Some 20,000 students will converge on campus for Fresno State’s spring 2013 semester with classes beginning Thursday, Jan. 17.

This figure is slightly lower than last year’s record high, due to admission being closed this semester per budget cuts. Nonetheless, high numbers demonstrate “very strong retention rates for continuing students,” said Bernard Vinovrski, associate vice president for Enrollment Services. The official enrollment numbers will be released in a few weeks.

Additionally, Vinovrski said a record $80 million dollars in financial aid has been disbursed this spring to approximately 15,000 students, or about 70 percent of the student body.

To welcome back the spring students, the Student Involvement Office will host a Spring Welcome Back Event on Wednesday, Jan.  23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the USU balcony and the Free Speech Area.

Kennel Bookstore reports that, keeping with industry trends, its textbook rental program continues to grow rapidly with more than 680 titles available to rent rather than purchase this spring.

“Renting translates to large savings for students over purchasing — ranging generally from 40-70 percent off new retail,” said Curt Parkinson, Kennel Bookstore manager.  “This has been a real positive for the students and the store.”

This semester, students will see continued progress on building projects:

  • The new 4,800-square-foot Rue and Gwen Gibson Market, to be complete in late February.
  • The innovative Foster Farms Poultry Education and Research Facility, expected to be completed in late spring, which will include an eco-friendly research and training center that replicates professional poultry production.
  • The Campus Pointe project – a public-private partnership between the California State University, Fresno Association and Kashian Enterprises – beginning construction on a theater and 170,000 square feet of retail and office space. Construction of a hotel and senior housing projects are expected to begin next year.

Lisa Kao, director of Environmental Health & Safety, issued a reminder this week that Fresno State is a smoke-free campus and smoking is only permitted in designated areas that are indicated online: Smokeless tobacco products are also prohibited indoors and strongly discouraged outdoors.

And this spring, students will witness a rarity – the changing of the guard at Fresno State. For the first time in 22 years, a new president will be chosen, as President Welty retires after this semester.

The California State University has launched a search committee for his successor with a final decision expected by the May board of trustees meeting. The first meeting of the committee will be held in an open forum in the Satellite Student Union from 10 a.m. to noon Monday, Feb. 11.

At his final state of the campus address on Monday, Jan. 14, Welty addressed the following:

  • The search continues for 55 new tenure track faculty across 39 disciplines. President Welty said, “Provost William Covino and I are committed to recruiting a new class of faculty that reflects both diversity and distinction.”
  • To date, two new faculty positions have been named: Dr. Susan Elrod, dean for the College of Science and Mathematics, and Dr. Angel Sanchez, director for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
  • His approval of a new diversity plan, recommended by the President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity. The plan identifies as one of its four major themes, the recruitment, development and support of employees with the creation of the Center for the Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Faculty, Staff and Administrators. Dr. Luz Gonzalez, dean of the College of Social Science, will serve as part-time director of the center.
  • The Campaign for Fresno State – with a goal of raising $200 million – concludes March 31 when the final tally will be revealed.

The spring semester ends with Commencement on May 18


The Fresno State Police Department reminds that vehicular traffic around campus will intensify making the first few days a little hectic. The campus community and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and allow time to get through area traffic, find a parking place and have enough time to walk to their campus destinations.

Also, modifications affecting traffic flow have been made on Barstow Avenue, San Ramon Avenue and Jackson Avenue due to underground electrical infrastructure repairs at the intersection of Barstow and Jackson Avenues:

  • Barstow Avenue has been reduced to one lane traveling eastbound
  • San Ramon is now a one way road traveling eastbound, and
  • Jackson is a one way road traveling northbound.

“New signage has been installed, and road markings have been updated,” said Amy Armstrong, parking administrator. “Please use caution when traveling on these roads and follow the directional signage.”

For traffic information, contact Armstrong at 559.278.8400.

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