CSU Foundation Board of Governors, June 17, 2013 | Chancellor's Speech | CSU

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
CSU Foundation Board of Governors
Los Angeles, CA
June 7, 2013

I want to start by thanking you once again for all you do in support of the California State University.

It is a testament to this board that we have such strong and vibrant programs and support services in place to serve our students.

Leadership Changes

Last month, the CSU finalized some major leadership transitions. We named two new presidents:

  • Joseph I. Castro is the new president of Fresno State. Joseph came to us as vice chancellor of student academic affairs of the University of California, San Francisco.
  • William A. Covino is the new president of Cal State Los Angeles. William came to us as provost and vice president for academic affairs of Fresno State.

And we named three interim presidents as permanent presidents at their respective campuses:

  • Willie Hagan was appointed president of Cal State Dominguez Hills;
  • Eduardo Ochoa was appointed president of CSU Monterey Bay;
  • Joseph Sheley was appointed president of CSU Stanislaus.

We also named an interim president:

  • Donald J. Para, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Cal State Long Beach will serve as interim president there. He replaces King Alexander, who leaves July 1 for his new position in Louisiana.

That comes to six out of 23 presidents, or 26 percent of our presidents in new positions. Clearly this is a time of major transition at our leadership levels, but I am confident in the skills of all of the new leaders who will be at the helms of our campuses.

Campus Visits

Speaking of our campuses, I am also continuing in my efforts to visit all CSU campuses this year. I have made official visits to 12 campuses so far.

As of next week, I will have actually set foot on all 23 campuses.

I've had a chance to meet with faculty members, staff, students, and community members...

I've toured our facilities, explored student research projects, marched in a marching band...

...and I've even pulled out a few rusty dance moves, which you may or may not have seen in the L.A. Times, or CBS evening news this Sunday.

What I have learned so far is that this is an incredible university system.

Each campus is like an individual jewel with its own characteristics and personality. And together, our campuses make up a system that is breathtaking in its depth and importance.


One of the great joys of university life is to experience commencement season.

This year the CSU will graduate more than 100,000 students. All told, we are closing in on 3 million total alumni.

That is a phenomenal number, and it speaks to both the enormity and the success of our undertaking.

This year I had the pleasure of attending commencements and ceremonies at Fullerton, Dominguez Hills, and Chico.


Last but not least, the governor released his May Revise last month and it looks like the governor's proposed funding investment of $125.1 million for the CSU will remain intact.

Conversations are ongoing about additional enrollment funding...The Trustees request to raise funded enrollment by five percent (to meet California's demand) would require an additional $54 million.

Last month we also spent a day with our advocacy teams in Sacramento getting our message out.

I am feeling optimistic about the direction we are going, but we still have plenty of work ahead of us, especially when it comes to access and enrollment, and sustaining progress on our graduation initiative including eliminating gaps among student groups.

I am also continuing to work to change the dialogue about the CSU and to shift our focus to the positive accomplishments of our students, faculty, and staff.

I want to foster productive relationships and messages that create opportunities at all of our campuses.

Our students deserve from us a clear and consistent message about the power and the value of the CSU, as well as a commitment that the CSU's leaders will stay focused on providing the very best for their needs.

It is my sincere hope that the foundation can help us continue to deliver the message about the value of the CSU across the state.

I look forward to working more with all of you as we move forward.

Thank you again for all you do for our university system.