Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White – May 25, 2016

Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting – Chancellor’s Report
Long Beach, CA
May 25, 2016

Thank you, Chair Monville.

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.

CSU Monterey Bay has demonstrated that it is receiving more applications from upper division transfer applicants than it has capacity to serve.

In addition, Fresno, Humboldt, Maritime, Monterey Bay, Northridge, San Marcos and Sonoma 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 seven 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 have been approved to implement these changes in admission practices for the 2017-18 academic year.

I would like to again welcome the president-select of Stanislaus State, Ellen Junn.

I would like to express my own personal gratitude to six members of the CSU Family receiving resolutions and commendations for their service to this board… their respective campuses… and to the entire CSU and people of California.

I know that we will be honoring their service in greater detail in a few minutes and in the weeks and months ahead… so I would like to just add my appreciation and congratulations to Kelsey, Ruben, Dick, Paul, Joe and Sue… thank you and best of luck in your respective next chapters.

You know, the six leaders I just mentioned… together, they represent over 100 years of experience working for and leading this university.

It’s actually 103 years, to be exact… but who’s counting?

That’s an enormous amount of institutional knowledge and experience… and while transition is a normal part of any institution like ours… I want to take a moment to think about our shared legacy… a legacy of opportunity, diversity, innovation and excellence.

Their legacy — and ours — is passed on to the 475,000 students that we serve… the 3 million alumni that carry our torch… and the 40 million Californians that benefit from their commitment to education and the public good.

I’m excited for the future, and I’m also excited — and driven — by the now.

Over the past academic year, I have been visiting CSU campuses to talk with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends… to see what’s working on our campuses to ensure student success… and to learn more about innovations in the learning environment.

This is the second tour of its kind that I have embarked upon as chancellor… and with each and every visit, I find myself more impressed and amazed by the incredible work being done each day by our people… people coming together as the CSU Family… dedicated to our values, principles and mission… working to sustain and strengthen our world-class university… and in turn, shape California’s future.

During these campus visits, in one form or another… I have been asked about my thought process and motivation… about what drives me as chancellor… and what my vision is for this university for the years ahead.

The answer is simple.

I am driven by my own experience.

I was able to attend and graduate from all three systems in this state through a combination of hard work… a bit of luck… and the foresight of Californians six decades ago to invest in public higher education.

I am privileged to do everything that I can to repay this university — and the generations of Californians that built and sustain it — for the opportunities it provided to the hundreds of thousands of students with backgrounds similar to my own.

Indeed, the six leaders that I mentioned earlier… and certainly, all of us in this room… we are privileged to serve as leaders in the CSU… and we are inspired — and driven — by those we serve alongside…

We are driven by the students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, friends and champions of the CSU… all with the same focus to fulfill our founding mission through innovation, inclusivity and excellence.

We are driven by the work of faculty members like Sally Spencer, Vanessa Goodwin, Sue Sears and Nancy Burstein — special education professors at Cal State Northridge that recently received a four year grant from the U.S. Department of Education — totaling $1.6 million — to develop a cutting-edge model for much-needed high school literacy intervention that can be replicated and used in Los Angeles and across the state and country.

CSUN’s program — the Literate Adolescents Intervention Project — is one of only three grant awardees in the country, and is the only team focusing specifically on high school literacy intervention.

We are driven by administrators like Katy Rees, associate vice president of administration at Cal State San Marcos, who was recently selected by the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation as a member of the 2016 Class of Leaders of Change, which identifies leaders of change throughout higher education.

We are driven by the countless student leaders I have met like Kelsey, Maggie and Taylor who are singularly committed to advancing consequential solutions for the challenges that our students face… and to ensure that future generations of students benefit from the work, foresight and hard decisions made today.

We are driven by our incredible staff… like the members of the University Staff Assembly at Sacramento State... working to sustain the mission of the CSU through academic and advising support… maintaining our facilities, physical plants and landscaping… and in campus business operations.

We are driven by our incredible champions across the state and country… champions like former Fresno State professor Juan Felipe Herrera… recently reappointed to a second term as Poet Laureate of the United States.

And as the nation’s first Latino poet laureate, who has remained intimately connected to Fresno and the Central Valley… and who continues to teach, inspire and advocate for the diverse communities of California and the nation.

And we are driven by our successes that we have worked toward together… as students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, presidents and alumni… united as members of the CSU Family.

Together, our campuses and system office are making progress on graduation rates — as highlighted during yesterday’s Committee on Educational Policy item. This work was recently validated by the announcement that eight CSU campuses were recognized by The Education Trust for reducing their respective graduation achievement gaps for African American students.

The eight CSU campuses, in order of ranking, are: San Diego State, Chico State, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, San Francisco State, San Jose State and Cal State Northridge.

These are certainly achievements for the campuses, the CSU… and the people of California… and only adds to the momentum for our systemwide goal of an achievement gap of zero.
This goal — which I outlined in January — will continue to drive our thinking moving forward… and will be at the core of how we innovate, reinvent ​and redefine the CSU in the years ahead.

We have a unique opportunity to make consequential change for this university.

We have an opportunity to come together, united, in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to push for continued reinvestment in the CSU… and to continue to push the boundaries of what this university — and the entire CSU Family — united — can achieve.

Lastly, I’d like to end my report today by thanking, commending and congratulating Lou Monville for his decade of service to this Board… and to his lifetime of support and advocacy on behalf of the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the California State University.

Lou has been a tremendous leader for this institution… helping to guide us through some of our most difficult decisions in this university’s history… and doing so with his consummate professionalism, thoughtfulness, insight and dedication to our founding principles.

We will be recognizing Lou in greater detail during the Board meeting in July… which should give us just enough time to complete the bronze statue...

But today, as this is his last official meeting as trustee and chair, I just want to say thanks, Lou, for everything you have done — and will continue to do — for the California State University.

Chair Monville, that concludes my report.