Theme 4 - The Physical Master Plan

Theme Leads: Mary Ann Begley, Eric Hsu, Franz Lozano

This theme will evaluate our existing physical resources and our existing plans and aspirations for improving our physical infrastructure.  Key questions in this area include:

  • How will the new Recreation & Wellness Center impact the campus and what can we do to get the most from this new facility?
  • What are the prospects for completion of the Creative Arts Replacement Building?
  • What buildings pose the greatest need for renovation and what prospects exist for those renovations?
  • How will plans to improve transit systems along 19th Avenue affect SF State and what changes might we consider in light of these improvements?
  • How can the university best make use of University Park North and University Park South?
  • What opportunities will develop as the university pursues the development of property along Holloway Avenue to slow traffic, attract campus serving retail establishments, increase student bed spaces and make Holloway a campus main street?
  • What is the appropriate amount of student housing for SF State’s future?
  • How might the university make the best use of its property and facilities in Tiburon?
  • Are there ways for the university to collaborate with ongoing development projects in San Francisco to further our mission and extend our community impact?

Go to Theme 5 - Advancing Campus & Community Climate


There was, about 8 years ago, a plan for renovating HSS, which definitely needs it. It also would be nice to offer all faculty, not just those with the luck to be in newer buildings, private offices. Doing so would attract faculty to campus on days they are not teaching, enhacing the campus community and collaboration.

I am not sure where the funding can come from however, SF State needs better signage! The local high-schools and CCSF have electric signs that post upcoming events. The newly added flat screens around campus look amazing so the electric sign could be an extension of that ideally at 19th and Holloway where the most traffic is.

Also, UCB has their clock tower that rings at the top of the hour. What do folks think about a smaller clock more like a grandfather clock near the Library also rings at the top of the hour at least during 8am-10pm while classes are in session?

UPN buildings need new windows and fresh new coat of paint. That will make them look better and a better representation of the university.

We desperately need a new science building. It is important that we be able to serve the increasing number of students who wish to major in a science subject. At the moment our lab space is both too old and to small to serve these students well.

The American Language Institute
SF State College of Extended Learning and International Affairs
Response to Strategic Plan Draft Fall 2013

Theme 4: The Physical Master Plan

• We strongly suggest that the university include non-matriculated students (e.g. ALI students, students in short programs) in its pricing structure and assure that these students have access to these facilities.

• NA

• The ALI, along with several other campus programs, has been assigned the use of classrooms in the trailers behind Hensil Hall for 6 years. We note that our four “classrooms” in Trailer O are actually temporary chemistry classrooms which were never intended for classroom instruction.

These rooms are substandard in their construction, inappropriate for any meaningful teaching and learning, especially language learning, and are aesthetically unpleasant. ALI students pay significant tuition and expect a better environment.

Many other classrooms on campus are substandard and not commensurate with the quality of the campus’ instruction: Classrooms in the Gym and Creative Arts building are two examples. .

In addition, we feel the technology in many SF State classrooms needs major enhancements. It is still very difficult to access the internet in many cases; in other cases, the projection screen is too small.
We also see the need for more computer labs that can be used for teaching as well.

We know students feel that a campus lying only one hour away from Silicon Valley should be a model of technological excellence.

• The proposals for improving the transit systems along 19th Avenue are very positive steps for making this a safer campus. We strongly suggest increasing the frequency of the BART shuttles.

• We suggest the university develop plans for housing students in its short-term programs.

• We support the idea of a campus main street. To that end, we suggest that plans for the retail corridor along Holloway include postal service (minimally a place for students to mail and receive packages). Also, we feel the campus community would benefit from shuttles that could bring students, faculty, and staff, to faraway places on campus, including the new retail corridor.

