2015/16 Executive Summary

Chancellor's Message

Chancellor Timothy P. White shaking hands with student.
Timothy P. White

A little more than 150 years ago, the California State University and the state began a partnership—with a three thousand dollar public investment in the San Francisco Normal School supporting the enrollment of 60 students intent on becoming teachers. That partnership was strengthened when the renamed California State Normal School relocated to the site that is now San José State University—with classrooms, dormitories, and offices funded through a state property tax. This was the origin of the state’s capital investment and support for student access to excellent public higher education.

I am thankful for those early pioneers and the countless leaders since who have held firm to that partnership. In these fifteen decades, the CSU has educated three million people who contribute on a daily basis to California’s schools, economy, and culture. In fact, one out of every ten employees relied on to drive California’s vital industries, from aerospace to biotechnology and from entertainment to hospitality, earned a degree on a CSU campus. CSU graduates have the skills, expertise, and preparation to succeed and excel in knowledge-based fields like life sciences, information technology, and the emerging “green” industries as well as the public sector fields of education, criminal justice, social work, and public administration. Of particular note the CSU produces well over 50 percent of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in California in the fields of hospitality and tourism, business, and agriculture.

As in those early days, the public good of the CSU is made possible by the public funds of the State of California. It is imperative that our partnership grows stronger in thoughtful and strategic ways. Illustrating our commitment to this strategic partnership, the CSU established the Graduation Initiative during the depths of the recession. As a result of a relentless CSU focus on enabling student success, the CSU achieved a nearly 11 percentage point rise in 6-year graduation rates in the last decade, well outpacing the national trend for similar universities.

Yet, the CSU is limited in what we can do without meaningful support from our strategic partner. This budget recommendation for 2015/16 represents a significant state financial investment that emphasizes current student success and completion, increases community college and first-time freshman student access, stresses the need for academic facility and information technology infrastructure repair, replacement, and improvement, addresses compensation issues, and funds CSU mandatory costs. This request meets the high expectations that we all have for an educated and successful California populace.

Chancellor Timothy P. White