Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White – March 20, 2013

Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting: Chancellor’s Report
Long Beach, CA
March 20, 2013

Thank you, Chair Linscheid.

I think it is fitting that during Women’s History Month, I can start by congratulating two of our trail-blazing women presidents:

On March 2, the American Council on Education honored CSU San Marcos President Karen Haynes with the 2013 Donna Shavlik Award for her exemplary contributions to women in higher education.

Two days later, CSU Fullerton President Mildred Garcia was awarded one of the first Breaking the Glass Ceiling awards from the Legislative Women’s Caucus in Sacramento.

Congratulations to both of you, Karen and Millie, and thank you for your leadership.

Congratulations are also in order to both Millie and San Francisco State President Les Wong on their respective investitures in the past two months.

I was able to attend both of these events, and I was proud to be a part of such a warm and welcoming ceremony that celebrates the entire community.

Campus Visits

I’m glad to report that I have gotten a good start on my visits to all 23 campuses.

So far, I have made it to Bakersfield, East Bay, Sacramento, and Chico. Each of those visits has given me a good opportunity to connect with students and staff and to get to know the individual character of each of our campuses.

I’ve often compared the CSU system to a quilt that is made up of many different and unique kinds of fabric, crafted together to create something new and beautiful.

I hope to learn more about each of these unique threads during my campus visits, and I hope to find ways for us to work even better together and to become even stronger and more resilient as one.

Super Sunday

As Chair Linscheid reported, we had an outstanding turnout at our Super Sunday events all across the state in both February and March.

I found these events to be both inspirational and incredibly moving. It was a real honor to speak with so many students and families whose dreams for the future involve studying at a CSU campus.

I want to thank our presidents who spoke, as well as all of the staff members who spoke and provided outreach and information at each of these events.

Hill Day/New York/Advocacy Day

I have spent the last two weeks on the move from Washington D.C. for Hill Day, to New York City, for our Tri-State Alumni Reception, and up to Sacramento for our Legislative Advocacy Day.

Thank you to all of you who were involved in organizing these events, and to those of you who took time out of your busy schedules to join us.

I find these visits to be inspirational in a different way...I see them as a wonderful opportunity to tell the CSU story…and we have such a good story that it is a pleasure and an honor to share it with others.

I know we are in the midst of a very difficult budget season, and I hope that the goodwill we generated on those trips will continue to lift us up.

Budget and Enrollment

As we discussed yesterday at the Finance Committee, our proposal to this board is aimed at addressing three critical issues - student access and success, faculty and staff compensation and mandatory costs.

Our primary goals for students include:

  • Using technology to address curricular "bottlenecks"
    • $10 million in funding will expand and improve course offerings, advising, course scheduling, and clearer degree pathways.
  • Facilitating enrollment growth
    • We propose funding for a slight enrollment increase by almost 6,000 more individual students than would otherwise be possible.
  • Over 300,000 high school and community college students have applied to the CSU for Fall of 2013
  • With the governor’s budget the CSU hopes to enroll approximately 124,000 new students
  • Fostering student success
    • We will be continuing our efforts to reduce time to degree, closing the achievement gap and improving graduation rates.

We are also asking for a moderate compensation pool for resources to begin addressing the pressing need to recognize our faculty and staff and their important role in serving our students.

And we are asking for an increase for mandatory costs, including increases for employee benefits, operation and maintenance of new space, and energy costs.

All in all, I think this budget is reasonable and possible, even given the current constraints in Sacramento.

Presidential Searches

Last but not least, our presidential searches continue...

We had our two public forums for the Fresno and Los Angeles searches in February.

Next month we will have the resume review for applicants for each of those campuses.

In early May we will have our candidate interviews.

The Board of Trustees will do their candidate interviews on May 20, the day before our next board meeting.

I am very pleased with how the search process is moving along, and I am looking forward to naming two outstanding new presidents.

Chair Linscheid, that concludes my report.