Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
November, 9-10, 2010
Thank you Chair Carter.
I, too, want to thank Superintendent O'Connell for his support of the California State University, and it goes back a very long way when he was in the assembly, when he was in the senate, and then these past eight years as state superintendent.
I can say that I believe that the single biggest and most important thing that Jack O'Connell did was to support the CSU before the state board of education, so that we could put in place the early assessment program.
And I think Jack knows that nationally that he and others that have been involved in the early assessment program have really set the standard for this country. Just recently, there has been agreement among, I think, 40 plus states of what they call "the common core standards." One of the things when you increase the standards in k-12, what you have to do is come along and be able to assess those standards as to whether or not students are meeting them. And as Jack knows, the folks in Washington, the Department Of Education have funded two organizations to copy the early assessment program, after what we have done, as the assessment for the quality core standards. So Jack, there were more than 350,000 students this past spring that you made possible for them to learn whether they are prepared or not to go to college and if not, to use their 12th grade senior year to refresh and improve their math skills and English skills. So thank you for that.
I also want to thank Lieutenant Governor Maldonado. Governor Maldonado was a member of the legislature for years and was a great supporter of the California State University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. I won't say he put that first always, but he was a person that we could always go to and had an open-mind about supporting higher education. Lieutenant Governor Maldonado put policy, quality and students ahead of politics, even knowing when he took some votes in the senate that was going to do hurt his political career down the road. But he did put students first and he put the California State University first. So Abel, thank you for that.
Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, and I know many of our campuses have events and activities planned to recognize and honor veterans. I also thought it would timely to give a brief update on some of the things we are doing with regard to Troops to College.
We joined the Governor's Troops to College effort about 4 years ago, and since then, have made a lot of progress in creating "veteran friendly" campuses. Each of our campus websites have comprehensive information for veterans about benefits, who on each campus to contact for services, etc. and other programs and special activities geared for student veterans.
Also, we continue to reserve 4 slots at each campus for veterans that have been recommended for admission by their base commander. We have found these students to be some of the hardest working and best students that we have.
Last month, when all of the presidents were here, we met with USMC Major General Anthony Jackson, who has taken over for General Leonard, and we look forward to working with him.
Finally, now that we are calling tuition "tuition", hopefully we have solved the problem that the GI Bill doesn't recognize the word "fees" to help send veterans to college.
As you all know, we received a partial restoration of our 2010-2011 budget that includes funding for about 30,000 more students. The challenge is that we have to do that in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, which is about one third over.
So, many of our campuses who had been closed for spring admissions opened back up, and we are encouraging students, particularly community college transfers, to apply this year since we should be able to take all of those who are eligible.
Of course, as we mentioned in the presentation on our budget, about $106 million of our funding restoration is one-time federal stimulus money, and these students are continuing. So, we need to make that $106 million a permanent addition to our budget in order to offer a quality education.
Finally, I'd like to congratulate Trustee Melinda Guzman for receiving the Leadership Award for Service in Education and Economic Development from the Latino Institute for Corporate Inclusion.
The LICI honors key Latino leaders in the community, and Melinda was recognized for her work as a director with the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco – where she is the only woman and Hispanic to serve in that role. Of course, she has served on this board since 2004, and as a commissioner to the California Post Secondary Education Commission. She has also served on the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges system. So, congratulations Melinda on the award.
Chair Carter, that concludes my remarks.