Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White – March 21, 2018

Remarks by Dr. Timothy P. White
Chancellor, California State University
CSU Board of Trustees Meeting – Chancellor’s Report
Long Beach, CA
March 21, 2018

I too am pleased to welcome our new trustees to this board… and celebrate the reappointment of trustees Firstenberg and Eisen.

As Chair Eisen mentioned, we know of the vast impact of the California State University. Impact that reflects decisions by our Board of Trustees, and execution of the board’s policies by our Chancellor’s Office and campus leaders, their teams… and importantly and gratefully… the effort of faculty, staff and students.

So while Scrabbles’ TRUSTEES are made of one-point letters, it was placed perpendicular to CSU, creating two words, each a triple-word core… earning 39 points and catapulting our board to the top five nationally.

Indeed, just last week, the prestigious Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges announced that our board received the distinctive John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership…

Now, this award recognizes trustee leadership in Graduation Initiative 2025… but I also know, as you do, that this was a team effort.

I am deeply proud of the collaborative work of trustees and presidents… students and alumni… faculty, administrators and staff… that benefits California and ‘California’s university’ on a daily basis.

The bold Graduation Initiative 2025 is a clear example of what we can accomplish when we harness our collective passions and talents, and focus first and foremost on student achievement and success, so we can do our part to enable California’s future as summarized by PPIC’s Hans Johnson earlier today.

We often note, highlight and celebrate our faculty achievements and recognition.

This is as it should be.

Faculty achievements in teaching, research and scholarly activity… as well as service and engagement with community, discipline and profession.

And annually with the generous support of Trustee Emeritus Wang, we celebrate four faculty, the best of the best with the Wang Awards.

Indeed, our faculty are truly impressive in their contributions…

But today, I wish to focus our appreciation and reflect on the contributions of staff… here at the Chancellor’s Office and on campus.

These are the staff members who:

  • Guide students through financial aid, enrollment and registration
  • Counsel those dealing with mental health crises… and treat those with other health needs
  • Provide engagement opportunities and outreach to the community
  • Protect our communities and welcome our guests
  • Account for our resources, allocate resources efficiently and effectively and generate new resources through business practices and philanthropy
  • Recruit and train employees
  • And design, finance and maintain our welcoming grounds and facilities

Staff are vital to the success stories of all 23 campuses and the Chancellor’s Office.

I have seen this first hand in my campus visits… and I have heard the respect our presidents have for the staff of this university. They are indeed the secret sauce that enables the university to achieve its mission and aspirations.

I particularly want to call out and recognize the exemplary staff that run and support our programs for former foster youth…

These programs often go by the name of Guardian or Renaissance Scholars… they are found across the state… as CSU staff ensure California’s former foster youth have the financial, emotional and experiential support to succeed in college and earn a bachelor’s degree.

Our outreach, counseling, advising, mentoring, housing and financial aid staff members – alongside staff from other units… from public safety to trades and grounds – often create an extended support system for at-risk students.

Guardian and Renaissance Scholar programs are a perfect encapsulation – in miniature – of the ways our staff work across units, neighborhoods and even regions to reach students.

When the CSU says we are there for our communities, it is often because a staff member is physically there.

That is the value of the CSU system… that is the importance of our staff.

The CSU community serves the greater public good… and is deserving of public investment.

At the CSU, our success – our alumni’s success – drives California’s success!