January 28, 2019

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Shot of campus from the top of Cesar Chavez Center looking at the Library

The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has begun the search for a new University president to succeed Leslie E. Wong, who is retiring in July. The first meeting of the Trustees’ Committee for the Selection of the President will be held in an open forum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the McKenna Theater in the Creative Arts building. The open forum will be live-streamed (and web-archived) on the Presidential Search webpage, where individuals may also provide their input.

CSU Trustee Rebecca Eisen will chair the committee. The other trustee members include: Wenda Fong, Larry Norton and Lateefah Simon as well as Trustee Chairman Adam Day and CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.

Board policy requires the chair of the CSU trustees to appoint an Advisory Committee to the Trustees’ Committee. The Advisory Committee is composed of representatives from faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as a member of a campus advisory board, all of whom are selected by the campus’ constituency groups. Also on the Advisory Committee is an administrator from the campus and a president of another CSU campus — both selected by the chancellor. Both committees function as one unified group.

Members of the Advisory Committee for the Selection of the President include:

  • SF State faculty members Robert Keith Collins, associate professor and chair, American Indian Studies, and Mary Beth Love, chair and professor of Health Education and executive director of Metro College Success Program
  • Nancy Counts Gerber, chair of the SF State Academic Senate and professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Shae Antonette Hancock, executive assistant, University Enterprises (staff representative)
  • Nathan Jones, president, SF State Associated Students (student representative)
  • Janice Gumas, CSU Alumni Council (alumni representative)
  • Taylor Safford, chair, SF State Foundation Board (campus advisory board representative)
  • Alvin N. Alvarez, dean, SF State College of Health & Social Sciences
  • Community representatives Dr. Ramona Tascoe and Joaquín Torres, director, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, City of San Francisco
  • Joseph I. Castro, president of California State University, Fresno

The University welcomes persons with disabilities to the Feb. 5 meeting and will provide reasonable accommodations upon request. If you would like reasonable accommodations for this event, contact the Office of the President at ext. 8-1381 or president@sfsu.edu so your request can be reviewed.

Lori Beth Way

Lori Beth Way receives CSU’s Wang Family Excellence Award

When she joined San Francisco State University, Dean of Undergraduate Education and Academic Planning Lori Beth Way made student success her top priority. Now, just three years later, her own success in that work is being recognized: California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy P. White will honor Dean Way with the Wang Family Excellence Award for Outstanding Staff Performance on Jan. 22. 

Established by CSU Trustee Stanley T. Wang and his family in 1998, the annual award is the highest honor bestowed by the Chancellor’s Office and recognizes four outstanding faculty members and one staff member in the CSU system who have distinguished themselves through exemplary achievements in various academic disciplines. Dean Way is being recognized for her efforts to bolster student success, which include motivating faculty and staff to be actively involved in the Student Success Plan, overseeing curricular policy improvements and student success analytics and hiring 20 new advisors who focus on graduation and student retention.

“Dean Way puts students at the center of everything she does,” said SF State President Leslie E. Wong. “She has taken the lead for the campus in implementing our Student Success Plan while also running a complex and large division and leading several other major initiatives.” 

In June 2018, after serving as interim dean of undergraduate education and academic planning for nearly two years, Way stepped seamlessly into her current position. Since then she has spearheaded efforts to increase the success of transfer students, study the best ways to improve students’ grades and create a meta-major in health, a specially designed program of interdisciplinary courses.

Read more about Way and the Wang Family Excellence Award.

Rice Plants

Biology professor helps make genetic engineering breakthrough

When SF State Professor of Biology Zheng-Hui He was an undergraduate, he learned a curious fact about some plants: The way they store the energy of light is horribly inefficient. Now he’s part of a research team that’s figured out a way to use genetic engineering to streamline the process, pumping up the productivity of rice plants. The resulting rice has a long way to go before it’s a consumer product, but it may in time help curtail food shortages by giving a needed boost to one of the world’s most important crops.

“By 2050 our planet will have to feed 9.7 billion people,” He said. But many possible approaches to meet increased future demand for food — like expanding cropland or farming existing land more intensively — are limited and would be destructive to the environment. Improving the efficiency of the plants themselves has the potential to meet the same need with a dramatically smaller footprint.

With that in mind, the team used a specially engineered bacteria species to insert three genes into the DNA of rice plants to retool them for higher efficiency. Then the researchers took to the field to see if their improvements worked.

Three years of raising the plants in rice paddies in Southern China showed that the tweaked plants were up to 22 percent more efficient, producing as much as 27 percent more grains of rice. The researchers published their work Jan. 10 in the journal Molecular Plant.

Read more about He and his team’s findings.

More opportunities for feedback on next SF State president

The SF State faculty, student and staff representatives of the Advisory Committee to the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President (ACTCSP) encourage all members of the SF State campus community to provide feedback on what they want from the next University president. This feedback will help ensure that the next president reflects our vision, values and mission. There are a variety of mechanisms through which campus constituents can provide feedback.

  1. The campus forum with the Trustees Committee for the Selection of the President and the ACTCSP on Feb. 5.
  2. A Qualtrics survey designed and administered by the faculty, staff and student representatives to the ACTCSP.
  3. A series of open forums sponsored by Associated Students and moderated by members of the ACTCSP. These forums are open to all campus constituents.
    • Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m., location TBD
    • Wednesday, Feb. 27, from noon to 2 p.m., Cesar Chavez Student Center lobby
    • Wednesday, March 13, from noon to 2 p.m., Cesar Chavez Student Center lobby
  4. The presidential search website.

