Report of the Chair

Remarks by Roberta Achtenberg
Chair of the Board
CSU Board of Trustees – Chair’s Report
July 19, 2006

Since we met last, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed four trustees: Dr. Kenneth Fong, Mr. Lou Monville, Ms. Jennifer Reimer as Student Trustee, and Dr. Glen Toney. All four are CSU alumni: Dr Fong of San Francisco State, Mr. Monville of CSU San Bernardino, Ms. Reimer of Fresno State, and Dr. Toney of CSU Chico. Currently, Ms. Reimer is a graduate student at Fresno State. Congratulations to each new appointee; we are pleased to have you on the Board. Because of the short notice, Dr. Fong and Dr. Toney had prior commitments and could not be with us today. I am pleased, however, to introduce Mr. Lou Monville and Ms. Jennifer Reimer. [Chair Achtenberg invited Mr. Monville and Ms. Reimer to comment.]

Beginning July 1, Andrew LaFlamme became the voting student member of the Board of Trustees.

It is a pleasure to note that our Faculty Trustee, Dr. Craig Smith, was named recipient of CSU Long Beach 2006 Nicholas Perkins Hardeman Academic Leadership Award. This award from the campus academic senate is the highest honor recognizing contributions to the principle and practice of shared governance. Craig, congratulations on being the recipient of this special award from your colleagues at Long Beach.

We have some other new folks to recognize.

On behalf of the entire board, I want to extend a warm welcome to Monterey Bay's president Dianne Harrison and to East Bay's president Mo Qayoumi. We are proud to have both of you joining our executive group.

At today's meeting I bring attention to the fact that there is a new statewide academic senate executive committee chaired by Marshelle Thobaben of Humboldt State; welcome and we look forward to working with you. Professor Thobaben, would your like to introduce your colleagues on the executive committee?

Also there is a new Board of Directors of the California State Student Association (CSSA) led by Nadir Vissanjy of Sonoma State. Mr. Vissanjy, would you like to introduce your executive board?

Yesterday, the Board acted positively on the chancellor's recommendation to extend the term of the appointment of Don Kassing as president of San José State University to summer 2008. Don, the Board really appreciates the willingness of you and your partner, Amy, to stay an extra year as president of San José State University. Therefore, the presidential search at San José will commence in fall 2007.

From April 30 to mid-June our campuses held commencement ceremonies to confer degrees on 88,000 individuals. We congratulate all degree recipients and urge that they use their higher education to participate in the California workforce and contribute to the advancement of humanity and the cause of achieving social justice.

Yesterday, we heard details of the state budget as it concerns the California State University. I thank Chancellor Reed, Executive Vice Chancellor West, their staff and the presidents and alumni who worked tirelessly to sustain and protect our budget proposal. The budget provides nearly $2.8 billion in state General Funds. This budget eliminates the planned student fee increase by providing $54.4 million above the state's General Fund commitment under the Higher Education Compact, provides a 3% general fund increase for general operations, provides funding for a 2.5% enrollment increase, and funding for a 3% compensation pool for employees. The compensation for represented employees is subject to the collective bargaining process.

These are highlights of the budget; there were other components which were reported yesterday that help address critical needs.

Eighteen California State University campuses were listed in the May issue of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education as being among the annual "Top 100," a national list of colleges and universities that conferred the most bachelor's degrees upon Hispanics. CSU campuses consistently rank among the very top in the nation in this area. In addition, 12 CSU campuses were in the top 100 in awarding master's degrees to Hispanics nationwide.

At Chancellor Reed's invitation, I attended a portion of the Executive Council retreat meeting in late June to participate in a preliminary discussion of the next iteration of Cornerstones - the current ten-year planning document. I thank the presidents for their contributions of ideas about a university-wide effort to look toward the next ten-year horizon.

Finally, this is the time of the year where under Trustee policy, the Board Chair approves and reports on the annual operating budget for the State University House. The 2006-2007 operating budget was approved in the amount of $63,970 with provisions for supplies, services, insurance, and utilities. The funding, all of which is non-state money, is derived from the proceeds of the sale of the previous State University House in Bel-Air. The trust fund is restricted to supporting the operation, furnishing, and maintenance of the State University House. When the trust was established in 1991, two spending rules were instituted to protect the corpus and ensure there are sufficient interest earnings in the future to cover operational and maintenance costs without using General Fund dollars. If there are any questions from board members, I would be happy to answer them any time.

I assure members of the Board that we are mindful of long standing executive compensation policies. It is our practice to abide by established policy and to be fully accountable and to maintain transparency.

That completes my report.

Chancellor Reed, will you make your report.