Alumni Council Dinner/Reception for Lou Monville

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
Alumni Council Dinner/Reception for Lou Monville
San Bernardino, CA
April 8, 2016

Thank you, Bob.

With both you and Lou here, I’m feeling a bit of nostalgia…
and remembering a person I know all three of us respected deeply and try to honor in our leadership… that person is our dear friend, Trustee Emeritus Bill Hauck.

I particularly know how important Bill was to you, Lou, in your early days on the board. And I can say with certainty that your time as chair has exemplified leadership in a way that would make Bill incredibly proud… as a friend, mentor and colleague.

As Bill knew well… the truest thing that can be said of leadership is that it cannot be given, it must be earned… and Lou Monville has earned his place among the most consequential leaders in the history of the California State University.

You heard from Tomás that Lou’s path towards consequential leadership began here at Cal State San Bernardino… a campus and community that exemplifies the highest purposes of the CSU system.

Lou attended Cal State as the fortunes of the Inland Empire were rapidly changing. With the drastic slowdown of military and defense spending, the region was desperate for new economic engines.

Lou was – and continues to be – a vocal advocate for the creation of new opportunities for inland communities. He has been a powerful voice in the wise use of the region’s land, natural resources and transportation infrastructure – and he has always spoken up for the potential of the communities in this region… so long as the right investment was made.

That investment is education… And through the lean years of the not-so-Great Recession, Lou fought to ensure that investment funding for education remained a state priority. He made tough calls as a trustee and supported unpopular – yet critical – actions that ultimately helped keep the doors of the CSU open.

Lou was a voice of passionate reason during the midst of an existential crisis. He knew that the CSU could not serve our students at all… let alone serve them well… if we failed to acknowledge our fiscal and operational realities.

And so, Lou led.

Lou was front-and-center for difficult discussions with employee representatives. He pushed to ensure that the CSU did not neglect the physical structures entrusted to us by past boards… and he continually reminded his colleagues of the foundation they would leave for future generations.

Finally, Lou challenged us to evaluate the ways we supported our teaching and research mission – identifying opportunities to direct resources to student and faculty success without compromising critical services. He particularly led our efforts to build stronger connections with California’s community colleges, drawing on his past experience with that board.

As the state began its long road to recovery, Lou voiced our commitment succinctly.

We would empower success of current students and open the doors of opportunity for those who would otherwise be turned away… while committing resources to address faculty and staff needs… as well as improving the physical condition of our campuses.

Simultaneously, Lou built a policy legacy that will be felt for many generations… from the work the CSU did to address college preparation, to shaping our graduation initiatives… from the changing role of trustees in stewardship of capital projects, to a more robust culture of philanthropy and giving.

Lou is – first and foremost – a champion of CSU alumni… both future and current. His every action is a reflection of his desire to see his fellow alumni succeed.

Lou, you have made us proud… You have built upon the legacy that Bob, Bill and others created throughout the decades as California State University trustees… And you have forged the path that others will now follow.

Thank you for your counsel, your friendship and your leadership.

As much as I know Elizabeth, and your young children, will be glad to have this time back… know that we will miss your presence on the board.