Annette LeviDean's Office Update (Dec. 10) - Dr. Annette Levi


Andrea Magdaleno, DAA for the Viticulture and Enology Department, is leaving the Jordan College to take a position off campus. Her last day on campus is January 6, 2022.  Andrea has been with the University since 2008 and with the college since 2010, first serving as administrative support for the Food Science Department before joining Viticulture and Enology in June 2015. We are very appreciative for all the hard work that Andrea has done for us over the years and she will be missed.  Please join me in wishing her the best success in all her future endeavors.

ARI Administration changes -  Allyson Baldus is transitioning to take over the ARI Campus Point person role effective December 6th. Allyson provided post-award support to ARI projects during her two years with IFA before coming into the Dean's office. She will act as the ARI Campus Point Person and manage all ARI post-award support for departments previously under IFA and CIT. VERC ARI support will remain within the VERC office.

Jordan and Harvey Graduate Award application window is now open.  
Application and materials are due Friday, January 28, 2022.  
Details  Application


Graduation Initiative 2025

The Graduation Initiative 2025, GI 2025, is an initiative that was implemented across the CSU in 2016. GI 2025 aims to raise the graduation rates for first-time freshmen (FTF) and transfer students and eliminate equity gaps for underserved students of color and Pell Grant recipients. Prior to the pandemic, the goals of the GI 2025 were evident when the four-year graduation rates for first-time students had improved systemwide with nearly all campuses increasing their four-year graduation rate.

The GI 2025 goal is to have the four-year graduation rate and six-year graduation rate for FTF be 40% and 70%, respectively. For transfer students the goals of the GI 2025 are the two-year and four-year graduation rates to be 45% and 85%, respectively. Another goal is to eliminate the equity gap, that is, the graduation gap between white students and underserved students of color, Pell grant recipients and first-in-their-family to attend college.

This year Chancellor Joseph Castro convened a new advisory committee for GI 2025 with the expressed goal to identify new and creative ways to address disparities in graduation rates with new recommendations that would benefit all students. The following CSU recommendations were made in July 2021:

• Target courses with high rates of non-passing grades (D, F or Withdrawal) for strategic interventions
focused on equity;

• Ensure more robust and directed academic advising for all students;

• Expand data sharing and campus-level data transparency with an equity lens across the CSU;

• Prioritize course availability and expand opportunities for students to enroll in the courses they
need, when they need them; and

• Support students’ basic needs by establishing and implementing a baseline level of support and resources across all 23 CSU campuses.1

The table below represents the 6-year graduation rates for first-time students who entered Fresno State between 2015. Thus, the 2015 cohort represents those who graduated in 2021 (six-year graduation rate). The Jordan College is close to the goals of GI 2025, with some departments exceeding those goals.

Jordan College Department Graduation Rates

  Freshmen Transfers
  6-year (2015 cohort) 4-year (2017 cohort)
GI 2025 Goals 70.0% 85.0%
Jordan College 66.9% 78.7%
AGBS 74.2% 92.3%
ASCI 64.8% 79.1%
FSN 61.9% 60.7%
IT 60.0% 62.5%
PS 58.3% 77.1%
VE 70.6% 90.9%

The Jordan College chairs have been discussing ways in which we can improve our graduation rates to get closer to GI 2025 goals. Some identified best practices are:

  • Identify at-risk students
  • Provide comprehensive support to all students
    -   Tutoring
    -   Advising
    -   Targeted scholarships (emergency funds) for juniors or seniors who need financial help to complete degree
    -   Set up mentorship programs (with current upper classmen or alumni)
  • Determine roadblocks and alleviate obstacles
    -   High fail courses
    -   Difficulty enrolling in required courses outside home department
  • Use evidence-based teaching methods to improve or change instruction
    -   Supplementary Instruction (SI)
    -   Team problem solving and team projects

1 Graduation Initiative 2025 Advisory Committee - Recommendations and Reflections July 2021

Quote of the week:  “I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Thomas Jefferson


Dean Dennis NefFaculty Staff Newsletter - November 24, 2021

Announcement from Dean Nef

Congratulations and best wishes to Cynthia Wood, who is officially retiring from Fresno State this December.

