Faculty and Student Intellectual Engagement and Performance

Student Research DaySan Jose State University (SJSU) is committed to providing research, scholarship and creative activity (RSCA) opportunities to both faculty and students. The outcomes of our RSCA engagements move disciplines forward, improve quality of life on local and global levels, provide experiences for students that support retention, build the reputation of our institution and bring in resources from outside agencies. We are especially dedicated to enhancing the connection between RSCA and classroom activities to provide context and relevance to our curriculum while also engaging and inspiring students. RSCA allows us to combine learning with discovery, mentoring with teaching and knowledge with application.

SJSU provides exceptional and affordable education to all of our students so they find success in their careers and become engaged citizens of California. Our RSCA-engaged faculty bring vitality to the classroom and provide opportunities for students that increase their professional potential as they launch their careers or continue their higher education.
Our university is situated in a region known for innovation, with extensive global connections, that leads the United States and the world in many industries. SJSU’s goal of engagement and intellectual contributions offer ample occasions to inform and sustain Silicon Valley’s reach. We plan to build on our significant and varied relationships within our region, and our status as a destination campus for students from around the world. We will expand our opportunities to be on the cutting edge of technology and cultural developments, while also tackling the social challenges of wealth and health disparities as partners with our communities.

Each year, faculty and students pursue varied projects at SJSU that contribute to the campus community, our local region, and the world. Recent contributions include the discovery of new hypercompact clusters (dense galaxies); more than two dozen books or chapters from children’s fiction to texts on United States politics to information archiving; faculty and student design work that led to the creation of an SJSU typeface; and grants to support education development and enhancement in Pakistan and Vietnam, to name a few. Undergraduate and graduate student RSCA accomplishments are showcased annually in the SJSU and the California State University Student Research competitions (SJSU Students Excel at CSU-wide Research Competition). Faculty have captured a number of federal RSCA-training grants including Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC), NIH Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement, and Department of Education McNair’s Scholar that provide resources for student RSCA with faculty mentors, especially for underrepresented minority (URM – Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native American) and first-generation students.

A Campus Priority

The Academic Affairs division selected RSCA and professional development as one of its three top priorities for 2014-16, to reinforce RSCA as a tenet of the SJSU experience for both students and faculty. A priority group working team that included student, faculty members and administrator representatives met biweekly to support the development of programs in partnership with the Office of Research, the Research Foundation and the Center for Faculty Development. The activities included university-wide and college-wide RSCA supports such as workshops, training and grants. Base funding from SJSU and the CSU system has been established to support ongoing internal grants, such as a program that pairs students and faculty for mentoring and RSCA. In the future, we will create a new working/advisory group to continue the efforts.

Provost Feinstein charged Associate Vice President for the Office of Research Pamela Stacks, who led the priority group working team on RSCA, with creating a strategic plan to address issues that were raised around supporting a thriving culture of RSCA at SJSU. Strategic goals for RSCA have been informed by discussions with key campus constituents throughout 2015-2016.

The plan is informed by the priority group; seven academic college deans; associate deans of research or other faculty selected by the deans of each college and the library; the University Council of Chairs and Directors (UCCD); Office of Research discussions at college-level meetings with faculty in the College of Engineering and the College of Science; department and school-level meetings with faculty in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts; two university-wide town hall meetings; and a survey distributed to faculty to evaluate the impact of one-time, centralized RSCA support programs. In addition to these meetings, the Senate Program Planning Committee and the Curriculum and Research Committee deliberated on the inclusion of RSCA as a specific element of the program planning process.

From these extensive conversations, we have established four goals with recommended objectives and action plans that were finalized as we gathered additional input from the campus community. These goals establish RSCA as a campus-wide priority while enhancing resources that allow us to foster RSCA opportunities for students and faculty in a systematic way.

The four goals include:

  • Creating new knowledge, practices and creative works that build and impact regional resources and community.
  • Engaging and supporting faculty and students, resulting in faculty currency and high-quality student experience.
  • Expanding recognition and reputation for the institution and faculty.
  • Maintaining a thriving enterprise that benefits from external funding.

View the full SJSU's RSCA Plan: Faculty and Student Intellectual Engagement and Performance.

Read SJSU's College RSCA Metrics Report June 2016.