13:30 PM

Trischman Appointed CSTEM Interim Dean

By Eric Breier

Jackie Trischman knows what it’s like to contend with budget cuts in higher education. She has seen it multiple times in her 25 years as a faculty member at Cal State San Marcos.

Finding solutions in those difficult times was part of her inspiration for pursuing the position of interim dean of CSUSM’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

“When I began my leadership of the faculty in 2003, that was right when the first downturn came of the horrible budget years,” Trischman said. “One of the things that made me apply is because I've been through this rodeo before.”

Trischman will begin a one-year appointment as CSTEM’s interim dean on July 1. She is succeeding the college’s founding dean, Katherine Kantardjieff, who is leaving for a position as provost at Cal State Monterey Bay at the end of June.

Trischman earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Virginia Tech and her Ph.D. in marine chemistry from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She taught organic chemistry and spectroscopy at Tulane University and UC San Diego before joining CSUSM’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in 1995.

During her time at CSUSM, Trischman has twice served as both Academic Senate chair and vice chair, twice served on CSUSM presidential search committees, was the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department chair from 2006-12, and is the faculty director for the EngiBeering program.

“Dr. Trischman is familiar with the depth and breadth of CSTEM curriculum and has worked closely with faculty across the college,” Kantardjieff said. “She has developed innovative programs, pioneered online instruction, and she is a recipient of the Athena Pinnacle Award for Individual in Education.

“Dr. Trischman is committed to diversity and inclusion, and she has made significant outreach contributions to the American Chemical Society and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. I am very grateful to Dr. Trischman for taking on the role of interim dean of CSTEM, supporting the college and the university through this leadership transition and these unprecedented times in higher education.”

Trischman has been sitting in on meetings with Kantardjieff, department chairs and their governance representatives in preparation for her transition to interim dean. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised May budget called for cutting higher education funding by about 10%, and many of Trischman’s plans for CSTEM remain on hold as the university awaits the final state budget next month.

It’s not an unfamiliar situation for Trischman, who has seen the CSU endure similar budget issues in the past.

“This is a time when all creative ideas are encouraged,” Trischman said. “Just like in the last few downturns – we've had two big cycles of downturns – when a lot of the most creative ideas came from faculty and staff who were just sending ideas into teams that were working on things. And that's super important for people to take ownership of what they do and really brainstorm how to deliver it best under these circumstances. That's what I really want to see happen.”

Trischman was impressed by how her colleagues handled the transition to virtual learning in the spring, and she said faculty were equally impressed with how students adapted. With the announcement that virtual learning – with some limited exceptions – will continue in the fall, faculty continue to work on transforming how they deliver courses.

Trischman said faculty are making contingency plans while they wait to see which labs will be approved for in-person instruction in the fall. She noted that conducting research also remains a challenge, but her background working in sterile environments conducting mycobacterial research is an asset in assessing the feasibility of CSTEM’s plans for the fall.

“I am very comfortable with the associated risk,” she said. “It's never zero, but we can do things safely and we will. It’s of the utmost importance to do things safely, and we also have to maintain the integrity of our programs. People need to take it seriously and propose what they're going to do in order to carry out anything with students on campus or anything where they're on campus. But I believe that can be done.”

Media Contact

Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist

ebreier@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7314