Report of the Chair

Remarks by Roberta Achtenberg
Chair of the Board
CSU Board of Trustees – Chair’s Report
March 12, 2008

Yesterday most everyone met Curtis Grima, a Sacramento State student who was appointed by the governor into the vacant student trustee seat. This serves as the formal introduction of Curtis Grima at the full Board meeting. Curtis, we welcome you to the Board of Trustees. Curtis, would you like to say anything?

Mr. Grima thanked the board for its warm welcome and expressed an interest in being a quick study so that his contributions would have an impact on the CSU and the state.

(Achtenberg continued the report.) Everyone in California saw the announcement in various media outlets that Congressman Tom Lantos died. What many of you may not know is that Dr. Lantos was a faculty member in economics at San Francisco State from 1954 to 1980. During a portion of that period, Dr. Lantos served as head of the then-California State Colleges’ international programs – study abroad office. Throughout his life, he was dedicated to civil liberties and human rights – and undoubtedly this was a result of his experience while a teenager in Hungary when Nazi Germany occupied his country. He is only Holocaust survivor to have served in the United States Congress.

CSU Chico junior Grace Berryhill, a double major in agricultural education and animal science, won first place in the 2008 American Farm Bureau Federation Collegiate Discussion Meet in Baltimore in February. She received $2,500 for winning the national title. In the final round of the national competition, Ms. Berryhill competed against state champions from Texas, Tennessee, and Florida to take the title. We are especially proud of Ms. Berryhill because this was her very first competition at the national level.

Now for alumni success, I note that Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Joseph Farrow as commissioner of the California Highway Patrol. Mr. Farrow, who has 29 years of service with the Highway Patrol, holds a bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State and a master’s degree from San Diego State. I mention his appointment and successful career as an example of the contribution of CSU alumni in public service.

CSU Channel Islands President Richard Rush was named Educator of the Year by the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce. The Educator of the Year award is part of the Camarillo Chamber’s Top Ten Community Awards, which honor 10 individuals and organizations that have made the Camarillo community a better place to live and do business. The award was presented this past Saturday. Congratulations, President Rush.

Trustee Monville attended a weekend conference in Miami, and I would like him to give us a brief report.

Trustee Monville reported that the meeting of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education showcased the CSU in a number of respects. He noted awards received by CSU faculty, an administrator and a doctoral candidate.

(Achtenberg continued her report.) Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Dr. David Wehner to the State Board of Food and Agriculture. Dr. Wehner is dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

A week ago, a selection of trustees, the presidents, and the chancellor visited Washington, D.C. We are quite a force. The accomplishments of the CSU are well-known in the capitol.

Two weeks ago we presented the Access to Excellence draft to Senator Jack Scott and Assemblymember Anthony Portantino. They were pleased and impressed with the document and our projected path for the next ten years.

Finally, I want to observe that our alliance with the unions has been fruitful in developing and distributing message points about the CSU and its contributions to the state’s economy and future. Shortly, we will be providing the trustees with message points for use at upcoming commencements.

Now it is time for the Chancellor’s report.