Making SF State Even Better

Text: Making SF State Even Better, Image: Students walking in front of the J Paul Leonard Library
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Founded in 1899 as a teachers college, San Francisco State University remains united as a community of learners in our passion for academic excellence, intellectual discovery, creative and critical inquiry, and educational equity. SF State maintains a proud history of commitment to social justice and opposition to oppression and marginalization, which lives on through the work, scholarship and community engagement of its students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Emerging from SF State’s proud history and long-standing commitments to teaching, learning and social justice, the new strategic plan is anchored by five core University values: Courage, Life of the Mind, Equity, Community and Resilience. Please click on the tabs below to explore these values further.

At SF State, diversity and pluralism form the conditions of intellectual advancement, creativity and innovation. As we work with students to prepare for life and work in a complex and increasingly transnational society, and seek to expand the boundaries of human understanding through our scholarly work, SF State is well positioned for the educational challenges of the 21st century.

In June of 2013, President Wong appointed the Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee (SPCC) and charged the committee to conduct a broad-based and collaborative strategic planning effort to establish SF State’s institutional priorities for the years ahead. The charge to the planning committee identified seven themes: Building the San Francisco State Identity, Maximizing Student Success, the Academic Master Plan, the Physical Master Plan, Advancing Campus & Community Climate, Elevating Institutional Support, and Emerging Issues. Those themes served as points of entry to engage the campus and community, and subcommittees explored those themes in detail during the 2013-2014 academic year. Theme subcommittees engaged the campus and community through a variety of ways including special events, meetings with key stakeholders and campus groups, social media and a customized platform (at In June 2014, the subcommittees detailed their findings and insights in reports that were shared with the campus community.

During the summer of 2014, the SPCC analyzed the theme subcommittee reports and released a draft strategic plan. The SPCC then solicited feedback on the draft plan through the Make Your Mark event and through conversations with various groups and stakeholders. That feedback yielded numerous improvements, and the SPCC is thankful that SF State’s new strategic plan benefits from the generosity of students, colleagues and friends who have shared what they care about, the challenges they face and their strategies for overcoming them.

Emerging from the University’s long-standing commitments to teaching, learning and social justice, the new strategic plan is anchored by five core University values: Courage, Life of the Mind, Equity, Community and Resilience. The plan highlights aspirations and objectives within each of those core value areas, and it offers initiatives to deliver on the objectives. The strategic plan and all of its components should be read within the ongoing context of our institutional commitment to shared governance. The new strategic plan establishes our institutional priorities.

The initiatives offered by the plan promise to advance these priorities. These initiatives are ambitious. They reflect a collaborative spirit that will strengthen our community while we identify new ways to think and work together. The success of the plan rests upon the talented community of people who are SF State. The plan will serve as a living document that offers direction and inspiration to our future leadership without overly proscribing the outcome of our shared decision-making.

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Courage follows from and enables principle. Courage propels our willingness to be different and unique--to establish ourselves as a university with a distinct mission and character, rather than a follower in the pattern of others. Courage allows us to hold difficult conversations in broad forums and undergirds our commitment to social justice, to shared governance, to academic freedom and to student, faculty and staff activism. Courage recognizes that innovation involves risk and failure, and it embraces change and adversity as opportunities. Courage fortifies our efforts to question conventional wisdom and explore controversial issues in the name of deeper understanding; it energizes our commitment to academic freedom. We celebrate people of intellect and humanity who take positions of principle and stand by them despite academic and social pressure. Courageous scholars form fruitful and respectful partnerships with local and international communities while submitting academic insights to the test of practice, forming new knowledge. The courageous are aware of their vulnerabilities, but they are not resigned to victimization. Courage creates the condition and chief outcome of an education of substance--the ability to "own one's own mind."

Courage Aspirations

  • To stand up for our core values.
  • To embrace change and adversity as opportunities.
  • To recognize that innovation involves risk, and sometimes mistakes; and to nurture a culture of innovation that celebrates provocative failure as much as success.
  • To encourage responsible citizenship and responsive leadership.
  • To create an environment in which all members are confident that their ideas will be heard and their right to share them is honored.
  • To celebrate the acts of courage we commit and witness every day at SF State: in teaching, in learning and in fulfilling our commitments to ourselves, our families and our communities.
  • To support and inspire faculty to be courageous in teaching, to take risks in scholarship and to model for students the public-facing, scholarly and activist work that defines the legacy and academic mission of SF State.

