as a VCC Community Grant Sub award. There is an additional $1,613,344 in the grants/awards pipeline from CHABSS faculty.

The College’s Strategic Initiatives: Global Commitment Initiative (GCI), Career Readiness Initiative  (CRI), and the upcoming Diversity Working Group continue to grow and impact increasing numbers of students. GCI will feature local organizations at the second annual Community Service Volunteer Fair (3/1). Spring semester also offers us a look at our borders at the film screening of “Purgatorio” with filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes (3/29). This past fall semester, CRI partnered with ViaSat at a Speed Interviewing event to teach a well-rounded group of students and alumni about the process of building a resume and honing interviewing skills. CRI continues to connect our students with mentors at the highly attended Mentor Mixer events (1/28). This spring, CRI is launching a new course – ID-401: Career Readiness. We will share its successes at the end of the semester. We look forward to continue fostering events for our students’ futures. The CHABSS Diversity Working Group is looking for founding members. The Strategic Plan Implementation Work Group has extended the deadline for submitting applications from faculty and staff to January 29.

Arts & Lectures has a full complement of exciting events planned for the spring semester, including in the month of February The Sand Dog Cometh (2/2), Las Cafeteras at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido (2/19) andProject Brainwash: Why Reality TV is Bad for Women (…and men, people of color, the economy, love, sex and sheer common sense) (2/24) to name only February’s line-up. Also, the Arts & Lectures call for proposals for AY 2016-2017 is now open! Applications will be accepted through March 1, 2016. In addition, consider viewing one of the many films offered as part of the San Diego Jewish Film Festival. Contact Alyssa Sepinwall for information. Please plan to participate and attend many of these events.

CHABSS faces numerous issues in the years ahead. First and foremost is our leadership transition. We expect to have a new Dean by the beginning of the AY 2016-2017.

We expect to have significant growth in the number of students that CHABSS will serve over the foreseeable future. This growth creates challenges in space utilization, tenure track growth hires and commensurate increases in staff to support this growth. In addition, despite the advances we have made in diversifying the faculty and staff, we will need to be vigilant in maintaining and strengthening this progress.

Over the next few years I expect to see growing numbers of faculty and staff retiring. For example, as of 2014-2015, forty-eight percent of our tenure track faculty in CHABSS were full professors, with an average of 19+ years of experience at Cal State San Marcos. Many of these seasoned faculty and staff will be retiring soon. We will lose their experience, expertise and wisdom; a loss that will be difficult to replace. At the same time, though, this creates opportunities to rebuild and reenergize the college.

These issues will require creative and effective leadership in the college; a leadership that works collegially with the faculty and staff. My role as interim dean is to address a number of issues and concerns so that the transition will be smooth and stable. It is a privilege for me to have this opportunity. I can only promise that I will work hard and do my best for the College.


Bob Rider
Robert Rider signature
Interim Dean, College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral & Social Sciences