Cynthia has been an esteemed member of the viticulture and enology program at Fresno State since 1981. Over the years, she has made an incredible impact on countless students, colleagues, and faculty members. Her fundraising and outreach efforts helped elevate Fresno State’s presence not only in the industry, but in the Central Valley as a whole. It is impossible to overstate how valuable Cynthia's contributions have been to both the program and college.

The Jordan College will miss her dearly. Best of luck to Cynthia on this new chapter in her life.

Cynthia's last day on campus is December 17th. Make sure to go visit her before she leaves.

Save the Date
Jordan College Faculty and Staff Holiday Party - December 9th from 2PM to 4PM at the VERC Lawn
Upcoming Events


Fall 2021 Viticulture-Enology 199 Virtual Seminar:  Anita Oberholster, UC Davis Viticulture & Enology - December 1, 2021 Seminar Details

Fresno Faculty Pathway Event - Friday, December 10, 2021 Registration


Jordan and Harvey Graduate Award application window is now open.  Application and materials are due Friday, January 28, 2022.  Details  Application
JC 102:  Technology Tools - December 6, 2021 11AM to 12PM
Meeting ID: 833 8988 1851 
Passcode: 325864
Zoom Link
Syllabus and Materials now available on Canvas


Randy PerryThe Value of “Hands-on” Activities and Opportunities

Being in the academia world, we understand and appreciate the value of “hands-on” education for our students. For those of us that have served as production managers or technicians in the farm laboratory have witnessed the impact of these “hands-on” activities personally.  Some of us in our department have served in these roles for over 30 years.  All of us could provide a long list of student names that have benefitted from these activities.

The impact of these activities and opportunities is nothing short of what I would describe as unbelievable.  We have all seen students that have come to us and have started on an internship with absolutely no experience. Many of these students stay involved for extended periods of time and some end their college career as student managers at the units.  The students that serve in these roles not only learn about managing and producing animals or plants, but they also gain a lot of experience in coordinating other students involvement in the unit.  Needless to say, these students are very sought after by industry.

As part of the outcomes assessment activities in our department, we have conducted senior exit surveys for many years.  The results of these surveys have been very similar from year-to-year.  Our students have consistently rated involvement on the farm laboratory as the most valuable component of their undergraduate education at Fresno State.  This past year we also conducted an alumni survey and sent it to students that have been working in the industry for 5-10 years.  The results of these surveys agreed with past results and again the students ranked the farm laboratory involvement as the most valuable aspect of their undergraduate education at Fresno State.

Our campus has put a lot of time and effort into improving retention and graduation rates.  We are currently doing “cohort scheduling." Studies indicate that if you can get students involved in a group activity in a number of different courses as freshmen, they can develop friendships that can become a support system for individual students and retention rates can be positively impacted.

This is another positive aspect of the students being involved in the farm laboratory.  They develop friendships and become a support group for other students involved at a specific unit or in the farm in general.  They develop a sense of community or family.  We all know that this can be very important in terms of helping students get through difficult times.  

It is interesting that many of our programs across campus are now just realizing the benefit of getting their students involved in activities such as service learning and internships.  These are things that we have been doing within our college since its inception.  It is encouraging to see them finally realizing the value of these activities.

“If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself.  If we are weak, words will be of no help.” – John F. Kennedy

Randy C. Perry
Professor and Interim Co-Assistant to the Dean
Department of Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education 


Annette LeviFaculty Staff Newsletter - November 15, 2021

Upcoming Events


  • Jordan and Harvey Graduate Award application window is now open.  Application and materials are due Friday, January 28, 2022.  Details  Application
  • JC 102:  Using Data - November 22, 2021 11AM to 12PM
    Meeting ID: 833 8988 1851, Passcode: 325864, Syllabus and Materials now available on Canvas

Virtual Learning Across Campus

Each college reported the percent of courses being taught online. Colleges and departments were instructed that courses that have a virtual component or at least one section being taught online were to be counted as virtual. As you can see the Jordan College and Health and Human Services are offering the highest percentage of face-to-face courses, 79% each. This reflects the hands-on nature of our coursework. Given the expressed preference of Fresno State students for face-to-face instruction, it is also an indicator of our commitment to student success.

