Report of the Chair

​Remarks by Lou Monville
Chair, CSU Board of Trustees
Report to the Board of Trustees
November 18, 2015

Again, thank you to everyone who has come to share your story with the Board of Trustees. It is an essential part of the policy-making process.

As we were painfully reminded this weekend… we are one community. And while great passions may move us to disagree with each other at times, the greater passion is the one we share for our students. It is that greater passion that we saw at work in the outpouring of support for Nohemi Gonzalez’s loved ones.

My deepest appreciation to everyone at Long Beach State who helped organize the vigil for Nohemi over the weekend… and to the many others who attended and offered words of kindness.

Returning to my regular report, I speak both as an alumnus and as a member of this board when I say it takes California State University students, alumni, faculty, staff, administration and trustees working together to succeed.

This June, we saw the success that follows when we work together. The state funded the CSU’s full budget request for the first time in nearly a decade. A big part of our success was a unified message in Sacramento.

Late last month, the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals recognized the CSU with two platinum awards for the integrated year-long Stand with CSU effort.

I want to again congratulate Karen Yelverton-Zamarripa and her team in Sacramento for the tremendous work they did to drive this effort… I want to thank students, alumni, faculty, staff, presidents and my fellow trustees for standing together.

While disagreement is natural and necessary at times, standing together is how we prevailed in Sacramento this year… and we must continue to stand together if we are to continue building state support in future years.

We have an incredible case to make, as the CSU continues to demonstrate the value we add to California’s society and economy.

I often share external rankings… and despite the fact that our campuses do very well, one of the big caveats is that the factors being considered for rankings can be influenced by the selectivity of the campus admissions process... or by the community the campus serves.

The Economist magazine recently put out a value-added ranking. They used a sophisticated regression model to determine what a student would be expected to make mid-career… and then compare that to the actual median earnings of graduates.

The result shouldn’t surprise us. The CSU did exceptionally well. Cal State Bakersfield scored in the top ten out of nearly 1,300 universities… second highest in the state… and higher than any other public university in California. Stanislaus scored in the top twenty and San Luis Obispo scored in the top thirty.

The highest ranked UC campus was Davis at 62. Before Tim objects to me competing with our higher education colleagues… too late, chancellor?... this ranking was still in the top five percent... and representative of the fact that most CSU and UC campuses ranked well.

Our success is a team effort. And today, we are saying goodbye to a member of that team.

Much of the public does not see the incredible amount of work that goes into a board meeting. Since January 2001, some 15 years, the trustees have had tremendous support from the Trustees Secretariat… Leticia Hernandez.

Leticia, Monique and many others work to ensure that our meetings proceed smoothly and serve as a forum for policy-making and public input.

But, of course, that is just the start. Leticia is the primary point person for trustees throughout the year as we travel to campuses or represent the CSU on the state and national level. Leticia helps keep us organized and focused on our mission.

Leticia has served with many trustees and board chairs. It is my bittersweet privilege to be the one to say goodbye as she enters a well-deserved retirement.

Speaking of retirements… Our vice chair, Becky Eisen, recently retired from her tremendously successful and impactful career in employment law. Becky leaves the practice of Morgan Lewis and Bockius LLP as one of the leading lawyers in her field.

Of course, Becky isn’t really retiring. In addition to her many commitments inside and outside the legal profession, she will continue to provide leadership on this board.

Becky, congratulations and thank you for your continued service to the California State University.

And, I’ll leave it to the chancellor to speak about the recently announced retirement of President Joe Sheley from Stanislaus State after two decades of excellent service to the CSU.

However, I did want to announce the newly formed presidential search committee for Stanislaus.

Trustee Morales has volunteered to chair the committee… joined by trustees Abrego, Stepanek and White… and President García.

Thank you all. And my thanks again to President Sheley for his excellent service.

Finally – amid this talk of collective bargaining and difficult choices – I want to end my report by again focusing on who we are here for… the students.

Yesterday, we saw the work of many of our students at CSU Summer Arts.

We can all learn from their creativity and passion. It is for them that we make the difficult choices and balance our many institutional priorities.

With that I conclude my report. Chancellor White?