Chancellor's Recent Speeches

Chancellor's Recent Speeches

CSU Academic Senate Conference
San Diego, CA
3/1/01

I want to begin by thanking you for all of the hard work you do on your campuses.

I know that anything we accomplish as a university begins with the faculty. It begins with the work that you do in the classrooms, in the laboratories, in your communities, and in your interactions with students, day in and day out. So thank you for all that you do for the California State University and its students.

I was pleased to see that the theme of this conference is "Strategic Partnerships," because that theme represents such a critical and timely issue for California. It also represents one of the most important strengths of the CSU.

The CSU is deeply involved in many key partnerships with other educators and in its communities. Those partnerships make the CSU unique - and uniquely effective - within California and around the country. So thank you for choosing to focus on the theme of partnerships.

I have now been at the CSU for three full years. Today I officially begin my fourth year. I've been taking stock of all that has happened over that time, and it's pretty amazing.

On the one hand, we've faced a rush of students from Tidal Wave II, which has challenged our ability to provide access and quality. We've had an increase of about 30,000 students.

On the other hand, we've built countless successful partnerships, we've received unprecedented budget increases, and we've created comprehensive accountability standards that put us out ahead of just about any other university in the country.

With all of this activity, the CSU is making a national impact. Last month, I attended a conference that offered policy briefings on important national issues for senior Congressional leaders from both parties. Those members wanted to hear every detail about teacher education and educational partnerships at the CSU. They understand the growing importance of all the things that the CSU does well - teaching, scholarship, and outreach.

I know that people around the country will be looking to the CSU as a model in the future. All of these accomplishments would not have been possible without the work and dedication of the faculty.

I want to spend my time this afternoon going through some of these collective accomplishments, and defining some ways that we can continue to work as a team, as one CSU family.

Cornerstones

Cornerstones was built by the CSU and faculty before I got here. The Board asked me to implement it. But the faculty is out there every day, making it work.

  • We're developing ways to make our courses outcome-based and centered on teaching and learning.
  • We've maintained the Cornerstones commitment to access even though we've experienced dramatic growth in our student population.
  • We've kept the Cornerstones commitment to accountability.

In September 2000, the CSU released its initial accountability report as required by Cornerstones. The process calls for annual reports in nine areas:

--Quality of Degree Programs

--Access to the CSU

--Progression to the Degree

--Persistence and Graduation

--Areas of Special State Need (such as Teacher Education Credentials)

--Relations with K-12

--Remediation

--Facilities Utilization

--University Advancement

We now have a more comprehensive measure of our performance in these areas than any other university in the country - and I'm proud of that.

Budget

In the last three years, the CSU has built a solid foundation for its work by increasing resources. Perhaps most importantly, the CSU established a Higher Education Partnership with the governor to provide stable funding over a long-term period. That's exactly what it takes to build quality. Other developments include:

  • Over the last three years, the CSU general fund budget has increased by about $843 million, the highest three-year increase since the mid-1980s.
  • The Governor's budget proposes a 12 percent increase for 2001/02 that would bring the CSU operating budget to about $3.5 billion - the highest ever.
  • The CSU has raised about $1.75 billion in external funding in the past two years. We've done a great job in this area so far, but we've still got to do more.
  • In 1998, the CSU secured about $829 million through a bond act for capital projects including technology upgrades and new facilities. We will be asking for a new four-year bond this year. We'll be looking for a $1 billion-per-year bond, which would include $333 million for the CSU.

Access

The CSU is in the midst of a ten-year period in which enrollment will grow by about 130,000. Our Fall 2000 enrollment reflected the sixth straight year of enrollment increases. In those six years, enrollment has increased by 15.3 percent. And since I arrived, the CSU enrollment has grown by about 30,000 students.

But we have maintained our ability to serve California's students through a variety of efforts to ensure access.

  • The Board has clarified its position ensuring access for local students.
  • We got the money for year-round education -- $20 million for state-supported programs in 2001, and the governor has approved another $16 million for 2001/02. This summer, 15 campuses will offer state-supported courses.

Year-round operations will help us improve our capacity by about 20 to 25 percent. This approach also will give faculty an opportunity to make more money if they teach during the summer.

  • We have expanded our use of off-campus centers. CSU San Bernardino's Coachella Valley Center, for instance, offers an opportunity to reach out to a significant number of students who are among the least served in terms of higher education.
  • We have expanded our evening, weekend, and non-traditional course offerings.
  • We are opening a new campus, CSU Channel Islands - special thanks to Lynn Cook of the statewide Academic Senate for her help and assistance on this campus - and we have continued development and expansion at CSU Monterey Bay.
  • Our faculty members are increasing their use of educational technology and online education. The CSU's CalStateTEACH program, for instance, now includes 800 participants. We will award certificates to the first group of students this month.

Faculty Issues

Currently, the CSU has 21,223 faculty members:

-- 53 percent full-time (11,089)

-- 47 percent part-time (10,134)

In the three years from Fall 1997 through Fall 1999, we hired more than 1,500 tenure-track faculty members - this includes new positions and vacancies filled. The success rate for our faculty searches has been about 70 percent. This year, we are looking to recruit about 800 full-time faculty members.