Fresno State Percent of Virtual Instruction - Fall 2021 

Colleges Average % of virtual courses*
Arts & Humanities 63%
Health & Human Services 21%
Social Science 77%
Craig School of Business 37%
Science & Math 37%
Jordan College 21%
Kremen School 68%
Lyles College of Engineering 49%
Fresno State 47%

*As reported by each College


Retention is an important measure used in higher education. The retention rate measures the percentage of a school's first-time, first-year freshmen and first-time transfers who continue at the same school (or same department) the following year. Student retention is valuable to institutions because it assures a continued flow of revenues into the institution, e.g., tuition. It is also important for public institutions because institutional support is based on the size of the student body.

As you can see in the table below, the Jordan College’s performance is better than Fresno State with the exception of Fall 2017 for transfers. Retention does not tell us whether a student who changed major stayed within our college. For Jordan College students, many remain in our college albeit in a different major; this may be, in part, why the Jordan College’s retention rate is higher than the university’s. In addition, these percentages for some departments are from very small numbers, so it is difficult to draw any conclusion regarding the ups and downs reflected here.

This is a time of year when students may become discouraged regarding their performance in classes. It is a good time to reach out to those students to provide additional guidance and support. All numbers were derived from data provided by OIE.

Dean Search Committee

The Jordan College Dean Search Committee has been finalized. In addition to the three faculty members elected by the college, four people were appointed to represent different interest groups – Dr. Bushoven (Dept. Chair Rep.), Alcidia Gomes (Director of Development Rep.), Mark Salwasser (Farm Rep.), and Geoff Thurner (Staff Rep.). The full list of the committee members is:

Dean Chris Meyer
Dept Chair, John Bushhoven (Plant Science)
Mark Salwasser, Farm Manager
Sarah Woolf, Board member of Ag Foundation 
Alcidia Freitas Gomes, Director of Development for the college/school
Geoffrey Thurner (randomly selected staff member)
Ashleigh Sorenson (ASI Jordan senator and student rep)
Dr. Dave Goorahoo (Plant Science)
Dr. Srini Konduru (Ag Business)
Dr. Steve Rocca (Animal Science)
Rebecca White (Staff support)
Christine Pareras (HR)


Athanasios AlexandrouDean's Office Update (Nov. 5) - Dr. Athanasios Alexandrou

Upcoming Events
(*Entire 2021 Food, Family and Farm Month Calendar of Events)

  • Fall 2021 Viticulture-Enology 199 Virtual Seminar:  Alessandro Matese, Italian National Research Council - November 10, 2021 Seminar Details
  • Fresno Faculty Pathway Event - Friday, December 10, 2021 Registration


  • Jordan and Harvey Graduate Award application window is now open.  Application and materials are due Friday, January 28, 2022.  Details  Application
  • JC 102 Staff Class Series: Regulations, Policies, and Procedures - November 8, 2021 1PM to 2PM, Meeting ID: 833 8988, 1851. Passcode: 325864, Zoom Link. Syllabus and Materials now available on Canvas

Thanksgiving and Christmas Veteran Donation Box is just outside of the Dean's Office.  Donation list is attached

If any of our Veteran students would like to receive a Thanksgiving meal delivered to their home or pick up with all the trimmings, have them fill out the attached form by 11/12/21.

Labor Market, Jordan College and Advisory Boards

The last few years employers realized that the educational system in the county was unable to provide them with the numbers of qualified employees with the skills that they needed. As a result, they started on-the-job training, offering training programs and tuition payment programs. Some of the American retailers and chains such as Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, and Target, are expanding their initiatives to train their employees and offer them continuing education opportunities. The purpose is to allow employees to learn and develop skills that will allow them to pursue better paid opportunities within their companies.
Most private companies had training programs and/or tuition assistance programs in place for several years. But the scale and scope of the programs has changed in the last few years. It is reasonable to assume that companies decided to invest heavily in educating their employees because they are unable to find the number of qualified community colleges and 4-year university graduates with the right skillset. This is not limited to larger companies. Smaller companies, even in the central valley, face similar issues. They are unable to find graduates with the right skills.

From the point of view of Jordan College, the issue is twofold. First, we have the issue of numbers. Jordan College has limited influence over the number of students enrolled in its programs. Second, the quality of its programs. Jordan College has embraced hands-on education, learn by doing, with a great number of labs that are part of its majors and internships that students can take while at school. The result of this experience is that our graduates are ready to perform. But the process of offering the right skills to students is dynamic. The skills employers require are changing and the same should happen with our programs.