• NA

• NA

College of Extended Learning and International Affairs’ (CELIA) Leadership Team’s Responses to the Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee Themes

Theme 4 – The Physical Master Plan

How will the new Recreation and Wellness Center impact the campus and what can we do to get the most from this new facility?
 Need to ensure that non-matriculated students in academic programs can utilize the center

What are the prospects for completion of the Creative Arts Replacement Building?
 Would like to see this completed
 Cultivate prospective donors

What buildings pose the greatest need for renovation and what prospects exist for those renovations?
 Business, HSS, gymnasium, Science
 Trailers are substandard
 Cultivate prospective donors

How will plans to improve transit systems along 19th Avenue affect SF State and what changes might we consider in light of these improvements?
 The changes are very positive
 Create a central University hub around the transportation changes

How can the university best make use of University Park North and University Park South?
 Increase student housing
 Apartments for visiting scholars

What opportunities will develop as the university pursues the development of property along Holloway Avenue to slow traffic, attract campus serving retail establishments, increase student bed space and make Holloway a campus main street?
 Having a commercial/multi-use development at 19th and Holloway will be extremely beneficial for the entire campus and will increase the building of community
 Will be very useful to visiting scholars and will increase the attractiveness of coming to San Francisco State

What is the appropriate amount of student housing for SF State’s future?
 There is a great demand for housing for local and international students that is unmet

How might the university make the best use of its property and facilities in Tiburon?
 n/a

Are there ways for the university to collaborate with ongoing development projects in San Francisco to further our mission and extend our community impact?
 Look for private/public opportunities to develop: e.g., guest accommodations for visitors as there are no hotels near campus, an international center for international and local students, a building for the American Language Institute

from Staff in Academic Resources, Faculty Affairs and
ProfessIonal Development and the Provost's Office

THEME 4Physical Master Plan
1New Rec & Wellness Center: where will it be? All agreed wellness of staff is important, but the Center won't be used by staff if it is too far away.
2Will the Rec and Wellness Center have competition based on cost? E.g., City Sports is opening in the old Tower Records location in Stonestown.
3"Improve commute via offering more Muni, buses, shuttles. for those taking public transportation, it is easier to get to campus than to leave campus. i.e., everyone leaves at the same time (5pm) -- too much demand, not enough shuttles, 28 bus, etc.
4Liked the openness of the previous physical master planning process- involved students, staff, faculty.
5Would like transparency with the current process, rather than all planning and decision making done centrally.
6Physical barriers to family-friendly atmosphere, cuts at heart of appreciation value.
- no feeding rooms for new mothers
- companies have expectant mother parking
7Creative Arts Building with state-of-the-art facilities/theatres to attract community audiences/increase revenues.

Academic Technology Staff Strategic Planning Notes
(compiled from four separate listening sessions held in October with all AT staff, facilitated by AVP Brian Beatty and AT Director Maggie Beers)

