Fall in San Francisco is a special time including the fact it’s the start of a new semester and another academic year! At ICCE, we’re excited to continue our forward momentum and do our part in both celebrating achievements and resolving current societal challenges. The ICCE 2.0 Strategic Plan is completed with excellent input and feedback from both across campus and the community and will reflect endorsement of our Advisory Council this fall as well. The plan is aligned with our university Student Success Graduation Initiative of 2025. Our six strategic goals will help us strive to maintain high standards for our students, support and grow opportunities for faculty, and involve more community partners as we deepen our relationships across the Bay Area. Our strategic plan promotes an inclusive campus culture, engages the community in innovative partnerships, contributes to academic excellence of our students, and supports faculty through a variety of means (e.g., Call-to-Service grants, workshops/trainings, CSL course development, support for community-engaged scholarship, resource library).
Change is in the air in many ways. Personally, my fear of the Trump administration and consequences of his budget plan is disturbing. Nonetheless, we must all prevail. Regardless of his campaign promises, Americans coast-to-coast will suffer, international relations are diminishing, immigration policies add to the chaos, violence is out of control, homelessness is pervasive; the list goes on. Where is the justice in all this? Close to the heart and soul of institutions of higher learning, are the insidious cuts to education including drastic cuts to student aid programs and university-based research. As noted in the press nationwide, “The proposed budget includes large cuts to science agencies: 11 percent for the National Science Foundation, 22 percent for the National Institutes of Health, and 17 percent for the Department of Energy Office of Science...” (See Inside Higher Education). While faculty procure contracts and grants from a variety of sources, the impacts of this to faculty research here at home could be devastating as a result of these cuts. Surprisingly, yet thankfully, the federal budget allocations for a myriad of higher education entities serving racially and culturally diverse students will remain the same (e.g., HBCU’s, HACU’s, Tribal Colleges). Given changing demographics, and other reasons, it would be wise if they were better funded regardless.
The very democracy of this nation is at risk as we begin to breathe autocracy in the air. The work of the American Democracy Project, and others, is vital to the very survival of our society and paramount to the progress being made at SF State. The work of ICCE’s programs and opportunities lead to increased civic responsibility, development of student leaders to solve problems, support of innovative community service learning (CSL) courses, and generation of superlative community engaged scholarship.
This year we will also be highlighting student projects and faculty community engaged scholarship; from creating more visibility for CSL course experiences to enhancing our connections with the SF Mayor’s Office, Neighborhood Empowerment Network resilience initiative ICCE is ready to soar! Send us your updates to showcase and think about who you want to nominate for the 2017-18 ICCE Awards (details for awards available later this fall). Additionally, ICCE is pleased to announce we’ll be hiring a Senior Program Coordinator and the old “ULink49” database is being revamped and redesigned for a new, more user-friendly platform called SF State Connect to be launched soon. Additionally, we’re creating a new Voices of Engagement Blog. The list goes on!
Colleges and universities have been taking a leadership role in meeting the global society’s problems, and SF State continues to participate in finding solutions. We look forward to sharing the impact of student involvement and influence of our faculty/staff. We look forward to hearing from you—there are so many individuals, departments, and organizations in our community that boost our partnerships and make our work so exhilarating!
Thank you for your work and continued collaboration to help make this world a better place!
Dr. Nina S. Roberts, ICCE Faculty Director