The CSU has completed a major systemwide strategic
planning initiative called Cornerstones. Cornerstones was stimulated in part by
the Association of Governing Boards and the Pew Trusts Higher Education Round
Table. These associations incorporated a national roundtable effort to model
discussions about planning and reframing higher education for the future.
They requested that CSU participate in this project to be the first national
example of a public, multicampus system planning effort involving trustees and
faculty in deliberations about future plans and decisions. The purpose was to
generate steps to meet the challenges of the next decade. The organizing principle
was the CSU's four fundamental commitments -- these are the university's four
- First, we have promised the highest standards of undergraduate education.
We must define what the public can expect from a CSU education: what we expect
our graduates to have learned and how we will assess that learning.
- Second, we have promised to meet the demand for higher education in
California with the available resources.
- Third, we are answerable to the people of California, and accountable for
- Fourth, we have a non-negotiable commitment to serve the changing
educational needs of the state and its people.
Now we tried to answer how, not whether, we can make good on these commitments.
The Cornerstones project had two dimensions: the work of a small group of
"Cornerstones members," and the
broader involvement of the CSU community. Working in tandem, these two processes
produced policy recommendations around each of the University's four cornerstones.
Where we are and what we have done within this bi-dimensional work plan has been
Where We Are Going
The Cornerstones Report was endorsed as a systemwide planning framework by
the Board of Trustees on January 28, 1998. The next phase includes working with
campuses to develop best methods and
practices to implement the stated principles and recommendations. Status
reports will be made to the Board of Trustees on an on-going basis.
How Cornerstones Was Structured
The Cornerstones group was composed of twenty-four members representing
trustees, faculty, students, presidents, and senior system administrators. The
group was facilitated and led by Thomas Ehrlich, CSU Distinguished Scholar. He
has been supported by a core staff of three individuals: Charles Lindahl,
Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Brian Murphy and Jane
Wellman, Special Assistants for Planning to the Chancellor.
Much of the early work was accomplished by four Cornerstones task forces.
The task forces were organized around the four
cornerstones of the CSU. Each included members of Cornerstones and partners
from the broader CSU community and beyond. The four task forces were:
Learning for the 21st Century
Chair: Jim Highsmith
Meeting the Enrollment and Resource Challenge
Chair: Molly Corbett Broad
Institutional Integrity, Performance, and Accountability
Chair: Bernie Goldstein
Postbaccalaureate and Continuing Education: Helping Shape California's Future
Chair: Stephen Weber
The task forces completed their papers in March, 1997. These papers, together
with the Principles Document, were the basis of consultation processes in the
Spring of 1997 that started with the
Academic Conference in February and continued
throughout the term with campus based forums and meetings. Cornerstones members
attended these consultations and received feedback on the Principles Document.
Over the summer, revisions were made to the document which produced the August
draft of the Cornerstones Report.
Similar campus consultations occurred throughout the Fall semester and final
thoughts were received from campus constituencies. Utilizing these comments, a
final draft of the Cornerstones report was rewritten and accepted by members in
early December. This final draft was then adopted unanimously by the Board of