Campus: CSU Stanislaus - September 7, 2005

President Shirvani Outlines His Vision for the Future of California State University, Stanislaus

In a campus-wide memo titled "Observations and Outlook" and at the Fall General Faculty meeting, California State University, Stanislaus President Hamid Shirvani said today that the University is preparing to build on its strengths to address what he called serious challenges faced by higher education.

"I am excited about the challenges of the future because California State University, Stanislaus has such a strong foundation on which to build," President Shirvani said at the Fall General Faculty meeting. "The faculty, staff and those with administrative responsibilities for leadership have created an institution that is leading the way in addressing issues that are critical to our nation's future. I truly believe that at California State University, Stanislaus, we are the future."

President Shirvani identified what he feels are the University's vital strengths:

  • Addressing the needs of a highly diverse student population and maintaining high retention rates;

  • Meeting the country's demand for a well-trained workforce that includes many first-generation graduates;

  • Offering programs that are vital to this country's future, in fields that will see increased demand in this century such as business leadership, teaching, agriculture, information technology and the health sciences.
The University serves as an economic engine in the San Joaquin Valley region through the dedicated work of the California State University faculty and staff, the President noted.

"We have really committed faculty, staff and students who demonstrate a sense of pride in California State University, Stanislaus," President Shirvani said. "You can feel it on the campus. We have a real solid foundation and can move to the next level. We have the makings to be one of the great universities in this country."

Pledging to make students the top priority at California State University, Stanislaus, President Shirvani said the University will have more resources to work with as its enrollment grows. He identified increasing enrollment, raising funds for full scholarships to attract more academically talented students, building stronger relationships with communities, community colleges and high schools in the region, a reduction in University bureaucracy and more financial responsibility with funding resources as high on the University's priority list.

"I'm asking faculty to work with me to get a few more students into their classes," President Shirvani said to faculty. "With enrollment growth and the advancement of the University will come many benefits to the community."

President Shirvani cited critical challenges which will demand that California State University, Stanislaus fundamentally rethink how it operates.
  • Declining public funding
  • The changing nature of student populations
  • The rise of for-profit institutions
  • The technology revolution
  • The desperate need for interdisciplinary approaches to highly complex problems
  • The need for (and potential conflicts of interests raised by) the transfer of technology
  • The need to address character development as a fundamental purpose of education
According to President Shirvani, California State University, Stanislaus will be one of the universities that prosper with a fresh approach to the future as a distinguished institution with a strong focus and established traditions; what he called an avant-garde university. He said that translates into offering high quality teaching that embraces innovative teaching methods, including the use of technology; solid liberal arts programs with substance and direction; higher quality research; personalized education; a positive, energetic and engaging environment, and a firm commitment to global diversity.

Media contact: Don Hansen, (209) 667-3997

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