Courage Objectives

  1. SF State will maintain, develop and sustain programs and activities that leverage the linguistic, cultural and social diversity of our students, faculty and staff to advance our mission and education goals.
  2. SF State will develop structures to create learning opportunities for students to respectfully engage with diverse views and collaborate in the classroom with faculty and peers, on campus and with the community.
  3. SF State will create resources to support entrepreneurial professional activities and scholarship in a variety of forms.
  4. SF State will promote a system of recognition and rewards that reflects our unique, mission-driven contributions to research, scholarship and teaching. We will encourage critical, rigorous work in a variety of traditional and non-traditional career profiles and trajectories. We will help faculty to follow rewarding individual and collaborative pathways that produce bold scholarship aligned with our University mission and our educational goals.

Courage Initiatives


  • Develop existing User-Friendly Principles as a framework to further anti-bullying and anti-harassment efforts and to foster a respectful and affirming campus workplace. (Objective 1)
  • Conduct an Annual Employee & Student Satisfaction Survey, and get feedback on campus feelings of intellectual safety (e.g., are people encouraged to share diverse, uncommon and controversial ideas?). (Objectives 1, 2)
  • Complete a revision of the University Mission Statement to reflect this value and the other key values in this document. (Objectives 1, 2, 4)
  • Establish, through the leadership of the University Corporation, a social venture capital fund to support the entrepreneurial projects of students, faculty, staff and alumni that advance our mission and educational goals. (Objectives 2, 3)
  • Establish an Academic Senate task force to assess how congruent current faculty-oriented incentives, assessments and rewards are with the mission and core values of the University. (Objective 4)


  • Foster a diverse and lively marketplace of ideas by creating a long-term enrollment plan that reflects our University mission and values and that is aligned with our budget, including setting specific goals for groups such as international students, out-of-state students and under-represented communities. (Objectives 1)
  • Fine-tune the University retention, tenure and promotion policy through the shared governance processes of the Academic Senate and encourage departments to revisit their policies to ensure that they match the current and future variety of faculty work. In the process, we will improve scholarship and teaching by offering faculty a clearer vision of their career pathways and better support for reaching their objectives. (Objective 1, 4)
  • Reorganize technology resources and perspectives around the goal of creating “maker cultures,” where technology is institutionalized as a medium of innovation and creativity. This initiative will include: faculty and staff training, domains, individual server space and tools for the collection, curation and manufacture of student and faculty work; the creation of such new physical spaces as incubators, fabrication labs and hacker spaces and such virtual spaces as social platforms and open-source archives. (Objective 2, 3)
  • Prioritize the creation and maintenance of state-of-the-art wireless and computing capability that fosters creativity, collaboration and innovation. (Objectives 2, 3)
  • Develop closer formal and informal relations among faculty, staff, students, alumni and the neighboring tech industry and tech communities. This will include: formal and informal collaborations, lectures and symposia, student internships, hack-a-thons, tech boot camps and faculty and professional residencies. (Objectives 2, 3)
  • Increase interaction between academic departments and the industries and career tracks they support by developing a University-wide program to bring professionals from various industries to meet with faculty. This program would ideally be tied to the development of paid internship opportunities for students. (Objectives 2, 3)
  • Catalog and maintain a list of SF State outreach programs so community-based scholars can coordinate and complement one another. (Objectives 3, 4)

Life of the Mind

By definition, the University is an intellectual community that aspires to encompass the richness and breadth of human knowledge. SF State’s academic mission advances a distinct commitment to critical and collaborative thought, intellectual pluralism and action. SF State’s faculty are both dedicated teachers and engaged professional practitioners and scholars; teaching is enlivened by faculty who create new knowledge in their academic fields, professional practice and community engagement, while faculty research and practice are sharpened and their stakes clarified through the privilege of teaching new skills to students at all levels. We embrace a reciprocal relationship between the University and the world and between experience and knowledge that is captured by our motto, “Experientia Docet.” We value learning that is not bounded by the classroom, archive or campus but takes place in myriad forms and locations. We nourish and recognize intellectual achievement across a range of academic, creative and professional spheres, both traditional and forward-looking. And we affirm the life of the mind as a continued source of meaning, purpose and commitment for all members of our intellectual community.

