California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Summer Fees Pay For Tech Upgrades

Equipment in the TV studio on the Hayward campus, among others, will be upgraded with the 3.5 million dollar renovation fund.

Sixty dollars in extra fees in the Summer 2010 quarter has raised over $3.5 million for improvements to the CSU East Bay  campus.

Amidst the numerous and startling tuition hikes and budget cuts in the CSU system, students can now begin to feel optimistic about their education, as CSUEB’s investment will bring new technologies and equipment in the fall.

CSUEB’s dean says the upgrades, include a Microsoft Surface Table for the library that responds to natural hand gestures and real world objects, and a $70,000 Steinway Parlor Grand Piano.

Students can expect to see a new upgrade to Kinesiology labs, NVIVO software for qualitative researchers, Cannon Powershot Digital Cameras for photographers, GPS packages, Seismograph Systems, various microscopes, an upgrade to the light pallette in the TV studio, and financial databases for business students among many more.

The equipment upgrade was made possible through a $60 per unit fee in which the school operated on a self-support system that did not rely on assistance from the CSU system.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs James Houpis said the summer fee was more than necessary to ensure that CSUEB students were receiving the education they deserved.

“We have seen how far education has slipped in California, they’re raising the fees but are not improving education one bit,” Houpis said. “We have to prepare our students with the best technologies to become citizens and workers in a modern world. They definitely deserve the best we can give them.”

Provost Houpis says CSUEB was in critical shape in terms of equipment and academic materials, and the summer fee was crucial in supplying funds that ordinarily wouldn’t have been available until five to ten years from now.

Each college and department submitted a list of its primary and crucial equipment needs that would give their students the best chances at competing in a highly competitive job market.

Students, Houpis says, will be able to have experience and knowledge with tools that will prepare them for their professional careers, and teachers will have the materials to become better instructors and mentors for students.

Kathleen Rountree, Dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences, says this is a great start for the future of CSUEB and its students. She also noted that students will now be able to see how their tuition is being used to benefit their education and college experience.

“If you don’t know how to use today’s equipment, then you are not prepared for your future,” she said. “Now we’re really able to move forward and improve the quality of education for our students, and that should always be our goal.”

With an estimated $1 million being spent in CLASS alone, Rountree says she’s excited at the numerous possibilities that will be opened for students, saying this improvement in equipment is something students have every right to expect.

Without this one-time fee, she says, it would have been impossible to upgrade the critically important equipment in classrooms, laboratories, and other facilities used by students in their classes and instructional activities.

“It’s an incredible win for students,” said Rountree, “and now we’re able to give them tools they need for their academic growth. It’s a step in the right direction for our school.”

Michael Leung, Dean of the College of Science, says the science departments on campus have not had major science equipment overhaul for nearly 30 years, adding that their $2 million upgrade was desperately needed.

“We are shortchanging the science education of our students if we do not bring our equipment up-to-date,” he said. “It is the only way for our students to be competitive in the job market and the application for graduate or professional school.”

“Without it, our science education will be falling behind other higher education institutes,” he said.

Biology and Communications student Herlyne Kaur said the fee she paid for her previous summer classes will bring about new and exciting equipment to her classrooms, which makes her extremely eager to go to school.

“Now I feel they actually care about how I learn,” said Kaur, noting that she has not had much hands-on experience in her molecular biology classes due to lack of equipment.

“I am so excited to take my classes and really learn about my field,” she said. “Students will definitely benefit from this and I’m glad someone was paying attention to our needs.”

Regarding the A2E2 fee and the STEM campus initiative, Houpis says it is about enhancing each college and department to modern standards, giving CSUEB students the same chances of success that other universities might have.

“I want students to walk away feeling they gained something from CSUEB and that we gave them everything we could to ensure their success,” he said.

“We should be highlighting our students work and their abilities, but we can’t do that without being current with what is happening in our world.”

Houpis, who says he’s really committed to public education, says he expects the future will bring about innovative experiences for CSUEB, eager to bring about positive change through new programs and activities that will make students proud to be members of their school.

“If we educate our students in all areas with the best equipment we can garner and they become prepared and well-rounded citizens,” said Houpis, “then we have done our jobs as educators. That is my ultimate goal.”

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Summer Fees Pay For Tech Upgrades