Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White – May 24, 2017

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting – Chancellor’s Report
Long Beach, CA
May 24, 2017


Before I begin my full report, it is my responsibility under the Education Code to inform you of approved changes in admission practices before those changes can be enacted.

Cal State East Bay has demonstrated that it is receiving more applications from first-time freshmen and upper division transfer applicants than it has capacity to serve.

In addition, Chico and Los Angeles campuses demonstrated that they are receiving more applications from applicants in specific academic programs during the initial filing period than there is capacity to support.

All campuses have complied with the provisions of Education Code that require a series of public hearings and public disclosure in advance of submitting their final program impaction requests, and been approved to implement these changes in admission practices for the 2018-19 academic year.

I am happy to report that through the annual impaction review process, the Pomona and San Francisco campuses have discontinued impaction for specific class levels and academic programs for the 2018-2019 academic year.

It saddens me every time I have to give one of these impaction reports, but I am hopeful that more campuses will be able to lessen the burden of impaction – especially as we see students move more quickly to degree through Graduation Initiative 2025.

Of course, we also look to our partners in Sacramento to fund enrollment growth and to be part of the successes of Graduation Initiative 2025. This initiative should not been seen as a CSU thing… it belongs to California… it is an extension of the promise and mission of this state.

Appropriately…. during yesterday’s budget, education and advocacy items… you heard about our ongoing state advocacy – alongside the California State Student Association, the Academic Senate, Alumni Council, Foundation Board, labor partners and many others.

And at the federal level, we just took a tremendous step forward… for students… for college affordability… and for the Graduation Initiative.

The Year-Round Pell grant program was reestablished, along with other provisions that will give additional flexibility for students. This is important... Our students are not cookie cutter... They do not all fit one mold.

Being able to take summer courses… to earn a degree while still earning a living – or supporting a family – or fulfilling the myriad responsibilities that life brings… can make the difference between seven years or six, five years or four… or most importantly, earning a degree or not earning a degree,

As we embrace the diversity of today’s students, we need to be more nimble and flexible in the way we shape programs for their benefit. That is the impetus behind Graduation Initiative 2025 and also Year-Round Pell.

A quick shout out to our partners on the national level, and one in particular. The California State University and the State University of New York really drove much of the advocacy on Year-Round Pell.

In February, I was joined by my colleague – SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher – in a series of meetings with legislative leaders in DC. The photo posted here is of the two of us meeting with Leader Pelosi.

I bring up Chancellor Zimpher because she has been a great ally of the CSU… and she also recently announced her retirement.

Guess you always want to leave with a win. And Year-Round Pell is certainly a win, especially for our students.

Leaders often get the credit – and good leadership is important – but, I want to pause and thank everyone for the huge amount of work that goes into these advocacy efforts.

CSU advocacy offices in Sacramento and Washington take point and do much of the heavy lifting… but they are supported by the great work by others in Garrett’s division here in Long Beach… and these efforts would not be possible without the support of our presidents and campus advocacy staff.

I would also like to thank the incredible teams working with Loren and Steve… in Academic and Student Affairs… and in Business and Finance. It is hard to describe the volume of work that goes into the presentations that are delivered every trustees’ meeting… legislative testimonies… and meetings with executive staff.

These two groups are generating a tremendous amount of information related to Graduation Initiative 2025 and various other topics for both internal and external partners… And they are connecting our goals to various budget, operations and academic policy.

Never before have I seen a group of professionals so singularly focused on a common goal… and so willing to roll up their sleeves, set aside ego and get the job done. It’s been amazing to witness… and I wish others could see the behind-the-scenes work that I do.

The CSU was founded six decades ago – and is powered today – by the still-revolutionary idea that an educated citizenry drives our economy, our society… and our democracy. The CSU is a vehicle of social mobility… it is a vehicle of social justice.

Graduation Initiative 2025 is powered by that same optimism and passion for inclusive excellence… it inspires our thoughts and motivates our actions.

Yet, each of us – trustees, chancellor, presidents, vice chancellors, faculty and staff – we all have this brief moment of time where we get to make a difference… when we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

I don’t want to get too poetic, but Walt Whitman describes the mighty ship… returning to harbor in triumph… whose captain has fallen. In Oh Captain! My Captain! Whitman captures the melancholy of a legacy won and a life lost.

This poem occurred to me as I learned of the recent passing of two captains of the CSU. Two presidents who are dear to many in this room… and dearly missed by their families, friends and communities.

Dr. Milton Gordon, president emeritus of Cal State Fullerton, passed away on April 18th.

As President Garcia wrote in a message to the Fullerton community: The impact of Dr. Gordon’s leadership is now and will forever be felt at this University and in the lives and family legacies of the approximately 122,000 Titans — more than half of the University’s total alumni — who graduated during his 22-year tenure as president.

In those 22 years at Fullerton – and throughout his entire career in higher education, including time at Sonoma State – Milton Gordon stood as a champion of access, quality and opportunity… increasing student enrollment at Fullerton by one-third… and in the process, ensuring that the student population was much more representative of the increasingly diverse region.

Our thoughts are with Dr. Gordon’s wife, Margaret, and his loved ones.

And sadly… we also lost Dr. Albert Karnig, president emeritus of Cal State San Bernardino, on May 4th.

San Bernardino alumnus and Trustee Emeritus Lou Monville said that Dr. Karnig was laser-focused on raising the visibility of the Inland Empire and the students of Cal State San Bernardino. Al was a shining example of the great presidents we had and have in the CSU system.

During his 15 years as president of San Bernardino, Al Karnig was a stalwart advocate for the students and communities of the Inland Empire… establishing a rigorous scholarship for the top one percent of high school graduates in the county… building model student pipelines between K-12 districts, community colleges and the university… and fostering excellence through inclusion on campus.

Our thoughts are with Dr. Karnig’s wife, Marilyn, and his loved ones.

Indeed, our thoughts today are with both the Fullerton and San Bernardino communities. I know they grieve these loses.

Many victories at Cal State Fullerton and Cal State San Bernardino were won during the tenure of these two presidents... a great legacy of inclusive excellence that will always be connected to the memory of our dear colleagues.

Chair Day, that concludes my report.