The faculty and staff of Jordan College, with their frequent interactions with the employers of our graduates, offer one avenue to scout the labor market for the skills that are required. The other institutionalized body which assists in this effort is the Advisory Boards that operate within the Departments in an advisory role. The aptitude to interact and develop synergies with our stakeholders and employers through our faculty and staff and Advisory Boards is paramount to the ability to update the curricula, keep it relevant and graduate students that have the knowledge and skills and are ready to perform. 

Thank you,


Randy PerryDean's Office Update (Oct. 26) - Dr. Randy Perry


Upcoming Events / Food, Family and Farm Month Calendar

  • Fall 2021 Viticulture-Enology 199 Virtual Seminar:  Tom Collins, Washington State University - October 27, 2021, Seminar Details
  • Day of Giving - November 4, 2021
  • Fresno Faculty Pathway Event - Friday, December 10, 2021, Registration


Jordan and Harvey Graduate Award application window is now open.  Application and materials are due Friday, January 28, 2022.  Details  Application
JC 102:  Regulations, Policies, and Procedures - November 8, 2021 1PM to 2PM

Student Survey Results

The University conducted a recent survey examining student’s attitudes concerning several different issues or areas related to instruction.  Although the sample size was not extremely large, the results were very consistent.

In general, the students were more positive about their experiences at Fresno State since they have returned to campus and had opportunities for in-person courses and face-to-face instruction.

The other results that were very consistent was the comparison of different modalities of instruction.  In almost every area, students rated face-to-face as the highest, hybrid or flex as moderate, and online as the lowest.

In our own college, instructors have conducted some of their own surveys and some of those results have indicated that student’s attitudes concerning online instruction will differ depending on the discipline. Consistent with the above results, courses that have a laboratory and/or "hands on” learning component, the students have a more positive response vs. courses that do not have those.

In my opinion, there is no doubt that we have learned many things from virtual instruction.  Some of these things we can carry forward and they may allow us to become more effective and efficient. However, at the same time we know that in many of our disciplines, the way we interacted with and taught students prior to COVID-19 is still the best way to interact with them as we go forward.

Plans for Spring 2022 Semester

As I described in a previous newsletter, the University is still planning on trying to deliver as many courses as possible in a traditional face-to-face format while at the same time being sure that we keep our students, faculty, and staff safe from COVID-19. Our testing and cleaning protocols are setting examples for many of our ”sister” campuses within the CSU as I also described in a previous newsletter.

This fall we have been able to host events similar to what we have done in the past.  My hope is by spring, things can go back to what we now deem as "normal" or pre-Covid-19. I think previously we took for granted the educational value of our department hosted events like those held by own department.

Interesting Quote“It's only a dream until you write it down, and then it becomes a goal.” – Emmitt Smith, NFL Hall of Fame Running Back


Randy C. Perry
Professor and Interim Co-Assistant to the Dean
Department of Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education


Dennis NefDean's Office Update (Oct. 15) - Dean Dennis Nef


Upcoming Events

  • 2021 Food, Family and Farm Month kicks off October 16, 2021 Calendar of Events
  • Irrigation Association:  Coffee with IA featuring Florence Cassel Sharma - October 19, 2021 Register for Free
  • Fall 2021 Viticulture-Enology 199 Virtual Seminar:  Peter Vallis, SJV Winegrower Association - October 20, 2021 Seminar Details
  • Fresno Faculty Pathway Event - Friday, December 10, 2021 Registration 


  • Call for Proposals - Provost's Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities (RSCA) Funding - Spring 2022: Competition closes October 17, 2021, at 11:59PM Apply Here
  • Jordan and Harvey Graduate Award (application window is now open).  Application and materials are due Friday, January 28, 2022.  Application


JC 102
The Jordan College is launching JC 102: Enhancing Leadership, a series for all faculty who might have an interest.  The series kicks off October 25 and will be offered via zoom:

Below is the Fall 2021 syllabus.  The Enhancing Leadership series will continue in Spring 2022.

