Remarks by Dr. Charles B. Reed – September 17, 2008

​Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting
September 17, 2008

Thank you, Chair Bleich.

First, I am saddened to report that the CSU family suffered losses in last week’s Metrolink train crash in the San Fernando Valley. A student at Northridge, Aida Magdaleno, and a student from Long Beach, Jacob Hefter, were among the fatalities. In addition, a Northridge staff member, Beatrice Watts, remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Second, I too want to welcome Jon Whitmore to the CSU family as the new president of San José State. I know that you will be a great asset to the campus and the community. He has already hit the ground running.

Earlier this morning I introduced and we welcomed Ben Quillian, our new Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance.

As you know, Executive Vice Chancellor and CFO Richard West is “walking and circling” toward his retirement this December. During his 2009 transition year he will continue to advise me on financial and technology issues. Ben will work with Richard and me in these critical areas.

Ben recently was a senior vice president at the American Council on Education (ACE) and was the CFO and vice president for administration and at Fresno State for 10 years.


When you came in this morning you probably noticed a brightly colored, 40-foot biodiesel bus in the parking lot. We’ve made it as “green” as possible.

It is shrink-wrapped to look like our “How to Get to College” poster but bigger and brighter and it has the AT&T logo also.

It is our CSU and AT&T “Road to College Tour” bus. We rolled it out in Sacramento last week at Valley High School where hundreds of students went through the bus and learned about what it takes to go to college.

We will be taking the bus on the road from September 23 - October 3 to communities throughout the state, encouraging high school students and their families to think about college. The bus will stop at schools, college fairs, and high school and community college counselor conferences in Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, San José and Oakland.

I want to thank Ken McNeely, President of California AT&T and a member of the CSU Foundation, for giving the CSU a $1.6 million grant over four years to fund this outreach effort to underserved students.

I will ask Ken to speak in a few minutes.

We are calling this program "Steps to College Success." Besides the bus, we have a really big project tied to the AT&T grant. We will be in 1,000 middle schools with an extensive high school pre-collegiate advising component. It is important to get students into college, but Ken is also concerned about their graduation and creating a pipeline to AT&T for these future graduates.

I also want to thank the CSU people who worked very, very hard on this:

  1. Marge Grey and the communications staff
  2. Carolina Cardenas in our outreach office
  3. Claudia Keith and the public affairs staff
  4. All 23 campuses because they are all involved in one way or another in making this happen.

Our two goals are to:

  1. Reach underserved students and their families

    We need to do a better job of preparation, outreach, admission, enrollment, retention and graduation of these students. We must reach way down into the public schools, community and faith-based organizations and collaborate with these and other groups to get parents and students prepared for and into our institutions. If we do not do this, this country’s economic future will be dim, our higher education system will squander an opportunity and our young people will lose their opportunity for a better future.

  2. Provide a pipeline of professionals for careers at AT&T

    The CSU is the economic powerhouse in California, graduating more students of color into the workforce than any other institution. We need to continue to do that so that our economy is strengthened and our corporate partners like AT&T continue to provide needed services to California’s communities.

    Thank you again, Ken, for yours and your company’s generous help with this important mission.

    Let’s show the TV video coverage from the Sacramento bus tour. After the video, Ken will you please come up to the lectern and say a few words?

    (Ken speaks). Thank you, Ken. We look forward to a long partnership.

Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA):

The CSU has been a national leader to make higher education more transparent to the public. We have rolled out our response this week and it is all online. We were early signers among higher education institutions to the VSA’s “College Portrait” project.

The national “College Portrait” will have student characteristics, including:

  • Age and ethnicity
  • Enrollment, retention and graduation rates
  • Financial aid recipients
  • Student engagement, experiences and perceptions
  • Student learning outcomes.

The CSU has gone one step further than the College Portrait and added "public good" pages for the CSU, institution by institution.

These pages contain CSU data that people outside the university can use to see if the CSU is being accountable with its state, federal and private resources. This information clearly demonstrates the value of the CSU, and illustrates our efforts to reach out to underserved communities, and our partnerships with the state’s key industries.

The campus “public good” pages have information on:

  • Total degrees awarded, including by academic area, such as nursing and engineering, and ethnicity
  • Contributions of CSU graduates to the workforce
  • Number of Pell Grant recipients; and number we retain and graduate
  • Average net tuition and fees paid per student
  • Average loan debt for CSU bachelor’s degree recipients.

The CSU is a national leader along with Maryland and Texas in this effort to be more accountable. All this information is now available on our homepage www.calstate.edu and there are links to the campus pages also.

Enrollment – good and bad news:

Even though our quarter campuses have not begun classes yet, we can expect to be up in enrollment systemwide by more than 10,000 students.

That’s the good part – more students are continuing at the campuses and more want to enter the CSU. The bad news is that we are not funded for those students. So that means larger classes, but we will continue to serve them as best we can.

Campus Briefs:

The Fresno State Bulldogs baseball team will be visiting the White House on November 12 to celebrate their College World Series victory.

San José State and the city of San José are celebrating the fifth-year anniversary of the joint Martin Luther King Jr. Library. More than 2.5 million visitors per year visit the library and more than 11 million books have been checked out – that is real success.

Foster Youth Programs:

I’ll wait until the November meeting to talk more about this when (Assembly) Speaker (Karen) Bass is here, but we have already begun to put to good use the first installment of a three-year $600,000 grant from the Stuart Foundation to create a foster youth project. Several campuses including San Marcos and San Bernardino have already have started or expanded some good programs.

Before I finish, I want to Ken McNeely come to the lectern and receive a plaque thanking AT&T for its grant for the bus and counseling program. Thank you again, Ken.

Chair Bleich that concludes my report. Thank you.