Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting - Chancellor's Report
September 19, 2007
Thank you, Chair Achtenberg.
First, I also want to welcome new Trustee Henry Mendoza. He is an alum of our Fullerton campus but he will work for all of our campuses. He is a great addition to our board.
As the immediate past chair of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Henry will be of particular help to us as we continue our outreach efforts to our underserved populations. I addressed that Chamber and was pleased to work with Henry on the meeting.
Second, I also want to formally welcome Millie Garcia, our new president at CSU Dominguez Hills to her first Board meeting.
With her energy and talent, she will be a valuable asset to the campus and the South Bay community.
These two months since our last board meeting have been busy. Let me just recap a few highlights.
Number One, Pell Grants:
We have had a great victory in the last three weeks. We are very pleased that our students and students across the country will be the recipients of billions of dollars in additional financial aid in the form of higher Pell Grants.
This year, 2007-08, our students will receive Pell Grants in the amount of $4,310. That means $30 million for the CSU. We are a big beneficiary of this action.
The Budget Reconciliation Act approved by both the House and Senate will boost that amount to $4,800 next year, if funded by Congress.
The bill also authorizes funding up to $5,400 by 2012.
The President is expected to sign the bill.
That is good news for our students.
Pell Grants are need-based, which is exactly the kind of financial aid that our students need.
Our Federal Relations office and Senators Kennedy and Miller and Speaker Pelosi worked very hard on this, and their diligence paid off for our students.
That bill also creates new incentives to encourage good teachers to teach in high-need schools by providing them with up-front scholarships.
The TEACH Grant program will provide scholarships of $4,000 per year for high achieving undergraduate and graduate students.
Most of those schools are located in low-income areas where they really need good teachers to help the students.
We were able to get changes in the bill that would make sure that these scholarships are available to CSU students who are in the fifth year of their teacher-training program.
I believe that having a good teacher is the single most important factor in children learning, so this is more good news.
Two, our outreach efforts:
In an effort to continue to reach out to our underserved communities, we held our first "Super Saturday" event at Dominguez Hills last month. Five Hundred (500) people attended.
It was modeled on the Super Sunday events we hold in the LA and Bay Area African-American churches, where many of you have participated.
Our campus outreach counselors gave out our “How to Get to College” poster, talked about the courses needed for university admission and put on financial aid workshops.
Bishop Clarence McClendon from Full Harvest International Church, who gave the keynote speech said: “We are here to serve the Lord, and the more we educate ourselves the better we can serve.”
Number Three, early enrollment numbers:
It looks like we will have another record enrollment this fall. Our semester campuses have begun, and our quarter campuses will have all started this week.
We will have better numbers in the next few months, but for right now, the presidents are reporting that there are more freshmen enrolling. We will have about 8,000 more students than what we are funded for, however.
Retention is up, and that is always good news.
We work hard to get students into college, and we have to work harder to keep them in college and then graduate them.
It looks like these efforts are paying off.
And on a related note, more high school juniors are taking our Early Assessment Program (EAP) in their schools, and that is a good sign.
If we can continue to reach down into the public schools to help students prepare for college, we will have remained true to our mission to help the public schools get better, which helps the CSU get better.
Number Four, Ed.Ds:
As you heard earlier today, seven of our campuses have begun offering the CSU’s first independent Ed.D. this fall.
This is great news for K-12 principals and superintendents and community college administrators who have wanted a high quality, affordable degree to move them further along in their careers. A story about our program was on the front page of the Chronicle of Higher Education, and we heard from the California Community College Board president and others supporting us on this new program.
We announced the seven campuses this month in Sacramento with Senator Jack Scott, who authored the bill that allowed the CSU to offer these degrees.
The seven are Fresno, Fullerton, Long Beach, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Four more campuses will begin in 2008.
This is a great step forward for the California State University.
I thank all of you who helped us move that bill forward two years ago.
Number Five: Campus Impact study:
Two years ago the CSU released an impact study that detailed what this university system means to the state, its communities and residents.
We have a $13.6 billion annual economic impact, and immeasurable impacts on the civic, social, intellectual and cultural areas of California.
As just one follow-up example, San Diego recently released a study that confirms what we know – universities are important to the success and quality of life in our communities and across the state.
San Diego’s current annual economic impact is $2.4 billion.
Equally important as the dollars is that the university is providing the workforce for the industries that drive the region’s economy, such as bioscience and international business. Plus, its students impact the region through their community service, and the campus functions as a hub of culture and intellectual and social activities, making it a core asset to those who live in the area.
As you can see by just this one example – and there are many more – the California State University is the university that is “Working for California.”
Number Six: Fresno’s $3.5 million gift
In a similar vein, I want to congratulate President Welty and his staff for securing a gift of $3.5 million from Jan and Bud Richter that will establish a Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at Fresno State.
It will be the first endowed service-learning center in our system. More than 6,300 Fresno State students contributed nearly 500,000 hours of service to their community, which translates to a minimum wage value of more than $10.4 million in economic benefit.
Across the entire CSU, our students contribute 32 million hours annually, which translates to $1.3 billion since 1999.
Number Seven: San Bernardino Award:
I want to congratulate Cal State San Bernardino for receiving the Award for Excellence in Facilities Management from the Association of Physical Plant Administrators.
This is APPA’s highest institutional honor, and it is a tribute to the hard working people at San Bernardino.
Finally, I want to thank former Trustees Ali Razi and Murray Galinson and many other colleagues for the generous contributions to our Hearst Scholars Program.
You saw the benefits of Ali and Murray’s generosity yesterday, when you heard from this year’s Hearst Scholars.
This program gets better every year.
I want to thank everyone who is involved in making it work for students who have gone through tremendous hardships to get to and succeed in college.
Chair Achtenberg, that concludes my report.