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CSULB needs more faculty, staff diversity, president says

President F. King Alexander spoke about diversifying Cal State Long Beach faculty and staff at last Thursday’s Academic Senate meeting.

“There are groups on campus that need more help than other groups. We must together work to diversify,” he said. “We have made a lot of progress as a campus.”

Alexander said CSULB has gone from a 27 percent graduation rate among Latino students to 47 percent — 10 percent above other U.S. universities.

Students may also have more classes to choose from next semester. An additional $5.7 million of stimulus money will be given to CSULB, Alexander added, which may allow the university to accommodate more spring classes.

California Faculty Association President Teri Yamada also announced the winners of a letter-writing campaign in protest of state budget cuts. Students were asked to write letters detailing how budget cuts are affecting their education, and the best letters were selected in a contest.

Melissa Wheeler, a senior human development and Spanish major, and Sarah Yoon, a sophomore pre-social work major, will go to Sacramento Nov. 2 to take the student-written letters directly to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The students will be accompanied by Nancy Matthews, a student mentor and CSULB lecturer.

The Senate later gave the first reading of a proposal to implement a new minor within the criminal justice department: forensic studies.

Hank Fradella, professor and chair of the criminal justice department, said the department eliminated several courses last year so the program wouldn’t take additional resources.

“The justice professionals need more education in the way that science and technology affect the performance of their duties,” he said. “If they don’t understand that, and correspondingly if science and technology professionals do not understand the limitations put on them by the justice system, we have two tragic things that happen: Guilty people go free and innocent people get wrongfully convicted.”

The Senate will give the proposal’s second reading at its next meeting.

The Senate also gave the first reading of a proposal that would implement a new post-baccalaureate certificate in communicative disorders. The Senate will give its second reading for this proposal at its next meeting.

At the meeting, the name of Library & Academic Technology Services was changed to University Library.

Alexander also said the Veterans Affairs hospital will build a new day care center and a nursing classroom. The VA will build the day care center, but CSULB students and faculty will be able to work there. 

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