Fall 2009 Convocation Address

  • September 21, 2009

Welcome

Good Morning, and welcome to Cal State East Bay’s 2009 Faculty and Staff Convocation. The Fall Convocation provides the opportunity for us to come together and reflect on recent accomplishments, identify emerging issues, and discuss priorities and opportunities for the coming year. 

As we begin this year, allow me to share what we need to do to ensure a stronger and brighter future for our students and this great institution.

Introductions

First, I would like to recognize the new members of Cal State East Bay’s family.

Let me welcome the new faculty members who join us this fall.  We look forward to your contributions in continuing to ensure Cal State East Bay as a destination university. You bring important expertise to the University and join a dedicated and highly honored faculty recognized for excellence in instruction, service and scholarship.

Such a distinguished member is this year’s Miriam and James Phillip’s Outstanding Professor, Dr. Sue Opp, Professor of Biology and Academic Senate Chair.  Dr. Opp, congratulations on your selection.

Let me welcome the new staff members who have joined us.  Ensuring student success is indeed the responsibility of everyone.  You join a committed and engaged staff that enjoys a great tradition of providing quality service and support such as this year’s Vivian Cunniffe Award recipient:  Ms. Sandy Anderson, executive assistant to the Dean of the College of Business and Economics. Ms. Anderson, Congratulations! 

I would ask our newest faculty and staff members to stand and be recognized.

We have several new additions to the Administrative team:

•    Dr. Fred Dorer returns to the University as interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs and will assist us as we search for a permanent provost;

•    Dr. Linda Dobb, University librarian, will serve as interim associate provost;

•    Dr. Carolyn Nelson, Interim Dean, College of Education and Allied Studies.  Dr. Nelson comes to us from San Jose State University where she was the associate dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Education;

•    Dr. James Zarrillo, interim associate dean, College of Education and Allied Studies;

•    Dr. Jagdish Agrawal, associate dean, College of Business and Economics; and

•    Dr. Michelle Pacansky-Brock, director of the Online and Hybrid Support Center.  Dr. Brock is the recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s 2007 Excellence in Online Teaching award. 

The University recently completed the realignment of divisions, integrating Student Affairs with Academic Affairs, Administration and Finance, and Planning and Enrollment Management. PEM was renamed to PEMSA to recognize the inclusion of the more traditional Student Affairs functions within this division. The reorganization saves us more than $500,000 annually. I want to compliment everyone for making this transition a success. I am confident that we will be able to maintain or enhance service levels to our students, resulting from the acquired synergies between functional units.

Accomplishments

It is important, especially in these difficult times, not to forget the outstanding accomplishments we made last year through our strategic planning and commitment to the University’s Framework for the Future. 

I would like to recognize the important contributions of the Academic Senate, its Executive Committee and standing committees; the UPABC; the Deans; Department Chairs; faculty; and staff.  Achieving our mission and becoming the “University of Possibilities” requires our collective efforts.

Last year we made significant advancements within our Seven Mandates.  Let me mention some of the highlights of our accomplishments:  

In striving for academic quality, and our quest for distinction:

The Princeton Review identified us as a “Best in the West” institution for the 6th consecutive year.  It also recognized our College of Business and Economics as a “Best Business School” for the fourth year in a row.  In 2008, US News selected us as a member of “America’s Best Colleges.”   The reason for these acclaims is simple; it is due to you-- our outstanding faculty and staff who continue to work tirelessly in advancing our institution. 

Last year we graduated approximately five thousand students—3,500 baccalaureate and 1,500 master degree students.  Our academic programs are characterized by quality and innovation and our graduates are important contributors to the economic vitality of our region. 

This fall we will add three new online degree programs, bringing our total number of online degree programs to nine.  Presently, our online campus accounts for approximately 15% of our total enrollment and will continue to play an important role in advancing the University’s mission.

The University Library is the recipient of the Congressional papers of Ellen O. Tauscher, who was appointed as the Undersecretary of State by President Obama.  The papers and personal effects from her seven terms in Congress will be an excellent resource for our students and future scholars. 

The Cal State East Bay stage production of Tongues received standing ovations at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington, D.C.

The McNair Scholars, Renaissance Scholars and Trio programs continue to be very successful. 

This year, as a way of consolidating services, the University combined its Career Services Office with Academic Advising.  The new organizational structure, AACE, has been very successful in coordinating with other University student support services. 

Student services in the Library Building continue to expand with the incorporation of the Student Center for Academic Achievement (SCAA), Liberal Studies, the Alternate Media Lab, and the Testing Center, which are now “all under one roof.”  Students are finding more and more of the support they need within our Library.

Our College of Business and Economics received reaffirmation of its accreditation from AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) which we have held since 1973.  We are in elite company—less than 5% of all business degree programs worldwide have achieved this accreditation.

The College of Education and Allied Studies had a successful reaccreditation site visit by NCATE and California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. They noted the significant progress made in implementing comprehensive assessment systems within the departments.

Professor Nancy Mangold was selected by the Securities and Exchange Commission as an Academic Accounting Fellow for this year.  She is one of only two university professors selected nationally.

Dr. Jane Lopus, Professor of Economics, received a Fulbright teaching and research grant for the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania.

Master’s student Bryan Brandow (2009, MA education) won a first place award for his research presentation on “Cultural Transmission of Latino Families: Bridging the Achievement Gap” at the 23rd Annual CSU Research Competition held at CSU Los Angeles.  Congratulations to Bryan and his faculty mentor, Dr. Jeannette Bicas.

