Campus: CSU Hayward -- April 18, 2003

CSU Trustee Shailesh Mehta Makes Major Contribution To Cal State Hayward Business and Technology Center

A trustee of the California State University system has provided a major contribution and issued a challenge to others to help construct a Business and Technology Center on the campus of Cal State Hayward. University Trustee Shailesh Mehta has pledged $100,000 toward completion of the $23.5 million project, which will be the first major new academic structure on the CSUH campus in 30 years.

Construction is expected to begin next year, with completion in 2006.

Mehta, former chairman and CEO of Providian Financial Corp., included a challenge grant in his gift that he hopes friends in the Southeast Asian community will try to match.

"I am really pleased to contribute to a facility that will combine the power of educational technology with the practical application of research," Mehta said. "I wanted to be a part of the efforts of Cal State Hayward's College of Business and Economics and the other campus programs that will occupy this new facility to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for a 21st-century global economy."

The passage of Proposition 47 by voters last fall means that the state of California will provide $11.5 million for the Business and Technology Center. The university has set aside $2 million from its own resources and has raised more than $7 million in private gifts toward the final $10 million needed to complete the capital outlay required.

As chairman and CEO of Providian Financial Corp., Mehta ran the fifth largest institution issuing bank cards in the United States. Prior to joining Providian in 1986, he was executive vice president at the Ohio-based Ameritrust Corp., now the Key Corp., where he worked for 12 years. He became CEO of Providian in 1988. He holds master's and doctoral degrees in operations research and computer science from Case Western Reserve University. He received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay.

"Support from the Indian American community, in particular, is key to the success of our Business and Technology Center campaign," said university President Norma Rees. "While Cal State Hayward has international business programs on four continents with 30 global partners, it has particularly close ties to India."

The university has sponsored a number of initiatives in India. Cal State Hayward offers an Asian Quarter Abroad program that sends CSUH marketing students to Manipal. It also has global business consulting programs with leading Indian companies and exchange programs for faculty and students.

Plans also are under way for Cal State Hayward to establish an executive MBA program with major Indian universities.

Nearly 500 students from India study at CSUH on scholar visas and there are a number of faculty members with Indian ethnicity.

Many of those faculty members will visit Cal State Hayward May 6 when India Consul General H. H. Viswanathan, CSUH President Norma Rees, and the Northern California Chapter of the National Fulbright Association host a Fulbright scholars symposium, "India: Past, Present and Future." Fulbright scholars and faculty from universities such as Cal State Hayward, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley are expected to attend.

One participant will be Asha Rao, CSUH associate professor in the Department of Management and Finance, who will use a Fulbright grant to lecture on cross-cultural management and conflict resolution at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India, between June and October 2003.

For more information about the Business and Technology Center or the reception with the Indian consul general, contact the Cal State Hayward Office of University Advancement at (510) 885-2360.

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