Theme 4: The Physical Master Plan

•Rather than promise long-term projects, let’s focus on one doable project and get it done so that those who are currently here can see success. The Library is an example of that. Once it got started for real, it took 4 years to complete which is pretty quick, though 2-3 year projects would be even better.
•One of the big problems in “question mark” buildings like HSS and Creative Arts is that they just let them go. It’s important to know that neglect degrades the actual production use of that building and whatever happens within it.
•For students who are here for 4 years in a degraded room, that is their student experience, that is all they know. There’s no power, poor wireless, no charging stations.
•The fact that we are in the largest and newest public building on campus (the library) and there is no cell reception since it opened 1.5 years ago frustrates people—staff and students.
•Because so much time had passed since the original building plan was created for the library, parts of the design were based on a previous use case. We need to think about how the tenants and programs are going to use it for the next 5 years.
•The wireless network kicks off devices, makes you log in several times, and you can’t always get reception. I have not been able to get tickets remediated. There are strategic academic technology directions in which we would like to move, but we can’t because we don’t have the physical infrastructure (wifi) on campus.
•We have had students come in here to the library and try to do interesting things but they can’t because of Wifi. Could we look into portable rogue wifi as an interim solution?
•The cost of paying to activate data jacks (which we are paying to ourselves, since it all comes out of the same university pot) is cost-prohibitive, so faculty are doing their work on unstable [rogue] wireless, which leads to people internalizing that the university doesn’t care about their work, and that if they want something done, they have to do it themselves. This cultural aspect is a big reason why we struggle with IT inefficiencies, lack of policy, and lack of policy enforcement.
oWhy are we charged such high fees to activate data jacks ($150) when it is IT equipment that is bought out of the GF and installed by staff paid out of GF? If it is to make us think twice about whether or not we need the jack, why not just charge $25? Why not govern this through policy? Charge-back rates are not transparent; apparently someone has approved them at some time…
•If we are going to discuss our Physical Master Plan, how about also discussing a virtual master plan? What might the virtual master plan be? How can we use technology to augment and extend physical space? There are very interesting options emerging for “virtualizing” services or offsetting classroom scheduling across hybrid courses but it requires consistent IT infrastructure in order for it to work. SF State was the last campus to implement CSU network upgrades and it feels like we’ve been behind ever since. We have been trying to implement some network improvement activities in our data center as an example. We started this several years ago, which has affected our ability to move projects and initiatives forward.
•When it comes to IT in a physical or virtual master plan, the campus never sleeps. There will always be someone accessing resources, either virtual or physical, and if we want to develop that resource then we need to reexamine our IT across campus to materialize that goal.
oInfrastructure is not just physical, it is also virtual (wireless, cell, etc.), and this needs to move front and center in the planning around the master plan.
In addition to the physical requirements of the classrooms, wireless access needs to be augmented so that faculty and students can carry out the types of learning activities they desire.
No cellphone service in the library makes it inconvenient and unsafe to work.
•How can we support faculty and students accessing our systems from all over the world? There is a lot we want to do, but there are inter-departmental politics and bureaucracy and it would be good to see that go away.
•SF State needs to take advantage of partnerships with local tech companies.
•When building the Physical Master Plan, it will be important to provide for improved safety, with effective locks on all doors, clear lines of visibility, appropriate lighting, and other features.
•I wish they had torn down HSS when they were supposed to. They kept retrofitting HSS three times instead of rebuilding it.
•There are a lot of buildings that need replacement.
•There was talk of turning Holloway into a mall; that would be great for the students. That would be fantastic—tear the apartments down and put retail in there.
•Get the stop for the students off of 19th avenue and on to this side of the street. There have been too many people hit crossing the street.
•We have noticed that there is a lot of wasted space on campus, storing old technology, old typewriters. There should be a massive cleanup of campus. If you need more space for classes, you could take a wall down here, down there. If we could go through and clean out a lot of the buildings it would free up a lot of space. We have had to deal with a lot of ways to make new rooms, tear down walls, run wires. We know how to make new spaces.
•There are projections that enrollments might go down. That might create an opportunity to take an old building offline for a while.
•If the university is focused on the student experience, we should think of master planning in terms of 4-year periods of time, so that students taste some excitement in their time here.
•The previous administration focused on making the external campus look nice, which they have done a very good job of. It would be good to now focus on the inside of the campus.
oWhy make all the classrooms white and standardized? It would be nice to paint the classrooms with beautiful paintings and murals, showcase the students’ work. That celebrates our diversity and creates friendly learning spaces.
•It would be good to have little surprise cafés and local eateries embedded within the colleges, to create gathering places and convenient places for nourishing food (like the Casablanca room in CA, and the Café in HSS). The Student Union is far away and food trucks are often noisy, crowded and not very homey.
•When people plan buildings they don’t talk to the AV people until its too late. Part of planning is that you need to bring in an AV consultant before the designs begin. AV has to be a priority if technology-supported instruction (or presentation) is a priority.
•We need good blinds, not things that turn and twist and make it unpleasant for the faculty members.
•It’s important to think about how the people work who are using the room.
•Also, controlling the temperature. (HSS) is notorious for being too hot.
•Sometimes good designs are created, but then the budget constrains the execution.
oLibrary 121-chairs are fixed, but tables are wheeled. In the LIB café area, the chairs are wheeled and the tables are fixed. The workflow has to be thought through better.
•Creative Arts will be built maybe someday, but until then we need to help those poor guys. There needs to be more emphasis on making it a good experience for students and visitors.
•Directions and signage is confusing—physical way finding is challenging. Every year DAI creates a way finding plan but it is never implemented. Fine Arts is a “frankenbuilding”. When you come from the parking structure, there is a campus map, but when you look at the map, the campus is behind you. It would make more sense to have the map at the end of the walkway, so that when you look at the map, the campus is in front of you. These plans (DAI wayfinding) that are developed by students as applied research should be implemented.
oThe strategic planning process is a way to get the campus involved in the planning, so let’s get those people with a vested interest involved in improving the environment. For example, get the engineering students and DAI students together and have them create a plan for signage—and then implement it to keep people invested.