In realizing our mandate for strong student growth:

We have increased our total enrollment by more than 12% in the last three years, exceeding our target.  Our focus on increasing the freshman class continues and we expect to enroll 1300 freshman this Fall. Unfortunately at a time when we were making great progress, we are required to reduce our enrollment target by 9.5% for AY 2010-11.  We have developed a strategic enrollment plan to meet our reduced FTES target.  However, maintaining a relatively large freshman class is important to us for stabilizing our enrollment as we plan for the coming years.  I particularly want to recognize the excellent work of Dr. Linda Dalton and her staff.

In achieving our mandate for a vibrant university village: 

This fall we begin our participation in Division II as a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. We opened conference play in volleyball and men and women’s soccer.  We look forward to the important contributions that Intercollegiate Athletics will provide to enhance campus life this year.

Our student resident population is growing, especially as we continue the growth of our freshman class.  We are above 90% occupancy with 1300 beds.  While we have put our plans on hold for phase IV of our housing program, we are ready to move forward as the economy improves. 

The new Student Recreation and Wellness Center is on schedule. This student-funded facility will greatly enhance the quality of student life on campus. 

In support of our mandate to maintain an efficient, well-run university with a culture of accountability:


We continue to work to provide a supportive and attractive environment on our campuses for our students, faculty, and staff.  The physical environment for living, learning, and working at the University is an important factor in being a destination university.  Let me thank our maintenance, custodial and grounds staff for their valued service in making Cal State East Bay’s campuses welcoming, safe, and attractive.

We have submitted the Hayward Campus Master Plan to the Board of Trustees.  This project is critical to the future development of the campus.  The completion of the Master Plan allows us to plan for new buildings and infrastructure and strategically positions the University for capital resources when the economy rebounds.  I would like to thank the Master Plan Steering Committee, and especially Dr. Linda Dalton, who led the project, Vice President Shawn Bibb, and Jim Zavagno for their outstanding work on this very complex and onerous project.

Our information technology division received the distinguished 2009 InfoWorld Green15 Award.  This National award recognized our innovative use of server and storage virtualization technologies to significantly reduce power consumption.  Congratulations go to John Charles, Chief Information Officer and his staff for their outstanding work.


In support of the mandate for an inclusive campus:

We will have a final draft of our University Diversity Plan for review and comment this Fall.  I would especially like to recognize Dr. Terry Jones, Dr. Arthurlene Towner and the Senate Diversity and Equity Committee for their leadership, and, the many faculty and staff members throughout the University for their participation in this important work.

As you can see, we have many achievements to celebrate. While the current budget may slow our progress in the coming year, we must continue our commitments to advancing our strategic mandates.

Current Year Challenges

As we begin to address the challenges ahead, let me take a few minutes to discuss our budget and enrollment target for this year and next.

In 2007 we put into place a multiyear financial plan for the University to close our structural deficit through enrollment growth.  However, with the current budget crisis we have been forced to greatly modify our plans. 

I have recently approved the Cabinet’s recommendations for our 2009-10 budget which is a $15 million reduction from our 2008-09 spending plan.  Our focus for this year will be to address the steps necessary to meet our 9.5% lower enrollment target and the additional $10 million in reduced funding for AY 2010-11.  This represents Cal State East Bay’s share of a $564 million budget cut to the CSU.  Other CSU actions that affect Cal State East Bay include the implementation of the two-day per month furlough plan for most employees, and the additional student fee increase of $672 per year, of which one-third was set aside to be used for financial aid.

The fundamental question we must answer is: How do we position the University to compete with decreasing State resources so that we can emerge from this recession as a stronger and more vital institution for the future?  Institutions that are creative, innovative, and establish viable long term strategies will be those who emerge successfully from this crisis.

Clearly, the challenge for us is to gain efficiencies, reduce costs, and generate new revenue opportunities in a State fiscal environment that continues to deteriorate.  Adequate State funding appears improbable for the next several years.  Our present financial situation is a reflection of the tenuous nature of California’s projected revenues and its impact on the CSU’s budget. The cycle of boom and bust has been a part of our State’s financial DNA.  Today, California is experiencing its worst sustained financial crisis in recent history.  The result is the exigent budget reductions to the CSU.  Last February we saw the legislature pass a two-year budget agreement that produced a $15 billion deficit. Before the ink was dry the $15 billion deficit ballooned to $26 billion.

The net impact of this $26 billion deficit has resulted in a $564 million budget cut to The CSU.  Roughly translated, The CSU will receive 20 percent less support than it received in 1999, when we had 100,000 less students.  I think it is important to point out that this most recent cut is in addition to the $66.3 million reduction that The CSU received the prior year, which included more than $40 million of mandatory cost increases.  Therefore, when we put it all together, the total budget impact to The CSU was a $690.8 million reduction in State support.  In fact, had it not been for federal stimulus funds, the budget impact to The CSU would have been $1.3 billion this year. To put the reduction in historic perspective, in 2009 constant dollars, the State appropriation to The CSU in 1999 was $11,075 per student.   The State appropriation in 2009 has dropped to $4,669 per student. By contrast, student fees have increased from $1,507 to $4,033 per year. 

In order to address the severe budget shortfall, The CSU adopted the following measures for the current fiscal year:
•    Since 85% of the CSU budget is personnel cost, The CSU implemented a two-day per month furlough for all employees except public safety personnel.
•    Student fees were increased by an additional $672 per year, of which one third of the fee increase was set aside to be used for financial aid.
•    Reduced campus budgets by an additional $163 million in undesignated cuts; and
•    Reduced system wide enrollment by 40,000 FTES by 2010.

