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Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White – September 9, 2015

​Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting – Chancellor’s Report
Long Beach, CA
September 9, 2015

Thank you, Chair Monville.

Congratulations to Ruben Armiñana, Paul Zingg and Dick Rush, who recently announced their intent to retire at the end of the 2015-2016 academic year.

Ruben is the longest seated president in our system, having served as president of Sonoma State University for 24 years – and part of the CSU family for 26. In his time at Sonoma, Ruben has transformed and revitalized the campus, transitioning it into a hub for the arts, innovation and business development for the North Bay region.

Dick’s legacy and immense impact to the CSU – through his time at San Marcos and as the first president at Channel Islands – is truly remarkable. Dick has helped to build and lead the fastest growing public university in the country… one where the values of academic excellence, shared governance and community engagement are at its core.

And Paul’s 23 year career in the CSU – including 11 years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo – is a lesson in academic excellence, student success, innovation and community engagement. Through Paul’s thoughtful leadership, Chico State has reaffirmed its status as a vibrant destination campus and continually ranks among the best public universities in the country for service learning, graduate programs and sustainability.

Ruben, Paul and Dick… we will have many more opportunities to thank you for your incredible dedication to this university and the people California… and I know you would all be the first to point out that your work is not yet finished… but in the meantime, please accept my deepest congratulations and gratitude for all that you and your families continue to do for the students, faculty and staff of the CSU.

I would also like to welcome San Jose State interim president Susan Martin to the CSU family…

Sue joins us from Eastern Michigan University, where she served as president for the past seven years. Susan has a fantastic track record of fostering student success, developing close relationships with community groups, encouraging social justice and equality and building strong relationships between administration, faculty, staff and community.

Sue, I look forward to your leadership. Welcome to the CSU and to California.

As Trustee Monville mentioned earlier, I am looking forward to the national search for presidential candidates. As is the case with each Cal State campus… including these four… our priority is to find the right candidate for each who is extremely qualified, fits the unique flavor of each campus community, and is acquainted with the core values and institutional mission of this university.

And I look forward to exercising our shared governance structure throughout this process. This will require strong buy-in from all parties – trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students and the community – in order to select the candidate that will best serve the needs and goals of that campus.

You saw 23 examples of the extraordinary results of faculty mentoring in our trustees’ scholars… Their stories are of personal triumph, but that triumph is empowered by our CSU community.

What I’m also proud of – and what I have been repeating to anyone in earshot – is that the CSU is leading the way on directed research that has a direct and applicable effect on the social, economic, and environmental well-being of California and its citizens.

Our university is unique in that it remains fundamentally connected to our original mandate from 1960… to teach and to learn. CSU research projects and programs are designed with a focus on academic engagement and success… allowing and encouraging students to work side-by-side with faculty researchers to develop experiments, overcome setbacks, and solve problems…

For example, Humboldt State faculty researchers and students at the renowned North Coast Concussion Program, led by director and kinesiology professor Justus Ortega, are studying the effects of concussion and head impact exposure through a quarter million dollar grant from the NCAA and U.S. Department of Defense…

Researchers and investigators at the Valley Fever Vaccine Project – managed through Cal State Bakersfield – are leading a consortium of top research universities around the country to develop a vaccine to combat valley fever, a soil-borne fungus that produces deadly respiratory infections. This community-based research – which has secured five patents so far – has direct public health implications and life-saving benefits for the residents of California’s Central Valley…

And Cal State Los Angeles chemistry professor Krishna Foster is not only investigating the effects of sunlight on pollutants at the air-water interface, but is also advocating for and mentoring women and minorities in STEM. Through her work with high school, undergraduate and graduate students, Dr. Foster was recently recognized with the “100 Inspiring Women in Stem Award” by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine.

And while we are highlighting the research, scholarship and innovative instruction of only a few faculty members today, let us not forget that there are another 24,000 faculty members – across all 23 campuses – intently focused on ensuring student success, uplifting families and communities and developing the next generation of scientists, teachers, business leaders and health professionals, to name just a few.

Cal State faculty researchers are expanding opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and skills, increasing the interest of underrepresented communities in STEM… and STEAM… and other disciplines, and guiding over half a billion dollars annually in external funding to CSU campuses to continue and expand research.

And one of the many ways that we recognize our faculty is through the Wang Family Excellence Award, made available through a generous gift from Trustee Emeritus Stanley Wong and his family.

Established in 1998, the Wong Family Excellence Award seeks to recognize the remarkable contributions and achievements of Cal State’s faculty and staff.

Our colleagues in the communications department have put together a short compilation video of last year’s Wong Family Excellence Award winners...

I’m pleased to announce that submissions for the 2016 awards will be open soon. I look forward to visiting all of our incredible campuses to meet with faculty and staff across the CSU this year, and to celebrating the Wong award recipients this January.

Together, we will build upon our successes in research, creative and scholarly activity in the years to come.

Chair Monville, that concludes my report.