Statement on Strategic Planning from the Women and Gender Studies Department:

San Francisco State University has a long and impressive history as an academic and cultural center for our city and as an intellectual and activist catalyst for the nation. This history includes the leadership demonstrated by students, faculty and staff during the Third World Strike of 1968 and continues today through our community partnerships, student organizing, faculty innovations, alumni accomplishments, transnational connections, and the unique character of our campus body. As an institution and a community, we are at our strongest and our best when the administration honors the collective governance of students, staff and faculty. We urge the President and the strategic planning committee to build on these strengths.

A primary historic strength is our campus’s shared mission of social justice. When we reference SFSU’s commitment to “social justice” we are not satisfied with simple rhetorics of diversity, but insist upon a lively intellectual and political engagement with concepts such as citizenship, community, redistribution, equity, and identity. As scholars of women and gender studies, we understand social justice as a project steeped in histories of uneven power relations on local, national and global scales. We understand the importance of historical perspectives, coalitions, and collaborative, strategic decision-making in efforts to move institutions forward, even while under economic or political pressures. In the spirit of our campus mission of social justice and critical participation, the Women and Gender Studies Department offers the following observations and suggestions to the strategic planning effort.

While we understand the logic of dividing such an effort into seven themes, the intersecting issues among the themes required a single response to the critical issues facing our campus today.

Maximizing student success cannot be divorced from issues of institutional support and economic justice: the most pressing concern for our students’ ability to succeed is not only affordability or streamlining academic programs, but fostering the economic conditions that enable students to focus on their studies and not on their subsistence. Student success is not defined by the speed at which students can race through their studies, but by the quality of the education they experience while at SFSU. It is impossible for students to graduate in a timely manner when they are working 20-40 hours per week.

Instead of focusing on increasing philanthropic support we suggest focusing on increasing public support as an institution of public education. This would mean, to start, turning our focus to demanding increased state support; lobbying for increased student grants rather than loans; reducing tuition to levels previous to the budget crisis; and rethinking the full-time requirement for student scholarships and tuition waivers.

The Women and Gender Studies Department supports community partnerships that advocate for economic justice: these include campaigns to increase the minimum wage and to support immigrant rights. When wages are stagnant (locally, statewide, and on campus), students, staff, and faculty cannot excel educationally and professionally. We advocate for the working conditions of and professional respect for SFSU lecturers. We applaud the university’s commitment to undocumented students through its commitment to the DREAM Act and administrative and curricular support for all our students, documented and undocumented. We urge the university’s continuing advocacy for all of our students and the ongoing efforts on campus to make the pathways to both citizenship and residency meaningful by ensuring they are safe, accessible and affordable.

Similarly, the academic master plan is intimately tied to the achievement of our institutional goals and our impact on the community. Every day, SF State faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, and students are doing amazing work. We do not need to reinvent academic programs, but rather support and promote the outstanding work already being done at SF State. Community impact should be measured not only through “economic impact” and “morale” but also through the production of knowledge generated by the research and creative projects of faculty. The contributions of our alumni to their community are meaningful and substantial in not just fiscal terms but also non-monetary terms, including creative art, political leadership, community involvement, and engaged professional development.

Faculty research is crucial to the health of a university environment. After years of diminished resources and loss of CSU grants for research and professional development, faculty morale and student success would be improved not through superficial changes (such as the promotion of university songs or color days), but by the reinstallation of assigned time for research, the replacement of lost library books and cancelled scholarly journal subscriptions, smaller class sizes, and increased numbers of tenure-track faculty positions. Our students will succeed with excellent teachers who are professionally supported, not bureaucratically over-taxed, and when they can study and work in a physical environment which supports their studies, and when they receive consistent advising from faculty who are not working other jobs to pay their bills and keep their dependents afloat. Faculty professional activities are not simply the means by which to increase university “prestige,” but rather provide vital connections to intellectual, creative, cultural, and political projects that also makes SFSU faculty more inspired and inspiring teachers. The reshuffling of departments and programs in the recent past has neither saved money, nor served our students, nor increased the academic reputation of our institution. Creating conditions in which our outstanding faculty, students, and staff can do their jobs less encumbered by unnecessary obstructions will strengthen our university by facilitating the knowledge-production and cultural work of faculty and the quality education provided to our students. Such supports will undoubtedly positively impact our students’ success rates and the reputation of SFSU as an outstanding institution of higher education.

We are proud to be members of the SF State community and to carry its mission of social justice forward. In this commitment, we look forward to continuing to build our institution in partnership with President Wong, our students, the SF State alumni, and our colleagues.