No one can deny the significant difficulties and personal impact these choices have caused to all segments of the campus community.

The financial toll to our employees from the furloughs has been enormous, especially to our lowest salaried employees.  Importantly, the alternative without furloughs would have meant immediate layoffs.

The significant increase in student fees is regrettable, especially in such hard economic times. However, with increased available financial aid from the one-third fee grant set-aside, combined with the increases in Pell Grant awards and State and Federal tax credits will provide that 8,700, or roughly 77% of East Bay’s neediest students, will not be adversely impacted by the increase in student fees.

The most unfortunate result of the budget deficit is the reduction of access to The CSU for 40,000 students.  Our share of this enrollment reduction is about 1,100 students.  When the economy grows, California will experience an even more acute shortage of college graduates especially in the STEM disciplines.  This will result in further loss of high-paying jobs to other states and overseas.  States and countries that have enjoyed recent economic growth have invested heavily in education.  Unfortunately, California has reached a sad point in its history.  Given the current political circumstances, our prison system is funded at a higher rate than all of its three public higher education systems, namely the University of California, The California State University, and the California Community Colleges. You may be interested to know the average cost per inmate per year in California is $49,000, compared to the $4,669 annual state appropriation per student I mentioned earlier.

As we look forward to FY 2010-11, the economic and fiscal situations are projected to be even worse. At a minimum, The CSU will be required to reduce its budget by roughly $279 million, which is the equivalent to the part of the budget deficit that is ameliorated by furloughs this year.  As we look to 2010-11, a major question is whether State funding will backfill the $255 million portion of this year’s CSU budget that is being funded by federal stimulus monies. If that does not occur, CSUEB will incur an additional $10 million reduction to our 2010-11 budget, as I mentioned earlier.  The combined reduction in enrollment and budget will mean that Cal State East Bay will have a smaller number of students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Balancing our budget will require not only strategies to enhance revenues, cost shifting, cost reduction, and efficiency improvements, but it will also involve difficult decisions.  Stated differently, faced with our current and future budget gaps we must move from “tinkering” to truly “transformational changes.”  In other words, we need to identify creative and innovative ways to provide breakthrough solutions that fundamentally change our dominant paradigm.  The challenges ahead necessitate that we extract ourselves from “the tyranny of dead ideas” and provide what I describe as a much needed “rewiring of the institutional circuitry.”

To this end, last summer we drafted a whitepaper titled “Perspectives on CSU Budget Gap” that identified strategies and opportunities to enhance revenues and effect cost reductions through efficiency improvements in IT and business processes.   These ideas were presented to the CSU Executive Council in August. 

Many of these initiatives require consolidation of business and IT functions across several CSU’s and the Chancellor’s office to achieve economies of scale.  To accomplish these efficiencies, participating CSU universities must modify their current business processes and agree on a common approach. To effect change will depend greatly on our ability to dispel fossilized organizational myths that are embedded in our histories. I have asked CIO John Charles, and Vice Presidents Linda Dalton and Shawn Bibb to lead these efforts and work with a number of other CSU institutions on specific strategies.  We will keep you informed as we move forward.

Additionally, the whitepaper proposed several ideas and strategies that the systemwide Provost meetings might consider.  I had the opportunity to discuss these with our Academic Senate Executive Committee during their retreat earlier this month.  I was very heartened by their willingness to provide leadership in advancing the discussions in these instructional areas.  In fact, we have faculty who are systemwide leaders in a number of these critical instructional areas such as: utilizing the most recent evidence related to the scholarship of teaching and learning; moving from “seat time” to “proficiency-based” methodologies; and using more sophisticated assessment tools to measure students’ competencies rather than completion of a set of credits or faculty contact hours.

Another area of concern warranting attention is the increasing cost of textbooks.  Last year CSUEB launched a number of new cost reduction approaches.  The Textbook Affordability Plan, which includes early adoption, e-notes and other strategies, was led by Chris Brown and Follett, partnering with the Academic Senate, faculty, academic departments, and Associated Students, Inc.  With partial implementation, our students saved roughly $700,000 last year.  Moreover, with the increasing development of open source materials available in the public domain, we should seek utilizing them for our instruction in lieu of textbooks when feasible.

I would like to thank the faculty, the librarians, and the Senate leadership for their willingness to discuss and, as appropriate, advance these ideas and strategies in the coming academic year.

Role and Mission of CSUEB

In the coming months we will be required to make difficult but necessary decisions essential for positioning the University for long term viability and success.  Clearly, State support for higher education is less certain than ever.  Our region’s economy and workforce is threatened not only by the current recession, but increasingly by technological change and global competition.  Our future depends more heavily than ever on our ability and determination to be creative and innovative educational leaders, continually building upon our legacy of regional stewardship. With so much at stake, we cannot afford to allow uncertainty about the future distract us from making the right choices.  Balancing our budget will involve options for revenue enhancement or substitutions, as well as cost reductions.  We must find new ways to deliver our mission and ensure our future remains anchored in our regional stewardship, namely:
•    Building the regional workforce
•    Enhancing the economic vibrancy of the region, and
•    Being part of the regional health care solution.

As we plan for the future we want to continue to strive to be known as a high-access university of choice, recognized for:
•    Innovations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education — the “STEM” disciplines — contributing to our region’s economic vibrancy and social health;
•    Modeling and teaching sustainability — America’s new “green” frontier;
•    Our P-20 education and workforce initiative which integrates and aligns the work of pre-school, K-12, community colleges, national labs, and business and industry partners to meet regional workforce needs;
•    Preparing graduates for the new knowledge economy; and
•    Attracting highly qualified faculty with extraordinary talents and accomplishments.