You can get information about the CSU Board of Trustees presidential search policy online. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact one of these ACTCSP members by email.

New AVP for student life & dean of students begins Feb. 4

Following a national search, Daniel Glassmann will join SF State as the new associate vice president for student life & dean of students (AVP & DOS) starting Monday, Feb. 4. Glassmann’s position will provide leadership for co-curricular programs and activities that complement efforts to foster student development and success, enhance student engagement opportunities, improve the quality of the campus experience, facilitate students’ holistic integration into University life and promote positive campus climate. In addition, Glassmann will be responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of the newly re-envisioned Division of Student Life (formerly known as the Dean of Students Division), which includes the Offices of the Dean of Students (including Student Conduct), Campus Recreation, Career Services & Leadership Development, New Student Programs, Residential Life and Student Activities & Events.

Prior to coming to SF State, Glassmann served as the associate dean of students at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for nearly four years. He also served at Oglethorpe University as director of residence life (2011-13) and assistant dean of students (2013-15) and at Elon University as assistant director of residence life and multicultural center. His office will be located in the Student Services Building, Suite 403, and his email is dg@sfsu.edu. He can also be found on Twitter: @deandannyg.

2018 W-2 Information

The State Controller’s Office (SCO) will mail employees’ 2018 Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statements no later than Jan. 31 via the U.S. Postal Service. This includes wages paid in 2018 (December 2017 through November 2018 pay periods). The SCO will mail your W-2 to your home address on file as of Dec. 14, 2018. The October 2018 pay period pay stub listed your home address for verification. Please visit 2018 W-2 Information on the Human Resources website for further details.

Minimum wage increase

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the California minimum wage increased from $11 per hour to $12 per hour. As a result, the CSU changed the salary range for a number of Hourly Classification Codes. A full list of impacted codes and pay rates is available online.

If you have employees currently appointed at less than these new minimums, their pay rate will be automatically updated to the minimum of $12 per hour effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Please note: The full-time salary rate for non-hourly classifications that are below the new minimum will increase to $2080 per month effective Jan. 1, 2019. Questions regarding the minimum wage increase effective Jan. 1, 2019, should be directed to your department's Payroll representative or Human Resources Payroll staff. 

CEETL’s Happy Hour Workshop Series, Feb. 6

CEETL’s Happy Hour Workshop series focuses on sharing faculty members’ pedagogical expertise. The next workshop — “Using Humor in the Classroom” on Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in LIB 242 — will be led by Professor Sally Baack of the Department of Management. In this workshop, you will:

  • Apply sample humor tools to current course syllabi.
  • Reflect on impacts of humor for increased student engagement.

CEETL will provide light snacks and beer, wine and sparkling water. Come raise a glass, learn and laugh!

Register here to reserve your space.

Questions? Contact the CEETL team at ceetl@sfsu.edu.

Lee sniffs out a healthier way to breathe

Professor of Kinesiology Matthew Lee and alumna Shreya Ghiya have published a study on the benefits of alternate nostril breathing in the journal World Scientific News. Alternate nostril breathing is a yoga technique that involves breathing through one nostril at a time. It has been thought to lower high blood pressure and reduce heart abnormalities. The researchers used EKG to evaluate heart rate variability and found that participants in the study, who practiced alternate nostril breathing for 30 minutes, experienced significant benefits in their heart rate variability compared to normal breathing. The researchers recommend using alternative nostril breathing as a free preventative measure to decrease risk of cardiac events.

Kanigel lands grant, publishes diversity guide

Professor of Journalism Rachele Kanigel has received a Fulbright Specialist grant to teach journalism in Bhutan. Kanigel will help Royal Thimphu College set up its new mass communication/journalism program. She leaves for Bhutan Feb. 8 and will be there through the end of April. Kanigel is also the author of “The Diversity Style Guide,” which was published this month by Wiley-Blackwell. The Diversity Style Guide aims to help journalists and other media writers write about diverse communities as well as sensitive issues like immigration, suicide and mental illness. You can read more about it and see the table of contents here.

Peper talks on biofeedback and chronic pain

Professor of Health Education Erik Peper was one of the invited faculty at the Masterclass on Biofeedback and Somatic Feedback for Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, Stress and Chronic Pain earlier this month. Held at the RECOUP Neuromusculoskeletal Rehabilitation Centre in Bangalore, India, the masterclass was attended by physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, ergonomists, kinesiologists and students.

Eschleman examines when helping isn’t helpful

A study by Associate Professor of Psychology Kevin Eschleman showing that reaching out to employees and coworkers can backfire inspired an article on the website Fast Company. “Not all support is good support,” said Michael Mathieu, an SF State graduate student who worked on the study. “Reaching out to offer help to a coworker could end up insulting them. Or if a supervisor helps an employee with a project when they weren’t asked, it can make the employee feel incompetent.” Read the full article here.

Kern says VR exercise is A-O.K.

Chair and Professor of Kinesiology Marialice Kern discussed the effectiveness of virtual reality games as a means for exercise in a recent CNN report. "From what we've tested in the lab, we see indeed you can get a great workout from virtual reality," said Kern, who added another side benefit of activities like virtual reality boxing: “You're not going to end up with a black eye.” See the full report here.