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Volume 51, Number 26   March 29, 2004           

CampusMemo Home    Announcements    Events    News    People on Campus

deadline extended

The deadline for spring 2004 nominations for faculty governance positions has been extended to Friday, April 2, due to the lack of nominees required by the Elections and Referenda Procedures.

The positions in need of nominees are:

  • Academic affirmative action committee
  • Athletics advisory board
  • At-large academic senator
  • Academic freedom committee
  • CSU, statewide academic senate representative

To maintain effective faculty leadership, please take the time to nominate faculty who you believe will provide the kind of representation that will serve the best interest of the campus community. Submit nominations online at:

NSF grants workshop
The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs invites faculty to a workshop on applying for National Science Foundation (NSF) grants from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, in room 460 of the Administration building. The workshop will place particular emphasis on NSF Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) awards and will be facilitated by Urban Studies faculty members Dick LeGates and Ayse Pamuk, both of whom have obtained CCLI grants.

R.S.V.P. to Toni Philadeng at ext. 8-6478 or Refreshments will be provided.

Education Career Fair
The Career Center asks faculty and staff to encourage students to attend its yearly Education Career Fair from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in Jack Adams Hall of the Cesar Chavez Student Center.

The fair features representatives from public school districts and other educational recruiters interested in hiring teachers. Employers may also schedule students for same-day interviews from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For details, go to and click on the Events Calendar link.

Japanese women
in Manchuria

Sakura Furukubo, a professor at the Research Center for Human Rights at Osaka City University, will speak on "The Experience of Japanese Women in Manchuria: the Construction of 'Victim'" from 12:35 to 1:50 p.m. Tuesday in room 116 of the Psychology/ Ethnic Studies building.

For details, call ext. 8-1693.

Health disparities seminar

S. Leonard Syme, professor emeritus of epidemiology at University of California, Berkeley, will speak on "Social Determinants of Health: The Community as an Empowered Partner" from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday in room 153 of the HSS building.

The event is the fourth in a seminar series on health disparities research and is funded by the National Institutes of Health Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) program. For details, contact the Public Research Institute at ext. 8-2978 or

Coming Up
Andrew Tosh in concert

Andrew Tosh will perform with the Bay Area's own Reggae Angels at 3 p.m. Thursday, April 15, in Jack Adams Hall of the Student Center. Admission is $12 general and $6 for students. For tickets call (800) 594-8499 or go to

The concert is sponsored by Associated Students Performing Arts. For details, call ext. 8-2444.

Women leaders in higher ed
" Leading and Managing with Distinction: Your Career and Your Institution," an all-day forum for women leaders in higher education, will take place on campus Friday, April 16.

The event will address such topics as building diversity on campus, access and equity in times of budget cuts, career mapping, philanthropy and partnership in public education and women's paths to leadership roles. Speakers include President Robert Corrigan, Vice President for Student Affairs Penny Saffold, CSU San Marcos President Karen Haynes and more.

Registration is $75 and includes lunch and a reception. The event is sponsored by the American Council on Education's Northern California Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education.

For details, contact Susan Sung at ext. 5-0434 or or go to

50-50 poetic vision
The Poetry Center continues its yearlong 50th anniversary celebration with a 50/50 festival Saturday, April 17, at the Unitarian Center, 1187 Franklin St. (at Geary) in San Francisco. The event includes a free youth program with workshops and readings by young poets from 4 to 6 p.m. and a five-stage festival from 7 to 10 p.m. (tickets required).

The evening festival features simultaneous events on five separate stages include readings by poets Diane di Prima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and devorah major, a screening of a film on Pablo Neruda, and music and spoken word performances. Tickets are $12 for the general public, $10 for students and seniors (with ID), and $15 at the door. Audience members will receive a full schedule and map for the evening event to help them choose what they want to experience.

Tickets are available by calling toll-free (866) 468-3399 or on the Web at:

All proceeds help support the Poetry Center's special 50th anniversary programs.

Academica Judaica
Professor Larry Abramson of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem will present "Imaging Zionism: Complicity and Criticality in Israeli Visual Culture" at noon Tuesday, April 20, in the Verducci Room of the University Club. Admission is free.

The event is sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program.

