Report of the Chair

Remarks by Lou Monville
Chair, CSU Board of Trustees
Report to the Board of Trustees
March 25, 2015
To begin, I want to again acknowledge a friend and colleague: Trustee Roberta Achtenberg. As you heard yesterday, Trustee Achtenberg dedicated 16 years to serving this board and the California State University. Driven by her commitment to the CSU mission and CSU students, she exemplifies the consequential leadership that has helped this university navigate opportunities and challenges.  Roberta, we will miss you.

As we say goodbye to one colleague, we welcome two new members of the board. On March 11, Governor Brown appointed Silas Abrego and Peter Taylor to the CSU Board of Trustees.

On behalf of my fellow trustees and the CSU community, we look forward to working closely with Peter and Silas, better known as Sy by the Cal State Fullerton community, in the years to come. I’m pleased that Peter was able to join us for this meeting.

It is also my pleasure to announce that the CSU has successfully concluded the presidential search for Sacramento State. The committee has selected Robert Nelson to succeed President Alex Gonzalez in that role, when Alex retires at the end of June. Robert comes to us from the University of Texas system where he has both campus and system experience.

Thank you to all members of the Trustees’ Selection Committee, particularly Trustees Eisen, Fortune, Garcia, Glazer and Chancellor White. Thank you as well to Admiral Cropper, who served on the advisory committee with members of the campus and Sacramento community.

You may recall that last November we congratulated thirteen remarkable faculty members named as Fulbright Scholars. Today, I am pleased to share that these faculty members will be joined in the Fulbright ranks by ten student scholars. These students are:

Veronica Arteaga, Jesse Elias, La’Shanae Johnson, Estefania Castañeda Pérez, and Idmantzi Torres-Robles, of San Diego State; Trisha Huynh of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Douglas Jeffcoat of Cal State Fullerton; Stephen Salts and Rebecca Stewart of Cal State Long Beach.  Congratulations to these Fulbright student scholars for their tremendous accomplishments.

Congratulations as well to our student athletes whose basketball teams made it into NCAA March Madness competition for Division I and II, including:  Chico men’s; Dominguez Hills women’s; Northridge women’s;
Pomona men’s and women’s, and San Diego men’s. 

The California State University takes great pride in our students’ success on the court and in the classroom. We got a sense of how well our student athletes do academically during the September board meeting. In fact, CSU Division I student athletes’ six-year graduation rate is seven points higher than the system’s average. This makes sense to me. One thing about being a student athlete is that it connects you to the broader campus community. Many times, student success comes from forging these connections. Creating mentoring relationships between students and university faculty and staff; Building bridges between K-12 schools, community colleges and universities.
Demonstrating the link between what students are learning and how that connects to their future. CSU campuses excel in building these connections. You heard from Ephraim during education policy that our campuses and their partners received $34.5 million out of the $50 million available through California’s Awards for Innovation in Higher Education.

Thank you to Trustee Faigin for his participation on the selection committee for the awards. And congratulations again to Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Humboldt, Long Beach, Monterey Bay, San Bernardino, San Marcos and San Francisco. These campuses, and Monterey Bay in particular, receiving two awards, demonstrate that CSU faculty and staff are innovative. In fact, CSU campuses are the regional organizing partners for many innovative efforts that touch all of education.

Lasting student success is built through partnership. In that spirit, I would also like to acknowledge and commend the work of CSSA during their 20th California Higher Education Student Summit in Sacramento−and appreciate CSSA’s recent advocacy efforts as part of Hill Day in Washington, D.C.
It’s fantastic that so many of our student leaders – from every campus – collaborate, learn and develop ways to tell their higher education stories. These stories are inherently tied to the core mission of the CSU and to the future success of California.

Thank you as well to Trustees Eisen, Day, Alexanian and Brewer for your participation and leadership during our advocacy events last month in D.C. Decisions made in D.C. and Sacramento over the next few months will be critical to the long-term success of the CSU.
The combined advocacy efforts of all stakeholders will be essential, especially our alumni, who are impressive in number and impressive in accomplishment.

As we head towards Spring Commencement ceremonies and the biggest graduation celebration ever, it’s important to note that we will be adding an additional 100,000 alumni to the CSU’s Class of 3 Million, meaning we’ll be well on our way to the Class of 4 Million, especially when we hit our goals for Graduation Initiative 2025.  These new alumni will be the future educators, nurses, engineers, and business leaders of California and will power innovation and growth in this state and nation for decades to come.

I continue to encourage all CSU alumni, if you have not already, to sign up for the yearbook at Once registered, you’ll have a chance to earn various badges. The badges for the months of March and April are for alumni volunteers and donors – both critical roles our alumni play. There is no better time to get involved and reconnect with your campus by volunteering, donating, sharing career advice and creating internship opportunities.

That concludes my report.

And now for the chancellor’s report.