Realizing our vision will not only enhance the quality of our academic programs, but also the relevance of our students’ preparation in meeting and providing solutions to critical regional problems and needs.  Further, as our quest for distinction is realized, the value and prestige of a Cal State East Bay education will also increase, providing a real advantage for our students in the marketplace.  It will be our students providing solutions to the critical regional problems and needs.  It will also raise our profile as a regional steward and leader.

As I reviewed our accomplishments earlier this morning, I noted the significant gains we have made with respect to all seven of our strategic mandates, particularly reinforcing academic quality, enhancing student access and success, increasing the vitality of our campuses, and operating more efficiently. 

We need to continue to invest our resources into further improvements that help us achieve our quest for distinction. 

Strategic Investments in Supporting our Region

As I mentioned earlier, the University’s academic and strategic plans have provided a robust framework for our collective work.  These plans provide for us the roadmap for designing the future for CSUEB and for the region we serve.  At my inaugural address in June 2007 I stated the symbiotic relationship of a great region to a great university. “Today’s institutions of higher education are embedded in communities at large. ‘Communiversities’ are more interdependent than ever to address social, economic, and educational problems that we can not solve alone.” (Inaugural address, June 1, 2007).  As a great university we must support our region if it is to attain its full potential in this era of diminishing resources.  We must invest strategically in new initiatives and opportunities in order to strengthen our foundation and position ourselves to be a viable and successful University.   We must be strategic in our decisions and resist easy short term solutions that may have deleterious long term effects.  The ability for us as an institution to be strategic and agile, able to address these emerging needs and opportunities will be critical to our future success.  In the last several years our Deans and faculty have positioned the University well in our stewardship to address regional needs and challenges.  Most of our activities align to our focus on education in the STEM fields, in developing the regional workforce, enhancing the economic vibrancy of the region, and contributing to the regions health care solutions.  To this end, we have embarked on several initiatives I would like to briefly discuss.

STEM Education

Our Academic Plan identified STEM education as a key regional need and an area of distinction.  In response to the need for graduates in the STEM areas, we have elevated STEM education as a key strategic priority for the future.  I would like to recognize the outstanding work of the faculty and administration of the College of Science and the College of Education and Allied Studies who have worked diligently in the development of educational pathways through inter-segmental collaboration with our K-12, community colleges, national labs, and industry partners to radically increase the number of CSUEB graduates in the STEM fields.  We look forward to the development of the CSU East Bay STEM Education Center that will continue to advance and support these important initiatives across the University.

Addressing the Achievement Gap

There are many studies that have clearly demonstrated the linkage between California’s extraordinary economic performance in the last half century, in what has been referred to as the knowledge-based economy.  This economic success has been attributed to the convergence of a number of key factors: venture capital, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and a highly skilled workforce.  The “opportunity equation” for this economic success is attributed to having an educated workforce that has been proficient in science and mathematics.  The Bay Area and Silicon Valley have been undisputed leaders in high level technology including the innovation and production of advanced computer technologies, networks and, more recently, Web-based services.  In fact, 35% of the nation’s total venture capital is spent in this region, and the Bay Area’s population is one of the most prepared in the nation.  In the Bay Area, roughly 43% of adults between the age of 25 and 64 have at least a bachelor’s degree.(N.S.iii)  It is well documented that social mobility and economic status are directly related to educational attainment.  Stated differently, the cognitive skills of a population are strongly associated with individual earnings, income distribution, and economic growth of the region and state.

Our ability to produce graduates in the STEM fields is directly related to attracting and nurturing college ready students.  Unfortunately, for the past two decades the number of graduates with degrees in STEM disciplines has not met the needs of California’s businesses.  The number of students who embark in science and engineering disciplines in California undergoes an astonishing rate of attrition from high school to college.  For instance, in 2007 only 19,600 CSU/UC students, or 4% of the original pool, graduated in a STEM-related field. When comparing student educational achievement in science and mathematics across the U.S., California ranks in the lowest quartile.

“California ranks 45th among states in the share of high school students taking math and science courses.”  A national survey of 8th grade mathematics scores indicated that California was approximately one year of learning behind the U.S. average and 2-3 years of learning behind the highest performing states.  Only 5% of California students tested scored at the advanced level or higher, which was 25% fewer students than the U.S. average and 67% fewer students than the highest performing states.  African American and Latino students in California were reported to be 2.5-3.5 years of learning behind white students in 4th and 8th grade reading and math.  California’s future workforce is directly related to its expected demographic growth.  In the next 20-30 years, it is projected that growth will be from low income African American and Latino populations that have been traditionally underserved by higher education.  Without a strategic integrated plan to address the achievement gap, especially for the low income and underserved communities, California is ensuring a perpetual economic recession.

The persistence of the achievement gap comes with a tremendous economic cost.  According to McKinsey and Company, if the U.S. had closed the international education achievement gap between 1983 and 1998 and raised educational attainment to the level of nations such as Finland and South Korea, the United States GDP in 2008 would have been between $1.3-2.3 trillion higher.
 
If we were to extrapolate California’s proportional contribution to the overall U.S. GDP related to the racial educational achievement gap, it would represent approximately 24% or between $74-126 billion.  Fundamentally, without making educational resources available, the number of graduates in STEM disciplines will continue to decline and California will not be able to meet workforce needs necessary to ensure its future economic vitality and competitiveness.  California’s economy will remain in a state of perpetual stagnation and recession.

