We've heard many incredible stories from the public safety officers and other members of our CSU community who stayed behind during the height of the wildfire to sustain emergency operations. Rushing to the scene were countless police and fire personnel protecting the public and combating the fire. Local military units mobilized alongside civilian public safety. Providing air support was a helicopter crew...fighting the fire that threatened homes, businesses and the San Marcos campus. From their eagle-winged perspective, they took part in a tremendous coordinated effort that saved lives and livelihoods.
With that, it is my tremendous privilege to yield the floor to Commander Steve Everage, Officer in Charge of the HSC-3 Southern California Offshore Range detachment. He will make a presentation on behalf of the command of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific. [Presentation to President Karen Haynes]
My deep appreciation to all of you for your service to our country, to California and to the people of San Diego County...You've been very gracious in joining us today and presenting this photo to President Haynes, but it is all of us who owe you our thanks and gratitude.
I also want to thank Admiral Cropper for his assistance in connecting the university and this brave crew. We often talk about the CSU as one family and one community. The members of the U.S. Navy's Helicopter Sea Combat Wing are forever a part of our family...defending our community. Thank you...
From the frontline of firefighting to the frontline of medicine, 18 Cal State campuses were recognized in Nurse Journal's Best Nursing Schools Best in the Western Region rankings. The rankings were based on over 20 metrics, including quality, affordability, convenience, satisfaction and value. Fifteen CSU campuses were included in the Top 50, and seven in the Top 25. Cal State Dominguez Hills was ranked as the number one nursing school in the western region. It is amazing to consider that 49 percent—half—of the state's nursing bachelor's degrees are earned here in the CSU. We are all on the frontline of preparing today's nurses and other medical specialists. CSU campuses are also on the frontline of business. We recently had a reminder of that when Fortune magazine—in partnership with Money magazine—released a list of "the 25 best colleges for earning a degree in business." Appearing in that distinguished list was Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Congratulations.
Congratulations as well to the Dominguez Hills men's golf team for winning the 2015 PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship, held at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Florida on May 10. In a very close tournament—persevering through poor weather—the Dominguez Hills team showed immense resolve and focus to bring the championship back to California. And congratulations to the women's softball teams from San Diego and Northridge for their impressive seasons and qualifying for the 2015 NCAA Division I softball tournament. While rankings and championships can never tell the full story of the lives CSU campuses influence, we can all celebrate when the hard work of students, faculty and staff is recognized.
And while the work of the CSU is never finished, good colleagues and friends do eventually come to the end of their time with us. We are losing four such friends today. We will have another opportunity to hear from each of them later, but I wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation for their service, President Alex Gonzalez was previously acknowledged for the CASE award he recently earned and for his leadership of university advancement and advocacy efforts.
It also says much about Alex's leadership that he was a founding member of the Presidents' Council on Underserved Communities. Alex has always been a champion of opportunity with quality for all students...and he has empowered success for the students, faculty and staff of Sacramento State.
We are also saying goodbye to Kristin Crellin, who is ending her second term as Alumni Council President. Kristin has overseen major statewide alumni initiatives during her tenure, including the Class of 3 Million celebration. On a personal note, I am grateful for Kristin's leadership during the alumni trustee search, and the way she and her colleagues have embraced and supported me in this role. Kristin is a dedicated and conscientious volunteer leader who wears her CSU pride on her sleeve...and she has spent untold hours away from her job and family to support the university.
I will miss Trustee Alexanian's voice and counsel in our deliberations. Talar speaks with authority on issues that affect our students—which is really everything we do.
Talar has helped address some of the CSU's most contentious issues over the last two years...and played an important role as problem-solver and consensus-builder. Talar is also a tremendous advocate for the CSU Board of Trustees in her communication with lawmakers and the university community.
We are also saying goodbye to Devon Graves...Devon ends his second year as chair, having also stepped up to assume the responsibilities as president this year. Simultaneously, Devon has served as the Governor's appointee to the California Student Aid Commission and as a member of the search committee for the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs.
Devon, Talar, Kristin and Alex...I will miss each of you. But I also know that as you exit your current roles, you are finding new ways to lead and advocate for the CSU.
Thank you all… and congratulations, Devon and Talar, on your graduations...we are all proud of your successes.
To conclude, I will turn things over to our newest trustee… and though he may be new to this board, Silas Abrego, better known as Sy by the Cal State Fullerton community, brings with him decades of CSU experience. Sy, will you please share a few words with us?
[Brief comments by Trustee Abrego] Thank you and welcome.
Finally...not to steal some of the thunder from the Academic Senate report...but I want to address an issue that has our full attention. That issue is the pilot program of community college bachelor's degrees. The CSU and community colleges have a strong educational partnership, and we have seen that partnership strengthen in recent years. We've made progress on a seamless transfer process between systems to better serve the students we both educate. And we share in many community-based research and service-learning activities. Both our systems have excellent faculty and staff...And I have personally been honored to work with faculty and staff of both systems as a member of the Community College Board of Governors and CSU Board of Trustees...In these roles, I've learned that we are at our best when we are united. The CSU was supportive in the legislative process that won the California Community Colleges the authority to offer up to 15 community college bachelor's pilot programs. We offered our support with the understanding that these pilot programs should be distinctly different from what the CSU offers. We supported this pilot as a means to expand educational opportunity and capacity...rather than duplicate CSU programs or curricula.
I join CSU faculty in my concern that the process for 15 pilot bachelor's programs was not as consultative as it should have be… and that some of the approved pilot programs are problematic. The chancellor and I have discussed and agreed that there is room for improvement in the consultation and development process for these programs. These programs are again part of a pilot, and they are intended to allow our community college partners to test the waters. That pilot is much more likely to produce a positive path forward if the CSU and community colleges work together. I have full confidence in the faculty and administrative leadership of both systems to find a way to serve California's students better by creating opportunities that are in fact new—and not duplicative—of what our CSU campuses offer. And we will continue to seek the additional state funding to sustain academic excellence, maintain infrastructure and meet the growing demand for our existing, proven, and high-quality CSU bachelor's degree programs.
That concludes my report, and now we'll turn to the chancellor for his report.