December 9, 2019

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Op-ed series puts SF State marine science in the spotlight 

At the Estuary and Ocean Science (EOS) Center in Tiburon, SF State faculty and students tackle the toughest issues facing the Bay, from toxic algae blooms to whales tangled in fishing gear. Now EOS researchers are bringing this science to the public through an ongoing series in the San Francisco Examiner, including the most recent on untangling the food webs of San Francisco Bay using DNA.

“Communicating to the public what we do as scientists is an important responsibility,” said Research Professor of Biology William Cochlan, who organized the series. It’s “a perfect opportunity for us to share with the public what we do in the SF Bay area and how the discoveries we make at the EOS Center may affect them and their environment.”

Eight articles have been published in the Examiner so far, featuring six EOS Center labs and 12 researchers. Cochlan wrote his own piece warning of the potential for more toxic algae blooms as the waters of the Bay become clearer, while an article written by graduate student Kelly Santos and research technician Melissa Patten covered their efforts to reintroduce a highly endangered salt marsh plant as a refuge for small marsh animals. Others have featured animals as diverse as humpback whales and the often overlooked inhabitants of California’s tidepools (like the pictured aggregating anemone).

Read more about the series on the SF State News site

Students walking towards a building labeled 'Business'

Hellwig extends stay as interim VP for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Beth Hellwig has agreed to remain in the position for one additional year. A search for a permanent vice president will begin early next fall.

“She has been a wonderful addition to our community,” said University President Lynn Mahoney. “Her more than four decades of experience in student affairs and deep commitment to the success of San Francisco State University students have proven invaluable.”

Woman in the air with arms spread out and one leg kicked

IRS updates to Form W-4

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changed the Form W-4 (Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate) for 2020 in relation to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which included major impacts on taxpayer withholding. The State Controller’s Office (SCO) is in the process of changing the Uniform State Payroll System and Employee Action Request Form (Std. 686) and will continue accepting the current Std. 686 until all changes are implemented. Student employees will continue using the current Student Payroll Action Request form (Std. 457) until further notice. The SCO encourages every employee to review their tax withholding by using the IRS calculator at or contacting your personal tax adviser.

A friendly reminder: The December pay period is the first payment for the 2020 tax year. For further information, please contact the payroll representative for your area or Agnes Cheng, associate director, Payroll, at or ext. 5-4359.

Upcoming CampusMemo hiatus

The Monday, Dec. 16, issue of CampusMemo will be the last of 2019. The newsletter will be on hiatus during the winter break and will resume weekly publication on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Got information that needs to be shared with the campus community before then? Submit an item now!

Holiday schedule reminder

SF State will be closed from Dec. 25 through Jan. 1, 2020. All days except Tuesday, Dec. 31, are covered by observed holidays or informal paid time off. Employees may choose to use the following options for accounting for the Dec. 31 closure:

  • Accrued vacation time
  • Accrued comp time (CTO)
  • 2019 personal holiday
  • A dock in pay

Employees who have not used their personal holiday for calendar year 2019 should use that option during the December 2019 pay period (no later than Dec. 31) since the personal holiday cannot be carried over to the next calendar year. The personal holiday must be used in whole-day increments and equals a maximum of eight hours. A new personal holiday is credited to employees each year on Jan. 1 for use during that calendar year.

In accordance with collective bargaining agreements and CSU practice, vacation accumulation in excess of the maximum hours allowed will be forfeited as of Jan. 1. Employees can view their leave balances via the Employee Self-Service function through the SF Gateway/MySFSU. Once signed in to Self Service, click under My Benefits, then under the Leave Balance link.

For questions and clarification, please contact Agnes Cheng, associate director, Payroll, at or ext. 5-4359.

