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CSU San Marcos:WASC Interim Report (Fall 2012)

by ALO CSUSM

V. Identification of Other Changes and Issues Currently Facing the Institution

Identification of Other Changes and Issues Currently Facing the Institution

Instructions: This brief section should identify any other significant changes that have occurred or issues that have arisen at the institution (e.g., changes in key personnel, addition of major new programs, modifications in the governance structure, unanticipated challenges, or significant financial results) that are not otherwise described in the preceding section. This information will help the Interim Report Committee gain a clearer sense of the current status of the institution and understand the context in which the actions of the institution discussed in the previous section have taken place.

Changes in Academic Affairs Organizational Structure

During the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 academic years, there was a realignment of the university colleges to facilitate future growth, enhance synergies among academic programs, and further the development of the university’s instructional mission.  The changes are reflected in the new Academic Affairs organizational chart (see attachments), and for reference, the prior organizational charts are also provided (see attachments). 

Specifically, the prior College of Arts and Sciences (CoAS), which delivered about 80% of the instruction in the University, was split into a College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), and a College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral, and Social Sciences (CHABSS).  The College of Education (CoE) and the School of Nursing (SoN) were combined into a College of Education (COE), Health, and Human Services (CoEHHS), which also includes Kinesiology and Human Development, two departments previously in CoAS, and both of which have a strong orientation towards health care and community health.  Education and Nursing are now two schools within CoEHHS, each with its own director.  The realignment was timed to coincide with the retirement or departure for retirement or other jobs of three deans (CoAS, CoE, and Extended Learning) and the Director of the school of nursing and allowed the university to conduct searches to hire a new team of deans, both to lead the development of the new colleges and to work together as a cohesive leadership group for the campus.  The College of Business Administration remained unchanged.

Changes in University-level Organizational structure

As reflected in the attached organizational charts, the only significant change at the university level has been the creation of a Division of Community Engagement, to focus on building stronger and more vibrant ties with the community by forging and growing strategic partnerships with a multitude of regional entities, particularly the regional economic development corporations.  Among other things, the work of the Community Engagement Division is informing or long-range academic master planning efforts by helping provide regional data on economic growth and employment trends.

Changes in Instructional, Student Housing, and Operational Facilities

The Social and Behavioral Sciences Building was opened in Fall 2011.  This 106,000 sq. ft. instructional facility includes nine (9) lecture classrooms and seminar rooms, nine (9) instructional/ computer labs, including an ethno-botany lab, a GIS lab, a History digital media lab, and the Daniels Communication lab.  In addition, there are a number of special-purpose graduate research labs and interview rooms for students in Psychology and Sociology.  This has significantly increased our classroom and laboratory capacity and supported our recent growth.  The building also houses the National Latino Research Center and the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center.  These centers provide a valuable connection to the regional community and play a very important role in supporting the instructional mission of the campus.  A six-level parking structure has been completed, and this has substantially improved student access to the campus and improved traffic flow patterns around the campus. 

A new student housing complex immediately adjacent to the campus opened in Fall 2012.  This unit is a public-private partnership that adds 288 beds to the existing 614 beds at the University Village on-campus housing apartments, thus providing “on-campus” housing for more than 10% of our students.  Work is currently in progress with the construction of an 89 thousand sq. ft. on-campus student union building, slated to open in spring 2014.  These buildings serve to create a sense of community among students and facilitate the development of on-campus student learning communities.

A state of the art LEED gold certified 13,100 square foot Public Safety Building was opened in March 2011. In July 2012, our police department was awarded an International Law Enforcement Accreditation Certificate from the Commission on Accreditation for Law enforcement Agencies (CALEA).  This accreditation marks the culmination of a four year project to develop and implement a set of policies and procedures (directives) that adhere to the standards established by CALEA along with documented compliance to these standards.

Construction is underway on a Student Union Building, scheduled to open in 2014, followed by the Student Health and Counseling Services Building, scheduled to open in 2014.

In 2011, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) was recognized by StateUniversity.com as the safest four-year university in California in its Safest Schools report.  When community colleges are included, CSUSM ranks fifth overall, with a score of 95.79 (out of 100 maximum).  College Rankings at StateUniversity.com

Issues Facing the Institution

The biggest challenge facing Cal State San Marcos in the short-term is the decrease in State funding to the campus.  Since academic year 2007-08, we have dealt with a reduction of more than 20% in State funding to the campus, while at the same time experiencing a growth of approximately 20% in the number of students we are serving.  The University used a number of strategies to deal with this problem, including drawing on reserves, making use of non-state funds, initiating partnerships, and seeking greater efficiencies in all areas of operations.