Campus: Channel Islands -- August 27, 2007

CSUCI President Welcomes Faculty, Outlines Academic Plans For The University

California State University Channel Islands President Richard R. Rush welcomed new and returning members of the faculty along with administration and staff at a ceremony held on Thursday, Aug. 23. The fall semester classes begin today, Monday, Aug. 27.

Rush began his address by commending the campus community for all of its hard work in the University’s quest to gain accreditation through the Western Association of Colleges and Universities (WASC).

“I welcome you this morning to California State University Channel Islands, an accredited institution of higher learning, one which has been cited as ‘a community committed to educational effectiveness and united by its student centered-mission,’” Rush said quoting a letter sent by the WASC Commission in July announcing the University’s accreditation.

The President delivered an update on the major projects happening at the University including the first announcement of the groundbreaking for the Martin V. Smith Center for Integrative Decision-Making. This state-of-the-art facility will connect the University’s MVS School of Business & Economics with financial markets, and is the first step in attracting community utilization of the campus.

Additionally, Rush announced that the University had recently received a $100,000 donation from an anonymous donor to begin the planning and design work for a performing arts complex on campus.

Rush also noted that the construction of the John Spoor Broome Library is on schedule and on budget; the new student housing, Santa Cruz Village, is now open, providing 450 more beds; the expansion of the dining commons will accommodate 200 diners; and the recent opening of The Cove bookstore at Town Center, which gives the bookstore nearly twice the area of its former location.

Following his comments and accolades regarding accreditation and major projects, Rush shifted gears to speak about what lies ahead for the University for the 2007-08 academic year and beyond.

“We have celebrated our star-studded achievements in accreditation, assessment and innovations…So, what’s next?” Rush asked. “How do we become a relevant university, an engaged university, one which confronts the real issues of our world, near and far, as our Mission calls for?”

Rush illustrated how CSUCI might develop a plan to address issues of real substance in the upcoming years. He used as examples the increase of California’s population in the next 50 years and the need for the University to address the importance of scientific discovery and what it will imply, as well as access to higher education and the necessity to reach people who have been traditionally underserved so that they can thrive in the world’s economy.

“How will we be engaged?” Rush asked regarding the areas he spoke about. “As we review our Strategic Plan this year, I will ask the committee—and all of us—how we might incorporate issues of substance and future importance into the marrow of our structure.”

Rush said that CSUCI is creating a university for the future. The next step is to articulate organizing, unifying principles for the years ahead that will give clarity to the institution’s aspirations and focus to its collective efforts. The strategic planning process in the coming months will assist with this effort.

For more information about President Richard R. Rush’s address contact Ceal Potts, communications specialist at CSUCI, 805-437-8940 or cecilia.potts@csuci.edu


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