Summer Algebra

The research evidence is clear that math, and specifically algebra proficiency, is a strong predictor for educational attainment.  In fact, algebra is often referred to as the gateway course.  In order to provide a possible solution for the educational attainment gap in mathematics for underserved students, Cal State East Bay offered three pre-algebra academies for middle school students in summer 2008.  These programs were part of The CSU’s outreach to the African American community and an extension of the system’s Super-Sunday activities.  Pre and post assessment of student learning outcomes found the program to significantly increase participant mathematics proficiency.

Based on our success in an effort to expand the program to more students, last spring the Chancellor’s Office allocated $300,000 to fund additional academies.  As the coordinator of these outreach activities for the Bay Area, CSUEB conducted summer algebra camps in eight sites this summer, offering the program to roughly 200 students.  The programs were well received by the students, their families and our community partners.  In an effort to meet this critical need we are working with several foundations and community partners to significantly expand the summer algebra programs to 50 sites in the coming years.  This effort not only strengthens our regional stewardship, but also helps us enhance the culture of college going among underserved communities, reduce the need for remedial education, and will ultimately build a well prepared workforce for the region.

East Bay Green Corridor


Congruent with our commitments to workforce development, enhancing the economic vibrancy of the region, and environmental protection and sustainability, last spring CSUEB joined a number of cities and other higher education entities in the East Bay Green Corridor Partnership. The consortium consists of public agencies including the cities of  Oakland, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, Emeryville, Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, and Albany; as well as higher education institutions UC Berkeley, CSUEB, the Peralta Colleges, the Contra Costa Community College District; and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. The partnership’s focus is to attract and grow green industries in the region. It serves as a national model for regional collaboration and to date has attracted over $76 million in Federal stimulus funds for various projects.  Dr. Karina Garbesi, Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, has played a major role in advancing this effort.  This partnership creates the potential for many research opportunities and internships for our faculty and students.  Moreover, it gives us the opportunity to develop both degree and certificate programs in various areas of sustainability that will help in providing a prepared workforce for the emerging “green economy.”

The P-20 Education and Workforce Partnerships

As an extension of our regional stewardship, last Spring Cal State East Bay was chosen by the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities as one of the four pilot sites developing a model P-20 program, spanning from preschool to college graduation, with the intent of eliminating dropouts throughout this journey.  The program is funded by the Living Cities Inc.  The initiative involves developing a region-wide integrated model educational system that spans preschool through college.  The “cradle-to-career” pathway initiative aligns human and capital resources in our community to enhance and support the educational attainment of youth in the region including:
•    An effective childhood preparation;
•    Support systems inside and outside schools for students;
•    Preparing students for post secondary education;
•    Support services to assure graduation from college;
•    Assure that graduates are ready to join the workforce; and
•    Refresher training opportunities for industry professionals.

It is important to recognize that the main thrust of this initiative in not to create another “boutique program” that can only serve a handful of students.  Rather, CSUEB and this program will serve as an integrator for many existing services and agencies within the region.  Our work will include the development of a partnership that will be forged with many foundations, community organizations, corporations, school districts, and community colleges.  This program could easily grow to a very large scale, and serve as a national model for educational reform.  The other three institutions that have received the pilot grant are the University of Houston, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Indiana University-Purdue University.   I would like to thank Dr. Emily Brizendine, Executive Director of the Concord Campus for serving as the principle investigator for this grant.
 
Strategic Investment in our First Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign

At this time last year, I announced that planning was underway for Cal State East Bay’s first comprehensive campaign.

A campaign feasibility study that we commissioned early this year has suggested that we have the potential to raise $40-50 million over the next seven to eight years.  In addition to providing foundation capital for an innovative and secure future, this campaign also will triple our permanent endowment which is vital for the future.  Most importantly, it will allow us to be both creative and rigorous in pursuit of our ambitious aspirations and goals.  I would like to thank Vice President Bob Burt for his leadership in this area.

This campaign will support University priorities and projects in key areas relating to:
•    Academic quality and distinction;
•    Student access to educational excellence and opportunity; and
•    Student success.

As a result of an intensive priority-setting effort involving faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, and trustees of the Cal State East Bay Educational Foundation, the following goals for the campaign were identified:
•    Support for our STEM initiatives;
•    Endowed professorships and chairs;
•    Undergraduate research opportunities; and
•    College pathway programs.

The feasibility study also determined that support can be found to partially fund:
•    A new, state-of-the-art STEM education complex; and
•    A 21st century learning commons to replace our aging library.

For the University to deliver on its regional stewardship commitments and transform itself into the region’s center for STEM education we will require private support.  I am convinced that Cal State East Bay, strengthened by the support of alumni and friends who share our vision, will make history with this comprehensive campaign. I predict it will drive our transformation into The University of Possibilities — an institution recognized as a high-access university of choice for quality education programs and student success — where all of our students will major in solutions for tomorrow.

Concluding Remarks
 
Today, we are at the convergence of significant challenges and opportunities.  Our future will depend upon our ability to effect transformational change that successfully aligns our educational programs with emerging opportunities.  The current budget crisis will act as a leveling factor for all universities.  Those with the creativity, innovation and agility to meet these needs and opportunities will emerge successful in this highly competitive marketplace. 

We must not lose sight of the impressive accomplishments we have achieved together.  I am convinced that our success has been built on the dedication, motivation and commitment of an outstanding team of faculty, staff and administrators focused on student success. 