Life of the Mind Aspirations

  • To make the process of learning visible and meaningful to students by clarifying our goals for student learning and achievement.
  • To create opportunities for active, experiential learning at every level of students’ education.
  • To encourage interdisciplinary intellectual community and exchange for students, faculty and staff.
  • To create opportunities for students to engage in authentic research and creative work with experts in their fields.
  • To enable our students and faculty as scholars to excel academically according to the highest standards of their fields and to provide similar support for staff in their professional development.
  • To foster in our students the curiosity that will lead to life-long learning.

Life of the Mind Objectives

  1. SF State will align our courses and our curriculum with our sense of mission, our values and our goals for student learning.
  2. SF State will endeavor to strengthen our graduate programs, integrate graduate students into the life of the University and give graduate students valuable career and teaching experience.
  3. SF State will empower faculty and departments to set high standards for excellence in professional achievement appropriate to their fields, and SF State will provide sufficient resources to support such activity, including appropriate workload relief for scholars to excel in pure research, applied research, creative works or other excellence in professional practice.
  4. SF State will invigorate the intellectual environment for faculty, staff, students and local communities by multiplying sites of interaction and collaboration, lowering barriers to participation and providing support for lifelong learning and professional development. We will be recognized as an indispensible source of innovation and creativity for the city, region and state.
  5. SF State will become a national leader in innovative teaching, scholarship and creative activities that build on our strengths, including the scholarship of teaching and learning, experiential learning and scholarly teaching.

Life of the Mind Initiatives


  • Undertake an operational review of campus advising and tutoring to develop greater coordination of services across campus. (Objective 1)
  • Conduct a review of course offerings, timing and classroom utilization in order to increase student access to our curriculum. (Objectives 1, 2)
  • Create new degree road maps that help our students succeed at the University and in life. (Objective 1, 5)
  • Strengthen the curriculum review process by emphasizing student needs and fostering interdepartmental collaboration while streamlining program approval and reducing bureaucratic barriers for new program and co-curricular offerings. (Objective 1, 5)
  • Review opportunities for developing or revising graduate programs to serve our graduate students’ needs for teaching and professional experience. (Objective 2)
  • Implement a review to study avenues for supporting research and other professional excellence, including ensuring appropriate workload, resources, incentives and support for collaboration with students. (Objectives 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Implement a review to ensure that the campus hiring and retention, tenure and promotion policies are aligned with the wide variety of standards for professional excellence across different departments and units. (Objectives 3, 4, 5)
  • Foster diverse perspectives and facilitate such learning environments by heavily recruiting underrepresented, transnational and international students as well as staff and faculty of different backgrounds to the classrooms and campus community. (Objective 4)
  • Revise our retention, tenure and promotion policies to match the current and future variety of faculty work and roles while delivering a new, flexible vision of professional development and scholarly teaching tailored to the strengths of our campus and embracing work that may not fit traditional models. (Objective 4, 5)
  • Begin to implement high-impact teaching-oriented projects such as brown-bag academies, teaching and learning oriented symposia and faculty mentoring strategies in preparation for a Teaching and Learning Commons. (Objective 4, 5)
  • Develop a “Master Teachers” initiative that uses new media (video, website, etc.) to publicize, share and celebrate SF State faculty’s excellence in teaching and learning. (Objective 4, 5)
  • Develop and implement a series of Open Campus Days, a regular series of on- and off-campus events that invite local communities and leaders to engage with SF State faculty, staff and students to share knowledge, demonstrate projects and solve problems. (Objective 4, 5)
  • Implement a five-year faculty and staff hiring plan that will allow us to align our faculty and staff to meet the needs of our students and our communities, increase faculty and staff diversity and advance our curriculum and University mission. Units will consider the core values and mission of the University in drafting position requests and making hiring decisions. (Objective 5)


  • Establish a new University Academic Center that unites tutoring, academic advising and career advising and creates new writing and math centers. (Objective 1)
  • Expand high-impact and experiential overseas opportunities for faculty, staff and students, especially non-traditional and underrepresented students, at all stages of academic study. (Objectives 1, 4)
  • Align course and programmatic learning goals in support of a coherent, student-centered curriculum. (Objective 1, 5)
  • Develop and implement a colloquium series that brings together faculty, community leaders and high-profile guests to debate and explore contemporary issues in culture, science and society. (Objective 4, 5)
  • Seek external funding to create University Scholar and Teacher fellowships that will direct the work of master teachers, accomplished scholars and creative faculty into high-impact projects that enable them to mentor peers, engage with community and extend the mission of the University in new directions. (Objective 4, 5)
  • Create and support a University Teaching and Learning Commons that will foster interaction among faculty and various academically oriented units within the University. A key goal of this Commons is to create and maximize peer-to-peer networks of teaching and learning expertise to strengthen the quality of teaching, curricula and courses. (Objective 5)