SF State News home

Vartan Gregorian to receive honorary degree
Photo of Vartan GregorianVartan Gregorian, the champion of knowledge and understanding who led the resurgence of the New York Public Library, presided over Brown University and now leads the Carnegie Corporation of New York, will receive the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters from San Francisco State University during commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 29.

The event is a bit of a homecoming for Gregorian, whose first job after graduating from Stanford University was teaching European and Middle Eastern History at what was then San Francisco State College from 1962 to1968. In his recent memoir, "The Road to Home: My Life and Times," Gregorian recalls SF State at that time as a "campus beset by rallies, sit-ins and strikes," that prompted campus-wide and nationwide discussions on American foreign policy, national priorities, civil rights, free speech and the mission of American universities. He left, he wrote, "hopeful … convinced that teaching actually mattered."

Gregorian has served on the faculty or administration of four other universities: University of California at Los Angeles, University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University. As president of Brown from 1989 to 1997, he helped to found national Campus Compact which encourages campus involvement in community service and service learning,

Gregorian is perhaps best known for his eight years (1981 to 1989) as president of the New York Public Library, where he orchestrated a dramatic rebuilding that made books and public access to knowledge a cause celebre among the city's social elite. In the process, he set an example for communities across the United States, repositioning
libraries as democratic institutions that symbolize freedom and foster self-improvement.

"Vartan Gregorian's life has been an homage to books and the learning and insight that they make possible," said Robert A. Corrigan, President of San Francisco State University. "As a truly global citizen who recognizes the importance of honoring one's cultural legacy while respecting those of different peoples, he is a splendid role model for all of us. We are delighted to honor his legacy and example."

As president of the Carnegie Corporation since 1997, Gregorian is responsible for the nation's 11th largest foundation with more than $1.8 billion in assets. The Foundation supports a range of efforts to improve the life of the nation and contribute to international peace and security.

Willie Brown to be awarded honorary doctor of laws degree
Photo of Willie BrownAlumnus Willie L. Brown, Jr., who first won elective office to the California Assembly 40 years ago, later became Speaker of the Assembly and then mayor of San Francisco, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from San Francisco State University during commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 29.

"Willie Brown has served our state and our city with great distinction and dedication," said President Robert A. Corrigan. "His outstanding record of public service and political leadership has helped make our communities better for all. Willie Brown's countless contributions to society are a true reflection of the values of the CSU and San Francisco State University."

Brown, a nationally known political figure on issues facing urban America, has led a distinguished career in California politics from his modest start. He left his hometown in east Texas in the early 1950s and arrived in San Francisco in search of a better life.

Admitted to SFSU on a trial basis, he went on to graduate with a bachelor's degree in political science. Brown then earned his law degree from Hastings College of Law in 1958. He was elected to the California State Assembly in 1964 and re-elected 16 consecutive times. Brown served as Speaker of the Assembly from 1980 to 1995, the longest tenure in California history and in the process became one of the most powerful politicians in state government.

After enactment of term limits, Brown returned to San Francisco and won consecutive terms as mayor of San Francisco, serving from 1996 to 2004.

Since leaving the mayor's office, Brown, who turned 70 earlier this month, has been part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's transition team.

The honorary degree will be the third major honor Brown has received from SFSU. He earned the President's Medal in 1996 for his outstanding work as an elected official and he was named SFSU's Alumnus of the Year in 1981.

Final candidate for dean of graduate studies presents today
All members of the campus community are welcome to attend the presentation and reception for Awotona Adenrele, the third and final candidate for dean of graduate studies, from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, March 29, in the University Club. Adenrele is dean of the School of Architecture and director of the Community Design and Research Center at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La.

Ann Hallum, acting dean of graduate studies at San Francisco State University, and Roy C. Rodriguez, interim campus executive officer (president) of Dona Ana Community College and professor and director of the Community College Doctoral Program in the Department of Educational Management and Development at New Mexico State University, gave their presentations earlier this month.

Academic Senate meets Tuesday
The Academic Senate will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Nob Hill Room of the Seven Hills Conference Center.

Agenda items include: a report from Provost John Gemello and Vice President for Administration and Finance Leroy Morishita on the budget situation; a report from AVP for Information Technology Jonathan Rood on a new procedure for filtering e-mail spam; a proposed resolution on e-mail spam; a proposed revision to the University's grade appeal practices and procedures; a proposed Academic Senate meeting schedule for fall 2004; a report from CSU statewide academic senators Eunice Aaron, Robert Cherny and Jan Gregory; and an information item by Accounting Professor Scott Jerris and Acting Dean of Faculty Affairs Marilyn Verhey on Ernest Boyer's model for reconsidering scholarship and the priorities of the professoriate.

