Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed – January 23, 2008

Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting – Chancellor’s Report
January 23, 2008

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Let me get right to the heart of the matter and follow up on what Chair Achtenberg just said about our budget.

I want to repeat what I said about the budget and our message points during the Finance Committee meeting earlier today. (The rest of my report will be posted to our website.)

The California State University is facing a major funding problem, one that will significantly affect our students and employees if we don’t get the state to change direction.

We are facing a $312.9 million cut to our 2008-09 budget, which means that we will NOT admit 10,000 fully qualified students this coming fall.

This is a travesty to students, especially underrepresented students, and to other students you heard today who have worked hard in school to quality for a place at one of our 23 campuses. This also impacts the CSU’s ability to provide the workforce for this state.

The CSU needs an additional $386 million to replaces those cuts. That is the total of the 10 percent cut of $312.9 million and the $73 million to “buy-out” the proposed 10 percent student fee increase.

You will probably get sick and tired of me repeating those numbers -- $312 million and $386 million – but I have learned that we have to repeat things for people to really hear them.

What we need is for everyone in this room – and everyone at our campuses and throughout the state who is a supporter of the California State University – to come together to convince Sacramento that cutting the CSU is tantamount to cutting the state’s economic future.

We need the entire CSU family – that means trustees, presidents, students, faculty, staff, labor and the Academic Senate – to come together and speak as one voice.

We cannot do this alone – we need everyone, all the time.

There will be many other groups speaking to the Governor and the Legislature, and we need to rise above all those others and speak in one strong voice.

But I look at them as expenditures and I look at the CSU as an investment for the future.

Let me repeat what I just said– we need to speak as one voice. It will do no good if everyone has a different message – there is power in one.

We will focus on three key messages:

  1. Access: The cuts will impact student access to the CSU since not all qualified students will be admitted.

    • The CSU has asked for revenue to increase enrollment by 2.5 percent or 10,000 students for 2008/09. This is not in the proposed budget.

    • That means that 10,000 qualified students will not have the opportunity to attend the CSU because we will not be able to offer them a place at any CSU campus.

    • As a result, all CSU campuses will be closed to first time freshmen as of February 1. Seven under-enrolled campuses will accept applications through March 1.

  2. Workforce: As the major supplier of graduates into the state’s workforce, budget cuts to the CSU will have an impact on key industries in California.

    • We graduate 90,000 students into the state’s workforce each year.

    • We supply the majority of the workforce in key industries such as: nursing, teaching, agriculture, business, public administration and technology.

    • For every dollar the state invests in the CSU, $4.41 is generated in economic activity. A $300 million cut to the CSU means a billion dollar loss to the economy.

    • Industries that rely on CSU graduates for their workforce include:
      • Nursing – 64%
      • Business – 65%
      • Agriculture – 52%
      • Life sciences – 44%
      • Education – 87%
      • Public Administration – 82%
      • Criminal Justice – 89%

  3. Success in Serving the Underserved: The proposed cuts will impact the long-term prospects of increasing college-going rates of underserved communities in California.

    • The pipeline of students in K-12 is two-third students of color. It is critical to the state’s future that more students from underserved communities attend college.

    • More first-time freshmen from underserved communities have enrolled in the CSU over the past few years as a result of our partnerships with K-12 and community-based organizations.

    • The largest growth has been among:
      • Hispanic (9.5 percent)
      • Native American students (8.2 percent)
      • African American student enrollment (6.5 percent)

These students are the state’s future, so let us think students first when we speak in that one voice. We will continue to talk with all of you in the next few months about these message points and our “one voice” campaign.

I am appointing a “budget strike team” to work on this campaign: Richard West, Gail Brooks, Richard Barnes and Claudia Keith. They will meet as often as possible.

This will be a long-term effort, not just through the summer. This will take 24-36 months to show everyone about the need for an investment in higher education.