Oct 25 | 11AM-12PM - Insights into Administration at Fresno State (Dennis Nef)
- The President’s Cabinet: President, Provost, Vice Provost,  VP Student Affairs, VP Administration and CFO, VP University Advancement, Athletics Director, Director of Government Relations, AVP for Communications
- Faculty Affairs and Human Resources
- Deans of Graduate/Undergraduate Studies
- Registrar
- Facilities
- Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
- Fresno State Foundation and Ag Foundation
- Purchasing


Nov 8 | 1PM-2PM - Regulations, Policies, Procedures (Dennis Nef)

- Educational Policy environment – Title V, CSU Executive Orders
- University Policies Manual
- Academic Policy Manual (APM)
- Shared Governance - see APM 127 Section 7
- Freedom of Expression - APM 336

Nov 22 | 11AM-12PM - Using Data (Matt Zivot, OIE)

- Office of Institutional Effectiveness-Tableau  Will need to set up a Tableau account.
- CSU Dashboard GI2025 will have to log in
- Peoplesoft Reports Portfolio
- Bulldog Connect


Dec 6 | 11AM-12PM - Technology Tools (Matthew Doyle, HML)

- Managing email - Gmail hacks
- Scheduling - calendar hacks
- To Do Lists - Google Keep
- Other tools - Google Drive, Evernote, Zoom


ARI PI Sessions

In the next two weeks there are ARI PI sessions.  Please consider registering to attend and encourage students too.  Secretary Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture will be attending the Oct 22 event and we need a good showing.

ARI PI Meeting Session 1
Friday, 22 October 2021 -  1-3:15 pm

- State of CA Agriculture: Secretary Ross
- Industry Panel

Registration Link

ARI PI Meeting Session 2
Friday, 29 October 2021 - 1-3:15pm

- Oral Presentations
-  Lightning Talks

Registration Link


Call for Proposals

A call for proposals for the Claude C. Laval Jr. Award for Innovative Technology and Research ($5000) has been issued. Guidelines and the application can be found online.  Applications are encouraged from full-time faculty and students at California State University, Fresno, from ALL academic disciplines.  Applications will be evaluated for creativity, innovation, practical application, and general merit. Deadline is November 19, 2021.


Learning Centers

The learning center is hiring Tutors, SI Leaders, and SupportNet Advising Interns.  If you know of qualified students, please encourage them to apply!  Information about the positions, information sessions for those interested, and courses for which SI leaders are needed can be found in the flyers below.

Learning Center is Hiring
SI Info Sessions
SI Courses


Dennis NefDean's Office Update (Oct. 1) - Dean Dennis Nef


Upcoming Events

  • Jordan College Welcome Back BBQ – 5 pm Tuesday, October 5th at O’Neill Park

  • Fresno Faculty Pathway Event - Friday, December 10, 2021 Registration 


    Jordan and Harvey Graduate Award application window is now open.  Application and materials are due Friday, January 28, 2022.  Details  Application

    Jordan College Honors Program Deadline for faculty mentors and applicants is October 15, 2021. Applicants  Mentors
    2022-23 ARI request for proposals coming next week, stay tuned.

    Fresno State Transportation Institute Faculty Fellows Call for Applications - Deadline to apply is Sunday, October 10, 2021 Application

    Even with the drag of COVID, time seems to be flying by.  My conversations with faculty indicate that students seem to be enjoying being back on campus. Some are finding that being in person is harder than they remembered. Others are recognizing that they did not apply themselves as much last year as they should have and are hustling to catch up.  Others are doing well. I know faculty are struggling to recognize masked students but hope you are able to build relationships with them.

    We continue to focus on student success.  Each department chair received the names of students who started in Fall 2020 and were not here in Fall 2021.  Our advisors in the Jordan Advising and Career Development Center have been following up with those students and we hope to see them back on campus in the near future.  Additionally, the provost has shared scheduling guidelines for spring 2022 with the chairs and we hope to once again have a large majority of our classes in person while protecting the health of faculty, staff, and students.

    Another area of focus is operational effectiveness of the college.  The Faculty Executive Committee has met and will be evaluating the effectiveness of our faculty committees.  The Research Committee is meeting Oct 4 to prepare the call for proposals for the provost’s research scholarly and creative activities award.  Five awards of $5600 will be available to college faculty.  The Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) call for campus proposals will also be out in the next week. There will be a few changes to spread the scarce funding over more projects/principal investigators.   I was surprised to learn that department chair terms in the college are all on the same schedule and the terms of all 6 chairs end this academic year.  Some have agreed to serve an additional term and some are stepping down.  Departments have been encouraged to schedule elections soon.  I am working with the JCAST Administrative Council on “JC 102 Enhancing Leadership” that will be open to all interested faculty who would like to prepare for leadership opportunities. We anticipate starting in late October and holding a session about every other week through the end of the academic year.