These are indeed difficult times for all our employees.  It is imperative that we stand together and support each other in order to ensure our successful future. 

It has been truly an honor and privilege to work with such a dedicated and talented group of faculty, staff, and administrators.

I wish you a productive and rewarding year!!

Go Pioneers!

Fall 2009 Faculty and Staff Convocation question and answer session:
 
Q: “Hi, Mo. In your opinion, what is the impact to the CSU of the 40,000 student reduction? _David Larson, professor international studies, and chair, geography and environmental studies

A: “As I had mentioned, the 40,000 reduction is going to be such a major impact for the state overall. If you go back to some of the reports that have been done, one from the California Public Policy Institute stated that by 2025 California needs an additional 1 million four-year college graduates to meet its needs, which means that every year we should have increased our enrollment of universities by about 75,000 at least. Now, when you are reducing by 40,000, it means in a few years we’ll have roughly 30,000 or so less four-year college graduates. You assume that every company, high-tech especially, has somewhere between 50 to 100 four-year college graduates. That translates to about 300 to 600 companies will not have employees, and what’s going to happen? All of those companies will leave the state or go overseas. And when they go overseas, it’s not only the four-year college degree jobs that are going, all of the jobs in these companies are going so from that point of view, that’s why I see that to be the most regrettable impact of this budget cut. Thank you.” _ Mohammad H. Qayoumi

Q: “Good Morning, Mo. I’ve got three questions, sir, and they kind of are connected.” _ Michael Schutz, lecturer, sociology and social services

A: “Do you want me to answer all three of them or one of them?” _ MHQ (laughter)

Q: “I can give you all three at once if you don’t mind.” _ Michael Schutz

A: “Please, go ahead.” _ MHQ

Q: “All right. Number one: As you know, Mo, we are continuing the unfortunate reality that began last year cancelling an awful lot of classes, an awful lot of sections and one of the things that means is larger class sizes which has difficulties for students, and of course for faculty. One of the questions that is a bit controversial at this moment is taking students on waiting lists. For example, in Sociology, we have three sections of Intro to Sociology; they are typically capped at 50; all three are sold out. My section, for example, is sold out with 50 students; I’ve got 10 on the waiting list. If I took all 10, that would be a class of 60. That’s just one example. I think all of us are seeing increased class sizes. Whether or not we take students off waiting lists, that’s a controversial question and it’s a judgment call in many cases; but I’d invite your feelings about that.

Second one is another one of relevance right now. And that is the furlough day program. Now, I’m taking a position based on my principles. I do not have classes on Friday; therefore, I am able to take my furlough days on non-teaching days. I will do that as a matter of principle. I will not take one single furlough day on a teaching day if I can possibly help it. However, not everyone shares those principles. Some would say an exact opposite position that they believe they should take their furlough days—some if not all—on teaching days. It’s a controversial question. And again, I would welcome your opinion on that issue. It’s a difficult issue.

And the third one is, we know that in your extraordinary background is an uncanny ability to see the future.” _ Michael Schutz

A: “Wow.” _ MHQ

Q: “So, a year ago, you might recall in fall of 2008, I said “we know 2008-2009 is going to be tough, what do you think about 2009-2010?” And you gave a very honest answer, “It could be worse.” And I think that has proven, unfortunately, to be correct. That our problems of 2008-2009 are magnified this year. Well, I’d like to present you the same question: What do you see for 2010-2011?

So first of all, the question of student waiting lists is an issue. The question of when faculty should take their furlough days, that’s a question. And, since you know the future, what do you see?” _ Michael Schutz

A: “Michael was saying I know the future, because I always tell him what stocks to buy!

Seriously, let me start with your last question first. It’s true that based on the current projections, more than likely, ‘10-‘11 will be worse than this year. First of all, this year with the furloughs, the CSU was able to defer about $287 million of expenditure. And that basically is what the furloughs are saving the State. We’re not going to have furloughs for 10-11, which means that we have to reduce our expenditures by that amount. The fact that 85% of our expenditure is in salaries, that’s going to be a major area where cuts will occur. Part of the hope that will give us some relief is that 9.5% enrollment reduction that we mentioned, which will mean that we will actually have less classes in ‘10-‘11. Another vulnerability that the CSU and the UC campuses have is in this year’s budget we have about $255 million which came from stimulus funds—and the same is true for the UC. Next year there is no guarantee that that will actually be replaced. Although at this point, the Department of Finance and the Governor’s office say that will be replaced. I hope that that will come true. But all of us know when budgets get tight, memories could be cloudy. So, at least that we will have this $ 287 million that has been saved through furloughs and that vulnerability of $255 million. Those are the two that we know. But also maybe as we are seeing some of the improvements in the stock market and some of the other indicators, maybe things will look a little bit better for next year. And maybe with all of the reductions in the enrollment, and also even this year, many of the students, especially on all of our sister campuses, and in the semester system, who have already started, many of them have seen the kind of difficulties that many students could not take the kind of courses that they want to. In fact, a number of students had difficulty; I know at one of our sister campuses, where they could not get enough courses so they would remain eligible for their financial aid. So I think those situations are real, especially as we look at ‘10-‘11.

In coming to your next follow up question in terms of furloughs: I go back to the beginning of furloughs when it was negotiated, especially for the faculty, the campus presidents had the option of identifying 6 of those dates. At this campus, I purposefully did not choose to pick any of those dates because I have more confidence in our faculty and I wanted them to have the choice to pick the days that will have the least impact on our students. And they will be able to have their class material covered. I have full confidence in our faculty and they will make sure that our students learning experiences will not be compromised. Earlier in the notes, I said that we are moving and we should move more into “competency based” rather than “seat time.” Whichever way—and I have confidence in all of our faculty—that they will choose, whether they choose it on an instruction day or on a non-instruction day I leave it up to them and I have full confidence that they’ll make the choice so our students will not be short-changed.