We want to work with everyone, and particularly our labor, student and faculty representatives. That means Lillian (Taiz), Greg (Hayes), Pat (Gantt), Floyd (Anscombe) and Charles (Goetzl). I want all of you to work with Dina (Cervantes) and Barry (Pasternack) so we can bring the family together to speak with one voice.

I will also be talking with our colleagues at the University of California and the California Community Colleges to bring all of higher education into this campaign to speak as one voice.

In other matters:

1. Veterans’ Initiative: You heard earlier in reports from our community engagement-service learning program and our federal office about the importance of our Veteran’s programs. This is another form of outreach.

Of the estimated 2.2 million veterans who live in California, only 14,000 are enrolled in any California college and using their educational benefits. That is far too low a percentage, even knowing that many of them are older and already out of college.

The CSU is the recognized leader for the Governor’s Troops to College program to get veterans into our colleges, get them a degree and get them into the workforce.

All 23 of our campuses have a Veteran’s Affairs Office. We are working hard to help our veterans.

“Bucky" Peterson, US Marine Corps (retired) is overseeing the Troops to College program. Bucky, a former vice president at Sonoma State, is a special assistant to me for veterans’ educational matters.

A former U.S. Marine has donated $100,000 to the CSU to help us put together a “recruitment bus” that we will “wrap” on the outside with our messages to veterans. We will take this bus to the military bases to discuss admission, financial aid and classes.

Several of us spent time at Camp Pendleton recently meeting with soldiers and their families and listened to them tell us what they need. It was very enlightening.

Next month I will be on a panel at the American Council on Education (ACE) conference in San Diego, and we will talk to presidents from across the country about the importance of this outreach effort. I will also talk about the “best practices” at several of our campuses that we have recommended for implementation at all our campuses.

2. We will have two Super Sunday events next month at African-American churches in the LA and Bay areas to reach out to our underserved students to help prepare them for college.

We will reach 45,000 people. These are good efforts that must continue, even with budget cuts.

3. We had a very successful Biotechnology Symposium two weeks ago to highlight what the CSU provides this state in that area. The CSU has more than 58,500 undergraduates and more than 8,600 graduate students enrolled in the STEM fields, including engineering, life sciences, information sciences, physical sciences, and mathematics.

In 2006/07, we granted 8,400 undergraduate and 2,600 graduate degrees in these fields. We are an important contributor to the workforce in these areas.

Finally, a few notes of congratulations:

  • Dominguez Hills President Millie Garcia was the Grand Marshal of the Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Los Angeles this past Monday (January 21). She was selected in part because of her status as the first Latina CSU President and the impact she is already having on the region’s diverse population.

  • Cal State Fresno President John D. Welty is one of 60 people nationwide honored by the American Humanics Management and Leadership Institute, which is a national alliance of colleges, universities and nonprofits that educates, prepares and certifies professionals to strengthen and lead nonprofit organizations.

    John is being recognized for the leadership role he played at the local, state and national levels. Under his leadership, Fresno State was selected as one of four national demonstration sites to model community engagement in the WK Kellogg Foundation funded “Making Place Matter” program.

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Project SHINE program, which has helped thousands of local immigrants learn English, was honored last week with the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award.
  • The award was presented at a Los Angeles City College seminar hosted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the White House Office of USA Freedom Corps. The seminar was offered to encourage individuals to volunteer to help legal immigrants become more actively engaged in their communities.

  • This being a political year, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was on the Northridge campus speaking last week. It was good to hear that young people – who haven’t voted in high numbers in recent years – turned out to hear her. We need to get more young people to vote, so if these kind of rallies help, that is good.

  • Finally, on a lighter note, congratulations to Maritime Academy President Eisenhardt and his wife, Kathryn, on the birth of their first grandchild, Ella, to their daughter Elizabeth and her husband.
  • Bill, you only need 4 more to catch up to Cathy and me as far as grandchildren go…

Chair Achtenberg, that concludes my report. Thank you.