Sneak peek for future students April 3
Prospective college students can learn about SFSU's academics, support services and campus life during Sneak Preview Day from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 3.

The open house offers campus tours, financial aid information, and advice on housing options to prospective students and their parents. Representatives from all eight SFSU colleges will introduce future students to the more than 100 majors offered at the University and discuss career possibilities. Information on student services and organizations will also be available.

In addition, SFSU applicants can check the status of their admission and financial aid.

Last year more than 4,300 prospective students and parents visited SFSU on Sneak Preview Day. This year, the event is expected to draw more students and parents due to a significant increase in SFSU applicants for fall 2004.

For details, call (415) 405-0735 or visit:

Students admitted for fall 2004: Register intent
For fall 2004, SFSU will implement an "Intent to Register" function. Students admitted for fall 2004 will be asked to notify the campus of their enrollment plans between April 3 and May 7. Students can file their Intent to Register by going to:

The Intent to Register function will allow SFSU to know earlier who plans to attend for the next semester. The campus can send mailings and electronic communication directly to students who plan to attend SFSU rather than to the much larger number of students who have been admitted but may decide to attend elsewhere. Knowing how many students plan to enroll may also allow colleges to adjust class schedules to accommodate the actual incoming student population.

A Question and Answer sheet is posted online to explain the purpose of Intent to Register and how it works . You can find it at: Department personnel are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the process so they can answer questions.

 People on Campus
Vijay Mehrotra – Teaching students to think
Photo of Vijay MehrotraWhat are the odds that Vijay Mehrotra can walk 10 yards on campus without a student or professor greeting him with a big smile? Slim to none.

The assistant professor of decision sciences has been teaching for only two semesters, yet has made many friends within the College of Business and beyond. The New Delhi-born Midwesterner seems to know everyone he passes on his way from Café Rosso to his office in the Science building.

Enthusiastic about his courses in statistics and operations management, the fast-talking Mehrotra rattles off his goals for students: He wants them to gain a sense of what randomness is and how to respond to it; to think about mathematics intuitively; to understand that most decisions are short-term and involve risk...

Read the full profile of Mehrotra at:

STAR of the Month

March STAR of the Month: Kathleen Baker
Photo of Kathleen BakerKathleen Baker is a Gator true and through. And she’s proved it time and time again during the last three decades.

She arrived at S.F. State in 1973 as a preschool teacher in the childcare center. After graduating several years later with a degree in sociology with a minor in Spanish, she joined the Admissions Office and later moved to the Biology Department where for the past 20 years she had served as the administrative operations specialist.

She feels the position is "challenging, rewarding and fun," as her duties include supervising department staff, assisting department chair John Hafernik in administrative functions, and advising students.

"Kathleen accomplishes a difficult job with rare expertise and takes great pains to ensure that everything works in perfect order. She is the backbone of the Biology Department," says Michael Fong, biology operations manager.

Baker was surprised to receive the STAR award, believing that she is lucky to have the opportunity to work with an amazing team in a community that enriches her personally.

"I am honored to receive the STAR award, but I believe that this award really belongs to the exceptional and supportive people that I work with in the Biology Department, the dean's office and throughout the campus. The award belongs to them, just as much as me," Baker says.

Baker's creative problem-solving skills and willingness to help others make her a big hit with staff, students and faculty.

"Everyone in the department knows that she is the first one to come to in order to find ways to cut through the bureaucratic challenges of life at SFSU. I know of no one who works harder or more effectively to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff in biology than Kathleen," Hafernik said.

Baker tackles her daily duties with professionalism and compassion and a positive outlook.

"In the department, we do not view situations that come up as problems, but rather as challenges that we can help creatively solve,” Baker adds. “I'm fortunate to work in a department where I continually learn new things."

A fan of the FitnessPlus program on campus, Baker also loves inline skating and ice skating. She lives in Moss Beach with her husband George and teenage daughter Michelle.

Nominate a staff STAR:


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CampusMemo provides news, information and on-campus events listings to the faculty and staff of SFSU.

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Last modified March 29, 2004, by the Office of Public Affairs