Theme 6 - Elevating Institutional Support

Theme Leads: Linda Oubre, Venesia Thompson, Yim-Yu Wong

This theme will examine the effectiveness of our institutional support activities and explore ways that we can maximize support of SF State’s mission. Key questions in this area include:

  • To what extent can we increase philanthropic support of the university?
  • How can institutional support entities help facilitate and encourage entrepreneurial activity?
  • What opportunities are there to enhance revenues, decrease debt and minimize risk within the university’s auxiliary organizations?
  • What opportunities exist to increase participation and meaningful student involvement in student governance and student life programming?

Go to Theme 7 - Emerging Issues


Although getting outside support is a laudable goal, I am concerned about two aspects. First, we should not let external funding diminish the need to pressure lawmakers in Sacramento (and the public) for decent funding of public universities. Second, much private funding may go towards professional programs. I'd like to see a commitment among administrators to fundraise specifically for the liberal arts as well as transfer funds freed up from external funding of the professional programs towards the liberal arts.

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

Theme 6: Elevating Institutional Support

• ALI may begin to tap its own alumni for potential philanthropic support of this program and the university.

• NA

• In addition to the ongoing new programming at CELIA, we see a great opportunity for new revenue from CELIA certificate programs that are designed or organized so that international students could enroll in them. We feel these programs are a very big draw for international students.

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

Theme 6 – Elevating Institutional Support

To what extent can we increase philanthropic support of the university?
 n/a

How can institutional support entities help facilitate and encourage entrepreneurial activity?
 n/a

What opportunities are there to enhance revenues, decrease debt and minimize risk within the university’s auxiliary organizations?
 Expand certificate and summer programs

What opportunities exist to increase participation and meaningful student involvement in student governance and student life programming?
 Increase amount of student activities and athletics on campus
 Campus has become less of a commuter school over time and this trend should continue with increased housing capacity

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 6 - Elevating Institutional Support

•There should be a method for determining if entrepreneurial work brings value to the university and how that value is shared and perceived.
•A positive model of entrepreneurship within AT has been the development of a core Moodle (LMS) application for the CSU. Contract work, provided by AT Moodle developers for work we would have been doing anyway, brought in funds. This, in turn, allowed AT to hire additional staff and students, which prepared a larger, deeper workforce in times of budget hardship. It also raised the visibility of the campus amongst our peers and brought opportunities from other vendors and strategic partners which also subsidized some of the work we would have already been doing. The work that SF State did to advance the CSU Moodle LMS coalition ultimately helped lead to better negotiations with site-wide contracts with other vendors.
•Staff are frustrated that we do work for other units and then when we request work from them they charge us.
•As support units we need to figure out priorities and process. We need to make sure we have the resources to do this.
•Faculty are the ones who suffer when there is not enough support in place, they are left out to hang when resources are taken from DTC and brought back to campus. The student experience is related to the faculty being supported.

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 6 – Elevating Institutional Support What opportunities exist to increase participation and meaningful student involvement in student governance and student life programming?

1.Prevention education programs already exist at SFSU to provide opportunities for student participation in student life programming. Counselor faculty recommend expanding and continuing to support such programs as a way of providing meaningful opportunities for such student involvement in campus life, which in turn increases ties to and support of the university.

2.SFSU has a successful “SF State Cares” campaign to promote awareness of mental health issues on campus. Highlighting and expanding this educational awareness program and developing other programs which demonstrates how SFSU prioritizes student mental health is a vital step in elevating institutional and philanthropic support.

In order to elevate institutional support we think SF State should inform students of all the programs and resources available on campus. We should encourage students to use as many support services on campus in order to be successful. Furthermore we find it important to encourage students to join campus clubs in order to build leadership skills and social supports while being active in campus culture. –Posted by DPRC employee on behalf of DPRC