Message from the Chancellor
There is no doubt that the 2008-09 academic year brought unprecedented challenges to the California State University. The state’s budget deficit, now nearing more than $20 billion, has resulted in a record $564 million cut to the CSU’s budget, equivalent to 20 percent.
We have responded by adjusting our operations and finding innovative ways to deliver our services. But we have not veered from our mission — to provide access to a high-quality education for all students of California. Considering that the CSU graduates 91,000 students annually into the state’s competitive industries—more students than all other California universities and colleges combined — our mission is crucial to the state’s economic recovery.
In fact, when you look at the numbers, the California State University is indispensable to California’s economic prosperity. For every $1 the state invests in the CSU, the CSU returns more than $4. The CSU sustains more than 200,000 jobs in the state. And CSU-related expenditures create $13.6 billion in economic activity.
And when you look at our students, the CSU represents the best of the nation’s diversity. Fifty-six percent of CSU students are students of color and 40 percent come from households where English is not the primary language spoken. Nearly 35 percent of students attending the CSU are the first generation in their family to attend college.
Reaching these students and their families is one of the CSU’s greatest challenges today. The CSU must continue to prepare the future generations of Californians who will become the state’s next workforce, especially those that do not have strong traditions of going to college. The CSU has developed partnerships in African American churches, Latino neighborhoods, Asian community centers, Native American reservations, and on military bases. A “Road to College” bus tour annually brings college-related information directly to students, parents and counselors in communities throughout California.
Our donors and supporters are crucial to our success. They give us the vital backing we need to carry out these efforts, all of which serve our students, and ultimately our workforce and our state.
My deep appreciation goes to all of those who made the commitment to enhance our programs, fulfill our critical mission and, most importantly, help more students achieve their dreams. Your continued support and generosity will help us remain resilient in these unpredictable times.
Charles B. Reed
California State University