Work/Life

FOR FACULTY COLLEAGUES EXPERIENCING EMOTIONAL, RELATIONAL, BEHAVIORAL, OR MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS:

  • Know that you are not alone.  Stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, racial battle fatigue, and other distressing experiences happen to many of us in the faculty community.  These can manifest in a variety of ways:  disruption of sleep or appetite, exhaustion, difficulty resting or disconnecting from work, difficulty concentrating, anger, increased conflict with others, heightened sensitivity, feeling like you need to withdraw from others, hypervigilance, having your thoughts interrupted repeatedly by unwelcome worries or preoccupations, and so on. Many faculty experience ups and downs in their emotional, mental, and neurological health over the course of their lives and careers.  
  • Know that your background or culture may play a role in how you experience or manage emotional, relational, behavioral, or mental health.  Some communities turn readily to medical or therapeutic treatment; in others, there may be stigma associated with seeking professional help, or traditional means of restoring well-being are preferred.
  • You do not have to keep it to yourself.  We are working as a faculty community to destigmatize these common health concerns, and research suggests that the vast majority of faculty who disclose their concerns to a family or community member, friend, or colleague experience a positive or extremely positive response and that peer-to-peer support is common among academics.
  • Free, confidential consultation on emotional and mental health concerns with qualified professionals is available right now as a benefit of your employment. To learn more about the Empathia service, view this video.  To access this service immediately, call 1-800-367-7474, or log in here, with login code SDSU1 . The Empathia Life Matters site features confidential self-assessments for anxiety, depression, and alcohol use disorders, as well as information about many common emotional health issues. 
  • Individuals who have received Western mental health diagnoses to understand their emotional, relational or behavioral health concerns are protected under federal employment law against discrimination on the basis of their medical condition.
  • SDSU employee health benefits include coverage for many mental and emotional health services. To learn more, consult the CalPERS Benefit Booklet, see especially page 19
  • To locate a mental health care provider (including therapists trained to work bilingually with BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and various disenfranchised communities), visit It’s Up 2 Us San Diego.  African-American colleagues may also wish to consult San Diego Community Connections for Black Mental Wellness.
  • If you receive a diagnosis or are living with a diagnosis or a form of neurodiversity that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you can request accommodations through the Center for Human Resources. 
  • If you are in imminent risk, get inmediate help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (more information here.)
  • For evidence-based practices to support emotional and mental well-being, please visit the University of California at Berkeley’s Greater Good In Action Science Center here.

Further reading for colleagues:  eLifeSciences (2020), eLifeSciences (2020)

FOR CHAIRS & DIRECTORS

Faculty members are reporting heightened levels of stress in connection with the pandemic, its impacts on family and friends, and their role as first responders to students in the classroom—including an expanded role in addressing student emotional health needs.

Heightened stress levels can initiate or exacerbate existing emotional, behavioral, relational, mental, physical, or neurological health concerns experienced and can be expressed in many different forms given the broad cultural differences among the SDSU community. This can  negatively impact work and relationships between and among faculty colleagues. 

Positive and genuine supportive messaging from academic unit leaders can help foster expectations for how colleagues treat each other in the workplace, build a community of understanding and support, and normalize or destigmatize conversations about emotional, mental, relational, or neurological health matters.  

Chairs and directors in particular can lead their faculty by setting limits and boundaries on working hours and professional communications.  Research clearly shows that the invasive nature of telework–for example, texting for work and emailing after hours or on weekends–makes it difficult for employees to have the “down time” or recovery time that allows them to reset, repair, and rest that is essential to their continued functioning.

Of course, chairs and directors are faculty too, and are likely experiencing the same stressors and concerns their colleagues are–if not more intensely.  Please consider utilizing the same resources you offer your faculty, and if you would like additional support, contact your Dean, Associate Dean, or another trusted colleague.

If a faculty member self-discloses an emotional or mental health concern or diagnosis: 

  • Thank them for confiding in you.
  • Assure them that their well-being is important and that they are not alone:  many academics experience ups and downs in their emotional, mental, and neurological health over the course of their careers.
  • Acknowledge the exceptional stressors of the pandemic.
  • Encourage them to visit this site for information about ways to access care and campus support.
  • Reflect upon how you can help improve working conditions within your unit to create a more supportive environment.

Under the law, individuals with health concerns, diagnoses or disabilities may voluntarily self-disclose to employers, supervisors, or co-workers.  Self-disclosure does not authorize an employer, supervisor, or co-worker to discuss with others.  However, if you are concerned that a colleague is in imminent risk of self-harm, please call SDSU Campus Safety:  619-594-9111.

To learn more about how to foster environments supportive of faculty with mental and emotional health concerns or diagnoses, read here and here.

Information on the Fee Waiver Program for dependents is available on the Center for Human Resources website.

Specific information on prenatal, adoption, and foster care planning is available on the Center for Human Resources website.

