Public Affairs
A Summary of the March 14-15, 2000 Board of Trustees Meeting

Trustees Guarantee Local Access to Students

The Trustees voted to adopt enrollment management principles to respond to access challenges caused by Tidal Wave II. Spearheaded by Chair of the Trustees' Educational Policy Committee Denny Campbell, the principles will be effective for students seeking admission in fall 2001.

"This is the most important decision the board will make in the next five to ten years," said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

Tidal Wave II refers to the anticipated 130,000 new students expected to enter the CSU over the next ten years. The CSU has already grown by more than 40,000 students over the past five years. That has caused several campuses to approach the point at which their physical capacity may limit the number of eligible students admitted.

By law the CSU provides access to the top third of recent California high school graduates. When a program or campus receives more eligible applicants than can be enrolled it is considered to be "impacted" and can manage enrollment through supplementary admission criteria.

Foremost among the new CSU enrollment management principles is guaranteed access to a local campus for all eligible local students. The eligibility of such students would be based on established CSU system criteria rather than higher supplementary criteria used for impacted programs. Local students are defined as those from high schools and community colleges that have been traditionally served by a CSU campus in that region. Where overlap between CSU campuses exists, campus presidents will work together to determine an appropriate course of action to ensure access to all eligible students.

"Presidents will work among themselves on what traditional service areas are," said Trustee Campbell. "This is not a change in Title V. It's just to get everyone on the same page."

The principles have been discussed since November when the Trustees appointed an enrollment management work group to evaluate the CSU's enrollment policy. That group, led by Donald Gerth, president of CSU Sacramento, included four other presidents, the chair of the Statewide Academic Senate, a second faculty representative, a provost, a campus enrollment management representative and a student.

Echoing Executive Vice Chancellor David Spence, President Gerth said, "The CSU has the best combination of quality and access anywhere in the country."

The group received input from faculty, campus presidents, parents, students, public school and community college leaders and the private sector.

Early in the discussions the group agreed that campuses need to make every effort to avoid campus impaction by exhausting enrollment capacity. The campuses first must use such approaches as flexible scheduling and year-round operations, increased use of existing off-campus centers, establishment of new off-campus centers, distance learning and technology, and, finally, program impaction before campus impaction.

"We need to expand program capacity. This will get us to year-round operations sooner rather than later. It's already happening in some high demand programs such as teacher education and nursing," said Reed.

The principles also reaffirm the state's Master Plan for Higher Education which accords admission priority first to California community college transfers and second to first-time freshmen. State residents receive the highest priority in all admissions categories.

Trustees Approve Community Service Resolution

The Trustees approved a resolution on community service at the CSU in response to Governor Gray Davis' call in July for California higher education to develop a community service requirement for graduation.

Since then the CSU Statewide Academic Senate, campus faculty senates, students, community partners, service-learning coordinators and the CSU advisory group on community service have met to discuss strengthening community service and building on initiatives that have been in place for decades. The results of those discussions were presented to the Board.

The Trustee resolution requires that each campus president ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in community service and service learning deemed appropriate by the faculty; that the Trustees endorse campus efforts to make service an expectation, condition or requirement for the undergraduate education experience; and that the chancellor report to the Trustees annually on CSU's increasing efforts to provide those opportunities to all students.

The 1999 Student Needs and Priorities Survey (SNAPS) showed how widespread community service is at the CSU. Over 135,000 students volunteer 33.6 million hours annually. That's a minimum wage value of about $193.2 million.

In recent years, the CSU has dramatically increased its efforts to expand opportunities for all students to participate in service learning, which links academic courses to community service activities. Currently, all 22 campuses support service learning, and have a designee appointed to lead these initiatives.

For the complete news release on service learning at the CSU see the CSU news website at calstate.edu/tier2/News.shtml.

Need For Remedial Education Drops For First Time Ever

The percentage of CSU freshmen needing remedial education has decreased for the first time since the CSU began tracking it.

Forty-eight percent of freshmen entering the CSU in the fall of 1999 needed remediation in math, a six percent decrease from the fall of 1998 and the lowest figure in five years. Forty-six percent needed remediation in English, a one percent decrease from the previous year.

"We all hope this means we've turned the corner," said David Spence, executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. "The math improvement is more impressive because the CSU has the highest math placement standard of any state, by far."

In 1996 the Trustees adopted a policy designed to reduce the need for remediation at the college level and called for annual reports on the progress of the policy. Last year, the number leveled off for the first time with 47 percent of freshmen needing remediation in English and 54 needing remediation in math. The Trustee goal is to reduce the figure to 10 percent by 2007.

"When we started this not everyone was on board, but as time went by people came along. I want to thank the presidents for their work, but we still have a way to go," said Trustee Ralph Pesqueira, who spearheaded this initiative. He also thanked CSU students for volunteering to assist other students who need remediation and cited the distribution of 80,000 posters to high and middle schools to drive home what students need to do to prepare for the CSU. "The CSU has gotten the message out that we're serious, and it's important."

Since the policy was adopted, the CSU has implemented many initiatives designed to reduce the need for remedial education. The CSU credits the improvement to these initiatives, which include:

  • Offering more summer remedial education programs.
  • Providing early assessment after university admission and before enrollment to help ensure that those who need remedial education receive it during their first term of enrollment.
  • Strengthening teacher preparation.
  • Setting clear standards and assessing performance to ensure students meet high school graduation and university admission requirements.
  • Communicating university competence standards and expectations to students, parents and schools.
  • Informing high schools and community colleges about student performance after the first year of attendance at the CSU so they can evaluate their success.