Sexual harassment training changes

Earlier this year, new legal requirements were implemented by the state for sexual harassment prevention training. In accordance with the updated requirements, the Chancellor’s Office (CO) worked with risk management services provider United Educators to implement revisions to the Supervisor and Non-Supervisor Sexual Harassment Prevention courses, which all 23 CSU campuses are expected to administer to their respective employees. Effective, Jan. 6, 2020, the courses will be initiated for employees to take on CSU Learn. The following employees will be affected:

  • Sexual Harassment Prevention for Supervisors: all administrators (Management Personnel Plan employees, senior and executive management)
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention for Non-Supervisors: all non-administrator positions

Please note: These courses are mandated as a separate requirement from the CSU Campus Misconduct Prevention Program, the Title IX requirement overseen by Student Affairs & Enrollment Management. The new regulations can be reviewed online.

  • Bystander: SB 1300
  • Employer Sexual Harassment Training Requirements: SB 1343 and SB 778
  • Hair Texture and Protective Hair Styles: SB 188

For more information visit the Human Resources website.

Academic Senate Agenda

The SF State Academic Senate will meet Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Nob Hill Room of the Seven Hills Conference Center for its seventh meeting of the academic year. Visitors are welcome. An open-floor period from 2 to 2:10 p.m. will provide an informal opportunity to raise questions or make comments to Senate officers or University administrators. Please arrive promptly at 2 p.m.

The agenda includes the following:

  • Recommendations from the Academic Policies Committee: revisions to #S12-177, the Academic Discontinuance Policy, in second reading and F17-249, the First-Year Experience Committee, in first reading
  • Recommendations from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee: proposed Graduate Certificates in Finance and Enterprise Information Systems, both in second reading, a proposed minor in Media Literacy in second reading, proposed M.A.s in Curriculum & Instruction and in Early Childhood Education, both in first reading, and a revision to the M.S. in Quantitative Economics in first reading
  • Recommendations from the Executive Committee: proposed revisions to #S09-222, University Enrollment Management Committee, and #S18-243, Charge of the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning Advisory Board, both in second reading
  • Recommendations from the Curriculum Review and Approval Committee: revisions to the Graduate Certificate in Ethical Artificial Intelligence, the Minor in French and the Minor in Literature in English, all consent items
  • Resolution thanking and commending Professor Amy Kilgard for her work as the inaugural faculty director of the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  • Presentation by Jeff Wilson, CFO and interim VP for Administration & Finance, on the City of San Francisco parking tax

The full agenda, meeting materials and minutes can be found on the senate website

Registration open for Online Surveys with Qualtrics Demo, Dec. 10

Have you registered for Information Technology Services’ in-person demo of Qualtrics? Qualtrics is an easy-to-use tool for creating and conducting online surveys. It is available to faculty, staff and students. See the Qualtrics service page for more information about this service.

The session on Qualtrics will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in ADM 201. Laptops are not required for the demo, but feel free to bring yours if you’d like. The following information will be covered:

  • Survey: getting started; question types; survey options
  • Distribution
  • Data and analysis: exporting data
  • Reports

Attendance is limited. Please register via online Qualtrics.

QLT Online Teaching Lab, Jan. 7-31

How do we get students to connect online? How do we get students to collaborate online? Join the QLT Online Teaching Lab’s Winter Learning Community to investigate these and other questions with your colleagues.

The QLT Online Teaching Lab is a fully online course about teaching fully online courses. The Winter Learning Community is a four-week course from Jan. 7 to Jan. 31 that will focus on building online community and fostering peer-to-peer interaction. You will experience being part of a community online from the student perspective so that you can better facilitate these interactive experiences for your own students.

There will be online learning with content and activities to explore asynchronously through
Tuesday Zoom sessions (time TBD) to orient you to the week’s goals, a weekly challenge to interact with your colleagues and timely feedback from course instructors. The last week will focus on putting your key takeaways into practice as you begin the Spring Semester.

This course is taught by instructional designers from the Center for Equity & Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL). Every element is designed with faculty choice in mind — in other words, it’s all optional. You’ll choose your own learning experiences from a modular selection of small, standalone topics. You’ll create real, authentic products to use in your own courses.

Sign up for the Winter Learning Community online. You will be added to the course and receive a confirmation message within two business days.

