Campus: CSU East Bay -- January 26, 2005
It's Official: CSU Trustees Vote Unanimously To Change
University Name to 'Cal State East Bay'
The California State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday
(Jan. 26) to change the name of Cal State Hayward to California State University,
East Bay, to reflect its status as a regional university.
The board is the state's governing body for the 23-campus CSU system and its
vote at 1:02 p.m. came on the recommendation of CSUH President Norma Rees, CSU
Chancellor Charles Reed and a trustees committee that heard proponents and
opponents make presentations one day earlier.
"Of the people we heard speak on both sides of this issue I found the students
to be especially articulate and passionate," said trustee Jeffrey Bleich. "I
live in the East Bay, which is a well-known geographic area and has a strong
and vibrant economy. This is a vote that won't create divisions, but draw
groups together and make us stronger."
Trustee Melinda Guzman-Moore, who voted against the name change in committee
the day before, announced she would change her vote to support the proposal
after considering the arguments and deciding, "this is the best for the community
and the region and will improve the profile of the city of Hayward and the
"We have heard everything said and read all the e-mails and letters and the
personal appeals made from both sides over the past three months," said board
Chair Murray Galinson. "This vote is in the best interest of the campus, but
I encourage all of those who contacted us to stay aware and involved in the
Student trustee Eric Guerra, representing the California State Student
Association, also voted for the name change. Guerra said he hopes the CSU
system will continue to see "students as assets and allies."
Applauding the decision, CSU Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell told the
trustees that when he was an administrator at UC Berkeley he was aware of Cal
State Hayward, "but it was clear to me at the time that it suffered from a
definition that was far too narrow to describe the scope of the region it
After the vote, President Rees said a team would be working with campus and
community constituencies "to make the change as efficient and effective as
possible." Within hours of the board's vote, the university was working on
posting the name on the university home page. Implementing other changes could
take place over the next two years, Rees said.
On the day before the full board's vote, the trustees' Committee on Institutional
Advancement voted 4-1 to endorse the name change. The decision came after an
hour of presentations by proponents and opponents of the proposal. Those
speaking in opposition included CSUH Associated Students Chair D. McKinney, who
said more student input should have been sought, and Hayward Mayor Roberta Cooper,
who said more research was necessary.
Those speaking on behalf of the name change proposal included CSUH students
Krista Kohlberg and Masaho Ninoimiya, professor Julia Norton, university
associate vice president James Kelly, and Oakland City Councilman Dick Spees.
Also speaking in support of the name change were Monica Pacheco and Deborah
Taylor from the CSUH Alumni Association Board of Directors, which earlier voted
10-0 to endorse the proposal after 70,000 graduates were notified of the proposal
in the November issue of their magazine. The alumni association board includes
two former chairs of the Associated Students.
Chancellor Reed introduced the issue by noting that he had spent more than an
hour in conversation with CSUH founding President Fred F. Harcleroad to understand
the history behind the university's name. He said Harcleroad told him that he
had proposed the name 'East Bay' before the campus opened in 1959.
"Almost half a century later," Harcleroad wrote in a letter distributed to the
trustees' committee members, "the university still serves the East Bay and the
proposed fifth name change provides a name that describes realistically what
has always been the true geographic mission of the institution."
Rees explained to the committee that the name change proposal was an outgrowth
of nearly two years of study to determine perceptions of the university from
campus groups, alumni, prospective students and their parents, and community
leaders throughout the East Bay. Those leaders included Concord Mayor Laura
Hoffmeister, State Assemblymember Loni Hancock and State Senator Tom Torlakson,
all who sent the chancellor letters endorsing the name change.
In a letter distributed to the board committee, Hancock wrote, "a more
appropriate and inclusive name would increase regional awareness and visibility
of the university and could potentially result in expanded donor support and
recognition for the university's two campuses."
A theme of the proponents' presentation was that the university has been
undergoing a transformation to a regional institution that a name change would
"The name change formalizes this evolution…a renaissance, if you will," Associate
Vice President James Kelly told the committee. "Now is the time to declare
who we are and what we stand for."
The university has campuses in Hayward and Concord, a Professional Development
and Conference Center and a Small Business Development Center in Oakland,
teaching centers in Richmond and Union City, a degree completion program at
Contra Costa College in San Pablo, and offers its Transnational Executive MBA
program in San Ramon.
Last week, ChevronTexaco made a $1 million grant to help the university support
development of a Small Business Development Center in Richmond.
Speakers noted last year's accreditation of the CSUH engineering program in its
first year of eligibility, selection as a "Best Western" university by The
Princeton Review, and an increase of 30 percent in the number of first-time
freshman as examples.
Tuesday's committee vote had board members Herbert Carter, Carol Chandler, Debra
Farar and Kathleen Kaiser voting to approve the name change and trustee Melinda
Guzman-Moore voting against it.
Although not a voting member of the committee, trustee George Gowgani sat in on
the discussion and invited all the participants, "to come back to her in five
or six years to talk about how this was the best decision ever made in
connection with this campus."
President Rees announced her decision to propose a name change at the Oct. 6
meeting of the university's Academic Senate. The Senate, which includes five
students as well as non-teaching staff, voted 23-20-1 to not endorse the
President Rees told members of the CSU committee that in the 110 days since her
name change proposal became public the news has been widely spread in the Bay
Area news media, giving students, staff, faculty, alumni and community leaders
an opportunity to send reactions to her office, CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and
trustees. Recently, an interview with Rees on the name change was broadcast on
all of Comcast Cable's Local Edition programs on the CNN Headline News channel
on 24 cable systems from Santa Rosa to San Jose, reaching a potential of 2.5
million households each time it aired.
President Rees conceded that Hayward's daily newspaper, affiliated with the
Alameda Newspapers Group, took an editorial position against the name change,
but noted that more than a dozen newspapers covering many of the 32 other
incorporated cities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties endorsed the proposal,
including the Berkeley Voice, East Bay Business Times, Pleasanton Weekly,
Livermore Independent, Antioch Ledger and the Contra Costa Times.
She quoted an editorial in the East Bay Business Times that said the new name
would communicate that the university is "an educational powerhouse that could
unify the region."
President Rees has said it will take up to two years to fully implement the name
change. For example, letterhead and business cards will be replaced as existing
stocks are exhausted. She promised that state money will not be used for
changing signage and said donors have already come forward offering to help.
The university published a list of frequently asked questions about the issue
on its news site. More information is available at the "Name Change News" link
on the university's home page at www.csuhayward.edu.
Media Contacts: Kim Huggett, Dir. of Public Affairs, (510)
885-2032, or Barry Zepel, Office of Public Affairs, (510) 885-3884