Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
May 10, 2011
Thank you Vice Chair Linscheid.
I, too, would like to welcome Steve Glazer to the board, and we look forward to working with him on the challenging issues facing the CSU. Also, congratulations to Herb Carter on his reappointment to the board. Herb has been an invaluable resource to the CSU in many capacities, and so we are very glad that he will be on this board for years to come.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank both George Gowgani and Ray Holdsworth for their years of service on the board and the support they provided to myself and to the presidents. Also, our student trustee Nicole Anderson is concluding her service on the board, and I want to thank her for all of her involvement and support. Steve Dixon, who all of you know, will start his term as the voting student trustee.
I'd also like to congratulate Mo Qayomi who will take over as president of San José State this summer. From what I have heard, Mo has already been seen around campus, and I know he will hit the ground running in San José . And, I would like to thank Don Kassing for this year of leadership at San José.
I have appointed Leroy Morishita as interim president of East Bay. The campus will be the beneficiary of Leroy's years of experience at San Francisco State, and he is already a part of the East Bay community, so that should be a seamless fit for him and them.
Also, Governor Brown just appointed President Dianne Harrison to serve on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. WICHE is a 15 member state organization that facilitates sharing resources among higher education systems in the west.
Finally, I want to say congratulations to Jeff Bleich who will be receiving an honorary degree at San Francisco State later this month. Jeff is enjoying his position as ambassador to Australia, but still has deep ties with the CSU. And, Jeff Armstrong will celebrate his inauguration as president of San Luis Obispo on June 11.
Recently, I sent to all of the trustees and presidents a piece from the April 23 edition of the The Economist magazine called "Where it all went wrong – a special report on California's dysfunctional democracy." It should be required reading for everybody. The writers talk about how California cannot pass timely budgets even in good years, which is why its credit rating is now at the absolute bottom of the 50 states. It also tries to figure out why – with all of its assets – California doesn’t do better. It points to the importance of education. At the heart of things, the article argues that the main culprit in all of this dysfunction is direct democracy: recalls, referendums, and especially initiatives, where voters write their own rules. Many of these initiatives have either limited taxes or mandated spending – causing complete chaos. The end result is that 70 to 90 percent of the budget is already allocated. I would urge all of you to get a copy of the article and take a look. It really lays it all out.
Having said all that, we still need to continue making our case to the legislature and governor in Sacramento. CSU Budget Advocacy Day is May 24 where our presidents and business leaders, and others from the 23 campuses will be meeting with legislators in Sacramento to talk about how important the tax extensions are, and that we cannot sustain any additional budget cuts. Also, the day before, on May 23, the legislature will be presenting a proclamation to the CSU to congratulate us on our 50th anniversary.
Vice Chair Linscheid, that concludes my remarks.