Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White – May 16, 2018

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting – Chancellor’s Report
Long Beach, CA
May 16, 2018


Before I begin my report, it is my duty under the Education Code to notify the board of approved changes in admission practices before those changes can be enacted.

Two campuses provided justification and received permission to impact additional academic programs beginning with the fall 2019 term:

  • Channel Islands: Mechatronics, and
  • San Marcos: Biological Sciences

Through the annual impaction review process, two campuses have discontinued impaction for levels and academic programs for the 2019-2020 academic year:

  • Humboldt: First-time freshman and Environmental Resource Engineering, and
  • San Francisco: Apparel Design and Merchandising, Child and Adolescent Development, Dietetics, and Environmental Studies

The May Board of Trustees meeting is always one of transition.

Congratulations and thanks are in order for Trustee Reyes Salinas whose term as student trustee ends this month… and in two days’ time, Jorge will earn his masters in communication studies from Cal State Northridge.

Jorge, you are an outstanding leader, representative and champion for Cal State. We will miss your leadership here.

Thank you, Jorge, and congratulations to you and your family.

We must also congratulate and thank Trustee Emerita and CSSA president Maggie White, whose term is ending this month. Maggie is set to graduate next week with her master’s in public administration from Cal State Stanislaus.

Maggie is a tremendous leader and advocate for Cal State… indeed, an inspiration for countless students at Stanislaus State and throughout California.

Maggie, best wishes in your next chapter, and congratulations to you and your family.

Thank you as well to Professor Chris Miller, who has served as chair of the Academic Senate during indeed interesting times. Now that’s an understatement!

Chris is passionately committed to Cal State. She was – and is – a strong and committed partner in advocating for funding from Sacramento… and her role on the Graduation Initiative 2025 advisory committee – among many other activities – will benefit our entire university for years to come.

Chris, thank you for your service to Cal State’s academic mission as senate chair.

Congratulations and my deepest thanks to presidents Mitchell and Hagan for their distinguished and consequential leadership. Even in their respective well-earned retirements, both Horace and Willie will remain tireless advocates and champions for their campuses, the CSU and public higher education writ large.

Thank you and congratulations, Horace and Willie.

Congratulations and many thanks to Chair Eisen for two outstanding years as board chair.

Fortunately, Becky remains on the board as Governor Brown re-appointed her to an additional term. I offer my deepest appreciation for her effervescent passion, strong leadership, wise counsel and high expectations as chair.

Thank you, Becky, for your steadfast commitment to our values, vision and mission.

And last but not least, I’d offer my congratulations to our alumni representatives – Trustee John Nilon and Alumni Council President Manolo Morales – for their respective reconfirmation and reelection.

Congratulations, John and Manolo.

Since our March meeting, I’ve been talking with much of our larger Cal State community and around the country.

In all of my conversations with students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends – and many others – the topic always seems to land on the increasingly vital role of partnerships.

Heck, when we welcomed foundation leaders here a few weeks ago, I even made three ‘ship’ puns... relation-ship, leader-ship and partner-ship.

Let’s not all groan at once.

Our partners enable us to build more inclusive pipelines and pathways for more students to move from kindergarten to bachelor’s degrees and beyond.

Partners open the doors to real-world, hands-on directed research and creative activity opportunities for students and faculty.

They create new and relevant internship, study abroad, volunteer and career opportunities for our students and alumni.

Through generous gifts and transformative grants, our partners help us fulfill our mission and scope, provide scholarships, enrich academics and athletics, and allow us to further our momentum on Graduation Initiative 2025.

Certainly, in these instances and many more, partners and partnerships are key to Cal State’s vision for California’s future.

There’s one partner – our biggest partner… our most permanent partner – that I haven’t mentioned yet… the State of California.

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Commerce released figures showing that California’s economy has grown from the sixth largest economy in the world to the fifth largest, leapfrogging the United Kingdom.

And we know – as do our partners in Sacramento – that California’s immense prosperity, which grew exponentially from the second half of the 20th century through today… track pretty well with the rise in public higher education… driven by the CSU, UC and community college systems.

So when we see data like that from the federal government, we must all take pride in knowing that this university was and is a key elevator that lifted California to number five in the world.

Last week, the independent, non-partisan California Budget and Policy Center warned that the fifth-largest economy in the world stands to lose billions in future economic returns by continuing to underfund its public universities.

The California Budget and Policy Center noted that per student spending today remains well below pre-recession levels… and far below what we’ve asked for from the state in a year where the state’s coffers are strong.

Those figures and analysis – in addition to similar projections by the Public Policy Institute of California – should be a clarion call to all who believe California’s best days are ahead.

Today, more students are graduating from high school in California… with more college-ready seniors applying to college. We must make sure that together, with all of our partners – and particularly the State of California – we have sufficient capacity to meet demand.

We, the CSU – are pushing forward with Graduation Initiative 2025…

We are investing in our employees and student support…

We are responsible and scrupulous fiduciaries of the public good and dollar…

And while we face a $171 million gap between the Trustees’ budget need and the governor’s proposal, we are committed to not putting additional costs on students and their families to help backfill this deficit and recently pulled tuition off the table.

Indeed, we are holding up our end of the partnership… and we need our biggest partner – the State of California – to do the same. It would be wrong-headed to continue underinvestment in its engines of social and economic ascent.

Let me close by offering congratulations to an applied physics program at Cal State Long Beach.

Through the precise application of torque, force and projectile acceleration, coupled with exquisite understanding of apogee… this team of students and staff innately understand – and expertly apply – Newton’s second law of motion, which is of course that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the force and inversely proportional to the mass of the object.

Have I lost everyone yet? Well, here’s a short video clip to better explain what I’m talking about:

[Video clip of CSULB’s game-winning point in national championship game]

Okay, okay – it was all because of Long Beach’s Number One Fan, Jane Conoley, that the men’s volleyball team won the NCAA Division I title earlier this month by beating UCLA in dramatic, come-from-behind-twice fashion… the second such title for Long Beach, with the last being 27 years ago.

They’re certainly winners both on the court and in the classroom. Consider these statistics:

  • Their winning percentage this year led the nation at 96.6 percent… only exceeded by their Academic Progress Rate of 99.5 percent
  • Half of the team earned Academic All Star recognition with GPAs above 3.0, including four above 3.75 and two with 4.0s
  • And all five seniors on the title-winning team are graduating this month.

Jane, please convey our congratulations to the champions and the entire Long Beach State community.

Chair Eisen, that concludes my report.