Nan Alamilla Boyd, Professor
Deborah Cohler, Associate Professor and Chair
Julietta Hua, Associate Professor
AJ Jaimes Guerrero, Professor
Kasturi Ray, Assistant Professor
Jillian Sandell, Associate Professor
Evren Savci, Assistant Professor
Lisa Tresca, Office Manager

Theme 4 - The Physical Master Plan
How will the new Recreation & Wellness Center impact the campus and what can we do to get the most from this new facility?
Having a student center focused on health and wellness and fun physical activity will create a hub for connection and that this campus lacks. We recommend that Counseling and Psychological Services, including Prevention Education Programs should have adequate space in the new Center to be part of the support services focused on a comprehensive picture of personal wellness and to be accessible to the students where they spend time meeting with one another and focusing on their health.
What is the appropriate amount of student housing for SF State’s future?
With the impacted and overprized rental environment in SF our students living in the community are living 9-10 to apartments meant for 4 people. Affordable housing that is integrated into the campus community helps build a vibrant educational community. New housing should have comprehensive services, activities and community spaces for learning and social connecting to help students avoid an isolated dorm or apartment experience. Students especially freshman have indicated that the lack of communal space or places for group activities in the towers and villages and in university south and north creates a serious problem of isolation and does little to foster community connection or involvement. As well as space for socializing and studying together, support services such as prevention education focused on health and wellness and counseling services in the living communities should increase as the number of residents in housing increases.

Examine our existing campus structures and create accessibility (in the case of Cox Stadium, which is not currently accessible and does not currently meet code) or improve accessibility (Science, Thorton, Hensill). Build a new student union that incorporates the principles of Universal Design. (Similar to the Ed Roberts campus in Berkeley). Institute multiple passenger drop-off points around the perimeter of the campus. –Posted by DPRC employee on behalf of DPRC

I can't echo enough what others have said about improving the transportation between BART and the campus. Shuttles should run much more frequently, and in the summer as well. (Maybe at times when there are likely to be fewer people, have them run on a schedule so that people know when they'll leave. At the very least, a pilot program to test out different high and low usage flows would be a good idea.) Maybe driving them could be a student job rather than paying an outside contractor so that the money supports our students rather than a company with no connection to SFSU. Regarding legal issues: at UC Davis students run the entire transit system, including buses that go circulate off campus, so obviously they've figured something out:
I read a suggestion for a bell near the library: it would be useful and fun to have audible cues throughout campus, maybe a couple of fountains (recycling water of course) to help people who navigate non-visually. Too bad the sound chimes have deteriorated. Maybe involve students from Design & Industry?
Signage in general is not helpful, within buildings, between them.
Not sure if this is physical or not, but a campus app that helped with navigation, basic information, announcements, maps of campus and buildings, would be a huge plus.
Finally, why does the swimming pool close at 6pm? Anyone who works a full day on campus must rush to the pool. Even closing at 7:00 would be a huge improvement, and 8pm even better.

I find it embarrassing that when we hire a new President we ask him/her to go find a place to live. All established universities provide official residence to its President (sometimes other high officials as well). It takes only a small amount of money compared to the total budget of the university but it provides big bang for the money spent.
Of course, the university does not have to offer the accommodation free of charge. By providing attractive residence to at least the President and Provost, SFSU will not only make these positions more attractive to future appointees but add a lot to its own visibility, prestige and stature. For a small investment SFSU can get a lot in return.
It may be possible to acquire 2 decent residences for around $5 million. Hopefully, there would be a few friends of the university to help out here.

Some of us must have noticed the swelling number of foreign students coming in recently. I feel that we should welcome more international students to our campus. It might be a good idea to create an "International Center" on the lines of UC Berkeley. This would create impression in the minds of the students and parents that we are broad based institution and are ready to play our role on the inetrnational fora. By proper advertisement etc. it should be possible to increase the numbers several folds both at undergraduate and at graduate levels. Not only the foreign students bring in more fund they also enrich the quality of our programs which no amount of investment can do. Our students learn things that enable them to compete internationally. Their horizon widens. They would not be intimidated in trying for jobs and projects worldwide. I often look at lucrative job offers from UN, WOLD BANK, etc. and wonder could our students go for these?