Chancellor's Recent Speeches
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
And thank you, Tomás.
Our universities have our work cut out for us in the 21st century. The challenge is this:
Our universities must be prepared to serve a multicultural student body that reflects many rich perspectives, backgrounds, and learning styles. And our universities must understand the demands of multiculturalism so that we can better prepare students for what is now a global neighborhood.
Given all of the issues we face in the coming century, one thing is clear -- we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work now.
I want to spend just a few minutes today describing the specific issues we face. Then I want to give a few examples of how we at the CSU are taking action.
As we look ahead to the future, the CSU is facing the following issues:
1.) Booming Enrollment.
California, like many other states, is facing a surge in student enrollment known as "Tidal Wave II." For the CSU, one projection shows that our undergraduate demand is expected to increase by 42 percent, or 117,000 students, by fall 2010.
As our enrollment grows, our state's population is also changing.
Although the college-going rates of Latino students still lag behind the rates of college-going Caucasian students, we had some good news recently. New projections show that the number of Hispanic students enrolled at CSU campuses will increase by 61 percent between 1998 and 2010.
Even so, the CSU must continue to reach more deeply into California's ethnically diverse population -- to create a university that truly reflects the population of the state.
2.) Demand for Highly-Skilled Workers
A key part of California's rebound from the recession of the early 1990s is the growth in high-tech employment. But the majority of these jobs require college degrees. That's why it is so important for all students to have access to higher education -- and a chance to succeed in the future workforce. That degree will make a difference for students, their families, their community, and the economy as a whole.
3.) Need for More Resources
Finally, the growth in student population means we are challenged to obtain more resources for:
So -- given all of those issues facing us, we need to take action. The CSU is responding on several fronts:
1.) Expanding Capacity
2.) Use of Distance Education
3.) Working With K-12 Schools
When I spoke to this group last year, I told you how proud I was that the CSU serves so many Hispanic/Latino students.
I am still proud of those numbers -- nearly 23 percent of the students in the entire CSU system are Latino -- but I know we have a lot of work ahead.
We need to reach out to that rapidly growing population and make sure that a high-quality education is accessible to every one of those potential students. And we need to make sure that we have the infrastructure in place to support a university that is as rich in diversity as it is in educational opportunity.
I congratulate all of you for the work you do on behalf of students every day.
I thank you for this opportunity to speak.
And I welcome any of your ideas on how we can work together to better serve the students of the future.
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