Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Remarks by Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
Professional Science Masters Executive Board Meeting
Welcome Remarks
CSU Office of the Chancellor
Monday, February 25, 2008

Thank you, Steve (Weber).

I am pleased to welcome such a prestigious group to the headquarters of the California State University.

What I like when I look out in this audience is that it is composed of CSU representatives and our industry partners.

We are not just talking to ourselves, like we sometimes do in academia.

We are talking and working with the people who hire our graduates, and that makes all the difference.

The California State University has launched the largest and most successful Professional Science Masters (PSM) initiative in the country.

It is designed to prepare the science and technology professionals needed by Californiaís leading growth industries, including biotechnology, bioinformatics, medical informatics, bio-statistics, environmental science, and genetic counseling.

This program reflects the commitment of the CSU to continue to prepare the workforce for Californiaís economic growth.

The CSU has been called the economic backbone of California because of our ability to provide the graduates the state needs for its essential industries.

Our two million alumni are testament to that. We graduate about 96,000 students annually who enter the workforce ready to work.

For those of you who donít know much about the California State University, we are a system of 23 campuses, focused on teaching and training through the Masterís level, with some doctoral degrees as well.

We are the largest university system in the country with nearly 450,000 students and 46,000 employees.

We prepare more than 96,000 graduates per year.

We also look like California. Our student body is nearly 56 percent students of color, and about 30 percent of our students are the first in their families to attend college.

They are your future workforce.

Let me tell you a story about what we found after we released the CSU Impact Report in 2005.

We held a series of meetings with the industries where we supplied a significant portion of their workforce, such as agriculture, engineering, entertainment, biotech, teacher education, criminal justice, and tourism and hospitality.

No matter the industry, we found similarities in the skills they wanted from our graduates.

I kept hearing the same thing over and over again and that surprised me at first.

What they wanted were employees who could:

  1. Come ready to work the first day on time
  2. Communicate and think critically
  3. Work in teams
  4. Use technology
  5. Speak multiple languages and
  6. Think and communicate globally

In other words, they Ė and you - want employees with the kind of experience and opportunities that come from a CSU college education.

The Professional Science Masters program is built around providing graduates with those skills.

Plus, we pair the science and math disciplines with business fundamentals, so that students who graduate with this degree are well prepared for the workforce.

STEM Connection:

The program also reflects the commitment of the CSU to continue to play a major role in responding to the national crisis in the production of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals.

I am very pleased that the National Governors Association, in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislatures, has chosen to host the national PSM Academy in Sacramento this coming June.

That would not have happened if the CSU had not stepped up and created our program.

That upcoming meeting reflects the national recognition of the CSU initiative. Additional recognition came from the Sloan Foundation when it awarded us $891,000 for this program.

We also have the support of the Governorís Office, in particular, the Office of the Secretary of Education, for CSU to continue its leadership role in the national arena.

In Summary:

Successful implementation of the CSUís Professional Masters Program relies on the quality of our campus programs and our strong and sustained corporate partnerships.

I appreciate your serving on the CSU Professional Science Executive Board.

We look forward to a long and productive partnership with each of you.

Thank you for your commitment to the California State University, the university that is working for California.