Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
Cornerstones Steering Committee Meeting
Long Beach, CA
October 16, 2006

When I first came to the California State University nearly nine years ago, the Trustees gave me a copy of Cornerstones and told me to consider it my charge for the future.

Since then, it has served as an important strategic framework for all of the priorities I have set and all of the projects I have pursued.

The four "cornerstones" of that report are as relevant today as they were ten years ago:

  • Educational results
  • Access to higher education
  • Financial stability
  • University accountability

…all of which converge in our central focus on students.

That said, we can look at Cornerstones the same way as we are now looking at California's Master Plan for Higher Education.

For more than 40 years, the Master Plan has been the best plan in the country in terms of ensuring access and quality in higher education. But after four decades, California has changed and the Master Plan needs some refinements. For example, giving the CSU the ability to offer the educational doctorate has made the Master Plan more relevant to today's students.

In the same way, we're now at an important juncture with Cornerstones. The CSU has changed in the ten years since Cornerstones was written.

We need to take a step back and evaluate what changes we need to make so that it is more relevant to the challenges of today:

  • California's K-12 schools are seeing a growing number of students from underserved populations. We need to find new ways to reach those students and help them on the track to college success. It will involve a much more active, hands-on outreach than we've ever done in the past.
  • We have to make sure that we are fulfilling employers' needs in terms of the number of students we graduate in critical fields, and their competency in those fields.
  • Legislators and policymakers are more interested than ever in seeing demonstrated results. We want to continue to stay out ahead of our peers in terms of our transparency and accountability.
  • Several difficult budget years have taken their toll and we are looking for ways to maintain high quality in our academic programs and fulfill unmet needs on our campuses.

I know that the new strategic plan will serve as a critical tool in helping us figure out how to get where we need to go with these challenges.

I want to thank all of you for making the commitment to serve on this committee. I know it will involve a lot of hard work, but it will be an important contribution to the future of the California State University.

Thank you very much.

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