Humboldt State University

November 23, 2020

CSU Request for Polytechnic Self-Study

Friends and Colleagues,

I am writing to share with you an incredible, transformative opportunity that the California State University has presented to Humboldt State University.

In a letter we received at the end of last week from Chancellor Timothy White, HSU is asked to undertake a self-study toward becoming designated the third polytechnic university in the CSU. Full letter (pdf)

As Chancellor White indicates, this designation would build upon HSU’s strengths, help us meet important needs for the North Coast and California, and make our campus increasingly attractive to students from California and beyond. Building on the collective vision emerging from our academic and strategic planning, we can reimagine the polytechnic university for the 21st century - marked by a focus on sustainability, hands-on and career-focused programs, and a broad liberal arts education. Beyond traditional polytech programs, we can infuse traditional ecological knowledge, renewable technologies, equitable and ethical practices, and more. There are many possibilities, and I believe this is a time to raise our sights.

This request from CSU follows limited conversations with faculty and other individuals on campus, with leaders at other polytechnic campuses, and with leadership at the CSU. We are now being asked to more fully develop this concept and create an academic and business plan.

This is our moment. First, let’s allow ourselves to imagine, dream, and consider Humboldt as a polytechnic. What are the possibilities for this region and future students? What are the possibilities for new grants and research?

We are aware that this announcement is coming during Fall Break and wanted to make sure that our campus community was informed of this communication from the Chancellor’s Office as soon as possible. Provost Capps will be following up when students and faculty return from Fall Break next week with more detailed information on next steps and opportunities to get involved.

This request from CSU comes at an opportune time, as we are currently engaged in numerous campus-wide planning processes, each of which includes broad stakeholder participation. I have asked Dr. Jenn Capps, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Lisa Bond-Maupin, currently serving as Interim Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to the President, to lead the requested self-study, with goal of completing it by the end of the Spring 2021 semester. Please give us some time to set up an informational webpage on this matter. Please look for more information in the coming weeks.


Tom Jackson, JR.
Tom Jackson, Jr.

Humboldt State University