Report of the Chair

​Remarks by Roberta Achtenberg
Chair of the Board
CSU Board of Trustees – Chair’s Report
November 14, 2007

In September, I mentioned that CSU Fullerton was celebrating its 50th anniversary. When the academic year began at Cal State East Bay in late September, it too started a series of events for students, staff, alumni, and faculty in recognition of its 50th anniversary.

Hispanic Business magazine named California State University, Dominguez Hills’ president, Dr. Mildred García, to its 100 Most Influential Hispanics list for 2007. The feature article was published in the magazine’s October issue. Dr. García joins a notable list of politicians, entertainers, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, judges, scientists, and fellow educators. Congratulations, President García.

On October 12, the Behavioral and Social Sciences building at Humboldt State was dedicated. Construction of this much needed facility was delayed for several years and it is finally occupied. The dedication ceremony included a blessing by Native American representatives, an explanation by the architects of the innovative environmental features of the building leading to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system) Gold rating, performances by the campus’s own Calypso band, and president Rollin Richmond and retired president Alistair McCrone cutting the green ribbon with the historic lumberjack axe.

Astronomers announced recently the discovery of an exceptionally large black hole in orbit around a huge companion star in the nearby galaxy known as Messier 33. In a study published in the October 18 issue of the journal Nature, a multi-national team led by San Diego State University’s Associate Professor of Astronomy Jerome Orosz confirmed the black hole M33 X-7, which – measured at 15.7 times the size of our sun – is the most massive and the most distant stellar black hole known.

Don Kassing, president of the San José campus since August 2004, informed us that he plans to implement his retirement plans. I am naming Bill Hauck to chair the Trustees’ Selection Committee for President, and trustees Ken Fong and Glen Toney to serve on the selection committee. I am an ex-officio member of the committee. Chancellor Reed is working with members of the campus constituencies, as named in the selection policy, to appoint the campus-based advisory committee. On November second, we held the third and last of our regional “stakeholder” meetings, at CSU Fresno. It was especially well-attended, with a group of more than sixty present. Included were business, education and nonprofit leaders from many locations in the central valley and beyond, and they were well-engaged in addressing questions under four general categories:

  • Building the Case for the CSU
  • How to Improve Access and Affordability
  • How to Build Student Success
  • Assisting Business & Industry to Benefit the Economic Well-Being of the State

Previous stakeholder meetings were held at CSU Long Beach and the downtown campus of San Francisco State. This afternoon, following the Board meeting, the Steering Committee for the Access to Excellence project convenes for an intensive session. We will review the initial draft of a strategic plan, in the context of comments that have been sent by a variety of interested persons both from within the CSU family, and from interested stakeholders. Our goal will be to chart clear ways forward to a next draft.

The project continues on track with our aggressive time-line, which would bring a full draft of a strategic plan for information to the Board in March, and a final draft for Board action in May, 2008.

That concludes my report. Now, Chancellor Reed will give his report.