Chancellor's Message

As California steadily emerges from the most devastating global pandemic in more than a century, we look to our state’s future with great optimism. And we wholeheartedly believe that the California State University—the nation’s largest, most diverse and most consequential university—can serve as an inflection point: one that will lead a turn toward healing, reconciliation, recovery and prosperity.

Despite the challenges of the past year and a half, the CSU and its students are thriving, thanks in large part to the state’s renewed, generous and forward-thinking support. Almost 133,000 students earned degrees in 2020-21— a record high. Graduation rates are also at all-time highs for students from all backgrounds. As supported by Washington Monthly’s recent rankings, the CSU continues to be the nation’s most powerful driver of socioeconomic ascent, as we work to prepare California’s future workforce for its most in-demand fields.

But we can, and must, do more for California’s students—our state’s future leaders. We believe the Trustees’ budget plan represents a vital and effective path forward. It is one that will help us:

  • Elevate student success for all, with a laser focus on completely eliminating equity gaps that exist between students of color, first-generation students and low-income students and their peers, via Graduation Initiative 2025. 
  • Promote our students’ mental and physical well-being while supporting their basic needs, including housing and food security. 
  • Bridge the digital divide so that technology will be an essential and invaluable tool—and not a barrier—for every CSU student. 
  • Ensure the fair and equitable compensation of our world-class and student-centered faculty and staff.
  • Repair and modernize our aging facilities and infrastructure to promote academic achievement while providing the safest possible environment for our students, faculty and staff. 
  • Increase access through enrollment growth, so that more Californians from all backgrounds can earn the security, purpose and prosperity that come with a high-quality CSU degree

On behalf of the entire CSU community, including our more than four million global alumni, please accept our deepest appreciation and gratitude for your belief in our mission and for your visionary support and leadership through one of the most challenging times in our state’s and university’s history. We are extraordinarily proud of how the collective CSU community stepped up to deliver on your investment. And we hope that the remarkable successes of our talented and diverse students inspire continued partnership and investment, as together we transform our students’ lives and communities and drive California’s recovery and sustained economic vitality.


Jolene Koester
Interim Chancellor
The California State University