Tomás Morales Inauguration Luncheon

Remarks by Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
Tomás Morales Inauguration Luncheon
San Bernardino, CA
June 14, 2013

Thank you all. It is truly an honor to be here to recognize such an outstanding university leader on such an auspicious occasion.

Rabbi Cohen, it is a renewal, an affirmation to renew our vows on the core values and mission of the CSU.

I want to let you in on a little secret among university presidents as they transition to a new position.

I trust that Al Karnig followed this tradition, as the outgoing president, to prepare three envelopes and leave them in the desk drawer.

The first envelope is to be opened during Tomás' first crisis. The paper inside says, "Blame me, Al Karnig."

The second envelope is to be opened during the second major crisis and the paper says, "Reorganize."

The final envelope is to be opened during the third major crisis and the paper inside says, "Prepare three envelopes..."

But if there's anything we know about Tomás, it's that he a seasoned university administrator who is prepared to provide principled leadership in just about any kind of situation – and won't be preparing three envelopes any time soon.

Tomás has leadership experience from coast to coast.

When he came to California in 2001 he helped us greatly with all of his experience from New York…then he headed back to New York again for a while… and then somehow we were able to lure him back to California with the promise of palm trees and sunshine, sprinkled with resource constraints and political meddling.

But Tomás is a rare breed.

He doesn't see challenges, he sees opportunities.

He keeps his eye on the prize in terms of what our goals are and what needs to be done.

He is a strategic thinker and innovator.

And that's exactly what we need in this position.

Public higher education has been through some challenging times lately, and the job is not about to get easier.

Tomás will have to be committed not only to CSU San Bernardino, but to the promise and ideals of public higher education in general.

Here in San Bernardino, Tomás will have the opportunity to focus on those very goals to which he has dedicated his life – improving access and quality in baccalaureate, masters, and credentialing, with a special focus on completion for all students with the aptitude and willingness to work.

Many of you know that he is spearheading an important effort in the Inland Empire to partner with the community and shape the future success of our students.

And that's why, when we refer to this investiture as "Transforming Lives and Communities," it is a fitting theme because that is what Tomás has set out to do, with great attention to detail at every step along the way.

Since we are in baseball season, and since he is such a great baseball fan, I thought I'd throw out a few baseball tributes to him:

He is the ultimate team player who knows his way around the field.

He knows how to nurture great talent.

He knows how to handle a curve ball when it comes to him.

He'll go into extra innings to get things done.

He knows what to do with those ideas that are way out in left field…!

He can throw a spitter, probably a high invisible fastball.

He doesn't get discouraged because he knows that it's a new game every day.

And he knows to be careful where you scratch, because there is a camera on you all the time.

Congratulations, Tomás, on this "grand slam" achievement – and we look forward to many victories in your future.

Last but not least, I want to give a special thanks to all of the sponsors of today's event and luncheon:

Platinum Sponsors
CSUSB Associated Students, Inc.
Schools First Federal Credit Union

Gold Sponsors
Southern California Edison
Jim and Judy Watson Foundation

Silver Sponsors
Beacon Point
The Los Angeles Newspaper Group
The Press-Enterprise
St. Bernadine Medical Center and Community Hospital of San Bernardino

Thank you to all of you for making this a memorable event.