Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
National Forum of University System Chief Academic Officers (NFUSCAO)
San Francisco CA
May 23, 2008

Thank you, Gary (Reichard). Ed Asner - "I know you."

I am pleased to be here with all of you to discuss issues that affect all of our systems across the country.

California is a place where things often start:

  • Sometimes for the good – the Master Plan for Higher Education, which Gary and Rory (Hume) discussed yesterday.
  • Sometimes for the bad – Propositions 13, 98, 87, 209; the two-thirds votes to pass a budget or tax increase. Sometimes California is ungovernable.  

Let me begin with a story – “What a Chancellor Does…”

This session is titled a “Conversation,” so I am going to talk for just a short time so that we have time for a conversation.

I want to talk about two things:
(1) California’s budget and politics, and
(2) What has happened over the past 10 years while I have been Chancellor.

Facts about the CSU:

  • 23 campuses
  • 450,000 students
  • 56 percent students of color
  • 46,000 employees
  • 2 million alumni
  • 90,000 degrees granted annually
  • The state’s economic powerhouse
  • $4.41 return on $1 state invests
  • $6.2 billion budget

Number One: The California budget:

  1. The state deficit is a moving target – could be as large as $20 billion.

  2. Last week, the Governor released the May Revise, which proposes to “borrow” $15 billion from the state lottery – a big idea – hard to sell.

  3. The non-partisan Legislative Analyst called the idea overly optimistic and said it could cause even bigger budget problems.

  4. May not get through the Legislature.

  5. The Revise restored almost $98 million to the CSU budget and to UC.

  6. But subtracting $98 million from the initial $312 million cut still leaves us with a $215 million shortfall.  Plus there is the $73 million in student fee increases.

  7. It hurts access -- 10,000 fewer CSU students at our 23 campuses; closed applications by March 1, earliest ever.

  8. It hurts the state’s workforce

  9. It is especially hard on students of color and our outreach efforts.

Number Two: What is the CSU doing?

  • The three systems – CSU, UC and the community colleges - are working together.

  • The Alliance for the CSU has been working since fall to convince the general public and elected officials not to cut higher education.

  • First time ever that all the CSU family working together – students, faculty, staff, labor unions, alumni.

  • Budget forums on every campus.

  • Rallies and marches in Sacramento at the State Capitol.

  • Students jamming the governor’s phone and fax lines.

  • Editorial board visits, op-ed pieces, radio and print interviews.

All of the above contributed to CSU getting some of its funds restored, but as I said earlier, the governor’s revised budget may not get through the Legislature as proposed.  

Number Three: Where does this leave us?

  • A shortfall now of $215 million but in the end, probably back to the $386 million ($312.6 million plus the $73 million in fee increases).

  • Fewer students admitted from one of the state’s largest high school graduating classes ever.

  • Four of ten years I have been Chancellor we have had budget cuts.

  • A fee increase for students -- $73 million.
    1. $276 annually for undergraduates
    2. $324 for teacher credential students
    3. $342 for graduate students

  • Even with the increase, CSU fees are among the lowest in the country.

  • A total of $3,048 per year (with added campus fees - $3,800).

  • One-third of the increase goes to financial aid, so nearly 144,000 students will not have any fee increase at all.

  • Probably larger classes, fewer new faculty hires, higher energy and insurance costs.

  • Have to continue to advocate next months and years – can’t stop. Have to repeat our messages over and over again.

  • With a Republic governor and a Democratic legislature and term limits – I’ve worked with six Speakers (Bustamante, Villaraigosa, Hertzberg, Wesson, Nunez and now Karen Bass) in just 10 years - California has governance instability.

  • We need a tax on services but no one is willing to do anything about it.

  • But we need to use the bully pulpit to talk about the money needed to run this state.  Otherwise, we will have first-class prisons and second-class universities.

Let me turn to a different topic: What has happened in the CSU in the last 10 years:

The CSU has one of the best administrative teams in the country: Outstanding trustees, presidents, and system and campus administrators.  

Together, we have made strides to become national models and national leaders and to better serve the people of California.

I want to mention 10 areas of success.

  1. Strategic Planning:
    • When I came the trustees had just approved a strategic planning document called Cornerstones, so I was charged with implementing it.

    •  I kept it in my briefcase and to see where we were with objectives and milestones for the past 10 years. No one thought we would implement it.

    • The Trustees just last week approved the new 10-year plan, Access to Excellence. Gary led that effort over the last year. I will carry it in my briefcase now.

