Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
July 15, 2008
Thank you, Chair Bleich.
Before I give my remarks, let me turn to John Tarjan, chair of the Statewide Academic Senate, for a Senate report since it was left off the agenda.
(Dr. Tarjan speaks.) Thank you.
Let me begin by welcoming you, Mr. Bleich, to your first meeting as chair of the Board of Trustees. I hope it is a calm and good year for all of us. The trustees, presidents, vice chancellors, students, staff and faculty all look forward to working together for the California State University.
I also want to share my appreciation for the work of all of our labor groups in the “Alliance for the CSU.” Just as Lillian (Taiz-CFA) and Pat (Gantt-CSUEU) said (in the public comment sessions), we all stayed together on message and participated in visiting legislators in their districts and in Sacramento. And the students also had a huge march in Sacramento.
We all still have to keep working and repeating our message that the CSU is the right investment for the state to make. Our combined efforts have been successful, and we have to keep at it.
I invited the University of California and the community colleges to be a part of our efforts and they were. We went together to editorial boards and talked about the kind of California we all want.
It paid off. The governor restored nearly $100 million to our budget. But we have to keep at it. I really appreciate what Lillian and others have done. Thank you all.
We try to stay as well prepared as we can be at the campuses and here in this building regarding emergencies. We practice two to three plans at each campus each year.
All of our campuses have conducted “active shooter” exercises. I know because part of the exercises means they have to call me. We have found that we do need to improve communications on the campuses during emergencies. And in addition to the new tech text-messaging and cell phones, the old technology of sirens and bells works too.
There was a recent flood at Fresno State in McLane Hall when a cooling system pipe burst. Within four hours, Belfor, the company we have on 24-hour call, arrived to assess the damages and assist with the clean-up that the campus had begun.
The estimated cost of the clean-up and contents’ replacement will probably be a little under $400,000. This same company helped with the clean-up in the library at San Bernardino the day after Christmas when the roof blew off.
Also, Chico State has been housing many firefighters in their dorms while they are fighting the Butte County fires. Plus, several Chico buildings such as the gym are being used for evacuees and their pets, and other animals are safe on the campus grounds.
Preparation is the key to handling emergencies, and our campuses are getting better at it all the time and we will continue to work at it. While you can never be absolutely prepared, the CSU is doing well in this area.
On the federal front, I am pleased to report that the President signed the Post 9-11 GI Bill that will boost college benefits for our men and women in uniform. The CSU has been very active in this area, especially Allison Jones and Bucky Peterson on a systemwide level with our “Troops to College” program.
In each state, these benefits will be based on the highest tuition charged by an in-state public institution and a monthly living stipend based on the community where that institution is, which in our state is UC Berkeley.
The previous benefits had not been increased in years and were not meeting the higher costs of living and education. When the rules are written, those in California will be able to receive up to $3,000 monthly for their expenses.
Even though most of these benefits do not begin until August 2009, they are still good news and will benefit those CSU veterans who are in our “Troops to College” program.
We need to support these troops educationally when they return from their fighting duties.
Fresno State baseball video:
In his remarks, Chair Bleich mentioned the Fresno State baseball team winning the College World Series. Even CNN couldn’t say enough about the team. Considering their underdog status, the Fresno “Dogs” really showed what they were worth. They came from so far back – they were the “dream team.”
We have a short video, but first President Welty might want to say a few words.
(John Welty speaks, and then the video is shown.)
Congratulations again to Fresno.
Chair Bleich that concludes my report. Thank you.