Welcome to the Knowledge Center, an online resource for CSU faculty, staff, and administrators. The Knowledge Center provides curated, synthesized, and succinct information and links to support CSU middle leaders in adopting equity-minded and student-centered approaches on their campus.

Knowledge Center Memos

Prepared for Devastation: Crisis Management versus Disaster Reactions in Higher Education

January 2023

Many CSU campuses were caught unaware when COVID-19 required them to pivot to online instruction and student support in March of 2020. Everyone in the California State University (CSU) transformed their offerings to serve students through online instruction and support. This memo focuses on physical and health disasters, but reputational disaster has also recently struck the CSU and the work the system is doing to review our crisis management protocols there are also important financial assistance.

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Supporting Black Students in the CSU through Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Representation, and Respect

November 2021

With the recent calls for racial justice across the country, institutions of higher education in California were forced to reflect on their own practices and policies and commit to better serve students of color, particularly Black students. In May 2020, the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office, under the leadership of former Chancellor Dr. Timothy P. White, released a Call for Unity and Reunification and later that year reaffirmed the system’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. These responses both inspired and reflected similar actions taken by CSU campuses in which they released statements affirming that Black lives matter and acknowledging the devastating effects of police brutality and racial injustices for communities of color.

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Supporting the Success of Transfer Students of Color by Strengthening Your Transfer-Receptive Campus Climate

September 2021

Developing a transfer-receptive campus climate within the California State University (CSU) could better support students of color in successfully entering and graduating in a timely manner. Despite higher education administrators’ and researchers’ projected decline in enrollments at the CSU as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 23-campus system experienced a slight uptick in enrollments during the fall 2020 semester.

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Network Research

Implementing Systemwide Changes in the CSU

April 2023

This study suggests that the capacity and creativity for achieving equitable change exist within the ranks of the CSU. It also suggests that implementation of new policies instituted by the CSU Chancellor’s Office or campus executive leadership can benefit from having teams of faculty, staff, and administrators participate in the CSU Student Success Network’s year-long Middle Leadership Academy.

Read The Report Here

CSU Leaders Navigating the Pandemic and Racial Injustice

September 2022

The California State University (CSU) campuses, like many institutions, contended with the magnification of deep-rooted structural and social inequities when the COVID-19 pandemic and racial reckoning of May 2020 converged. These findings highlight that campuses need to address equity with the same level of responsiveness and action-orientation with which they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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“I Had to Surpass”: Administrative Barriers that First-generation College Students of Color Face

March 2022

We define administrative barriers as nonacademic processes and protocols that students must complete to succeed in the university. We share our findings with specific recommendations and actions to remove administrative barriers that can increase student success, such as providing clearer communication about requirements and deadlines and improving access to financial assistance.

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Implementing Systemwide Changes in the CSU

By Dr. Thad Nodine, Dr. Robert Gabriner The implementation of new policies instituted by the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office or by campus executive leadership can benefit from having campus teams of faculty, staff, and...

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Tips and Strategies From Middle Leaders 

Evidence Based Practices for Equity

February 2023

As the Network continues its vision to create more equitable institutions, we see middle leaders as a critical part of our work. Middle leaders are often asked to implement equity strategies, but are sometimes left out of discussions about the “why” and the “how” of those strategies. In our latest Tips and Strategies memo, developed in response to our fall 2022 convening, we outline how middle leaders can better serve and support students on CSU campuses with data and metrics that include student voices and more.

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Disaster Management Tips and Strategies

May 2022

On March 4, 2022, 30 individuals from 14 CSU campuses came together virtually to learn from others about how to manage campuses and departments during a crisis-and after. They also spent time thinking about the ways that middle leaders have a direct role to play in planning for and recovering from disasters. A key learning is that it is as important to plan for recovery as it is to plan for the initial moments of crisis.

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CSU Student Success Network Strategies for Practitioners

September 2021

Building on our summer 2020 conversation series, nearly 60 individuals from 17 campuses came together virtually on February 11 to participate in another Navigating Uncertainty Together session. The self-moderated session enabled cross-campus groups of individuals in similar roles to share their experiences over the past year, learn from one another, and collectively identify equity-minded approaches to challenges they are facing in their work. In this PDF, we share some of the themes and strategies that emerged from the conversations.

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Developing Shared Language and Knowledge in the CSU: Ground Your Campus’ Actions in Evidence and Research

Thad Nodine
March 2023

The CSU Student Success Network (Network) produces original research briefs, memos and tips and strategies drawn from and directed specifically to the CSU to facilitate discussions and action on campus to advance equitable student success. A series of discussion questions at the end of most briefs and memos can facilitate faculty, staff, and administrators in meeting together to address implications for their campus.

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“Activism for Everybody” and “All of us at the Table”: Equity for LGBTQIA2S+ Students at the Recent CSU Student Success Conference

By Thad Nodine
January 2023

This is the second of two blogs reporting on takeaways from the plenary sessions of the third annual CSU Student Success Conference, which was held virtually October 12 to 14, 2022. The first blog focused on efforts by CSU Dominguez Hills to re-enroll and re-engage students who had attended the university but did not receive a degree.

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The Knowledge Center and the CSU Network are facilitated by the Education Insights Center (EdInsights) at Sacramento State, an independent research and policy center devoted to student success and the public benefits of education.


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