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Division of Research and Graduate Studies

Bold Idea

Bold Idea: Exploring a Graduate School at Fresno State

At the Graduate Coordinators' Breakfast February 28, Chuck Radke from the Division of Research and Graduate Studies presented on an exciting and ambitious idea, The Graduate School at Fresno State. Mr. Radke, who is the CAIFE (Creativity and Innovation for Effectiveness) team lead on the project for this year's Bold Idea Challenge, shared with coordinators the team's vision for the creation of a ninth college on the Fresno State campus. One of the purposes of the presentation was to solicit feedback from faculty so the voices of many constituents would be heard. Two student forums were held the week of February 18-22.

The Graduate School CAIFE team has been meeting regularly since the beginning of the fall 2018 semester both as a group and as part of the larger cohort. They have participated in workshops on innovative thinking, change management, and continuous improvement, along with team meetings focused on developing a solid plan to present to President Castro and his Cabinet on May 13. At the heart of the team's plan is enhancing the graduate student experience through a variety of means, maximizing the potential for student success, and elevating the profile of graduate education on campus, in the community, and in the region. Radke said the multiyear phased-in plan includes four clusters of focus: research, administration and processes, community engagement, and graduate student life. The team will initially focus on initiatives they can implement right away, the so-called "low-hanging fruit" or things they have been at work on for some time: institutionalizing many of the Graduate Net Initiative's programs that offer support to graduate students, rebranding the division, and making a greater push to tell graduate student stories. Among the more audacious goals, Radke said, include bringing back the Graduate Degree Hooding Ceremony, which earned a round of applause from the coordinators present.

Besides Mr. Radke, the CAIFE team members were Dean James Marshall, Division of Research and Graduate Studies; Dr. Maritere Lopez, Director, Graduate Net Initiative; Dr. Malisa Lee, AVP, Enrollment Management; Amanda Eberlein, Enrollment Management; Caty Perez, AVP, Development; Alexandra Chavez, Graduate Student Senator, Associated Students, Inc. The team's executive sponsors were Interim Provost Dr. Robert Harper and Vice Provost Dr. Dennis Nef.