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Report of the Chair

Remarks by Lou Monville
Chair, CSU Board of Trustees
Report to the Board of Trustees
January 27, 2016

Before I begin my typical report, I want to address an issue that has the potential to affect our future decision-making.

In the past, the CSU mitigated the impacts of facility construction and expansion by requesting funds from the legislature for local infrastructure.

A recent Supreme Court decision ruled that we cannot rely solely on legislative funds that are not guaranteed.
As a result, we may now have to explore other funding sources for roads, intersections, or other off-site infrastructure when a campus wants to expand or build new facilities.

Shifting infrastructure costs traditionally born by Cal Trans – or by local cities and counties – to the university is a new policy with significant consequences that cannot be ignored.

Campuses do not have adequate financial resources to support their current enrollments or to maintain or replace current facilities.
This decision means that going forward, the system will be forced to make even tougher decisions about how we best serve our existing and future students.

Funds that otherwise could have gone toward academic programs, student success measures, teaching a diverse student body, and creating a safe learning environment – in other words inclusive excellence – will need to be budgeted for off-site improvements.

We must plan accordingly… Another reason why the Sustainable Financial Model recommendations we discussed yesterday are so important to the university's future.

And we must have an honest conversation with the governor and the legislature about the appropriateness of requiring the CSU to redirect general funds, tuition and other revenues – dollars that should go to serving our students – to fund local infrastructure.

There is another quick item of business for today’s report. The following trustees are appointed to serve on the Committee on Committees:

  • Debra Farar as chair
  • Adam Day as vice chair
  • Larry Norton
  • Kelsey Brewer, and
  • Lou Monville… whom I’ve heard – on good authority – is happy to serve

The Committee on Committees helps ensure that our work reflects the diverse expertise of those who serve on this board.

So, thank you to those who are taking on this responsibility.

And again, thank you to the members of the presidential search committees… and congratulations to the presidents-select.

I would also like to take a moment to remember the victims of the violence that took place this past December in San Bernardino… which the chancellor mentioned yesterday.

Fourteen CSU alumni lost their lives or were injured on that day… nine of whom graduated from my alma mater, San Bernardino. We also lost members of the Fullerton, Pomona and UC Riverside alumni families.

We have since learned more about these vibrant, incredible people… dedicated to serving their communities and representing the principles and ideas that define the CSU and our country… People loved by their families and friends.

Following the attack, you might have seen this phrase on social media… SB Strong.

SB Strong signifies the strength of a community to reject fear, hatred and hopelessness… and in its place, embrace diversity and hopefulness… to stand united…

One does not have to look far to find evidence of that strength…

I want to express my deepest thanks to the Cal State San Bernardino police department who made certain that the immediate campus community was safe as part of the citywide response.

President Morales, on behalf of this board, please convey our thanks and appreciation to Chief Jamsen and her team.

The chancellor spoke to our inclusive excellence and the notion that we rise together – and celebrate in each other’s victories.

In that spirit… Congratulations to the Cal Poly Pomona men’s soccer team for a fantastic season. The Broncos finished the year with a dominant regular season record, won the CCAA Tournament, earned the program’s first four victories ever in NCAA tournament play… and in historic fashion, reached the national championship game.

On the debate stage, San Francisco State’s speech and debate team took home the first place prize at the Berkeley Speech Tournament… and SFSU students Genelle Murray and Aliyah Shaheed beat the number-one-ranked team in the country, Harvard University, in a head-to-head competition during the California Policy Swing debate tournament.
And from the debate stage to the studio… the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recently awarded a $2 million grant to Cal State Northridge’s renowned Department of Cinema and Television Arts to support students and enhance technology.

A portion of the grant will also create the endowed Hollywood Foreign Press Association Scholars program, which will support underrepresented students in film and television.

Staying in the world of cinema… two Sonoma State student filmmakers – Mary Madison-Baldo and Anna Luna – were recently invited to screen two films at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

The two films were produced by the university’s Studio 1063, a nine-student program made up of students from a range of majors. This is the second year in a row that films produced by Sonoma State students will be featured in Cannes.

From the soccer pitch… to the debate stage and studio… and even to Cannes, France… Cal State students continue to innovate and excel in every field.

Many of these opportunities outside the classroom are made possible by our generous donors… and today’s report on our systemwide philanthropic efforts is indeed another shared success.

I continue to be impressed by the creative ways our 23 campuses and the Chancellor’s Office tell the CSU story… inspiring our philanthropic donors and champions to invest in our students, faculty and staff.

I particularly applaud the success of the Class of 3 Million celebration… and the resulting growth in alumni participation and giving.

As alumni trustee… I challenge my colleagues on the Alumni Council to build on this momentum… as we strengthen the connection between our current and future alumni.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge that Speaker Atkins is ending her term as Speaker of the Assembly in March… which will also end her service as a member of this board.

As speaker and as trustee, she has provided tremendous leadership for the state and the CSU.

Yesterday, the chancellor celebrated the fact that the legislature stood with us in last year’s budget discussions. Without a doubt, Speaker Atkins made that possible.

With that I conclude my report. Chancellor White?