Remarks by Timothy P. White
Chancellor, The California State University
Cal State Tech Conference
San Diego, California
July 30, 2019
Good afternoon. I am Chancellor Tim White, and it's my pleasure to welcome you to the 2019 Cal State Tech Conference.
One hundred and seventy people attended the inaugural tech conference, held just two years ago at Cal Poly Pomona. This year, well over 400 attendees from all 23 CSU campuses have gathered in San Diego for three days of collaboration and networking… united in the desire to learn how we can more effectively leverage technology to advance the Cal State mission.
It's easy to see why this event has exploded in popularity. There's a technological underpinning to virtually everything we do. Across the CSU, initiatives have been developed that stretch the imagination and boggle the mind.
Northridge is exploring a combination of artificial intelligence tools to create “teaching chatbots" that can effectively answer students' questions about course material, outside of the classroom and professors' office hours.
East Bay continues to refine a system that borrows technologies from the world's most effective CRM solutions to deliver personalized student-success interventions to those students who need them… at exactly the moments when they are most vulnerable. Or – said another way – just-in-time delivery to be most helpful to student success.
And here in San Diego, the ITS team's VITaL initiative combines virtual, augmented and mixed reality tools to create an entirely immersive virtual-learning experience that would be impossible to create in a traditional classroom environment. Students engage with virtual “patients" with life-threatening medical conditions, observe celestial events or study scientific phenomena at a microscopic level. VITaL is being incorporated into dozens of courses across all seven San Diego State colleges, from bachelor's-level classes to doctoral programs. The immersive experience grabs and holds students' attention, while providing rich, multi-sensory information.
You know, in my day, we had filmstrips.
The VITaL program and other VR-based programs being developed across the CSU – could very well represent a paradigm shift in teaching and learning.
But every bit as important as the projects that are redefining the traditional education model are the ones that provide pragmatic solutions to some of the most vexing problems plaguing our day-to-day operations. Like Sacramento State's innovative parking app, which provides real-time parking availability for campus lots and structures so that students spend less time circling campus searching for parking and more time in their classrooms and labs – all while lowering the campus's carbon footprint.
The work you do keeps our networks up and running. It supports enrollment and registration. It makes our technology accessible to those with disabilities. You help us work more efficiently, so that we can redirect additional time and resources toward our core mission: student success.
“Connectivity" is an apt theme for this year's conference – and it underscores what might be technology's most important function at the CSU.
Cal State is at its strongest, its most innovative and its most influential… the closest to fulfilling its awesome potential… at those moments when we function as one university. Technology empowers those moments. You gather, analyze and share data that allow us to make evidence-based decisions to implement, evaluate and refine our most mission-critical policies… and your systems protect that data. By keeping us connected, you help us share the research, resources and high-impact practices that make us the greatest university system in the world.
I urge you to approach this week's conference in that spirit. Connect with colleagues and friends… old and new. Break down silos and reach out across campus borders. And connect deeply with the extraordinarily robust content assembled by the conference organizers.
Have an enjoyable and productive week, and thank you for everything you do for the California State University and its students.