Chancellor's Recent Speeches
Board of Directors of the National Center on
Thank you very much, Governor Hunt. I've known Governor Hunt since 1979, when I started working for Bob Graham in Florida. Governor Hunt has truly shown this country what it means to be an "education governor."
Also many thanks to Pat Callan and the rest of the Board of Directors for inviting me to speak here tonight. Pat has provided advice to me for 20 years. So if I'm not doing something right, it's his fault.
I'm pleased to share my views on issues facing California higher education. California is lucky to have not one but two great systems of higher education, the University of California and the California State University. I believe that the issues that California is facing now will apply nationally both now and in the future.
Last month, we heard President Clinton and Governor Davis talk about what a time of unprecedented opportunity this is for our country and for our state. We now have peace, prosperity, low unemployment, budget surpluses, and new technologies that allow us to communicate faster than ever before. Yet we face a long list of challenges ahead that will require a renewed commitment to education.
As President Clinton said in his State of the Union address, "Never before have we had such a blessed opportunity -- and such a profound obligation" -- to build for our future. I think President Clinton's call to action sets the stage for the challenges we face in higher education.
I want to discuss six major issues tonight:
The first major issue is access and Tidal Wave II or the "baby boom echo."
The California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) has predicted that California's public institutions of higher education will grow by an unprecedented 714,000 additional students by 2010, a 36 percent increase.
Even if we could afford to build new campuses, we couldn't build them fast enough. So all of our state's institutions are going to have to look at alternative means of providing access --
For the CSU, maintaining access is perhaps the biggest issue we face in the next 10 years. The CSU's student population is expected to grow by 37 percent, or 130,000 students by 2010. We are expecting growth of about 12,000 to 13,000 students each year -- the equivalent of adding a new CSU Hayward each year.
Our Board of Trustees has pledged to maintain our commitment to provide access to all qualified students. But in order to maintain that commitment, we will have to use those alternative modes of access, while keeping a strong focus on our teaching mission.
President Clinton said in his State of the Union address that within 10 years there will be no majority race in California. In a little more than 50 years, there will be no majority race in the U.S. So California is setting the trend for the rest of the country.
Our state's growth in diversity prompts several important challenges for higher education:
Affirmative Action: California's universities will have to work out affirmative action issues and fine-tune their policies to provide the greatest possible range of opportunities for all students. This will have to include outreach to the K-12 schools -- not just to students, but also to teachers and parents.
Focus on Undereducated Immigrant Populations: Our universities will need to reach these populations early -- especially the English language learners -- to give them the help they need.
Financial Aid: Our universities must make financial aid effective and accessible. Financial aid should be fair, efficient, and need-based. But ultimately, the best form of financial aid is low tuition. We have it at the CSU; Governor Hunt has it at the UNC. Let's keep it that way.
3. K-16/University Collaboration
In order to serve the students of tomorrow, all segments of our educational systems will have to talk to each other and work together. That means colleges and universities must work on:
Assisting K-12 Schools: -- We need to make a priority of mentoring students and offering professional development for teachers.
Easing Transition to College/ Articulation: K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities must work closely together to ensure that the transition from one segment to another is smooth, logical, and consistent. For instance, we should all use a common calendar.
Reducing the Need for Remedial Education: We need to increase and improve outreach efforts to ensure that future students are properly prepared for college-level work. We must focus on student achievement in reading, writing, science, and math -- especially algebra and geometry.
At the CSU, we are working to reduce the need for remedial education by:
We also have created a poster that gives a step-by-step checklist of the courses that middle and high school students need to take to prepare for college admission. We have printed 85,000 copies of the poster, in Spanish and English, and distributed it around the state to middle schools, high schools, and counselors. The schools that have received it are already asking for more.
4. Teacher Preparation
Governor Davis said in his State of the State address, "If California can feed, entertain and connect the world - as we do - then we can put a qualified teacher in every classroom."
I believe that if we are going to continue to feed, entertain, and connect the world, then we're going to have to put a qualified teacher in every classroom.
The colleges and universities in California -- as well as those in the rest of the country -- are going to have to prepare more and better teachers.
Improving quality means:
Improving quantity means:
As the institution that prepares 60 percent of the teachers in California and 10 percent of the teachers in the country, the CSU continues to make this a high priority.
5. Workforce Preparation
As California's economy becomes increasingly high-tech, a college degree is more important than ever to be successful in the workforce.
These days, our graduates have to do more than just keep up with information -- they need to have the knowledge that will allow them to put it in context. In other words, our degrees must add value.
Our colleges and universities will increasingly need to cooperate with businesses and employers in order to stay current with the knowledge, skills and technology used in the workforce.
Our universities will need to have a degree of certainty about future budgets if they are to continue their efforts.
The CSU is continuing to negotiate a funding partnership with Gov. Davis for this purpose. We believe that any funding agreement should require:
Affordability -- Maintaining access to our universities by making them affordable.
Systemwide Accountability -- Reporting on access, teacher preparation, retention rates, graduate rates, and articulation.
Campus Accountability -- Reporting to the Board of Trustees on the quality of programs, effectiveness, and service to the community.
Recommendations for Board
Last, you have asked me for recommendations for this board's future agenda. I appreciate this opportunity to share my ideas about what this highly influential and effective Board can do.
Given that what happens here is a good indicator of what is ahead for the rest of the country, this board should look at California as a laboratory for the U.S. This means focusing on:
Thank you very much for this opportunity to share my thoughts. I will be glad to answer any of your questions.
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