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CHABSS Strategic Planning

CHABSS Strategic Planning Process

As the largest college in the university, the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences (CHABSS) serves a diverse student body through its twenty-four undergraduate majors, five Master of Arts programs, and General Education curriculum. CHABSS faculty and staff are deeply committed to serving all CSUSM students, welcoming them to the university community, fostering their academic achievement, and supporting their post-graduation goals.  

In 2022, CSUSM released its new Strategic Plan, The Power of CSUSM, and articulated a new mission:  

At California State University San Marcos, our mission is student success. As an engine of transformative knowledge, our community of dedicated teacher-scholars and staff holistically advance the academic, social, professional, and personal development of students across the student life cycle through education, innovation, and community partnerships. 

Beginning in Fall 2022, the dean of CHABSS, Dr. Liora Gubkin, invited faculty of all ranks and staff to apply to serve on the strategic planning task force. The task force was then charged with implementing an inclusive and collaborative process with the goal of producing a new strategic plan for the college that supports the University Strategic Plan and reflects current college priorities. The goal was to use this opportunity to clarify the college’s shared vision and values, and align the CHABSS strategic plan with the university’s Power of CSUSM strategic plan. 

Throughout Fall 2022, students, faculty, staff, governance committees, alumni, and community members met to help develop a meaningful and manageable CHABSS Strategic Plan that aligns with the University Strategic Plan. The task force worked with the dean to set up an informational webpage on the college website, and then invited these groups to participate in conversations during the semester. Each month, discussions took place focusing on a thematic question based on one of the university's strategic goals: academic excellence; student success; diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence; and culture of care. The task force gathered qualitative data while being as inclusive of all campus stakeholders as possible, including department and governance meetings, listening sessions​, online surveys​, and open comments. One of the highlights of this process was the enthusiastic participation of students, especially in in-person listening sessions. 

During Winter 2023, the task force closely reviewed the feedback submitted by faculty, staff, students, and community members and generated a list of recurring themes and ideas.  Most of the input coalesced into the following areas: student academic success; curriculum and pedagogy; faculty and staff; and, culture of the college. Three issues were cross-cutting: communication in the college; resource mobilization (regarding space and funding); and, concerns around voice and being heard. It became evident that CHABSS faculty, staff, and students want a clear identity for CHABSS and its values, a diverse and future-facing curriculum, and a culture where people feel connected and valued.  The task force selected the ideas that were specific to the College, and omitted ideas that were relevant to the wider campus. ​ After consulting with the dean, the task force constructed a list of thirteen draft objectives that correlated with the common themes, understanding that the list would have to be shortened. 

In Spring 2023, the task force presented the thirteen draft objectives in sessions with students, faculty, and staff as well as the department chair/program director group and the College Coordinating Committee. Next, an online survey was delivered to CHABSS students, faculty, and staff, which asked respondents to rate the objectives from "top priority" to "not a priority at this time." ​The task force then recommended seven objectives to the dean, based on top priorities that cohered with university plan.​  Ultimately, the dean selected five objectives, which were presented to the college on April 28, 2023. 

The implementation phase of the plan will begin in Fall 2023, with staff and faculty groupings developing “SMART” steps to implement the objectives:  

  • Specific 
  • Measurable 
  • Achievable 
  • Relevant 
  • Time-bound 

While faculty and staff groups will be encouraged to reflect on current strengths, emphasis will be given to developing SMART steps that creatively advance the college objectives in the next 1-2 years, with plans for assessment in years 3-4. Student groups will be invited to participate in focus groups addressing selected SMART steps.  

CHABSS 2023-28 Strategic Plan


1. Academic excellence

Promote academic excellence through department and program review of curriculum utilizing best practices related to diversity, equity and inclusion. (University strategic objectives 1.1 and 3.8)

2. Diverse faculty and staff

Recruit and retain a diverse community of teacher-scholars, staff, and administrators who will serve as role models for our diverse student body and have a commitment to student academic success. (University strategic objectives 1.7 & 3.1)

3. Supportive community

Support a human-centered and inclusive community by cultivating a collaborative, innovative, and respectful working and learning environment. (University strategic objectives 3.5 and 4.1)

4. Career readiness

Increase community partnerships for high-impact, experiential learning that strengthen student academic success and career readiness. (University strategic objectives 2.4 and 5.4)

5. Philanthropic culture

Create opportunities throughout the college to promote a culture of philanthropy in support of student academic success. (University strategic objectives 5.5 and 6.2)

Full Strategic Plan Brochure (PDF)

Important Information

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