University welcomes staff, faculty to new academic year

President Wong stans behind a podium as people in chairs listen intently

San Francisco State President Leslie E. Wong welcomes staff, faculty and campus leaders to a new academic year.

Fall semester starts with a boom as construction of new buildings gets underway

San Francisco State University welcomed more than three dozen new faculty and staff members at its 2018 Open University Convocation Thursday, Aug. 23. And the roster of educators isn’t the only thing that’s expanding on campus: The University also announced the start of two major construction projects.

Held in the Creative Arts building’s McKenna Theatre, the Convocation (known in previous years as the Open Faculty Meeting) is San Francisco State’s official faculty and staff kickoff for the academic year. In his Convocation address, SF State President Leslie E. Wong shared new details of the construction projects getting underway this fall: a mid-rise mixed-use student housing development and a new academic building for the College of Liberal and Creative Arts (LCA).

The new student housing will be located on Holloway Avenue between Cardenas and Varelas avenues and will house more than 560 students. The LCA building will contain classrooms and state-of-art radio, TV and media production centers for students in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department. The University’s first new academic building in nearly 25 years, the new LCA building will be located on Tapia Drive at the intersection of Font Boulevard and Holloway Avenue.

SF State Vice President for University Enterprises Jason Porth, who helped oversee and coordinate these projects, urged the Convocation audience to look past the temporary disruptions of construction and focus on the revitalized campus coming their way when the buildings are completed in the fall of 2020. “Construction is loud and dusty,” he said, but a little noise and dirt is “a sign of progress.”

“This is going to be such an exciting year for us all as we see these transformations take place,” Porth said.

Porth also revealed that a new University Club — a faculty/staff lounge — is on its way to the Cesar Chavez Student Center. A campus fixture for decades, the old University Club was demolished as part of renovations to SF State’s J. Paul Leonard Library a decade ago. “I’m delighted it will reopen at the end of this semester,” Porth said. “It’s an important place for staff and faculty to meet, to gather, to eat, and to meet with students.

The Convocation also featured addresses by other campus leaders, including the deans of SF State’s six academic colleges, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jennifer Summit, Vice President for Administration & Finance and Chief Financial Officer Phyllis Carter and Director of Athletics Stephanie Shrieve-Hawkins. Recipients of the University’s Distinguished Faculty Awards were also recognized.