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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.