  • Build and support a University Academic Center that will house a Teaching and Learning Commons, tutoring and other academic support services, as well as spaces for meeting, collaborating and presenting. (Objective 1, 4, 5)
  • Create a platform to open source our knowledge and resources and to distribute, publicize and share the fruits of higher learning with each other, our constituencies and the world. (Objective 4)
  • Seek external funding to create and support an Idea Lab/Institute for Advanced Study that will recruit leading intellectuals and artists from across the nation and world to collaborate with SF State faculty and students. (Objective 4, 5)


SF State’s distinctive identity is founded on our commitment to equity. The principles of fairness and inclusion guide our educational mission, our institutional practices and our relations with the community around us. Our commitment to equity fosters an environment of respect, diversity, support and dignity for all of our members--faculty, staff, and students. A commitment to equity:

  • sees educational access and academic quality as reciprocal goals;
  • affirms that resources are distributed according to need;
  • empowers students who make the world a better place; and
  • eliminates barriers to success.

Equity Aspirations

  • To redress inequities and increase educational access by reducing educational and opportunity gaps, improving completion rates and increasing the availability of high-quality courses.
  • To fulfill our equity mission and support the needs of our diverse student population by re-examining and, where appropriate, reorganizing our curriculum, teaching practices, mentoring, community engagement, internships and advising practices.
  • To proactively prepare students living within the six-county local area by expanding our collaborative work with the local school districts.
  • To attract and retain the best faculty and staff by making SF State a fair and equitable place to work, which will in turn increase student success.
  • To support faculty excellence in teaching, research and professional practice endeavors, as together they are essential to SF State’s distinctive commitment to uniting academic quality and broad access.
  • To promote campus professional achievement and growth, creative works and curricula that are connected to a rich history and contemporary culture of student life and service and that recognizes, includes and nurtures multiple forms of equity on campus as it relates to a variety of identities.

Equity Objectives

1) SF State will eliminate the gap in graduation rates between historically underrepresented students and non-underrepresented students and increase our six-year graduation rate for all first-time freshmen and transfer students by 15 percent. This will be our primary focus, and we will become the CSU’s flagship campus for educational opportunity. 2) SF State will address the discrepancies in our academic labor force by instituting a comprehensive professional development program for lecturer faculty and by assessing equity within the tenure and tenure track ranks. We will become a national model for integrating contingent faculty into the academic life of the University. 3) SF State will strengthen and expand Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to: (1) assessment, (2) institutional policies and practices, (3) media and technology, (4) course curriculum and (5) pedagogical approaches. UDL principles address accessibility and equity issues by minimizing educational barriers while maintaining rigor and high learning expectations for all students. 4) SF State will ensure that all students have universal coverage and access to a wide range of quality healthcare and preventative services on campus. 5) SF State will expand professional opportunities for faculty staff to make the campus a workplace of choice. We will become known as the most exciting and rewarding academic workplace in our region.

Equity Initiatives


  • Develop a Long-Term Enrollment Plan that identifies program capacities, bottlenecks and the necessary resources to anticipate and serve student demand. (Objective 1)
  • Authorize the Student Success and Graduation Initiative Task Force to design and implement an Early Alert System to identify and support students who, without that support, might otherwise not complete their degrees. (Objective 1)
  • Assess the staffing and quality of student success programs and services in order to provide SF State students with the best possible support. (Objective 1)
  • Design and implement a system of University Equity Awards. These awards will recognize significant curricular, programmatic and administrative efforts to advance the values of fairness and inclusion. We will become a campus that encourages and celebrates our commitment to equity. (Objective 1, 2, 5)
  • Conduct analyses of the tenure and tenure track faculty to assess their experience of equity on campus. Analyses will include both internal assessments and independent external assessments that will be conducted in collaboration with relevant campus faculty groups. (Objective 2)
  • Broaden and expand the Employee University Program so that the professional development opportunities it provides are accessible to all University employees. (Objective 2, 5)
  • Conduct a comprehensive review of hiring, employment practices and University policies (including job classification and salary equity) related to non-tenure track faculty and staff, and communicate the results of that review broadly. (Objective 2, 5)
  • Create a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Task Force charged with increasing awareness of both physical and cognitive accessibility of campus and curriculum information and resources. (Objective 3)
  • Design and initiate an annual survey to assess the quality of the work environment and the level of employee satisfaction. (Objective 5)


