Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Address to the CSU Alumni Council - 9/13/99

Good morning, and welcome -- or should I say welcome back -- to the CSU. I am very pleased that so many of you have taken the time to be here for this session. Your support is critical to the CSU -- and through your presence here, you reaffirm that support. So I thank you for joining us today.

I want to begin by giving you a brief summary of our priorities for the future. After that, I will be pleased to take any of your questions.

As we prepare to move on to a new century, we are keeping a strong focus on our mission -- to provide an accessible, affordable, high-quality education for California's students. I believe we are on the right track to fulfill that mission.

We've made good progress in our priority areas of meeting enrollment growth, improving the public schools, and planning for the future. This year, we plan to continue moving in the same direction. We're hoping to arrive at the 21st century in good shape to address the challenges and meet the opportunities ahead.

One of the first big challenges we face is a projected enrollment growth, known as Tidal Wave II. As we try to accommodate these vast numbers of new students, maintaining access to our universities while ensuring quality will be one of our top priorities.

This year, we received funding for a three percent growth in enrollment. In our next budget cycle, we will most likely request funding for a four percent enrollment increase, or 12,000 students. When you think about it, the average university has about 12,000 students. That means we will be adding the equivalent of an entire university's worth of students each year for the next ten years. I don't need to tell you what a huge number of students that is.

In order to meet this new demand and remain accessible, we will be making greater use of our facilities through night, weekend, and summer classes.

Speaking of summer classes -- expanding year-round operations is a particularly important goal for us. When we do not make maximum use of our facilities in the summertime, we are wasting millions of dollars' worth of resources. So we will have to make far better use of our resources in order to meet the needs of our incoming students.

Another critically important priority at the CSU is improving the public schools. The quality of the public schools affects us all. And as educators, those of us at the CSU have a special responsibility to work closely with our K-12 counterparts.

Our first task in improving the public schools is to focus on teacher education. As you may know, the CSU produces 60 percent of California's teachers and 10 percent of the teachers in the country. Plus, the state of California is going to need 250,000 to 300,000 teachers over the next 10 years. Given our teacher-training expertise and capacity, the state will look to us first to meet this need.

To start off, we have pledged to increase our production of teachers by 25 percent by the year 2000. So far, we are on track to meet or exceed that goal. At the same time, we are making sure that those new teachers are high-quality. We are building better programs by giving students classroom experience earlier. That way they know early on if they even like working with kids.

We are also trying to help teachers who are working without full credentials. Our new CalStateTEACH program is geared toward elementary school teachers who hold emergency permits. It allows them to earn their credentials through a technology-based curriculum while they continue to teach.

We are also continuing to recruit new teachers through our CalTeach center. In October, we will run advertisements on cable television -- in Spanish and in English -- encouraging people to teach. One set of ads will be geared toward young people, and one set will target older adults who want to change careers.

The second part of our effort to improve public schools involves outreach. For instance, we will be expanding upon and building new partnerships between our universities and the K-12 schools.

We are also reaching out to schools to help reduce the need for remediation. We will set up faculty-to-faculty alliances and give extra help to the 223 California high schools with the most students needing remedial education.

And finally, one last major priority is to secure a clear long-term funding plan for the CSU. We are negotiating a funding plan, called Compact II, which involves our trustees, the UC Regents, and the governor. This new compact, like the old one we had before, would give us an assured funding increase each year. That kind of arrangement will be very helpful as we plan for the future.

We are also working with legislators to develop a statewide master plan for kindergarten through the university. In fact, later this month, I will speak before the legislature's Joint Committee to Develop A Master Plan for Education. The legislature realizes what many Californians already know -- that education is a lifelong continuum. Our state needs a seamless statewide education plan that encompasses both the K-12 and the university systems.

As you can tell, this coming academic year will hold many important opportunities for us to make progress in our priority areas.

All of you, and all of our two million alumni, can play a key role in helping us meet our goals.

  • You can support your alma mater or your local CSU campus.
  • You can help your workplace enter into a partnership with the local CSU.
  • You can let your friends, neighbors, and co-workers know about all of the great projects and the quality at your CSU campus.
  • You can help local students understand more about the CSU.
  • You can be a powerful voice and an important advocate for the CSU in your communities and across the state, especially with legislators and opinion leaders.

As I have said to you before, our alumni are our greatest resource. You represent the best of the CSU. And through your successful careers, you help us illustrate the limitless possibilities of a CSU education. I hope we can continue to count on you for your valuable support and advocacy.

Once again, thank you for joining us. I will be happy to take questions now.

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