Lactation Accommodation

San Diego State University supports breastfeeding faculty, staff, and students who wish to pump breast milk for their children while at work or attending school. SDSU will provide a location and a reasonable amount of time to accommodate employees and students pursuant to state laws and Title IX. There are currently three lactation rooms available on campus:
 
  • Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union (370A on the 3rd floor located inside of the Harvey Goodfriend Lounge) is open during the academic semesters from 8:00am-10:00pm (hours vary during breaks).
  • Love Library (Room 443) is open from 8:00am-9:00pm 
  • Women's Resource Center (5121 Campanile Dr.) is open 10:00-6:00pm Monday-Thursday and 10:00-4:00pm on Fridays

More information and registration is available on the Lactation Spaces section of the Women's Resource Center website.

Child Care

SDSU Children’s Center
YMCA Child Care

SDSU Classes, Summer Campus, and Attractions for Children

Aztec Science Camp
Aquaplex swimming lessons and family swim hours
Aztec sports camps
Aztec Lanes bowling alley
SDSU library children’s literature section

The Employee Assistance Program offers SDSU faculty confidential support for a variety of concerns including emotional, relationship, health, legal and workplace issues. Information, resources, and tools are available on the Center for Human Resources website or by calling Empathia directly at 1-800-367-7474.

Information regarding Faculty Housing Assistance Program can be found on the application form.

Two or more faculty members applying for assistance in purchasing one home must file a joint application. Please contact our office for the application and more information. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Am I eligible?
A:  You are eligible if you are or will be a tenure-track faculty member at SDSU in no later than the end of the 6th year of your appointment. 

Q:  Can I use this for a second home purchase?
A:   No, this program is for first home purchases in San Diego or Imperial counties. 

Q:  What can this funding go towards?  Can I be paid directly?
A:   The payment may be used as part of a down payment, or for payment against points, or to cover closing costs.  It may be used for you to qualify for and finance a first home purchase. 

Q:  What happens if I did not find a home or close within my 90-day period?
A:  The application will expire and the funds set aside for your application will go back into the pool of funds.  You must re-apply to be considered for the program. 

Q:  If I just closed on a purchase of my first home, am I still eligible to receive this assistance?
A:  No, at the time of the FHAP application, you must be in ‘active’ search and/or in, escrow within the 90-day period of the application.  

Disclaimer

San Diego State University makes no guarantee as to availability of funds in any given year or as to the duration of the Faculty Housing Assistance Program, and that San Diego State University reserves the right to revise or terminate the Program at any time in its sole discretion.

Helping CSU System employees buy homes. For more information, visit the Landed website: https://www.landed.com/csu

SDSU recognizes that its success in recruiting and retaining faculty is connected to its capacity to help dual academic career couples meet their professional objectives.  This is especially true in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented faculty in critical fields:  for example, 83% of women in STEM have partners with academic careers (Schiebinger, Henderson, and Gilmartin, 2008; Hill, Holmes, and McQuillan, 2014). Clear information about processes for addressing dual career needs benefits candidates, search committees, chairs and directors, and others involved in the search process.

Open employment opportunities at SDSU are posted at the Center for Human Resources

SDSU is the lead institution of the Southern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), which maintains a registry of academic-related employment opportunities in the region and a dual career jobseeker toolkit.

How to Pursue a Dual Academic Career at SDSU

  1. Job candidates may communicate dual academic career needs to the Dean or Associate Dean during their campus visit.  The Dean or Associate Dean should provide the candidate with job search resources such as Southern California Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) hercjobs.com and other job opportunities at SDSU.

  2. Deans and Associate Deans shall maintain confidentiality on dual career-related issues disclosed in this context to maintain compliance with policies on non-discrimination. Marital or family status or sexuality should not be disclosed to department search committees.

  3. If the department finalizes its hiring recommendation and selects the candidate with dual career considerations, Deans or their designees should request contact information and a c.v. for the dual career partner and initiate a conversation to ascertain their professional goals.  Deans may connect with department chairs in their own College or deans of other colleges to share the dual career partner c.v. and identify opportunities on campus.  Faculty Advancement can also assist in identifying potential opportunities.

  4. Options may include extending no offer at this time, extending an offer of part-time or full-time instructional, advising, or research work, extending an offer of a one-year visiting professorship, or pursuing a tenure-track appointment following standard tenure-track hiring process.  Funding options may include reallocation of failed searches, instructional budget, and, grant or foundation funding.

  5. Current faculty members should communicate dual academic career needs to their chair or dean as soon as they become relevant and especially in connection with issues of faculty retention.


Additional Guidelines

  • The University shall not discriminate against any job candidate or employee on the basis of marital or family status or sexuality, or on the basis of their decision, intention, or perceived intention to dual career support.
  • In all activities pursuant to this policy, all University employees must comply with the provisions of the SDSU Nepotism Policy and all other relevant procedural and ethical guidelines.  Any current faculty member with a partner under consideration should recuse themselves from all discussion or deliberation of a partner's potential employment at SDSU.  
  • In light of the sensitive nature of hiring deliberations in the context of dual academic career couples, faculty and administrators shall endeavor to uphold standards of professionalism, including confidentiality, and endeavor to maintain a neutral, respectful approach to discussions of dual career needs and review of candidate credentials. Discussions of dual career partner credentials in formal and informal settings may have long-term impacts on faculty work environments at the university. 
For additional resource info for the dual career spouse/partner, which includes advice on when and how to disclose dual career assistance needs, consider