Coming back to your first question in terms of the size of the class, how many sections you have and what should be the upper limit, you certainly don’t want a president making those kind of determinations because usually it will be wrong. I have full confidence in our deans and especially associate deans, who work with that; I have full confidence in them. You know, the size of the class, the number of waiting lists, even in good economic times we will always have and I am sure they will be working with you as well as all of the other colleges not only on that section but on many others to see how what would be the optimal solution, I hope.” _ MHQ

Q: “Hi. Like Mike I am going to tax your memory by giving you a short list. The first one actually is just a suggestion. One of my assistant professors wanted to take the continuing education online certification program over the summer and there is no fee waiver for faculty for that certification. And there is no significant training for on line education. And so since this is an initiative of the university, I think that we should be open that up to our faculty.

One of the things that I didn’t hear you speak about given the priority on STEM education, which I think is an important issue, you didn’t mention the importance of Humanities and Social Sciences in a University and I would like to hear where you see in your vision of the University the importance of a strong foundation in writing, thinking, cognition, and society.

And the last one is, I’d like to know what are University Presidents doing to pressure the Chancellor to demand more funding for the CSU system?” _ Laura Nelson, associate professor and chair, Anthropology Department

A: “Let’s take your first question, in terms of opportunities for training for our faculty and on line instruction, I think the faculty development office is working on that one. I was actually working to see if we can get some funding from the system for all of the faculty throughout the CSU could use part of our, the certificate program that we have as well as even continuing the Master Degree program. Unfortunately, the CSU was not able to identify some funds but for our campus definitely that is something good (sic). You’re bringing a very important item. We’ll look at it to see what kind of opportunities there could be, but also I believe that the Faculty Development has some opportunities and we are working on some of that on their online efforts. That opportunity is happening. (Sought input from Sue Opp. Confirmed the Faculty Development online efforts.)

So, let’s go to your second question, actually your third question in terms of how the Presidents are pressuring the Chancellor. I think it’s not only the Chancellor. I think the more appropriate question is how the Chancellor, the Presidents, the faculty, the entire CSU community is working with the Legislature to try to get the public to know more what’s happening as well as, basically pressuring the Legislature and the Governor to increase the funding in higher education.

And that’s why one of the things that we have started personally is trying to go different entities around the Bay Area to talk to groups to see what does it mean when we are reducing the number of students who can go to school. What will be the impact for the region? People are not really making that connection very easily and many of us have heard that as a society, America is a very effective nation in responding to emergencies. But problems that take a long time, usually we get distracted by so many other aspects and we do not look at it. What we have done on our campus, we have begun working with some of the major community organizations to try to educate them about this issue, and, how we can through them, we can bring some pressure to our public officials.

A couple of days ago, actually last week we had a presentation with the Contra Costa Business Council about what is happening to the CSU’s budget, what does the enrollment drop mean, and how it will impact the Bay Area. They have agreed to put a resolution together and see how they can support the CSU. We’re planning to do something similar with the Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, East Bay Economic Development Agency, yes, and also through our public information office, and yesterday we were able to get one slot at Channel 5 news and that was the whole idea. And the emphasis that I was trying to make is that as a state we have two choices: Either we are going to be exporting goods and services from the region, or, we will be exporting jobs. And the amount of investment that we make in higher education is really a factor there. So basically for not investing in higher education, you have to recognize that in the last 15 years after the cold war era the “arms race” has been replaced with a “brains race”. And California reducing investment in higher education is basically equivalent to a unilateral disarmament. Which means that California is going to have perpetual economic recession. Basically, I think that is the message that we need to get through.

And one last comment along that line. There was a report by McKinsey and Associates a few months ago which showed how the academic achievement gap that we have within the state and nationally is impacting our economy. For California the impact of the achievement gap that had been created is costing the state somewhere between $74 billion and $126 billion of gross domestic product. Nationally if we are able to increase our achievement levels close to countries like South Korea and Finland our national gross domestic product will about $1.3 trillion to $2.3 trillion more. So that basically is what we are trying to do locally. I think many other Presidents are doing, and also I’ll ask each and every one of you whenever we have opportunities with public officials and also in your own community to talk to people about what does the reduction of students at the CSU really mean. It’s not only because your son or your daughter or your neighbor could not get to school. But what does it mean in three to four years in not having the workforce in many of these industries moving from the area.

And lastly, you raised an important issue and I am glad that you raised it. When I talk about STEM education. The fundamental part of a STEM education, or any college education, are the humanities and the social science elements that you talked about. And those ones, are, I don’t think anybody, in my view, should be recognized as a good college graduate if they do not have the ability to communicate very effectively both orally and in writing, not be able to think critically, be able to work in teams, also have a global perspective, and do not have a strong moral and civic sense. So those elements are only picked up through the Social Sciences and Humanities. So those elements to me are the infrastructure for a college degree.

