Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Remarks by Charles B. Reed
Chancellor, California State University
Super Sunday at St. John Missionary Baptist Church
Bakersfield, CA
February 13, 2011

Thank you, President Mitchell. And thank you, Pastor Alfred, for allowing me to join you here today.

Today and throughout February the California State University is celebrating Super Sunday.

This is an annual event in which all members of the California State University family including the trustees, presidents, the chancellor, and our staff visit African American churches across the state to promote the value of a college education.

This event coincides with a nationwide celebration of Black History Month, and it ties in with the CSU’s ongoing commitment to serve California’s African American students. I had a chance to meet and talk with some students here this morning, and it was a privilege to spend some time with them and hear about their hopes and dreams for the future.

This year, California and the nation are struggling to come to terms with an economic crisis that is lasting much longer than we had anticipated.

In fact, the State of California began 2011 with a budget gap much bigger than the year before.

We expect this to be one of the most difficult years, budget-wise, that we have ever experienced.

But I am here to tell you that the California State University's commitment to help African American students to prepare for college and obtain a university degree is stronger than ever.

One thing we know for sure is that the economic recovery in California will be driven by education. Our up-and-coming generations will need to be college educated to take the jobs that will emerge after the current economic crisis.

The unemployment figures for California clearly illustrate this point. Unemployment in California currently stands at 12 percent. But the unemployment rate varies dramatically according to educational attainment.

Californians without a high school diploma have an unemployment rate of 19 percent. But Californians with a bachelor's degree have unemployment of only 6 percent.

That is why we are here today asking grandparents, parents and mentors to push students to work harder in middle and high school.

Young people tend to achieve what's expected of them. They need to know that we expect them to use their school years preparing for college.

Today we will be handing out this poster at the end of the service. The information provided by this poster is essential for those who are going to make it to college. This poster shows you that to get to college students need to begin taking English in the 6th grade, Algebra in the 8th grade and Calculus in the 12th grade.

Early academic preparation is the key to getting to college.

This poster also will show you the names and locations of the 23 campuses of the California State University. There is at least one campus in each region of the state and there are multiple campuses in the metropolitan areas.

I promise you that if you choose to come to the CSU, you will find a location close to you.

There’s one more piece of information that I want to share with you today: The CSU is one of the most affordable university systems in the United States.

All students who have financial need also receive financial aid from the state and the federal government. This means that students whose families make less than $70,000 per year receive a combination of financial aid resources that practically allows them to attend the CSU for free.

High school seniors and college students planning to enroll in college next fall need to know that the deadline for submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (called the FAFSA) is MARCH 2nd.

Please take a moment to visit our tables at the church entrance to receive the college poster and to meet our college representatives. They are ready to respond to your questions, give you useful website addresses and share resources that will help your students to get to college.

The California State University is a major asset of the state and it belongs to you.

Let's make sure that our children take advantage of everything that the CSU offers so that they can go on to succeed, and so that California can become the place it aspires to be.

Thank you very much.