Chancellor, California State University
Chancellor's Report - CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
Long Beach, CA
July 19, 2006
Thank you, Chair Achtenberg. We are very pleased to have you serve as chair, and I am looking forward to working with you on the many big challenges ahead and on the projects that you have outlined.
I want to join you in welcoming our new trustees: Kenneth Fong, Lou Monville, Glen Toney; as well as Andrew LaFlamme, our newest voting student member, and Jennifer Reimer, our other new student trustee.
Also a warm welcome to our new presidents, Dianne Harrison and Mo Qayoumi; and to our new Academic Senate executive committee and the CSSA executive committee.
I also want to welcome our special guests here from the Legislative Analyst's Office. They are here to work with our staff today, and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for what they do. We always respect their recommendations to the governor and the legislature.
As Chair Achtenberg mentioned, we have a new budget that honors the compact, and will allow us to continue our important work in helping California meet some of its most critical workforce needs.
In the nine years I have been chancellor, one of our top priorities has been to have the CSU recognized in the same way as other universities in terms of graduate education. This budget marks a significant step forward for us with the graduate differential, as well as the changes we have on marginal cost, and the opportunity to manage our own student fees.
I want to give special recognition and thanks to Richard West, Patrick Lenz, Karen Yelverton Zamarripa, and all the rest of our team in Sacramento and here in Long Beach who worked tirelessly to help us secure this budget. The presidents were also very helpful, especially with last-minute phone calls, and Trustee Esparza in particular helped out at a critical time.
On Sunday, June 11, we held our second "Super Sunday" college outreach event. We had eight CSU presidents and one foundation board member speaking at services at 10 African-American churches in Oakland and around the San Francisco Bay area.
This is part of a statewide CSU effort to call attention to the need to expand participation by African Americans and Latinos in college. We reached several thousand people that day, which brings our total to more than 30,000 people at two "Super Sunday" events.
I have had many, many people tell me how glad they are to see us reaching out and meeting them in their communities. I believe this kind of outreach is the first step to solving one of our most pressing challenges ahead - the challenge of reaching the growing numbers of minority students who are under-represented in higher education.
Inside Higher Education
On a related note, I hope you all had a chance to see the weeklong series at the end of June in Inside Higher Education that featured the CSU and our outreach efforts to Latino, African American, Native American, and Asian students. The series took a comprehensive look at the challenges we are facing in terms of reaching out to traditionally under-served students.
Each of the stories did a great job of highlighting the important work that the CSU is doing. It was an important piece of national recognition for us.
Next, I wanted to let the board know about a good piece of news from Cal State East Bay. Former Trustee Stanley Wang and his wife Franny have created the first endowed faculty honor in the history of Cal State East Bay. Their gift of a $250,000 endowment will create the Wang Family Professorship in the College of Business and Economics.
Endowed professorships are a mark of distinction at a university and it is these kinds of positions that allow us to create a "margin of excellence" in our academic offerings.
Stanley has been a major benefactor of the CSU system, having given more than $2 million to the CSU during the past eight years. He is the creator of the Wang Family Excellence Awards and he is the sponsor of a scholarship program for students and faculty to study and do research in China and Taiwan.
We are grateful for his continuing involvement with the CSU, and we are honored to have him as a part of the CSU family.
This spring I had the honor of attending two commencement ceremonies this year: the honors commencement at Cal State Northridge and the Cal State East Bay commencement.
The CSU granted more than 88,000 degrees this year. I want to publicly congratulate all of those students, and the faculty, staff, families, and friends who supported those students through the process of earning a degree.
Those 88,000 degrees represent an astonishing contribution to the state of California. Our students are going to go on and use the skills they learned to serve California and its communities and industries.
I am very proud of how the CSU is truly "Working for California."
Last, I want to mention that we will be giving the Hearst/Trustee scholarship awards again this year. Trustee Bleich has contributed to fully fund a scholarship, as have Cathy and I. Also former Trustee Ali Razi recently gave us $50,000 to continue the scholarships, so we thank him for his generous contributions.
Chair Achtenberg, that concludes my report.