Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Chancellor's Recent Speeches

CSU Legislative Day Luncheon
Sacramento, CA
3/12/01

Thank you, Larry, for that introduction.

What Larry didn't mention was that back in Florida last month, Charlie Edwards compared me and Roy McTarnaghan, the former president of Florida Gulf Coast University, to the "dynamic duo" of Batman and Robin. I just hope that people in Florida will remember me for the "character and courage" part - rather than trying to picture me in tights and a cape.

Actually, it's nice not to have to die to get a building named after you. In fact, it's nice just to get recognized. My daughter is getting married this spring and I'm realizing that I'm just a minor player in the whole process. Last week she told my wife, "There are so many things to worry about - I want to make sure we get everything right, all the way down to the smallest detail."

And Cathy told her, "Don't worry - I'll make sure your father is there."

So - Let me begin by thanking all of you for joining us here at Legislative Day.

This is the one day of the year when the entire extended CSU family gets to come together in Sacramento to learn more about the CSU and build support for its efforts. I am grateful to all of you for showing your dedication to the CSU by being here today - and I am especially grateful to the Ambassadors from each campus.

I also want to extend a special welcome to our legislators. Through your work in Sacramento, you have helped build a better higher education system and a better future for the students and the people of California.

So thank you for joining us and showing your support for the CSU.

As Larry mentioned, I have now completed three years as chancellor of the CSU and I am beginning my fourth year. In those three years I have had the privilege of working with an outstanding Board of Trustees, an impressive group of presidents, and a talented, dedicated group of faculty and staff members at all 23 campuses and in the chancellor's office.

Together, our greater CSU family has created programs and offered opportunities that add value to this state and its students.

I truly believe we have a lot to be proud of. We've made outstanding progress in our priority areas, including access, quality, accountability, and partnerships. We've received national attention for the progress we've made in teacher education, outreach, and service learning. We're building a CSU that gets better every day.

That makes me very proud. So let me take this opportunity to highlight some examples of our progress:

Access

Since I arrived at the CSU, we have added 30,000 new students. By 2010, we're going to have nearly a half-million students. But I'm confident that we're serving these new students well.

  • Our trustees' policy ensuring access to local CSU campuses appears to be working.
  • We are converting ten campuses to state-supported year-round operations this summer and another six campuses in summer 2002. This means that students won't have to pay more in the summer for History 101 than they do during the rest of the year.
  • We've expanding use of off-campus centers.
  • We've offered more evening, weekend, and short-term intensive courses.
  • We've improved our use of technology and we've created programs like CalStateTEACH that allow us to reach working students.

I ask you, is there any university in the country that has done this much to ensure access? I think we have a lot to be proud of.

Quality

If you provide access, you need to provide quality as well. We've made a great deal of progress in improving the quality of our academic offerings.

  • We're developing ways to make our courses outcome-based.
  • We launched a $10 million California Workforce Initiative, which will enhance our programs in high-demand fields for California's workforce such as computer science, agriculture, nursing, engineering, and the biological sciences.
  • We are offering blended teacher education programs that offer earlier exposure to the classroom. This helps students who want to become teachers understand what kids are really like.
  • We are working with the community colleges to increase the number of transfer-eligible students by at least 5 percent each year.
  • Our students are completing remedial education sooner: About 97 percent of fall 1999 freshmen who needed remedial education and returned as sophomores in fall 2000 were fully proficient. In addition, fewer students need remediation. Our remedial education rates in mathematics and English have gone down for the last three years in a row.
  • We've improved faculty compensation: From 1998/99 to 2000/01, the CSU faculty salary gap has been reduced by about half to 3.9 percent.
  • We are installing a modern information management system for finance, human resources, and student services. Our current systems are over 25 years old.

Once again: Is there any university in the country that has done this much to improve quality?

Accountability

When I arrived at the CSU, the Board of Trustees asked me to implement Cornerstones. Our implementation plan called for an annual accountability report in key areas such as program quality, access to the CSU, and K-12 relations. We now have a report with better academic accountability information than just about any other university in the country.

Last May, we agreed to even more accountability: We signed a Higher Education Partnership Agreement with Gov. Davis. That agreement promised stable, long-term funding increases to build quality for the CSU in return for university accountability measures.

Partnerships

Last but not least, the CSU is becoming nationally known for its outreach efforts and collaborative partnerships around the state.

  • Our campuses have increased the number of partnerships they have with the public schools, businesses, government agencies, and community groups.
  • Our campuses have helped the 150 high schools that send us the most students needing remediation in mathematics and English. Gov. Davis wants to double that effort this year.
  • Our campuses have secured more than $8 million in federal GEAR-UP funding to work in local middle schools.
  • The CSU has distributed more than 160,000 K-12 and community college posters around the state, offering a step-by-step guide to preparing for the CSU.
  • We launched the Governor's Teaching Fellowship program, which will help individuals become teachers and then teach in low-performing schools.
  • In 1999/00, we received a record of $881.6 million in external support. That amount topped a record set the previous year by about $20 million.

One last time - is there any other university in the country that has done this much to build partnerships?

Looking at all of these and other accomplishments, I think it's fair to say that this is a university on the move. We're making progress, and we have a lot to be proud of. For instance, just this past year, our students performed a total of about 33.6 million hours of community service. That's a minimum wage value of about $193.2 million.

Still, we have much more work ahead of us to do. For example:

  • We need to keep offering access and quality to our students.
  • We need to keep working with K-12 schools and community colleges to smooth out the transition to the CSU.
  • We need to reduce the need for remedial education, especially in English.
  • We need to keep improving faculty and staff compensation. This year, we are asking for an additional two percent, above Gov. Davis' four percent proposal.
  • We need to develop some form of housing assistance program for our faculty and staff members.
  • We need a new four-year bond that will help us with capital projects such as technology upgrades, renovations, and new construction. We're looking for a bond that will total $4 billion for the three segments of higher education over four years, and about $330 million a year for the CSU.
  • We need to expand our degree-granting capabilities by offering an education doctorate (Ed.D.) program. We can offer access and high-quality expertise in this area.
  • We need to communicate to our key audiences the value of the CSU and its unique mission.

A few years ago, all of these might have sounded like lofty goals. But we've made great progress in the last few years, and we've built critical momentum. That's why I'm confident that we can do all of this and more.

And once again, as I said last year, we don't need to compare ourselves with the UC, because we are two very different universities with different missions. Remember, we are the best at what we do.

As you make your legislative visits, I hope that you will share your enthusiasm for the CSU with our elected officials. And even after today, I hope that you continue to share that pride in the CSU.

Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your neighbors about all of the great things that the CSU doing. Let's spread the word. And let's work together to build an even better CSU for the students of tomorrow.

I am confident that we have a bright future ahead.

Thank you very much.


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