President's Newsletter, 3/7/2017

No matter how dedicated you might be to doing your job, life can often get in the way. For many people in all workplaces, issues of dependent and elder care often require difficult choices as they attempt to navigate the challenges of complicated lives.

How significant are these issues at CSUMB? The CSUMB Cares survey, now being administered by Department of Social Work assistant professor Lisa Stewart and her applied research students in conjunction with the Office of Inclusive Excellence, should supply some answers.

Building on the results of our Culture and Climate Survey,this study addresses another critical aspect of diversity and inclusion. We can stress the importance of providing a family-friendly workplace, but until we have a sound basis for knowing the family-care demands that our colleagues face every day, it will be difficult to come up with the most effective ways to achieve that goal.

The survey instrument is based on one that was administered to employees in the Portland area, where Dr. Stewart received her PhD from Portland State. Along with the on-line survey, there will be follow-up one-on-one interviews to gather more in-depth responses. The plan is to produce preliminary results before the end of the semester, in time for Capstone presentations, with a public report on the findings to come shortly thereafter.

These issues cut across generations and demographic groups. As an employer, the university has a responsibility to be compassionate to our colleagues who are facing child-care and elder-care challenges. And there is a practical aspect as well. We don’t want to lose valuable employees because they cannot find resources in the community to meet their needs.

This research also relates directly to our Bright Futures initiative, the community-wide effort to improve cradle-to-career pathways for young people. Available child- and elder-care programs can make a huge difference in the economic and social well-being of a community.

As an outgrowth of this research, our university could develop new internship opportunities for our Social Work students, so they can be directly involved in helping find solutions.

I encourage all staff and faculty to take a few minutes to complete this survey and help us gather the most complete data possible to illuminate the path forward.

An Alumni Highlight

Those of you who visited the calstate.edu page last month probably saw the story of one of our alumni, Juan Perez, the founder of J&P Organics. He is an outstanding example of the difference that CSUMB alumni are making in their communities.

Special Events 

My thanks to all of those involved in two special events in February, the annual Have a Heart for Students event and our first Sustainable Hospitality Development Symposium. The first is vital in raising private funds to enhance our student support programs. The second helps advance our university’s efforts to bring our community together around new ideas for economic development.

The success of both events was directly attributable to all the hard work that went into them. Thank you.

I welcome your comments on this newsletter, future subjects you would like to see addressed, or on any issues facing the university. You may direct them to president@csumb.edu