Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
(HACU) - 11/1/99

Good afternoon.

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.

Issues Ahead

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.

  • By the year 2000, no ethnic group will be the majority in California.

  • By the year 2021, Latinos will likely be the largest of all ethnic groups in California.

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:

  • Enrollment increases.
  • Financial aid.
  • New facilities and renovation of existing facilities.
  • A modern technology infrastructure.

Taking Action

So -- given all of those issues facing us, we need to take action. The CSU is responding on several fronts:

1.) Expanding Capacity

  • We are offering more classes on nights and weekends. This will allow more students to participate, and will give working students more opportunities.

  • We plan to expand year-round education to all campuses. We have set aside $2.2 million to expand summer offerings at 10 campuses next year. This will allow more students a chance for summer study and earlier degree completion.

  • We will make more use of off-campus and community college facilities. This will let us serve more students in more locations.

2.) Use of Distance Education

  • We need to create new paths for place-bound students by offering distance education programs.

  • Example -- CSU has an innovative new program known as CalStateTEACH.

  • The program lets working teachers with emergency permits earn their full credentials while they teach. The curriculum blends distance education with one-on-one mentoring.

3.) Working With K-12 Schools

  • When we help K-12 schools improve, we improve ourselves.

  • We received $9 million this year to collaborate with K-12 faculty to help eliminate the need for remedial education. Part of this funding will allow us to set up partnerships with the 223 California high schools that send us the most students needing remedial education.

  • Teacher preparation is one of our key jobs as well.

  • We just launched a series of television advertisements to recruit new teachers -- both young people and mid-career changers. The ads are running in both Spanish and English across the state.

4.) Accountability

  • We welcome accountability measures -- and will incorporate them into any funding agreement we reach with the state.

  • We set high standards and hold ourselves up to them. In fact, we are more curious than anyone to find out how we are doing.

  • In July 1998, our Trustees called for a 25 percent increase in the number of teachers we credentialed by 2000 -- we're on track to exceed that goal.

  • We also need to increase public awareness about what we do and who we serve.

  • We're launching a new effort to get the word out to the public about how we provide access as well as quality.

Closing

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.

Thank you.


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