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Report of the Chair

​Remarks by Lou Monville
Chair, CSU Board of Trustees
Report to the Board of Trustees
September 9, 2015

Let me begin my report by saying I agree with the many speakers who stated that the CSU is great because of its people… that students succeed because of the connections they forge with faculty, staff and administration. And during the last two years we’ve seen nearly $130 million dedicated to improving compensation for those who work on our university campuses… more than half of those dollars going to faculty. In 2014-15 alone, the CSU provided a three percent compensation pool for employee increases… but the way that the compensation pool was distributed meant that many employees fared far better. For example, nearly 2,100 of our lowest-paid lecturers received a median increase of almost 16 percent, with some receiving increases as high as 40 percent. Several thousand tenure track and temporary faculty received increases of nearly five percent. And campuses have committed millions – above and beyond the system’s compensation pool – toward faculty equity programs.

So let’s be frank… the trustees have repeatedly advanced budgets, endorsed positions and adopted contracts that increase compensation for all employees. Yet… we do not live in a vacuum. The CSU is not immune from state budgets or competition for talent. We must take a balanced approach. So too must our campuses. At the end of the day, we must do what we can – within our financial means – to negotiate a compensation system that best serves the needs of our employees and students. That, trustees, is what you are hearing in our ongoing budget, bargaining and compensation items on your agenda. And that is the conversation we will continue to have.

So, let’s turn to what we can and are achieving together as a CSU community.

To start, 21 CSU campuses were just ranked among the best in the nation by Washington Monthly... with Fresno, Los Angeles, Dominguez Hills, Humboldt and Fullerton listed among the Top 25. The publication rated universities based on criteria such as recruiting and graduating low-income students, producing cutting-edge research and engaging in community service. This ranking focuses on contributions to the public good… so it is no surprise that CSU campuses do so well.

Fresno State has a lot to celebrate these days. For the second year in a row, the campus was honored with a national Excellence and Innovation Award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The award recognized Fresno for expanding international recruitment of faculty and students, while increasing study abroad opportunities for domestic students. As a majority-minority university, Fresno has also done much to support the success of all students.

Meanwhile, Long Beach is celebrating a different type of success. Long Beach officially surpassed its fundraising goal of $225 million for the Declare Campaign, aimed at encouraging all students, faculty, staff and community members to provide valuable educational opportunities through teaching, research, creative activity and service through giving. As the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in the university’s history, Declare continues to establish a culture of philanthropy in support of student achievement.

My congratulations – Presidents Castro and Conoley – to you and your campuses for your many successes.

And thank you – President Cropper – for the warm reception the chancellor and I, along with many alumni, family members and friends, received aboard the Training Ship Golden Bear as it docked in Long Beach on its journey home to the California State University Maritime Academy.

I’d also like to take a moment to express our gratitude to Sacramento State senior Anthony Sadler, who – along with his two friends and several others – thwarted a terrorist attack on a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris last month. French authorities have said that the bravery of Anthony and others – who engaged and subdued the gunman – prevented a certain massacre… and last month, French President François Hollande awarded them with France’s highest civilian award, the Legion of Honor. President Nelsen, please convey to Anthony that we are first glad that he is safe, and that we are in awe of his courage and bravery... and lucky to have him as part of the CSU family. Anthony’s bravery is truly inspiring – his selflessness is something that those of us lucky enough to be parents strive to teach our children… and mirror in our own actions.

I would like to conclude my remarks by thanking presidents Ruben Armiñana, Paul Zingg and Dick Rush for their incredible service to the CSU. All three announced their intent to retire from their respective campuses – Sonoma, Chico, and Channel Islands – at the end of this academic year. I know that Chancellor White will say more about their lasting legacies in his report... but I’d also like to express my appreciation to Ruben, Paul and Dick for their decades of service to the students, faculty and staff of the CSU… and the people of California.

And along with the recent departure of Mo Qayoumi from San José State, we will begin the demanding and thorough process of identifying successors for these four Cal State campuses. Trustee Garcia has volunteered to chair the presidential search committee for Sonoma… joined by trustees Farar, Morales and Norton… and President Harrison. Trustee Faigin has volunteered to chair the presidential search committee for Chico… joined by trustees Day, Stepanek and White… and President Castro. Trustee Norton has volunteered to chair the presidential search committee for Channel Islands… joined by trustees Abrego, Kimbell and Taylor… and President Morishita. Trustee Eisen has volunteered to chair the presidential search committee for San José… joined by trustees Brewer, Fortune and Stepanek… and President Mitchell.

Thank you all. I know that you will engage the campus advisory committee members and stakeholders in the spirit of shared governance throughout the process.

With that, I conclude my report. And now we’ll hear from the chancellor.