Dr. Marvalene Hughes, President of California State University, Stanislaus, expressed an enthusiastic "thank you" for the efforts involved in gaining the approval of Governor Gray Davis for a $1.6 million bill that gives new life to the University's Stockton site.
"I am delighted that Gov. Davis, in signing this bill, affords CSU Stanislaus and the people in San Joaquin County and Stockton with an important vote of confidence in our plans for CSU Stanislaus-Stockton," President Hughes said.
Now that the University's academic program at the site is growing, President Hughes emphasized that it is imperative to address the issue of how to turn the facility into one that generates revenue to sustain itself.
"We have had progressive growth in our Stockton enrollment, our academic programs have expanded and been enriched, and we have developed a stronger University consistent with our strength in Turlock," Dr. Hughes said. "With 1,100 students currently enrolled at the Stockton site, our plans are to significantly enhance the educational program by getting the ball rolling to assure that the basic support is established to balance the operating budget for the facility. We are already in the process of putting together the feasibility plan and will work very expeditiously to assure that it is completed on schedule."
Dr. Hughes expressed her gratitude to State Senator Patrick Johnston, State Senator Dick Monteith, and Assemblymen Michael Machado, George House, and Dennis Cardoza for their united support of the initiative.
"They made a concerted effort to show a united voice for the Valley, and they accomplished it," President Hughes said.
Stockton Mayor Gary Podesto, the State Department of Finance, the CSU Chancellor's Office, and Congressman Gary Condit were all very helpful in working with CSU Stanislaus to bring the funding campaign to a successful conclusion, Dr. Hughes noted.
"This University stands for excellence and we appreciate the Governor's recognition of our determination to strengthen the quality of public higher education in Stockton," she said. "We also appreciate the fine support which we have received from numerous CSU Stanislaus ambassadors for higher education in helping us to present our case."
The bill, sponsored by Senator Johnston and signed by Governor Davis over the weekend, provides an additional $1.3 million for upkeep and maintenance of the 102-acre site in Stockton on top of the $1.7 million already provided by the state for upkeep of the facility and an another $300,000 for a feasibility study to determine the best options for reuse of the facility. The state transferred the former state hospital site to CSU in 1997 and CSU Stanislaus began conducting classes there in Fall 1998.
President Hughes said that while academic programs are growing stronger at the Stockton site and succeeding with increased enrollment, the business plan for the facility has yet to be resolved. The three important issues remaining are balancing the budget to operate the physical facility, building the partnership among the state (Department of Finance), City of Stockton, and CSU Stanislaus to collaborate on the best solutions and outcomes, and conducting the feasibility study that will provide information to guide decisions concerning future uses of the site, according to Dr. Hughes.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News