And maybe I’ll give one example of how STEM is related to—how humanities relate to the STEM area. If we look at, I’ll just make one example of let’s say philosophy courses, how all of these issues of technology in terms of privacy as well as intrusiveness as well as intellectual property rights and all of that. How technology and STEM is really impacted (sic). In those, to me … or, you know, the ethical issues of stem cell research. Those are the kind of things that I hope our Humanities courses would look into. And those should be part of the discussion. So when I talk about technology it does not mean that we leave all of those other elements, actually the importance of those elements becomes even more than what we have looked at in the past.” _ MHQ

Q: “Hey, Mo. Thanks as always for your leadership, especially in tough times. I just would actually like to ask a follow-up question because it seems the tide may have shifted a little bit, opening an opportunity to us. The last 30 years in this country we have accumulated wealth at the top, and that wealth accumulation has resulted in the continuous erosion of public services including education, health care, and everything else and we continue to compete for this small discretional piece of the pie and just telling the Chancellor he has to fight harder for the share doesn’t actually make me feel terrific when I know it puts children in health clinics on the streets. I haven’t given up entirely on this idea of revising Prop 13, in particular, the two-thirds votes requirement. To me, that is the most important single thing that we can do as a system that CFA can work with, the Senate can work with, the presidents can work with the Chancellor’s Office to push for that. I’ve heard a number of analysts recently say that perhaps this is an issue that could be considered in the new political climate. The skepticism over the whole banking debacle seems to lend some credence to a new model. So, I’d like to have your thoughts on the possibility of the Presidents taking a leadership role in pushing on that one. Thank you.” _ Karina Garbesi, professor, geography and environmental studies

A: “Karina, you raise a very important element. You’re absolutely right. I think what has happened in the last ten years, we have seen that stratification of our society, and we’ve seen more and more accumulation of wealth in a very small percentage. And also if you look at the society what has really happened if you look at, in this country what we have tried to do is build larger homes and more shopping centers while the rest of the world has been building more universities and bigger factories and I don’t think we can sustain ourselves in that kind of cumulative debt that we have been part of.

Specifically for our State and in terms of Prop 13, there are two initiatives that I would like all of you to find out about and study it, and hopefully take a position on. One is what the Bay Area Council is working on—the Constitutional Convention and trying to look at some of these key aspects of the State and it’s not a constitutional convention that will open up all the aspects of the State – it’s a very narrow one – specifically as it relates to the State’s funding issues because the last one that we had was over 100 years ago, so I think it’s about time. The second one is an organization, a bipartisan group, called California Forward, which is looking at a number of things. One of them is how we can move this budget passing from a 2/3rds to close to a simple majority, how we can invest in elements like health and education and others so I would encourage all of you to look at those two organizations and both of those organizations are part of, at least in the Bay Area, as far as all of the major organizations like Bay Area Council, Silicon Valley and others are looking at those ones. Personally, I’ve already signed up for California Forward and trying to see what as an individual, I can do for that one. So, I urge all of you just to find out about those two initiatives and make up your own decisions and see if it fits in terms of your aspirations and your ideas. You might decide how active you would like to be, but hopefully those ones will gain more traction, especially with the kind of financial crisis that the State has been in.” _ MHQ

Q: “My name is Brian McKenzie; I’m in the College of Business and Economics. This year the faculty and staff of our university have become the university’s largest benefactor through the furlough program. I’m curious to know what other benefactors have been identified to give money to our university to help alleviate the budget shortfalls.” _ Brian McKenzie, professor, marketing and entrepreneurship

A: “Let me see if I understand your question correctly. In terms of the salary cuts, of course the salary cuts were, except for the public safety area that was identified as not to be part of the furlough program, all of the executives, MPP, or management staff, and all of the units except SETC have been part of the furlough program. For that union, when they had their vote they decided to go for the layoffs rather than furlough and the steps around the way to move along those lines.” _ MHQ

Q: “However, the furlough program has made your faculty and staff the largest benefactors of the university. We basically gave 10% of our salaries to the university as an issue of goodwill. My question is, next year it’s very unlikely that that same gift will be given and so what alternatives have been identified in the larger community to replace our gift? _ Brian McKenzie

A: “Okay, let me go back to what I said. I think except for our police officers, everyone has been part of that so I think this is something that all of us collectively have given to the university. Now, to go back to the comments I made; what we need to do is—are there areas that we can do revenue enhancements, cost shifting, and cost reductions? Some of the elements that we have identified in terms of the I.T. area and business processes, hopefully that will give us some reductions, and that’s not just wishful thinking. I think the track record of, especially this campus and what we have been able to accomplish in the last two years in that area has been quite a bit. That will continue, so that’s one element. I think the other element will be what we can do in working with different entities in the State with the hope that if there is going to be additional money in the State, if somehow maybe that priorities could be affected, so some additional funds come to the CSU. At this point, I don’t see the prospects of that to be very high, as I said earlier, that $287 million that the CSU is facing, what it really means in reduction of faculty and staff in all of the CSU campuses – and administrators so I just want to make sure that you… that’s why we’ll have smaller campuses and smaller campuses not only in terms of students, but in terms of faculty, in terms of staff, and in terms of administrators. That’s the reality. There is no way I can really sugarcoat that piece.” _ MHQ


  (i) Mohammad H. Qayoumi, The Fusion of Learning, Knowledge and Service in an Era of Globalization. Inaugural Message, 2007, p.9.
 (ii) California Postsecondary Education Commission and California Basic Educational Data Systems, 2009.
 (iii) Colleen Moore and Nancy Shulock, The Grades are In-2008, Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy, February, 2009, p. ii.
 (iv) McKinsey and Company, The Education Achievement Gap in California, 2009, p.2.
 (v) McKinsey and Company, The Education Achievement Gap in California, 2009, Ibid.
 (vi) McKinsey and Company, The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools, 2009, p. 5.

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