    My third focus is broadening and deepening relationships with those outside the college.  With COVID, that has been more difficult.  Last week I joined Alcidia, Mark, Sharon Benes, and President Jimenez-Sandoval in visiting Boswell headquarters in Corcoran. We had a chance to tour some of their operations and meet with key leaders.  They emphasized internships among other things.  This summer, we had a request for an Ag Communications student to help develop a history for one of the commodity groups.   They wanted to interview four students and I was pleased that they had trouble deciding which they would use because of the high quality of the applicants.  Imelda Dudley did a great job finding applicants.  She continues to do great work with the departments and we have 89 students with internships this semester.  If you know of possible internship opportunities, please contact Imelda who can follow up.  

    Finally, I wish to mention Day of Giving (Nov 4).  We have a faculty/staff/student/team working on this.  The goal is to develop a culture of philanthropy by getting individuals to support the college.  I would like to encourage you to consider participating this year with a donation of any size (while there is a $10 minimum to donate online, you can have them bill you and donate less). You can determine how it is used.

    Now that fall has officially arrived, have a great fall!

Annette LeviDean's Office Update (Sept. 20) - Dr. Annette Levi

Upcoming Event

Jordan College Welcome Back BBQ
5 pm, Tuesday October 5th, O’Neill Park


Jordan College Faculty and Staff,

Retention is the percentage of a school's first-time, first-year undergraduate students who continue at that school the next year. The average retention rate for U.S. colleges of first-time freshmen returning for their sophomore year is 67%. The comparable retention numbers for Fresno State and the Jordan College from fall 2020 to fall 2021 will not be out until census. We do know, unofficially, that Fresno State saw a first semester retention for those entering Fall 2020 to be 88.7%. The Jordan retention rate of 92.6% compares very favorably.
This semester departments are working to increase our retention rates and, by extension, our graduation rates. Improvement in these two areas, retention and graduation rates, is one of the initiatives set forth by the CSU. Some ideas the Jordan College is using to improve both these areas are the following:

Jordan College Retention and Graduation

• Jordan College will be part of the university push for block scheduling in AY 2022/23. Block scheduling is where two or more courses enroll the same cohort of students in order to develop a learning community. This increases retention by connecting students with one another.

• The Jordan College is part of the USDA HSI grant called Ag-Bond. It is designed to integrate freshmen Jordan College and College of Math and Sciences (CMS) students into the first-year experience courses of CSM 10 (GE Area A3 - The Scientific Method) and CSM 15 (GE Area E - Evidence Based Decision Making). (The catalog description for each course is below.) It has been reported that during AY 20/21, students enrolled in the Ag-Bond courses:

a) Developed strong cohorts between agriculture & biology and chemistry students.
b) Tend to be more engaged with course material due to the understanding of its application directly to their majors.
c) Are more aware of careers available in agriculture; this is particularly of note for the biology and chemistry students.
d) Are engaging in internships and research projects sooner than they might otherwise.

We are now looking for a Jordan College faculty member to begin teaching CSM 10 or CSM 15 starting in the spring 2022. The faculty member would get two sections of the same prep for at least two years. The syllabi, PowerPoints and other materials are already prepared.  

CSM 10. The Scientific Method – 3 Units
Practice in the application of the scientific method to locally relevant problems and challenges. The evaluation of inductive and deductive arguments coupled with the evaluation of experimental data to develop and test scientific hypotheses. GE Area A3.

CSM 15. Evidence Based Decision Making – 3 Units
Practice in the evaluation and use of quantitative evidence in reasoned decision making. Topics include uncertainty, significance, trends, experimental design, and causality. G.E. Breadth E.

Are you interested or have someone to recommend? Please contact Annette Levi at .

Lastly, the Jordan College would like to develop an Early Warning System to indicate which students are at risk of falling behind, going on academic probation, or dropping out. If we can identify those students early on, we may be able to intervene by reaching out to students and connecting with them. Do you have any ideas that would give faculty and departments this information? Drop me an email if you do.

