February 2018 Update

Mission-Supportive Activities

  • The President’s Task Force on Campus Climate was appointed in August 2017 and met four times during Fall semester. Their formal recommendation has been advanced to President Wong for his consideration.
  • The CSU Chancellor’s Office has released a statement regarding the CSU Commitment to Inclusive Excellence. The Division of Equity & Community Inclusion, along with other departments and divisions, will be reviewing this statement carefully and exploring ways to apply this to our work. We will also utilize a variety of communication strategies, including social media, to broadly disseminate this statement.

Organizational Development Activities

  • A new senior position to advance campus climate, equity and social justice initiatives proactively, as well as serve as the campus’ Chief Diversity Officer, was created and established in August 2017: Assistant Vice President for Equity & Community Inclusion. An interim appointee has been serving in this capacity since September 2017, Dr. Manuel Alejandro Pérez. Information about the new division can be found by visiting the Equity & Community Inclusion website. The website continues to be updated on a regular basis. The division has already hosted a number of open forums, workshops, etc., for students, and has been integrally involved with advancing various initiatives to improve campus climate.
  • The Campus Climate Assessment Project kicked off Monday, February 5th with Susan Rankin & Associates Consulting as our project facilitator. This will begin an 18-month long self-study using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The Project will help serve as a needs assessment effort to guide priority setting for the new Division of Equity & Community Inclusion. The final report from our consultants will include not only the complete data and their analysis but also a measurable, actionable plan for moving forward – developed collaboratively with the campus community. FYI, this is the same consultant that prepared the campus climate study for University of California.
  • SF State was invited to participate as one of 12 campuses in a national research-to-practice initiative, “Assessing and Improving Political Learning and Engagement.” This is a partnership between the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University, and the American Association of State Colleges & University’s (AASCU) American Democracy Project (ADP). Supported by SF State’s award-winning Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE), the initiative will analyze student nonpartisan political learning and engagement in democracy in order to advance best practices which support student learning around complex social problems, including social justice, through civic engagement.

Education, Outreach & Training Activities

  • The Ad Hoc Work Group on Equity & Social Justice Educational Outreach met starting July 2017 and submitted a White Paper in December 2017 outlining a plan for education, training, outreach and capacity-building. This is in alignment with one of the focus areas that the Task Force on Campus Climate identified in their recommendations to President Wong. This White Paper will now go through a series of “Town Hall” consultations with each of the cabinet areas, as well as with Associated Students, Academic Senate and other entities to seek broader feedback and input to guide implementation.
  • Capacity-building and training continues to occur on an ongoing basis for students, staff and faculty – including student groups and the University Police Department – through multiple mediums and venues. For example, relevant information is incorporated into Executive Order 1096/1097 annual training for faculty, staff and administrators.
  • Student Affairs & Enrollment Management has initiated an ongoing series of six-hour mini retreats, each devoted to exploring a specific, significant issue impacting campus climate at SF State. Each mini-retreat includes trainers from both the campus faculty/staff as well as from community organization partners. Various professional staff members with responsibilities for interacting substantively with students from a broad diversity of communities participate in the training, including individuals from: Division of Equity & Community Inclusion, Student Activities & Events, New Student Programs, Residential Life, Office of Student Conduct, University Police Department, Equity Programs & Compliance, and Health Promotion & Wellness. The first retreat (in January) focused on issues of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism; it was facilitated by SF State Professor Marc Dollinger in collaboration with JCRC, ADL and Hillel. The second retreat (tentatively April) will focus on Islamophobia. Our intention is to expand these to a broader campus staff/faculty audience after we pilot a few of these sessions.
  • The Year of Conversation Initiative, co-sponsored by the Academic Senate, the Provost’s Office, and the President’s Office, is launching its second semester of collegial conversations on topics related to the theme of “How to Be a University in a World of Conflict.” Meeting a minimum of four times a semester, they aim to build community and capacity around such topics as “Hard Conversations in the Classroom” and “Teaching with Integrity” and, in the process, to promote civility and intergroup dialogue, which contribute to the experience of campus climate. More information is available at the Senate website.

Procedures & Policy Development Activities

  • We recognize that many incidents that negatively impact campus climate are forms of bullying, including cyber bullying. At present, there is no policy or procedure governing the University’s response to bullying. An Anti-Bullying Work Group has been appointed to develop a recommended University Executive Directive to President Wong and supporting operational procedures for responding to incidents of bullying. The group will also suggest a plan for educational outreach to reduce the likelihood of bullying from occurring in the first place. The Work Group is comprised of faculty, staff and students. Chaired by Dr. Christina Sabee, Dean of Equity Initiatives, the group hopes to complete their work by the end of this year. We will likely be the first in the CSU to develop such a policy and we will work closely with the Chancellor’s Office accordingly.
  • After undergoing extensive review by the CSU Chancellor’s Office General Counsel, as well as meet-and-confer with collective bargaining units, the revised Time, Place & Manner Policy (University Executive Directive 89-13) went into effect as of January 1st, 2018. For the first time ever, a cross-cabinet standing Time, Place & Manner Committee has been appointed to ensure a more coordinated and consistent campus response to TPM-related situations. The Committee underwent a half-day training and orientation prior to the start of the Spring semester. Further, a series of Spring workshops about the new policy has been launched. The five-point protocol for managing protests and disruptions to assure the exercise of protected free speech for all continues to be in use to support enforcement of the Time, Place & Manner policy. Several campuses across the CSU have asked us to share our protocol with them to adapt for their use.

Individuals who have questions about any of these efforts can feel free to contact either Dr. Luoluo Hong, Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management (luoluo@sfsu.edu) or Dr. Manuel Alejandro Pérez, Interim Assistant Vice President for Equity & Community Inclusion (manuelp@sfsu.edu).

Compiled February 7, 2018