CSUF Master Plan is “Mickey Mouse”

Cindy’s first reaction to the CSUF Master Plan (April 10 Spring Open House).  “It looks like Mickey Mouse” she said when the PowerPoint presentation showed CSUF relationship to the community.  “Look, the ears and face….”  

It is “Mickey Mouse.” The plan intends to cocoon the campus into a self-serving, independent community no longer involving or dependent upon the citizens, the businesses and the culture of Fullerton.  Is the best way for students to learn by living on campus and only being involved in their tiny, make believe world?  

Possibly the best way for students to learn is to be involved in the greater community.  To rub elbows with the realities of the real world and its knowledge, its successes, its failures, its problems and prioritizing challenges to balance resources with necessities and desires.  

Interesting that the Olympic ringed “Criteria for Success” has five elements: Connections, Values, Learning, Activation and Identity where Learning is not shown as the primary driver to an education.  It leaves out, what President Virjee (April 10 Fullerton Library) stressed, Employability; how graduates have useable skills to be assets to our community.  

Surprisingly the plan does not mention “hybrid” learning.  Virjee portrayed the future of education as some mix of classroom, campus and home study.  Classrooms are being upgraded to have cameras and microphones allowing students at home to join a class, hear the instructions and join in discussions.  

The plan portrays infrastructure, buildings and dorms and parking and an ON-campus fixation. Hello, there may be less need for the high capital costs for infrastructure if “hybrid” learning is, in fact, a reality.

The plan does not “reach higher” with out-of-the box considerations.  Room and parking shortages could be ameliorated by simply extending classes to a six-day schedule.  Virjee commented that he could go “bowling” anywhere on campus Friday afternoons and all day Saturday and he acknowledged that this should be considered.  

Out-of-the box could involve the greater community, utilizing assets that might be available beyond the “land-locked” campus.  Virjee affirmed that he will be the first in line when outside opportunities occur.  

Virjee promised that the future of our International Level IV Accredited Arboretum will be a win-win for the university and the arboretum.  CSUF provides nearly a million dollars a year towards its operation. Some development may occur as the university meets the needs of an expanded student body.  

“I love OLLI” said Virjee. That’s great since the current footprint of the Ruby Gerontology Center and home of OLLI is replaced by dorms.  Couldn’t we leave housing to private developers and make education the university’s priority?

President Virjee is a fantastic and energetic supporter of our university.  He noted that CSUF is acclaimed state-wide and internationally on many counts and we are to be proud of what has been accomplished and look forward to its dynamic future.  

The Master Plan is in flux–struggling with realities of funding and providing students with the “best management practices” education.   We look for improvement as the input for the CSUF and greater community are incorporated into the plan.

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