Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White – March 9, 2016

​​Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting – Chancellor'​s Report
Long Beach, CA
March 9, 2016

Thank you, Chair Monville.

I again congratulate the two candidates chosen to lead Cal State Channel Islands and Chico State, Erika Beck and Gayle Hutchinson… and to thank our dedicated and accomplished retiring presidents, Dick Rush and Paul Zingg.

I’d like to also congratulate Cal State San Marcos professor, Joely Proudfit, for her recent appointment by President Obama to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education.

Dr. Proudfit is the chair of the American Indian Studies department… and has served as director of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center since 2009. I know that Joely will represent the CSU, our Native American communities, and all Californians, well.

A few weeks ago, I was pleased to join President Ochoa and the Cal State Monterey Bay community as they celebrated the naming of the 58,000 square foot Joel and Dena Gambord Business and Information Technology Building… and in turn, celebrate the largest eight-figure philanthropic gift received in the university’s 22 year history.

The Gambord’s generosity will help accelerate Cal State Monterey Bay in many innovative ways, including in computer science education… including the computer science-in-3 degree program, a unique partnership with the local Hartnell Community College that encourages students from the Monterey and Salinas Valley regions to earn a bachelor’s degree in three calendar years and pursue careers in IT, software engineering and more knowledge-based careers.

There is perhaps no bigger story in the scientific universe than last month’s announcement of the detection of gravitational waves – a historic discovery consistent with Albert Einstein’s century-old theory of relativity.

Several Cal State Fullerton and Sonoma State professors and students are among a group of more than 1,000 scientists from universities in the United States and around the world who played significant roles in the research carried out by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory Scientific Collaboration.

Just a few days after this historic, world-changing announcement, I was fortunate to meet with the faculty and staff from Fullerton’s Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Center who, along with six graduate students, took part in the global collaboration.

They joined 2016 Wang Award winner and Sonoma State Professor Lynn Cominsky, who we learned about at last meeting in producing a classroom guide on this historic and life-altering discovery.

An incredible achievement… and the Fullerton, Sonoma and entire CSU community should be immensely proud.


Recently, I joined campus presidents and university leaders at African American churches and places of worship across the state during one of our Super Sunday outreach events…

I was honored to join President Morishita, Bishop Bob Jackson and the congregation at the Acts Full Gospel Church in Oakland… and my message to students and families was that you can go to college – and the CSU has the tools, resources and knowledge to help you along the way.

Yet, I also pressed this even more vital point: We need you to go to college.

It’s a point I drive home every time I meet with prospective students and their families across the state.

We know that our projected need for bachelor’s graduates, confirmed by the Public Policy Institute and so many others… is very real and very pressing. If current trends in the labor market persist – and many experts believe that they will – California will face a shortage of 1.1 million bachelor’s educated workers… by the time today’s first-graders are completing college.

The CSU will bear much of the responsibility in getting us to the additional 1.1 million by 2030… and we are already working towards that goal as you learned yesterday.

I am pleased by many of the findings from yesterday’s presentations that indicate that our current freshman class is the largest – and best prepared for success - in the history of the California State University.

Only with our partners in K-14 and in Sacramento can we build the capacity necessary to secure California’s future.

It will require us to redouble our efforts in Sacramento, coming together as a united front to tell our story and make the case for renewed investment in our students, faculty and staff…

And with greater success with our partners, it will allow us to enroll more qualified Californians than ever before… putting the proverbial pineapple back up in the window sill… President Coley knows what I’m talking about… and declare that yes, there is room at the inn for all those qualified and willing to do the work.

Lastly, I wish to update this board on our Project Rebound partnership… a special admissions pilot initiative providing higher education opportunities for formerly incarcerated people on parole or on probation.

Today, San Francisco State provides the home and leadership for Project Rebound, whose core mission is simple… Education as an alternative to incarceration.

I’m happy to announce that Project Rebound plans to add an additional seven campuses this fall – Bakersfield, Fresno, Fullerton, Pomona, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Diego – adding these campuses in order to serve prospective students in these regions throughout the state… where approximately 70 percent of the incarcerated and justice-supervised individuals in California reside.

Our ability to do this, however, will be dependent on significant funding from the Ford Foundation through the Opportunity Institute.

Thanks to the interest and leadership of Trustee Norton, President Wong and Project Rebound director Jason Bell… plus many other faculty and staff… we are a finalist for a seven-figure grant.

And if funded, the Chancellor’s Office will provide a direct financial investment – as well as in-kind efforts from the campuses – each year the renewable reward is received.

Please join me in thanking Larry, Les and Jason

Chair Monville, that concludes my report.