Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Remarks by Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
CSUPERB Symposium
Anaheim, CA
January 7, 2011

Thank you all so much for gathering here, and for all of the outstanding work you do.

I try to make it to CSUPERB events whenever possible because I appreciate the excitement and energy that is a big part of the success of this conference.

It is a real honor for me to be here and to see so many fascinating projects, and so many engaged and excited faculty, staff, and students. It gives me an opportunity to get a real picture of all of the important work that you are doing.

Undergraduate and Graduate Research

We know that undergraduate research is one of the great strengths of the CSU.

When we drew up our systemwide strategic plan, “Access to Excellence,” we made a commitment to support and foster undergraduate research.

Undergraduate research has been recognized as a “high impact” educational practice. We know that it increases student retention and success, and it positions students for further graduate study, or entry to industry careers.

There is growing evidence that undergraduate research is the type of high-impact practice that can be particularly significant for students who are under-represented in sciences, such as Latino and African-American students.

Given the changing demographics of our undergraduate population, I know that undergraduate research will continue to have an important place at the CSU.

The CSU also maintains a strong commitment to graduate education.

Our life sciences graduate programs at the masters’ level -- which include many biotechnology-based Professional Science Masters’ programs – reflect the need for professionals with at least the masters’ in preparation.

I want to give special thanks to the faculty involved in CSUPERB for their deep commitment to their own research, as well as that of their graduate and undergraduate students.

Your outstanding research, teaching, and mentoring allows us to undertake important basic and applied research, and to prepare the next generation of California’s life science innovators and leaders.

CSU Budget

Given the importance of what we are doing here, I know that everyone remains concerned about the CSU’s budget situation.

It has been extremely difficult to meet all of our needs and demands in the shadow of California’s budget uncertainties.

In recent years we have had our annual state support cut by $625 million, while absorbing $135 million in mandatory cost increases. At the moment our state support remains at approximately 2005-06 levels.

Our trustees have adopted a budget for 2011-12 calling for an increase of approximately $379 million in state general fund support from the Governor and the legislature.

But given what we learned at Governor Brown’s Education Budget Summit, I am not optimistic about this budget. California is facing a $28 billion hole in its budget. We have been told to “fasten our seat belts” because this is going to be a difficult ride.

I understand that research programs require consistent support.

I want you to know that we are working hard to make sure that our legislators understand the importance of meeting the needs of our students and their vital programs.

The governor will be releasing his budget proposal on Monday, and we expect to work with him closely.

President Weber

I’d like to close with just a few words to thank one of the individuals in the CSU who has done more than perhaps anyone else to provide leadership in life science education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

That person is President Stephen Weber of San Diego State, who is retiring this year.

Steve is a true scholar and that shows through his leadership of San Diego State and especially through CSUPERB.

He has been instrumental in building connections to the biotech industry in San Diego, the Bay Area, and throughout the state. He has been a strong supporter of biotechnology and research opportunities for our students.

He has led San Diego State with an emphasis on excellence and achievement in research. For the fourth consecutive year, San Diego State is ranked as the No. 1 most productive research university among schools with 14 or fewer Ph.D. programs based on the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index.

San Diego State also ranks in the top 50 undergraduate degree producers for minorities receiving bachelor's degrees in biological and biomedical sciences.

Steve Weber also knows how to find and hire good people. Susan Baxter is an outstanding example of that.

We are very proud to have him as one of our leaders, and we know that he will leave quite an impressive legacy at San Diego State. Thank you, Steve, and congratulations on all of your achievements over these many years.

I wish all of you a very successful symposium.