    • It is important to have a good strategic plan. It is a road map for where you want to go and what you want to accomplish. You know where you are all the time.

    • We have also taken on a national leadership role with our commitment to a Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA), which you also discussed yesterday.

    • Each of our 23 campuses is developing a Web-based template called the College Portrait to communicate data to the public: student demographics, retention and graduation rates, financial aid, student perceptions, and learning outcomes.

    • We’ve gone beyond the national standards by adding a “public good” page.

    • It will give total degrees, contribution of CSU students to the workforce, number of Pell Grant recipients, average net tuition and fees paid per student, and the average loan debt for CSU bachelor’s degree recipients.

  2. Compact Agreement / Efficient and Productive Management:
    • A strong compact agreement with Gov. Schwarzenegger for regular, predictable budget increases. The agreement was criticized at first, but it has saved us during some of the tightest budget years.

    • We have also saved and made tens of millions of dollars with our debt management and investment management of our own funds.

    • With the CMS finance system we have saved $35 million by managing our own funds.

    • The CMS student system has allowed us to improve the lower division transfer program.

  3. Commitment to and Partnership with the Public Schools:
    • We have become a national model for our work in outreach, alignment, and assistance to K-12 schools.

    • Increased the numbers of teachers we prepare by 37 percent - about 15,000 a year. We have also produced 1,500 math and science teachers. And we use technology to prepare 1,100 teachers a year through Cal State Teach.

    • We created a "How to Get to College" poster.

    • Distributed over 2 million of them so that students and their families know how to prepare for college.

    • In five languages – English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese. Many other universities have modeled their own poster after ours.

    • We created the Early Assessment Program to give high school juniors an “early signal” about their college readiness. Created two free online courses in math and English to help students. The EAP was named one of the best ideas in the U.S. from the NGA.

    • We aligned our standards for high school students and teachers to understand.

  4. Reaching Under-Served Students:
    • Unless we reach this growing population, those students and ultimately California will suffer. Worked with community members to create effective outreach programs, and we made ourselves a national model.

    • In February hosted our third annual Super Sunday event.

    • We were at 52 African-American churches in Northern and Southern California, reaching approximately 80,000 families.

    • These partnerships have helped contribute to a 12 percent increase in African American freshman enrollment systemwide.

    • We are continuing our partnership with PIQE (Parent Institute for Quality Education).  Last year 8,000 Latina mothers graduated from the program to learn how to help their children get to college. They have identification cards and certificates. We had a 15 percent increase this year in Latino student admissions. Also work with Asian-American and Native American students and families.

  5. Community Service Learning:
    • The CSU serves some of the neediest students in the state. Through our community service learning and community engagement volunteer programs, those students give back more than anyone else.

    • Since 1999, CSU student volunteers have contributed more than 30 million hours of service. In minimum wage value, that translates to $1.3 billion. (In volunteer dollars, it is nearly $6 billion). We have earned national awards and attention for our service-learning opportunities.

  6. The Ed.D
    • We made a historic move in 2005 to change the state’s Master Plan and secure the ability to award doctorates in education. Seven campuses began programs last fall and three more will begin this fall.
    • California had the lowest number of K-12 and community college leaders with doctorates because those leaders did not have access to programs.

    • The CSU is filling that need.

    • Now we have a bill in the Legislature for a DNP – a doctorate of nursing.

  7. Support for Veterans:
    • Troops to College:  a comprehensive academic outreach and admission program to assist the 60,000 veterans who come home to California each year.

    • Goal is to be the most welcoming and helpful university in the country to veterans.

    • We want to help those who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    • Signing a transfer agreement with the University of Maryland online extension program for the 20,000 California veterans who take their classes.

  8. Federal Relations:
    • Outstanding relations with federal policymakers in Washington.

    • Leaders in the Higher Education Act reauthorization effort.

    • Elected officials know what the CSU does for California.

    • George Miller and Buck McKeon from California.

  9. CSU Channel Islands:
    • Opened the doors of CSU Channel Islands in 2002.

    • First new university campus in California since we opened Monterey Bay in 1994.

    • Now have twice as many students as they thought they would at this time.

  10. Last but not least – New Presidents:
    • Since my arrival at the CSU we have appointed 15 new presidents.

    • (Actually 16, since the trustees just appointed a new president for San Jose last week).

    • It is the best team in the country right now for doing the important work that we do on our campuses.

That is a short history of California's budget and politics, and what has happened in 10 years since I left Florida and came here.

Let me stop here and take questions about anything I have talked about or other subjects you want to have a conversation about.

Thank you.