The report to the Trustees also summarized special services that have been established to serve freshmen. Many of these are offered systemwide, and some are unique to specific campuses. The result of some of these programs were available in November when it was announced that 79 percent of 1998 freshmen got the remedial assistance they needed prior to their sophomore year.

"Ican't overstate how important this issue is to the board and the state. Everybody in the CSU deserves credit. The ship is turning around and heading out to sea under its own power," said Chancellor Reed. "The students took it seriously, and the presidents stepped up, but it's not good enough. Next year we have to do better."

For the complete news release on reducing the need for remedial education at the CSU see the CSU news website at calstate.edu/tier2/News.shtml.

Trustees Revise Fee Policy

The Trustees approved a revised student fee policy to eliminate a one-third financial aid requirement associated with new campus-based mandatory fees.

In an effort to ensure access to qualified students during a time of diminishing resources in the early 1990s, the Trustees in 1993 passed a policy requiring that one-third of any increase in the State University Fee be allocated for financial aid. In 1996, the policy was extended to include campus-based mandatory fees. This requirement has sometimes hindered the development of student-based programs funded from student body association fees.

For example, if the cost of a new campus program or project would require a $100 fee, the proposed fee would need to be raised to $150 to cover the cost of the financial aid requirement. The higher amount has at times made it more difficult to fund the creation of new student programs or projects. The proposed resolution would eliminate the financial aid requirement for campus based fees but retain it for the State University Fee.

In addition, the resolution will modify some fee categories and definitions to make them more clear, and require each campus to develop an individual fee referenda process before adjusting a campus-based fee.

Revisions in fee policy were the result of extensive consultation with the California State Student Association and campus presidents over the past several years. The CSSA strongly supported the resolution at the Trustees meeting.

"This was a nine-month process on the part of the students," said CSSA chair Stephanie Rahlfs. "This is definitely in the best interest of the students. We're one hundred percent behind it."

Chair Hauck Discusses Progress on Priorities

Chair William Hauck discussed the progress made on CSU priorities during the last two years as Chancellor Reed begins his third year at the CSU. When Reed assumed leadership of the CSU in March 1998, he and the Trustees agreed on several CSU priorities, including increasing resources, ensuring access for students, improving teacher preparation, reducing the need for remedial education, increasing accountability and partnering with the K-12 system.

"It's important to identify a few critical priorities and focus efforts in those areas. Under Chancellor Reed's leadership, the CSU Board of Trustees has done that, and we are on target," said Hauck. "The CSU is in very good shape, and it has been a team effort among Trustees, presidents, the chancellor, and our faculty, staff and students. We have made significant progress and will continue to do so in this new decade.

"We have worked together to ensure student access to a high quality education at a time when the CSU enrollment is growing tremendously. CSU resources have increased through stronger budgets. A significant part of those funds over the past two years has been the $113 million the CSU has used to reduce the faculty salary gap from 11.2 to 8.9 percent. Finally, we have developed relationships with the Governor's Office and the legislature, and we continue to tell the CSU story effectively. That is paying dividends for our students, faculty and staff," Hauck concluded.

For the complete news release and detailed list of progress made in these areas see the CSU news website at calstate.edu/tier2/News.shtml.

In Other Action

The Trustees Approved:

  • Nonsubstantive changes to the Trustees rules of procedures to bring them current with the law and practice of the Board.
  • Amending the 1999/00 Capital Outlay Program, Nonstate Funded, to include the following two projects at CSU Northridge: the Alumni Center at Sierra Hall Complex at a cost of $6.5 million and the Western Center for Adaptive Aquatics at a cost of $2.4 million.
  • The categories and criteria to be used for the 2001/02 state funded capital outlay program. The categories and criteria remain unchanged from 2000/01 and have been reviewed by campus administrative staff.
  • The sale and issuance of Cal Poly Pomona's Student Union Revenue Bonds, Series C, in an amount not to exceed $21.1 million for a university union improvement phase II project.
  • The schematic plans for the following projects: the Science Academic Center at CSU Monterey Bay, the Chemistry/Geology/Business Administration/Math Renovation at San Diego State, and the Field House/Student Union Offices at CSU San Marcos.
  • The adoption of the 1999/00 Legislative Report No. 8.
  • A resolution on academic planning and review of the development of programs and existing programs at several campuses.
  • The election of Martha Fallgatter (chair), William Campbell, Bob Foster, Dee Dee Myers and Anthony Vitti to the Committee on Committees for 2000/01.
  • A resolution honoring speaker of the California State Assembly Antonio Villaraigosa.

The Trustees Heard:

  • Litigation Report No. 11.
  • The proposed schedule of meetings of the Board of Trustees for 2000/01.
  • A status report on the 2000/01 State Funded Capital Outlay Program.
  • A status report on current and follow-up Internal Audit Assignments.
  • Reports from the CSU Alumni Council, California State Student Association, and California Postsecondary Education Commission.
  • A status report on the 2000/01 support budget including a summary of a Legislative Analyst's Office report.
  • An introduction of new student Trustee Neel "Bubba" Murarka.
  • A recognition of recently reappointed Faculty Trustee Harold Goldwhite.

March 17, 2000