Cal State Long Beach President Jane Close Conoley and Provost Karyn Scissum Gunn welcomed the university’s faculty, staff, and students back to campus during a convocation ceremony at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.
The traditional assembly formally kicks off the start of the new academic year and allows the president and provost to lay out the goals and aspirations for the upcoming year.
Conoley listed several actions that will help an equitable and empowering culture thrive at the university. Some of those actions include:
- A $400,000 grant to create a Mobile Crisis Unit so a mental health professional will accompany University Police on emergency calls related to mental health.
- Increased number of counseling and psychological counselors to 19 – the highest and most diverse ever.
- $53 million in state funding will help build more affordable campus housing and add another 450 beds.
- Recent signing of a gift agreement for $10 million to replace Peterson I Hall with a working community medical clinic in partnership with Long Beach Memorial Care.
- A $10 million training grant to support increasing minority representation in careers associated in public health.
Scissum Gunn spoke of how higher education is changing to meet the shifting demographics of the future where by 2034 most “traditional” college-age members of the U.S. population will be non-white.
Gunn cited several examples the university is currently taking to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion are interwoven into the classroom and community including:
- Development of “The Resilience Project” which helps students, especially first-generation, to consider science as a career.
- The “Caminos Project” to engage Latinx youth to consider teaching careers and ensure all CSULB candidates teach in a culturally relevant and responsible ways.
- Composing a “Back to Basics” handbook to help students prepare for college-level courses.
- Working with the City of Long Beach to provide more equitable community health initiatives.
- Establishing equitable mental health services and wellness practices on campus.