Responses to
Chancellor's Communication-May 22, 2001

Here are the most frequently asked questions and my responses:

1. Faculty and staff are experiencing a great deal of frustration on campuses about Gov. Davis' proposed cutback in the CSU compensation pool. What is the CSU doing to address this situation?
 
I understand and share everyone's frustration with the news about our compensation budget. Improving employee compensation is our number one priority. At this point, we are continuing to ask the governor and the legislature to help us further improve employee compensation and to recognize its role in sustaining excellence at the CSU.
 
I think it is important to mention that the CSU has built a very strong presence in Sacramento. We have a permanent Sacramento-based Governmental Affairs office that maintains close relations with our state policymakers. We have a large number of CSU alumni in the legislature (15 members of the state Senate and 31 members of the state Assembly) who are strong supporters of the CSU and our work. Over the past few months, our entire CSU leadership team has been working hard to emphasize the importance of compensation and other CSU budget priorities to our state policymakers. I visit Sacramento just about once a week when the legislature is in session, and I meet with legislators, legislative leaders, representatives from the Department of Finance, and the governor and his staff members.
 
It also is important to remember that Gov. Davis and the legislature have shown strong support for CSU employees in recent years. Last year, for example, we asked for and received a compensation pool totaling six percent.
 
We will continue to do our best to improve compensation for all CSU employees.
 
2. Can you provide more details about the Wang award program? Is there such an award for CSU staff members? And what were the names of the students who won the STARS awards?
 
The Wang Family Excellence Award was established in the fall of 1998 when Trustee Stanley T. Wang gave the CSU system $1 million -- the largest donation ever given to the CSU system by an individual -- to reward outstanding faculty and administrators. The award is designed to "celebrate those CSU faculty and administrators who through extraordinary commitment and dedication have distinguished themselves by exemplary contributions and achievements in their academic disciplines and areas of assignment." Over a 10-year period four faculty and one administrator throughout the CSU system will receive the $20,000 awards annually.
 
The Wang Family Excellence Award is administered through the CSU Foundation. Each year, a campus president may nominate one faculty member from each of the following four categories: visual and performing arts and letters; natural sciences, mathematical and computer sciences and engineering; social and behavioral sciences and public services; and education and the professional and applied science fields. The chancellor and presidents also may nominate one administrator annually. This is the third year the award has been given.
 
The CSU does not currently offer a systemwide staff award. However, about half of our campuses have employee recognition and award programs. Here at the Chancellor's Office, for example, we recognize an outstanding employee each month with the COSTAR - Chancellor's Office Service Teamwork Recognition - award. The CSU's staff members, who represent many different fields of expertise, are frequently honored by local and national professional organizations as well.
 
For the list of student winners of the STARS (Students That Are Recognized for Service) awards, please see http://www.calstate.edu/PA/News/2001StarsHonorees.shtml.
 
3. What is the status of the CSU's effort to become authorized to offer a doctoral program in education?
 
The proposal to authorize the CSU to offer an Ed.D. degree is now part of what will be a two-year legislative effort. A bill (SB 713), authored by Sen. Dede Alpert (D-San Diego), would require the state to ensure that a sufficient number of affordable, high-quality opportunities to obtain the doctoral degree are made available to interested candidates. It is expected that the CSU's proposal will be addressed in this bill.
 
The Senate Education Subcommittee on Higher Education is scheduled to hold a hearing on this bill on June 12. This will be an information hearing only - in other words, no action will be taken on the bill.
 
Currently, 25 members of the legislature have indicated their support for the CSU's effort and have agreed to sign on and coauthor the bill when it is amended to provide this authority for the CSU. I will continue to provide updates on this issue as new developments occur.
 
4. Will the CSU adopt a shortened-week or early-day schedule this summer in response to the current energy crisis?
 
The CSU campus presidents have complete flexibility on this issue. Each campus president is working to decide (or may have already decided) on the most appropriate schedule for the summer months. Given that the energy crisis will continue to loom large in our future, I hope that each individual will also do his or her part to conserve.


Last Updated: June 4, 2001