  • Coordinate tutoring, academic advising and career advising in a new University Academic Center. (Objective 1) Implement and prioritize a Course Availability Plan that will ensure student access to the curriculum, with the aim of increasing six-year graduation rates by 15 percent by 2025. (Objective 1)
  • Implement a First Year Experience program to provide a high-impact educational practice that can level the playing field for first generation students and for students whose prior educational experiences have not adequately prepared them for college work. (Objective 1)
  • Implement an integration and engagement plan for non-tenure track faculty designed to make SF State a national model of just and fair non-tenure track faculty employment. Provisions of this plan will be ensured through appropriate revisions to SF State’s policy on Temporary Faculty. (Objective 2)
  • Expand universal coverage and access to quality healthcare and preventive services (e.g., physical therapy, screenings, health education/promotion, wellness programs). (Objective 4)
  • Establish benchmarks and targets for employee satisfaction that create institutional incentives for continued improvement in the quality of the employment experience. (Objective 5)


We believe we can teach and support students in educationally purposeful ways when we collaborate with each other and the larger community; we care about and support academic freedom and freedom of speech; we create the space for pluralism and counter stories; we reinforce the tenets of equity and live and learn in ways that are principled and just; we respect the abilities of all students, faculty and staff and provide opportunities for community members to develop a strong sense of self-worth, care and respect for others; and we believe in developing strong partnerships that will support the pursuits of our students, faculty and staff within the local, national and global communities.

Community Aspirations

  • To provide the space for a community that is educationally purposeful, open, just, disciplined, culturally responsive and caring.
  • To provide students with opportunities to think critically and broadly about the concept of community and the impact they have on society.
  • To create a strong, mutually supportive community among students, alumni, faculty and staff that serves as a model within the CSU.
  • To embrace diversity and provide SF State’s diverse community (alumni, students, faculty and staff) with opportunities to develop a sense of affinity for the institution.
  • To provide meaningful opportunities for students to engage with faculty and staff outside of the classroom.
  • To improve community partnerships and celebrate the successes that develop from those partnerships.
  • To explore and secure support which will help address the affordability factor facing many students, faculty and staff.
  • To appreciate and recognize students, faculty and staff for their positive community impact.

Community Objectives

  1. SF State will create a campus culture where students, staff and faculty are valued, respected, taken care of and treated fairly. As a consequence, they will want to engage, reciprocate and contribute to the well-being and advancement of the SF State community.
  2. SF State will increase our engagement and responsiveness to student, staff and faculty concerns, and will heavily invest in infrastructure, virtual platforms and facilities that foster freedom of speech, intellectual exchange and social interactions.
  3. SF State will strengthen an academic community based on collaboration, consultation, critical reasoning and diversity.
  4. SF State students, alumni, faculty and staff will support and advocate for social justice, human dignity and environmental justice within our local and higher education communities.
  5. SF State will strengthen opportunities for students, faculty, staff and alumni to engage with the community outside campus.

Community Initiatives


  • Design and initiate an annual survey to assess the quality of the work environment and the level of employee satisfaction. (Objective 1)
  • Launch a University-wide student, employee and alumni communication campaign that listens to their concerns on both virtual and non-virtual platforms and commit to addressing these concerns in a timely fashion. (Objectives 1, 2)
  • Continuously review and update student and employee orientation, advising and mentoring materials to cover all aspects of academic and professional success at SF State. (Objectives 1, 2)
  • Establish a Student Engagement Task Force, recognizing that engaged and empowered learners feel a sense of belonging and confidence in their ability to contribute in class, on campus and within their communities. (Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Launch a “Giving Back” campaign to encourage student organizations to contribute a portion of their fundraising to struggling charities or non-profit organizations. (Objectives 1, 4)
  • Develop the necessary infrastructure to support and expand community-building, co-curricular activities (e.g., athletics, health/recreation/wellness, service learning, internships, study abroad). (Objectives 1, 5)
  • Expand student organizations, peer-to-peer programs and services focused on community-building and student leadership. (Objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Increase the current level of student and employee services by opening a Faculty and Staff Club, student nap rooms and short-term, low-cost childcare for students, faculty and staff. (Objective 2)
  • Pursue an athletics plan that sees athletics as part of academics, that focuses on athletes as students first and coaches as faculty, that acknowledges the benefits of athletics in terms of wellness and success and that offers student-athletes the tools they need to thrive as learners and members of the SF State community. (Objective 2)
  • Increase use of existing open space (e.g., grass fields, plazas) to facilitate social interaction (e.g., activities, events, recreation). (Objectives 2 and 5)
  • Assess the status of global, transnational and international commitments on campus and study ways to further foster a global mindset and engage the campus in global social issues, such as justice and equity, to infuse these issues into the curriculum and strengthen our international partnerships and our support for short-term and long-term academic exchange of students, faculty and staff. (Objective 4)
  • Develop a corporate relations portal with a menu of services as a way to offer SF State staff and faculty expertise to Bay Area businesses and beyond. (Objective 4)
  • Establish an annual marketing campaign that highlights SF State student and employee community services and the impacts of our efforts. (Objective 4)


