Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
January 27, 2010
Thanks Chair Carter.
Last week, Jeri Echeverria and I were in Washington, D.C. as part of the National Association of System Heads meeting to talk about our graduation initiative. We also met with Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan to brief him on what we are doing here at the CSU to raise our graduation rates.
We have received a lot of very positive feedback on some of the specific ideas that campuses are including in their plans to help our students earn their degree, and the CSU is clearly leading the way on a national level in setting an overall goal for the system. We also visited with national media in New York to talk about our initiative, and they were also very interested in what the CSU is doing. It is something that many university systems have not paid enough attention to, but with the Obama administration setting the goal of the U.S. having the most college degrees by 2020, they won’t make it unless California leads the way.
Also in Washington recently were two of our outstanding faculty members – Steven Oppenheimer from Northridge and Frank Bayliss from San Francisco State. Both are President Award winners and recently participated in the STEM initiative highlighted by President Obama. They have been recognized for their work in advocating for STEM mentoring within elementary school teacher training, as well as pushing for a required mentoring component in all grants awarded by the federal government. Steve and Frank have also been working closely with the National Science Foundation, and while in Washington also met with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Secretary Duncan, and also met with the president. We appreciate their efforts to help bring the U.S. back to the top when it comes to students in the STEM fields.
Following the last board meeting, we were just closing our priority application period for admissions in fall 2010. Judging from the number of applications we have received, there is certainly no shortage in demand to attend the CSU. Overall, our undergraduate applications are up 24 percent to 615,000, and transfer applications are up by 75 percent. Of course, part of that may be pent up demand since we closed spring admissions in 2010. We are also seeing very large increases in the number of applications from underserved students – Hispanic students applications are up by 25 percent, African American up by 21 percent, Native American up by 22 percent. This would make you conclude that our outreach efforts into the communities are having an impact.
In February, we will hold our fifth Super Sunday celebration in large African American congregations. We have set a goal of going to 100 churches up and down the state where we estimate we will reach 100,000 parents and students. We will start on February 14 and have three consecutive Sundays where our presidents, members of the board, and others from our campuses will speak to the congregations about how to be eligible for college. This has been a tremendous success over the years, and we expect it to keep growing.
Chair Carter, that concludes my report.