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Hill Day Breakfast Briefing & Ted Mitchell Introduction

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
Hill Day Breakfast Briefing & Ted Mitchell Introduction
Washington D.C.
February 25, 2015

Thank you, Jim and George, for your overview of federal priorities. Thank you as well to Trustees Becky Eisen, Talar Alexanian, and Kelsey Brewer who are also in attendance this morning.

These priorities for the Higher Education Act – and the entire federal agenda – demonstrate how the California State University carries forward our mission of quality, access and success beyond our campuses, beyond California, and into the national dialogue.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy began a message to Congress with these words, ‘Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.’ No truer words then, no truer words today.

You are contributing to that progress by joining in the work that the CSU is doing here in Washington, D.C.

The CSU has also earned its reputation as a leader of educational opportunity, quality and success, in part by our size and input in the state of California,

We create opportunity by taking pride in who we enroll and empower, not in who we turn away.

We sustain quality by hiring world-class presidents, legal, academic & business leaders – who enhance student achievement and address a myriad of public policy challenges.

And we enable success by encouraging student participation in applied research projects, service learning, internships and peer-mentoring with the expectation of a lifetime of civic engagement.

So, as you go into your meetings today, I know you will do so with confidence. YOU represent this nation’s greatest asset… its people.

The CSU is fortunate to have many national partners who play critical roles in our efforts – partners in education, in industry and in government.

And I am appreciative of President Obama’s administration for recognizing innovative educational practices and focusing on access, affordability, quality, completion… the CSU’s DNA.

The CSU has great advocates in the administration – including Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, and Ted Mitchell, undersecretary of education.

Ted, if you would please join me here at the podium.

Undersecretary Mitchell has served as the Undersecretary of Education since May 8, 2014 and oversees policies, programs, and activities related to postsecondary education, adult, career and technical education, financial student aid, five White House Initiatives – Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Educational Excellence for Hispanics, Educational Excellence of African Americans, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and American Indian and Alaska Native Education – and the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

To spur education, economic growth and social prosperity, Mitchell is charged with planning and policy responsibilities to implement President Obama’s goal for the U.S. to have “the best educated, most competitive workforce in the world” as measured by the proportion of college graduates by the year 2020. Mitchell and his team are keenly focused on implementing President Obama’s American Graduation Initiative to improve college access, affordability, quality, and completion.

Undersecretary Mitchell’s California roots go deep with experience as CEO of the NewSchools Venture Fund and president of the California State Board of Education in addition to his time as president of Occidental College, as an academic leader at UCLA, and with three degrees from Stanford.

Thank you, Ted, for spending some of your valuable morning with us. It is a great honor to have you here to address the CSU.