Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
CSU Engineering Event
San Jose, CA
October 28, 2005

Thank you, President Kassing. And thanks to all of you for attending today's event.

The California State University system is committed to preparing California's students for critical positions in the state's engineering industry.

We share in the national concern about shortfalls in the United State's production of engineering graduates.

According to the National Science Foundation, China had 219,000 engineering graduates in 2001 and Japan had just over 100,000. That's compared with only 60,000 in the United States. As the saying goes: Let China sleep. When she awakes, she will shake the world.

But the CSU is in a unique position to make a difference. With 23 campuses and approximately 400,000 students, we are the largest university system in the country.

Our system is head and shoulders above other universities when it comes to preparing students for engineering fields.

We award more than half of the California's baccalaureate degrees in engineering, including 40 percent of California's computer and electronics engineering graduates.

Altogether we have nearly 23,000 students in our engineering programs. We graduate more than 3,000 engineering professionals into California's workforce each year.

Our campuses are known for their outstanding programs and opportunities. A few highlights from our campuses include:

  • San Josť State provides more engineering, computer science and business graduates to the Silicon Valley than any other school. There are more San Josť State alumni at Sun Microsystems than there are alumni from any other college or university.

  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's college of engineering is consistently top-rated. It has more than 5,000 students and its graduates are in high demand, with 300 to 600 employers recruiting on campus each year.

  • Cal Poly Pomona's Maximizing Engineering Potential program for students in engineering and computer science has a long track record of graduating students and placing them in the industry, and increasing the number and diversity of students graduating in technical disciplines.

  • Sonoma State's engineering and computer science programs in its School of Science and Technology were created in response to the needs of the local telecommunications industry. Telecom businesses invested more than $8 million to help the university create state-of-the-art laboratories and establish an endowment for operations.

Aside from being the largest, the California State University is also the most diverse university system in the country. Currently our minority student enrollment is more than 53 percent.

As California's minority population continues to grow, we are committed to increasing the preparedness of traditionally under-represented groups - and encouraging their participation in science and technology fields.

We also aim to encourage more women to pursue degrees and careers in science and engineering fields.

To accomplish these goals, we have created a number of collaborative projects with our K-12 and community college counterparts. Some of these projects include:

The Early Assessment Program, a voluntary test that lets 11th graders assess their college proficiency. The early results tell the students if they need to do more work in English and mathematics so that they will be ready for college by the time they are ready to apply.

The "Steps to College" poster, a poster the CSU produces that spells out what middle and high school students need to do to prepare for college and apply for financial aid.

We have printed copies in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese.

We hope to see many young people - especially women and students from other traditionally under-represented groups - go on to become leaders in engineering and other critical fields.

And we look forward to hearing more from you about what we can do to better prepare our students for jobs in engineering.

We are especially hoping to hear:

  • What are the roadblocks or impediments for students to enter into these fields?

  • How can we communicate better with parents and students?

  • Do our programs offer the background and experience students need to succeed in the workplace?

  • What kind of partnerships can we form with your businesses that will help us accomplish these goals?
Thank you all for your interest in this topic and your attendance here today. I hope that today's discussion will be just the beginning of an ongoing dialogue.

Introduction of Keynote Speaker

It is now my pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker and longtime industry leader, Jim Bagley.

Jim currently serves as chairman of the board of Lam Research Corporation, a leading supplier of equipment and services to the worldwide semiconductor industry. He has also served as chief executive officer and as a director of the organization.

Additionally, he serves as a director of Teradyne, Inc. and Micron Technology, Inc.

His previous positions include serving as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of OnTrak, and in various senior leadership positions at Applied Materials, Inc.

Welcome, Jim - and thank you for sharing your expertise with us.

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