As we look to the future, a Chinese proverb comes to mind.

"If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people”
Thank you,

Dr. Annette Levi


Dennis NefDean's Office Update (Sept. 2) - Dean Dennis Nef

Jordan College Faculty and Staff,

This morning at the Administrative Roundtable, President Saul Jimenez Sandoval announced that a search for the Dean’s position in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology would be launched this year.  I had hoped to let the college know first but had not yet heard back from the provost or president on the timing.  I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve and get acquainted with all of you and will continue to work diligently through the academic year with you.  

I am pleased to announce that Nathan Gapasin has accepted an offer to step into the position in the dean’s office being vacated as Linda retires.  Nathan has been well prepared through his service the last few years.  Over the coming weeks, we will be adjusting assignments in the dean’s office to cover the workload.  I’m very appreciative of Linda’s leadership in the office.  We will have an opportunity to honor her at a reception on Sept 14 2:30-4:00. You should have received an invitation yesterday.

Last week I learned about from Steve Blumenshine that faculty and staff researchers may find of interest. This is a CSU website that faculty can use to “easily create attractive web pages listing their research interests, publications, grants, and more; search and browse across disciplines and campuses in the CSU…to find people…for research opportunities; and stay up-to-date on grant developments and opportunities.”  Faculty create a profile then can find other researchers in the CSU with similar interests.

Thanks to Alex Alexandrou, Annette Levi, and Randy Perry who will once again serve as special assistants to the dean in 2021-2022. Alex works with the Research and Personnel Committees, JARC, the Graduate Lab, college classrooms and facilities and international programs. He serves as liaison to Technology Services and community colleges.  Annette works with the Academic Programs committee and handles all curricular issues, student petitions, assessment, the Honors Program, and GI 2025. Randy works with the Budget and Resources committee, the Advising and Career Development Center, and with the dean's office staff on special events and awards programs.


Dean Dennis Nef


Dennis NefDean's Office Update (Aug. 27) - Dean Dennis Nef

Jordan College Faculty and Staff,

Welcome Back! It is great to see so much excitement as the new school year begins.  I know it won’t be without problems given the changing nature of COVID due to the Delta variant.  As you may know, there is an FAQ page for COVID related questions which will likely be updated over time.  The early results from the tracking of student self certification shows the following:

Vaccination status %
Fully Vaccinated 67%
Partially Vaccinated 10%
Unvaccinated and Religious exemption requested 7%
Unvaccinated and Medical Exemption Requested 1% 
Unvaccinated and not accessing campus 6%
Vaccination status not yet reported 9%

Those not vaccinated must test weekly. The SSU is closed for events this semester and is now a COVID test site Monday through Saturday.  Testing began Thursday and there has been a steady stream of people exiting the building visible from my office. Hours of opening vary by day.

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness has looked at the data for our first year students who started in Fall 2020.  Comparing them to those in previous years, statistics show they completed fewer units, completed fewer core GE courses (oral communication, written communication, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning), had lower grade point averages, were less likely to be in good academic standing, and returned for the second semester and their sophomore year at much lower rates (first year retention won’t be official until the end of the fourth week but currently stands at 75%-10 points lower than average).  We will need to  focus our attention on how we can rectify these issues.  We also have concerns about the incoming class who, as a whole, are less well prepared academically and may have experienced a learning loss in high school.


At our welcome back event, I mentioned the book Think Again by Adam Grant.  Our Administrative Council read it over the summer and briefly discussed it at our retreat.  I invited us all to: 


·         Think again about IWADWWADWWAGWWAG,

·         Think again about deep fakes/critical thinking,

·         Think again about telling our story

·         Think again about imagination i.e. reimagine


As I meet with the Jordan College Faculty Executive Council leadership in the coming week, I will be discussing ideas of how we might think again in our governance process-without changing its structure.

I was recently at a convening of industry leaders, employers, and educators looking at the knowledge, skills and characteristics needed for employment in the food and agricultural sector.  I shared what we are doing to stay abreast of these through our work with industry and our alumni and friends through research, internships, tours, guest lectures and other activities. But clearly employers are very concerned about adequate preparation.  As we stay apprised of what they are thinking, we can then make the curricular adjustments necessary in concert with our K-12 and community college partners.  Thanks for all you are doing in this regard..


Dean Dennis Nef