  • Develop significant funding to support faculty and staff leaves (including sabbaticals) and assigned time for mission-aligned projects that engage domestic and global communities. (Objectives 1, 2, 4)
  • Establish a resource center for SF State students who are undocumented, AB540 or have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and provide them with information, guidance and support while fostering a sense of community for undocumented students to facilitate their success and pathway to graduation. (Objectives 1, 3, 4)
  • Develop a successful athletic program that will foster SF State spirit, stimulate pride and encourage identification with SF State. Use enhanced athletics programs to leverage support from the Bay Area community and further long-term bonds and connections with alumni and retired employees. (Objectives 1, 4)
  • Proactively cultivate mentorship between alumni, emerging student leaders and new SF State students, in collaboration with faculty and staff. Ideally, these relationships would continue to enrich the professional lives of students and alumni well into their professional lives. (Objective 1, 4)
  • Create a legacy event and traditions that create meaningful community connections between alumni, faculty, staff and students and promote a sense of belonging and community. (Objectives 1, 4)
  • Expand high impact and experiential overseas opportunities for faculty, staff and students, especially non-traditional and underrepresented students, at all stages of academic study. (Objectives 1, 4)
  • Develop programs and services under the auspices of the Mashouf Wellness Center to promote community well-being consisting of mental, physical, social and spiritual health components. (Objectives 1, 5)
  • Establish collaborative relationships with local, regional and global organizations through aligning and integrating their needs into curriculum and facilitating student work-experience opportunities with them, such as internships, consulting projects and practicum. (Objectives 2, 4)


  • Work closely with faculty, staff, Colleges, the Alumni Association and the Office of International Programs to build long-term, meaningful relationships with transnational and international students and alumni as critical members of the SFSU community, who contribute to the richness and diversity of our community. (Objective 1)
  • Work closely with faculty, staff, Colleges and the Alumni Association to build long-term, meaningful relationships with underrepresented students and alumni as critical members of the SF State community who contribute to the richness and diversity of our community, in the process creating the space for pluralism and counter-stories, cultural and linguistic awareness, diversified learning opportunities, internships, sponsorships, programs and the like. (Objective 1)
  • Open an Alumni, Parents and Friends Services Center to provide hospitality in an energized, animated atmosphere. The Center could contain event space, gift shops, short-term housing, etc. and could be the starting place for tours, orientations, etc. (Objectives 1, 4) Work closely with faculty, the Alumni Association and the Office of International Programs to build long-term, meaningful relationships with students and alumni in other countries. Provide opportunities for these students and alums to participate and contribute in exchanges, internships and excursion programs. (Objectives 1, 4)
  • Cut the ribbon on the University Academic Center, an attractive physical space that will centralize student support services (tutoring, advising and internship coordination) and host such community-building initiatives as: peer-to-peer faculty mentoring, maker spaces for faculty and faculty-student work, public venues for symposia and conferences, as well as informal socializing, meeting spaces for faculty interest groups and advisories. (Objective 2, 3)


Resilience is the ability to recover and adapt quickly to difficulty or challenges and transform adversity into opportunity. It is a quality enhanced by intentional planning premised on the socio-cultural, environmental and economic systems of sustainability, and it is magnified by the ability to anticipate challenges that lie ahead. As the pace and unpredictability of change accelerate in the 21st century, resilience is increasingly indispensable. In this climate, a quality higher education that promotes radical and nimble thinking fosters resilience in people and families. We also recognize that we play a central role in the resilience of our community and the world, not only as the result of the contributions that our graduates make, but through our scholarship, activism and community-engaged work. As we confront such problems as environmental sustainability and climate change in our classrooms and labs, we recognize our responsibility to help forge resilience in the communities we serve.