  • We've made significant improvements in improving faculty compensation. Over the past three years (1998/99 to 2000/01) the CSU faculty salary gap has been reduced by about half - to 3.9 percent.
  • I want to thank the Faculty Senate of CSU Sacramento for its resolution acknowledging that some form of merit pay will exist in the CSU system, and calling for discussions toward improving the process. That's constructive and helpful to our system.
  • We are exploring a variety of housing assistance programs for our employees. These programs could include mortgage assistance and/or building. Our new housing survey should give us a better idea of what kinds of assistance are needed most.
  • We are currently studying faculty workload issues for the first time in ten years.

Quality

One criticism I had of Cornerstones was a lack of focus on quality. When it came to the implementation of Cornerstones, we focused on improving quality in a number of areas.

  • Teacher education - We've instituted blended programs that give potential teachers earlier exposure to pedagogy and early classroom opportunities. We met our goal of increasing the number of teachers we recommend annually for credentials by 25 percent - a year ahead of schedule. We'll be doing a comprehensive analysis of the quality of our teacher education programs this spring.
  • Remedial education - We've made good improvements in mathematics, although we still need to work on English. The good news - students are completing their remedial education work sooner. About 97 percent of Fall 1999 freshmen who needed remedial education and returned as sophomores in Fall 2000 were fully proficient.
  • We're looking at time-to-degree and the credit hour requirements for our degree programs. All of our institutions are currently reviewing this issue.
  • We're working to improve articulation with the community colleges, looking at our general education requirements and prerequisites. Last year, we joined the community colleges in signing a pledge to increase by at least 5 percent annually the number of transfer-eligible students.
  • We're looking at all of our universities being on a semester schedule. This will be better for students - it will be less expensive and easier for articulation and transfer. The CSU is willing to invest in this effort and provide the support needed to make it happen.
  • We're improving our technology. We buried CETI. Now we're installing a modern information management system for finance, human resources, and student services. We needed to take this step because our current systems are more than 25 years old. A 25-year-old system does not serve our students or our employees well.

Partnerships

The CSU has made building partnerships a top priority. Perhaps most importantly, we've focused on improving California's public schools. Those partnerships represent our responsibility for improving education in California and assisting the state's future students.

  • All of our campuses have increased the number of partnerships they have with the public schools.
  • Our English and mathematics faculty have helped us work with the 150 California high schools that need the most assistance. The Governor's 2001/2002 budget would allow us to double our effort.
  • Our campuses have secured more than $8 million in federal GEAR-UP funding to work with local middle schools. We are national leaders in these kinds of partnerships.
  • The CSU has distributed more than 150,000 posters to high schools, middle schools, community colleges, and students and parents around the state, offering a step-by-step guide to preparing for the CSU.
  • The CSU and the UC together provided professional development opportunities for more than 70,000 California teachers last year.
  • We're working with the Legislature to review California's Master Plan and looking at a new version that addresses K-16 issues. We're making the case for the CSU to offer the Ed.D. to meet the leadership needs in K-12 schools, community colleges, and even in CSU schools of education.
  • We worked the Governor and the Legislature to create and launch the Governor's Teaching Fellowship program, which offers $20,000 fellowships to help individuals become teachers and then teach in low-performing schools. The CSU selected 200 fellows this year and will choose 1,000 next year.
  • We worked with the Governor and the Legislature to help build a revolutionary new Cal Grant entitlement program that addresses student need as well as merit. The CSU had a lot to do with bringing this bill together. The end result is a financial aid program that is probably the best in the country. The need-based portion of this program will help a large number of future CSU students.
  • Finally, on community service -- When the Governor called on higher education to serve its communities, our faculty responded. Unlike the UC and the community colleges, the CSU Statewide Academic Senate took action allowing our university to excel in this arena. The CSU received a total of over $4 million for service learning last year, from the state budget and from outside grants.

The students in our system perform a total of nearly 34 million hours of community service each year. That's a minimum wage value of about $193 million. The CSU was nationally recognized as one of only seven institutions in the country to win the Higher Education Award for Leadership in National Service (awarded by the Corporation for National Service).

After listening to this whole list, you probably understand what I mean when I say that this is a "university on the move." This is a university that is getting better every day. We have achieved many important accomplishments, thanks in large part to the hard work of our dedicated faculty.

Yet we can't sit still if we're going to continue to provide the same kind of access and quality. We're going to have to build new and more partnerships every day.

Plus, we need to work as a team - the chancellor's office staff, the Board of Trustees, our faculty, staff, students, and the greater CSU community. We need to work as one CSU family.

We may be the biggest, but we also are the best at teaching and scholarship and partnerships. We don't need to compare ourselves to the UC because they have a very different mission. In fact, we don't even need the SAT I, so we're way ahead of them on that. But once again, we will have to work hard to maintain our high level of quality.

If I had to offer criticism of myself after three years, I would say that I'm often too impatient. But when you have 370,000 students and another 10,000 on the way each year, you want to get things done. And when you look back and see how much you've managed to accomplish, you want to keep going and make yourself and the CSU even better. That's how I feel about the CSU. I think we've done a lot of good work, and I think we have a great future ahead.

You, the CSU faculty, represent the brightest part of that future.

Thank you very much.


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