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Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed – November 14, 2012

Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting: Chancellor’s Report
Long Beach, CA
November 14, 2012

Thank you, Chair Linscheid. The remarks I have are very long, so I am going to set them aside and submit them for the record. [Written remarks follow]

I want to give my very special thanks to you and to all of the trustees I have worked with during my time at the CSU. From the very beginning, our trustees have shown me great support – and I have worked closely with this group on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis.

I have been hosting these board meetings for just about 15 years. This weekend I sat down and counted all of the board meetings I have attended, and this is my 101st board meeting. I have missed some family events that I perhaps shouldn’t have missed, but I always held my commitment to the board and the presidents.

Sometimes I think the board must think they can’t get rid of me. During my time as chancellor, I have always talked to the board chair at least twice per week. I have talked to the chair of the finance committee at least once per week.

Usually, after a board chair goes through the two-year term, they say to me, "I think I’m going to miss getting your calls every week." And soon enough the next chair is getting my phone calls.

I want to thank all of the staff I have worked with here, especially the people who help with every trustee meeting:

  • The Trustee Secretariat, Leticia Hernandez, and her assistant Monique Enriquez, who are responsible for the board meetings and service to the individual board members;
  • The Executive Office team, who supports the Trustee Secretariat at these meetings;
  • The vice chancellors, my cabinet members, and their staff, who work hard to make sure that we are all prepared on every agenda item and more.
  • And most especially to Sandra George, who has worked with me for the past 37 years.

Thank you to all of the Chancellor's Office employees for all of the work you do every day; and to the staff members on all of our campuses. A chancellor can't do his work without great staff members supporting him.

Thanks also to our students, especially the CSSA, who represents such a large student body with meaningful contributions at every meeting.

Thanks to our alumni, who are well represented at every board meeting and who are so active across the state on behalf of the CSU.

And thanks to the Academic Senate for their thoughtful insights at every meeting, and their diligent work on behalf of our faculty. I am so proud of all of the superstars on our faculty who lead the way with outstanding teaching and research in their fields.

If I had any advice to our young faculty members, it would be to take back their union leadership, and bring professionalism back. I am sad to think of all the time and faculty money that was wasted on following me to New York or North Carolina or Texas. I wish those union leaders knew how many faculty members come up to me and say, "They don’t represent me."

I know that we have thousands of hard-working faculty and staff members out there and I want them to know that I appreciate all that they do for our students.

California: Big Picture

Looking now at the bigger picture: As many of you know, I came to California because I was drawn to the mission of the CSU. I appreciate the fact that a CSU education opens up new doors of opportunity to students and to the communities they live in.

I am so proud of all the work we have done to fulfill the CSU's mission. We have blazed new trails in the areas of outreach to the underserved, graduation rates, Early Start, teacher education, K-12 collaboration, community college transitions, STEM fields, and more.

I have signed almost 1.5 million diplomas in California, and half a million in Florida, for a total of over 2 million diplomas.

I hope the CSU is able to continue all of this meaningful work in addressing California's needs.

To me, higher education represents just about the most important investment a state can make. And that is why I regret that the political leadership in this state has made the decision to disinvest in higher education.

Although this will be my last board meeting as chancellor, I am planning to continue to be active on behalf of public higher education. My sincere hope is that California and its policymakers will return to the belief that funding for higher education is a critical component of California's future success.

A well-funded higher education system will pay dividends for a state for generations to come. And I believe all Californians deserve that.

I want to send my very best wishes to our new chancellor, Timothy White. He is an extraordinary individual who is well-suited to this job. I know he has a very strong vision for the future of the CSU, and I will be glad to support him in any way I can.

Thank you, Chair Linscheid – and thank you to all of the trustees. That concludes my remarks.