Writing Pedagogies for Inclusive Excellence Institute, Jan. 21 & 22

The Writing across the Curriculum/Writing in the Discipline (WAC/WID) Program, with support from the Division of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning (DUEAP), invites eligible lecturer and tenured/tenure-track faculty to join colleagues for a two-day Writing Pedagogies for Inclusive Excellence (Writing PIE) Institute. The institute — to be held between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Jan. 21 and 22 — will focus on best practices in designing and teaching a writing intensive course. Participants will receive a $500 stipend upon completion.

WAC/WID invites instructors (lecturer faculty or T/TT faculty) who are currently teaching a writing-intensive course in their discipline or are assigned to teach one within the next academic year. Writing PIE is the first of four steps to gain a new campuswide certification in writing pedagogies. Please register online. For more information, please email

Faculty Retreat 2020, Jan. 23

The faculty retreat for this academic year will be held from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the campus’ Annex I. Faculty Retreat 2020 will be an opportunity for the SF State teaching community to gather in a common space, in community, to honor the synergistic relationship between the University and our city as we share a collective responsibility to educate and lead a new generation of Bay Area residents to solve 21st century problems. The retreat will feature a plenary delivered by Asian American Studies Professor Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales and Associate Professor of Latina/Latino Studies Jeff Duncan-Andrade, opening and closing remarks by Provost Summit and President Mahoney, and project-based discussion and table-top workshops to build momentum on multiple initiatives that foster pedagogies for inclusive excellence in all its forms. The day’s events will close with a reception to celebrate the productive discussions of the day and the scholarly and creative achievements of the past year.

Register for the retreat and sign up for tabletop workshops via Qualtrics. You can also indicate on the form whether you would like to feature your scholarly and creative work of the past year.

Visit the CEETL webpage for more information about Faculty Retreat 2020.

Chronicle article focuses on Mahoney

A front-page article in the San Francisco Chronicle took an in-depth look at President Lynn Mahoney’s time at SF State. Several University faculty members were quoted in the story, including Professor of Political Science James Martel, Professor of Jewish Studies Marc Dollinger and Associate Professor of Race and Resistance Studies Rabab Abdulhadi. “She knows data and research around student success,” Academic Senate President Nancy Gerber said in the article. “That’s really, really welcome.” Read the full article online.

Collins on American Indian Studies

Associate Professor of American Indian Studies Robert Keith Collins took part in a roundtable titled “Changing Climate, Shifting Terrains: Indigenizing Museums” at the American Anthropological Association American Indian Workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Nov. 22. The roundtable focused on establishing relationships between museums and indigenous people to transform museums into sites of activism and engagement and addressing the challenges faced by those conducting this work. In October, Collins was also a guest lecturer at the College of Social Sciences Ethnic Studies Collaborative at San Jose State University. His lecture, “The Relevance of Anthropology to American Indian Studies,” centered on the dynamic sources on American Indian sovereignty used as a focus of analysis in anthropological investigations and the linkages they share with American Indian studies.

Logan talks unions

Professor of Labor Studies John Logan shared his expertise on labor relations in a pair of recent articles. He was interviewed by the French news outlet France 24 about Google’s decision to fire four employees following criticism of the company’s sexual harassment policies. The company had recently hired an allegedly anti-union consulting firm, leading some to question the termination. “The only thing out of the ordinary in this case, in my opinion, is that Google has failed to keep the work of these backstage consultants secretive in breaking the dispute,” Logan said. He also spoke with NBC Bay Area about a proposed strike by workers at the Macy’s in San Francisco’s Union Square. Seeking better pay and affordable health insurance, the employee union planned to go on strike on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Logan pointed out that striking would have very little effect on the workers’ needs. “It is a somewhat precarious situation with retailers with competition most notably from Amazon, but from e-commerce more generally,” he said. Watch the segment online.

McBride praised for being “Style”-ish

Professor of Cinema Joseph McBride’s book “Frankly: Unmasking Frank Capra,” published in March by Hightower Press, was reviewed by two major film magazines: Cineaste and Sight & Sound. The new book details the obstacles McBride overcame while writing the 1992 biography “Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success.” McBride was also the subject of a column by Washington Post writer Jay Matthews. The article lauds McBride for his devotion to the classic writing guide “The Elements of Style,” which he encourages his students to use. Read the column online.