Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting – Chancellor’s Report
Long Beach, CA
January 27, 2016
Thank you, Chair Monville.
I echo your words of appreciation for Speaker Atkins’ leadership and service. We are strongest when we stand united. And with the speaker as our champion, we stood together as one.
I seek our partners in the legislature, the governor, and our K-12 schools — including charter — to do their part to help us achieve our moonshot and eliminate the graduation disparity among our students.
Together, and only together, we can provide the opportunity for Californians and for California’s economy, society and environment.
As mentioned early this morning, I also want to congratulate the two candidates chosen to lead San Jose State University and Sonoma State University.
Congratulations to San Jose State president-select, Mary Papazian, and Sonoma State president-select, Judy Sakaki. Mary, welcome back to California. Judy, welcome home.
Thank you again to the presidential search committee members for their hard work and valuable insight in regards to this process.
At yesterday’s State of the University, I told several stories about the power of inclusive excellence and our founding mission and guiding values of opportunity, quality and success.
Today, let me tell one more story.
Nearly thirty years ago, Mike and Robyn Prime, longtime champions and donors to Chico State, were looking for an afternoon caregiver for their teenage son, David, who has autism.
Mike and Robyn were seeking someone to connect with David… and help him to thrive.
David’s daily routine can be challenging, as he must develop social skills one at a time… something that many of us take for granted… so when a family friend recommended former Chico State Wildcat soccer player Ben Pollock to be David’s caregiver, Mike and Robyn jumped at the opportunity. A lifelong bond was formed.
Ben spent almost every weekday afternoon with David, helping him with chores and his daily routine. They went to the movies together, to friends’ houses… and to Ben’s soccer practices at Chico State. David soon became friends with many of Ben’s teammates.
After Ben graduated from Chico State, the tradition of inclusion continued, as another group of Wildcat soccer players stepped up to work with David after school… to continue the friendship and tradition that Mike, Robyn, David and Ben had forged years earlier.
To this day, the bond between David, Ben and the Chico State men’s soccer team remains strong. Mike and Robyn have become diehard supporters of Wildcat soccer, attending every home game and often traveled across the country to see them play.
And when David recently turned 40, former Wildcat players and coaches — spanning nearly three decades — showed up to celebrate… with David.
A prolific scorer, Ben Pollock was introduced into the Chico State Athletics Hall of Fame last year… and Mike and Robyn Prime recently established the David Prime Soccer Scholarship… a gift they hope will inspire soccer alums to continue to give back to their communities.
The Prime’s gift… as with David’s friendship with Ben and Chico State soccer… illustrates that power of inclusive excellence that I touched on yesterday.
Although this story is exceptional, its inherent values are anything but unique to the CSU. At the core of all of the stories I told yesterday, and others I’ve told over time, are examples of the values and mission and the spirit of the CSU… of inclusive excellence… of opportunity, quality and success.
So, as we continue to move forward in 2016 with the ambitious and attainable goals we set last year in Graduation Initiative 2025
As we continue to tell our story and encourage decision makers in Sacramento and Washington D.C. to Stand with the CSU…
As we continue to build relationships with our champions and donors, who provide much-needed philanthropic support for our campuses…
And as we continue to push the conventional boundaries of student, faculty and alumni achievement and defy expectations of what a public university can do…
I hope that we can continue to come together under the shared banner and responsibility of inclusive excellence… andcontinue to provide opportunities for quality, innovation and achievement for our 475,000 students, 47,000 faculty and staff and 3 million alumni.
Chair Monville, that concludes my report.