Resilience Aspirations

  • To empower students with an education that instills the value of sustainability and provides the ability to be innovative and nimble in confronting challenges.
  • To model environmental sustainability on our campus that is exportable to our communities beyond the campus.
  • To foster a recognition among students, faculty and staff of the resources they produce and consume as they engage the campus and the community.
  • To celebrate the full range of cultural traditions and multiple ways of knowing.
  • To graduate students who are aware of the power that their education plays in their personal resilience and who value the public good produced by a community of educated people.
  • To develop an identity both locally and beyond as a campus that is engaged in its community and in doing so is essential to its resilience.

Resilience Objectives

  1. SF State will become a nationally recognized leader in campus environmental sustainability.
  2. SF State will develop philanthropic and entrepreneurial income streams that appropriately support the intellectual work of students, faculty and staff, regardless of state budget decisions, with the goal of bolstering institutional sustainability.
  3. SF State will expand and support programs and services that contribute to personal resiliency (e.g., advising, career counseling, health/wellness and tutoring services and programs).
  4. SF State will develop its faculty, curriculum, research and programming to become a national leader in mitigating the effects of climate change and fostering community resilience.
  5. SF State will be a champion and advocate at the regional level in the areas of affordable housing, transportation and economic development on behalf of students and SF State employees.

Resilience Initiatives


  • Create a timeline and set benchmarks for campus sustainability goals that will set the path to ensure that SF State leads the CSU in campus environmental sustainability. Additionally, the University will continue to align our auxiliary investment policies with our environmental sustainability commitments. (Objective 1)
  • Continue negotiations with area mass transit organizations to reduce transportation costs for students, faculty and staff. (Objective 1)
  • Establish a system of incentives for innovative and entrepreneurial activity on campus. (Objective 2)
  • Develop an overall plan for the strategic alignment, sustainability and facilities management of satellite campuses, including the Downtown Campus, Romberg Tiburon Center, and proposed Bay View/Hunters Point locations. This will include ensuring that future investments in satellite locations are in line with the mission of the University, incorporate the needs and viewpoints of all stakeholders and meet financial benchmarks set by the campus and CSU. (Objective 2)
  • Develop a comprehensive alumni engagement plan to reconnect our graduates with the exciting things that are happening on campus. (Objective 2)
  • Establish targets for employee philanthropic support of the university, while acknowledging differential abilities to give within our diverse community. (Objective 2)
  • Review University forms and business practices to reduce bureaucracy and increase clarity and efficiency. (Objective 3)
  • Consider prioritizing environmental sustainability and resilience within the faculty-hiring plan. (Objective 4)


  • Secure area-wide mass transit passes for all SF State students by fall 2018. (Objective 1)
  • Prioritize the creation and maintenance of state-of-the-art wireless and computing capability that fosters creativity, collaboration and innovation. (Objective 1, 2)
  • Authorize the University Corporation to consider establishing a venture capital fund to support entrepreneurial projects of students, staff, faculty and alumni. (Objective 2)
  • Work with campus and external innovators to establish “maker”-oriented laboratory spaces to foster creative applications of scholarship. (Objective 2, 4)
  • Address compensation levels and housing opportunities in light of San Francisco’s cost of living. (Objective 2, 4)
  • Develop the necessary infrastructure to support and expand programs and services that foster academic and personal resiliency (e.g., academic and career advising, counseling, health/recreation/wellness, tutoring). (Objective 3)
  • Initiate planning for a Center for Climate Change Resilience that will sponsor leading-edge, community-engaged research activities in support of local and global communities facing the impact of global climate change. (Objective 4)
  • Update the physical master plan to maximize affordable student and employee housing. (Objective 5)


  • Open a new, state-of-the-art Science building on the main campus that provides the high-quality teaching, research, laboratory and collaborative space that 21st century students, faculty and staff need. (Objective 1, 2, 4)
  • Continuously upgrade academic technology to ensure classrooms and labs are consistent with or better than the industry standards of specific fields of study. (Objective 3)
  • Launch the Center for Climate Change Resilience. (Objective 4)