“Investing in our Future” Forum on April 29

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Cal State Fullerton faculty and staff participated in a campus community forum on April 29, to open up dialogue about issues involving our workforce.

The forum was titled, “Investing in Our Future: Developing Solutions for Our Workplace Together.” The topics discussed at the event included planning for our future workforce, quality of workplace issues and employee satisfaction and morale.

The event was presented by the University Planning Committee, a group working on developing and advancing university-wide planning processes and facilitating the development of “planning tools” for the university, as stated on the UPC’s Web site.

The main premise of the forum was spurred by a retreat on Jan. 21, which the committee went on. The retreat resulted in a multitude of ideas that acted as the forefront of the discussion at the current forum.

An opening statement from CSUF President Milton A. Gordon started off the festivities, which involved the faculty and staff each participating in two different discussion groups.

“The real estate market, salary compression issues and keeping salary and staff with getting what they need are the issues we are confronted with,”

Gordon said.

CSUF Executive Vice President Judith A. Anderson stressed the challenges involved with recruiting and retaining staff and faculty. She said these problems include salary lags, the high cost of housing and California’s structural budget problem – adding that solutions to these problems should help everyone involved, including students.

With more faculty, it brings more classes and more options for students as a whole, she said.

Working with University Outreach at CSUF, this was Delia Tijerina’s first time at a forum.

“My goal is to meet more people in CSUF’s community. As a CSUF alum, I am very attached to the school and want to see it grow,” Tijerina said.

The discussion groups took place in different areas of the Titan Student Union. Ideas were passed around and debated in the diverse group, all with the intent of gaining possible solutions for the problems.

In the “Planning for our Future Workforce” discussion, topics such as the housing problem and commuter issues were discussed. The other group’s discussion went anywhere from childcare issues to the lack of space in offices and on campus.

Some possible solutions included incentives, such as continued training and development because increased salary was said to not be an option at the moment.

At the conclusion of the event, the ideas and solutions proposed were placed on boards to be looked at by the committee at a later date.

“This material will be taken back and put in a form of an information planning bulletin. Then we will try to get the information back to the right people,” Anderson said as her end remarks to the forum.

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