A Letter from President Manuel A. Esteban
Letters from our Readers
t has been a year since I talked with you about the development
of our Strategic Plan. I now want to share with you some of the
specific programs we have initiated that focus energy and resources
on the implementation of Strategic Plan priority #1.
As you may recall, the first priority is "to create and enhance
innovative, high-quality, and student-centered learning environments."
A key component was the establishment of the Center for Excellence
in Learning and Teaching (CELT). In September 1996, CELT sponsored
its second fall conference on learning and teaching. This was
in direct response to requests by faculty, staff, and students
for an opportunity to explore a range of topics focused on making
learning and teaching central to our mission. The very successful,
well-attended, two-day series of seminars covered a wide range
of topics. Various faculty and staff shared their success in utilizing
classroom support technologies; developing instructional web sites;
designing collaborative teaching strategies; mentoring undergraduate
researchers; and developing K12 connections. As this issue of Chico Statements goes to press, our third CELT conference to be held in mid-September
is expected to be highly successful.
CELT has also instituted an awards program for faculty development.
Small grants of up to $250 are given to faculty to purchase instructional
materials, including software, and to attend professional meetings
that focus on the improvement of teaching and mastering new teaching
techniques and methodologies. A second part of the CELT Awards
Program supports curriculum development and innovative teaching,
including the development of interdisciplinary courses. We encourage
the creation of new courses and the enhancement of existing courses,
both in the major and in the General Education program. A third
component of the CELT Awards Program is the IntraUniversity Visiting
Professorships, which encourage faculty development and renewal
by enabling faculty to study and teach in a department outside
of their host department.
The University is also actively committing to strategic priority
#1 through the Master Teacher Award Program. We recently selected
a new cohort of Master Teachers who will serve as mentors and
models for their peers for a two-year period beginning this fall.
These outstanding faculty have demonstrated commitment to high-quality
instruction, have experience teaching a variety of courses, and
have shown a willingness to work with other faculty on collaborative
These are just a few of the many programs we have initiated and
are supporting to enable our faculty to meet the realities of
the twenty-first century. The explosion of information and technological
advances and the rich and diverse world culture create challenges
as well as incredible opportunities for CSU, Chico. We continually
get kudos for our excellent strategic plan, and I often get requests
from other campuses to use ours as a model. As we stated at the
time the Strategic Plan was developed, it is a work in progress,
and we continue to revise it as we learn more about ourselves
in this rapidly changing environment.
On another note, the University held its second annual President's
Scholars Competition on Saturday, February 22. We hosted 119 high-achieving
high school seniors and their families and guests. The students
competed for four $5000 scholarships and several $500 scholarships.
Read the feature on last year's winners starting on page 9 to
find out more about this program.
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