Academic Master Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Academic Master Plan?

Generally an academic master plan is a document that is intended to guide college and university decision-making. But what that looks like varies enormously from campus to campus. A quick Google search reveals that academic master plans from other universities vary in format, length, intent, and use: some plans are fewer than 20 pages, while others span 300 pages or more. Some are intended to drive decisions for a set period of time; others attempt to capture a longer-term view. 

How is Cal State Fullerton defining our Academic Master Plan (AMP)?

Cal State Fullerton’s first-ever AMP aims to keep the University on track to achieve our long-term strategic goals by providing comprehensive, mission-driven responses to fundamental questions in the areas of programs, degrees, and outcomes; students; faculty and pedagogy; and infrastructure and resources. These questions include:

Programs, Degrees, and Outcomes
What will we teach?
Why will we teach what we teach?
Where will we teach?
What outcomes will guide our work?

Who are we?
Whom have we taught?
Whom are we teaching?
Whom will we teach?
How many students will we teach?

Faculty and Pedagogy
Who will teach?
How will we support faculty to provide high-quality learning opportunities for our students throughout their careers?

Infrastructure and Resources
How do we assess and articulate the resource requirements of the AMP?
How do we align our physical and financial resources to support the AMP?
How can we respond to budget challenges?
What are the barriers that may impede the campus from delivering adequate physical and financial resources to sustain the AMP, and how do we address them?
What are the policies/procedures/practices/facilities we would need to change/adjust/modify to support/maintain/sustain the AMP?

Why do we need an AMP? How is it different from the Strategic Plan or the Campus Master Plan or the UPS documents or the individual campus and programmatic strategic plans?

The AMP will set forth general principles to inform the decisions we make in formulating and implementing our other plans at all levels within the University.

The University’s 2013–2018 Strategic Plan sets forth a set of goals that we established for the 2013–2018 five-year period. The AMP will ensure that the decisions we make and the actions we take toward accomplishing those goals are aligned with our core values and long-term academic vision and aid us in developing subsequent strategic plans.

The development and implementation of other plans—whether the university’s Academic Plan, the Campus Master Plan, or departmental or college level plans—also will be informed by the principles articulated in the AMP. The AMP will not dictate what we do in, for example, developing curriculum or determining admissions policies, but will provide a framework for our conversations about those issues.


What other factors affect the creation of the AMP?

All of our institutional decisions and actions are made within a framework of federal, state, system, and campus regulations and policies including the Higher Education Act; Title 5, California Code of Regulations; Chancellor’s Office Executive Orders; collective bargaining agreements; CSUF University Policy Statements; and CSUF administrative policies and practices.

Within the confines of that framework, we take into account changing circumstances and fiscal realities as we strive to continuously articulate and assert our most current and urgent priorities. This endeavor is informed by, on the one hand, evolving external conversations, including the California state higher education budget, the CSU Sustainable Funding Model, and broader discussions about the place of higher education and, on the other hand, our own internal priorities stated in the CSUF Strategic Plan, CSUF divisional operational priorities, and college strategic plans, among others. Amid these fluid and changing contexts, the AMP will articulate the core institutional values and aspirations that serve as guiding principles to keep us on track to achieve our long-term strategic vision.

How will the AMP inform the University's decision and actions?

Every year, the University’s Planning, Resource and Budget Committee (PRBC) submits recommendations to the president on CSUF resource allocation and planning priorities; the president uses these recommendations in developing the annual budget letter outlining the University’s fiscal and operational priorities for the year.

To develop its recommendations, PRBC must take into account regulatory, fiscal, and strategic considerations, and draw on numerous established and evolving conversations and planning instruments. The AMP will be one of these instruments: a document that, in articulating our institutional values, can provide guiding principles for how our University can make decisions today that will keep us on track to fulfill our academic mission and achieve our long-term strategic goals.

How is the AMP being developed?

Development of the AMP is a three-stage process. First, in spring 2014, PRBC recommended to President García that CSUF develop an AMP to provide long-term guidance for advancing the University’s academic mission. In her fall 2014 convocation speech, President García identified this process as a top priority. During the 2014–15 academic year, consultations among the Office of Academic Programs, the Council of Deans, the chair of the Academic Senate, the Academic Senate Executive Committee, the president of ASI, the ASI Board, PRBC, and the Council of Chairs produced a draft framework for proceeding. That draft was circulated to the entire campus community for comment in March 2015, and the President’s Advisory Board recommended approval of a draft revised to reflect feedback from the campus community.

The second stage was the appointment of a steering committee and four subcommittees to address the questions presented by the Framework—the who, what, why, when, and how of what we do.

President García announced those appointments in her September 14 email to campus. Progress reports from the AMP Committee on work done since then are published on the AMP website,

The third stage is the work of reflection and drafting being performed by the subcommittees and refined through the conversations with the campus community both during this process and when the drafts are presented to the campus community as provided for in the timeline.

An overview of the timeline for the development of the AMP is presented in the last response of this FAQ.

How were the members of the AMP Committee selected?

President García appointed the members of the AMP Committee (including the steering committee and subcommittees) based on recommendations and nominations from the Council of Deans, the chair of the Academic Senate, the Academic Senate Executive Committee, and the provost. Membership on each of the four AMP subcommittees was expanded to include additional faculty representation based on feedback from the campus community. 

All faculty members were jointly recommended by the Academic Senate Executive Committee and the provost.

Will the AMP be vetted by the campus community? Will we get to see drafts and offer input? How will that input be taken into consideration?

Yes; yes; and carefully and thoroughly.

There will be multiple opportunities for the campus community to provide feedback.

First, in fall 2015, the campus will be invited to offer feedback on work the AMP Committee has done thus far to gather resources, materials, and research from which the subcommittees will draw initial responses to the central questions of the AMP. This anonymous feedback form will be open for the remainder of the AMP development process.

Second, in mid-spring 2016, the first complete draft of the AMP will be shared with the campus for comments and input. The campus community may continue to submit anonymous feedback via the AMP website, or may choose to participate in a public online dialogue with threaded comments so that campus members can reflect on others’ thoughts and respond with their own.

Third, in early fall 2016, the second complete draft of the AMP will be shared with the campus for additional feedback. Input will again be invited through either the anonymous feedback form or via the threaded comments viewable by the entire campus community.

It is our sincere hope that all members of our campus community will be active and engaged participants throughout the AMP development process, and that the final AMP will capture and address the diverse points of view that serve to make our campus so successful and strong.

What is the overall timeline for the development of the AMP?

Fall 2015: First opportunity for the campus to provide input on progress thus far. (This feedback form will remain open for the remainder of the AMP development process.)

March/Mid-Spring 2016: First complete draft of the AMP will be shared for campus input.

Early Fall 2016: Second complete draft of the AMP will be shared for campus input.

Mid/Late Fall 2016: Revised draft of the AMP will be submitted to ASI Board, Academic Senate Executive Committee, and division heads for comments and endorsement.

December 2016: Revised complete draft of the AMP will be shared with the President’s Advisory Board to review and endorse.

Last updated 12/16/2015