Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed – November 18, 2009

​Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
November 18, 2009

Thanks Chair Carter. And that is a new term to use in addressing Dr. Carter – he is now chair of this board. While serving on the board since 2004, Dr. Carter has offered wonderful insights to all of us. I have found him to be thoughtful and genuine, and completely committed to the values of this institution. Chair Carter, your fellow trustees and I look forward to working with you.

I appreciate the board’s support yesterday for the budget request we will send to the governor. This request amounts to a $884 million increase to restore a one-time cut and recognize other critical needs of the university.

A few weeks ago, all of the campus presidents and provosts came to the Chancellor’s Office, and we spent a couple of days with Sir Michael Barber and his team who headed what was called a “deliverology” unit during Prime Minister Tony Blair’s second term.

What Sir Michael did was take Blair’s top 20 priorities for Great Britain for the term and apply this “deliverology” process to problems ranging from trains not running on time in the autumn to long waits in emergency rooms. They looked at data, did benchmarking, brought groups to consensus and finally, delivered results. They also made weekly reports to the Prime Minister.

I have asked the presidents to take the work they did with Sir Michael’s group and apply it to a plan aimed at setting a goal for closing the achievement gap and increasing graduation rates from their institutions, and for CSU as a system. This supports the priorities and goals set out in Access to Excellence related to student success.

I have asked Jeri Echeverria to put all of this together with our own “deliverology” unit – we probably will not call it that – and bring it to the board in January. The plan will set our goals, benchmarks and detail how we are going to meet the plan’s objectives over the course of the next few years. So, we will be talking about this more when the item comes before you in January, but many of the presidents seemed to feel it was the right way to go.

The CSU was very successful in securing funding in the federal Teacher Quality Partnership Grants – six of our campuses, Bakersfield, Chico, Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles, Monterey Bay and San Luis Obispo – have been awarded a total of $35 million in highly-competitive 5 year grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The grants are aimed at raising student achievement and improving learning by changing teacher preparation programs. The total funding to California institutions was 17 percent of the national awards, and 6 of the 7 institutions funded were CSU campuses.

This was a real system effort, and several of our initiatives including the Center to Close the Achievement Gap, the Center for Teacher Quality and the Center for the Advancement of Reading, all play significant roles in each funded award.

Last week many of you probably heard about the latest poll on higher education from the Public Policy Institute of California. The CSU was rated as excellent or good by 61 percent of those surveyed, which is about where we were when the poll was conducted last year. One of the challenges is that about 69 percent of the public said they place a high priority on spending for education, but a majority are unwilling to raise student fees or pay higher taxes to fund it. To deal with the massive budget cuts for this year, we’re doing all of the things that the public doesn’t want – raise fees, cut enrollment, reduce class offerings and furlough our employees. It is a challenge to figure out the best way to go when most people value higher education, but are not willing to make funding for the institutions a priority.

San Francisco President Bob Corrigan received the 2009 Distinguished Service Award from the Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence, an initiative of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to increasing diversity and access in the higher education community.

Chair Carter, that concludes my report.