I am delighted to let you know that we have a stable budget outlook for the first time in several years.Prop. 30 was affirmed by the voters.The Governor back-filled last year’s fee reduction and he provided a much needed 5% boost.We won an additional $1.6 million in a competitive process conducted by our Chancellor’s Office.Our augmented Student Excellence Fee will bring much-needed support for student learning technology.Although our losses have not been fully restored, our budget outlook is stable and modestly improving.I am delighted to report that we will be providing increased funding to colleges and departments this year and I will mention several augmentations as I continue. Although we do not know for certain, it is likely that collective bargaining negotiations will bring a much needed modest rise in pay for faculty and staff this year, for the first time in several. Despite three difficult budget years, we have much to be proud of, accomplishments of the whole University, our students and faculty.
We can be proud that CSULB is increasingly being recognized for excellence:
We are proud of our diverse, talented and determined students.Some – like my daughters – chose us over more prestigious UCs and privates.For some, we are their only affordable, local opportunity.All arrive trusting us to provide a valuable education that can lead toward a better life, a career, increased appreciation of arts, sciences, and societies. We are proud of our remarkable diversity. We are designated as both Hispanic and Asian and Pacific Islander Serving.We host an annual Native American Pow Wow.We host graduation celebrations for all of these groups as well as for African Americans, Filipinos and a Lavender celebration.We have 2,700 international students.Our diversity adds tremendous richness and helps make Long Beach special.
We saw very difficult budgets in the past three years.The percentage of our students receiving Pell grants increased due to the difficult economy.Our entering students became even more diverse, reflecting our region.Entering student SAT scores were level.Yet, last year we awarded over 8,600 degrees.That’s about 2,300 degrees more – 38% – compared to a decade ago when our enrollment was only 3% smaller.Our freshman graduation rate has risen 10% in five years and nearly 20% in a decade.We can be justly proud of our most important result: graduates with highly valued degrees, our 280,000 alumni. Alumni are our pride and joy.Many continue to support CSULB, for which we are truly grateful. These accomplishments have resulted from faculty and staff working together to support students.We should be proud of these accomplishments.
Our students have brought us many distinctions this past year:
Please join me in a round of applause for these student accomplishments and for the many others I have not had the time to mention.
The faculty is the core of any university.Ours is a remarkable and dedicated faculty, committed to excellence and to graduating their students with highly valued degrees.Each tenure-track hire is a very significant investment for the University.I am pleased to report that I have approved a significant increase in the number of tenure track faculty to be searched this year for hiring in Fall 2014.
Our faculty have earned many honors and distinctions.At the beginning of the morning you saw in our slide show nine faculty members recognized last spring at our awards ceremony for outstanding achievement in scholarly and creative achievement, community service and leadership.It would take all day to provide a listing of additional faculty honors and awards earned in the past year but I am pleased to mention just a few as illustrative:
Please join me in a round of applause for these faculty accomplishments and for the many others I have not had the time to mention.Our annual report, which will be available very soon, contains a much longer listing.
RSCA as we call it:Basic research pushes back the frontiers of knowledge; applied research helps solve human problems; creative endeavors inspire and probe our humanity.RSCA helps keep our curricula relevant.We involve students so that they learn cutting-edge skills.Despite the bleak budget of the past three years, CSULB, unlike many sister campuses, maintained a sizable investment, about $600,000 per year, in RSCA.Although substantial, this was only about two thirds of the highest amount ever. I am pleased to announce that we will return to the campus high water mark this year, bringing the campus annual investment in RSCA to $1 million. We will also again provide incentives for faculty to prepare proposals for external funding including multidisciplinary grants.Incentives have proven very successful.
We can be proud of faculty achievements in external funding.
These are just a few examples of research and scholarly projects supported by the $20 million dollars awarded to our faculty last year.Our students tell us that participating in externally funded experiences add value to our degrees:
Please join me in a round of applause for these accomplishments in external grants and contracts and for the many others I have not had the time to mention.Our annual report will contain a longer listing.
This year we successfully implemented a new admission plan linking academic preparation with majors. Like everything we do, this change was aimed at boosting student success and is being emulated by other CSUs.Thanks to AVP Tom Enders for hard work to make this successful.Our new admissions plan increases our control over the future.With this comes added responsibility.For this reason, we will be giving added attention to our process for setting enrollment goals this coming year.
AB 94, signed into law this year, requires the CSU to report on performance measures including transfer and low-income enrollments, four- and six-year graduation rates and degrees awarded.We expect the Governor to link next year’s CSU budget to performance measures.Fortunately, CSULB has long been working on improving these metrics.Our efforts to support students – in addition to being the right thing to do – are very much in our institutional interest in the new performance funding environment.
Last year we built a high technology classroom that has proven very popular.We will open three additional this fall and many more next year.This summer our faculty created and offered 24 online courses.Some have found blended instruction – with both face-to-face and online components – to be effective.This year, with resources from our augmented Student Excellence Fee, we will be investing more in high tech instructional environments that enhance student learning at CSULB.
Every college graduate needs a global perspective to be well educated.This past year, 710 CSULB students studied abroad in Cambodia, China, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Taiwan, Tanzania, Vietnam and more. Students are always broadened and often profoundly affected by these experiences. Our continuing efforts to infuse a global perspective into our curriculum have well-positioned us to prepare our students for an increasingly global future.
Young people are now competing in a global market.President Obama has called for increased college graduates to keep the U.S. competitive in the global economy.The U.S. cannot successfully increase college graduates without California; California cannot succeed without the CSU; the CSU cannot succeed without Long Beach.CSULB is at ground zero in the national strategy to increase U.S. competiveness in the global economy. As you have heard, we have made strong gains.However, supporting students will remain at the top of our agenda.Our efforts will be bolstered by $1.6 million we won this summer in a competitive process.Funds will support redesign of challenging gateway classes and cutting edge electronic advising.We will launch a new program aimed at diversifying student involvement in research with faculty. I have been deeply involved in our student success efforts.I learned some years ago while helping lead a national study that there is a simple litmus test for a campus: Walk around and ask everyone you meet: “Whose job is student success?”If the answer you get back is “Mine and everyone’s,” you have found a campus committed to supporting students.I am deeply grateful to the deans, department chairs, faculty and staff members who make student success a priority each day.
The higher education landscape is changing.Korea now has the highest college completion rates in the world.China is building new institutions seemingly overnight.The European Bologna process is standardizing degree qualifications across borders.Australian universities are reviewing academic programs based on graduate success in the job market.In the U.S., for-profit institutions are growing rapidly and online courses are proliferating.Students continue to diversify while tuition and loan debt skyrocket.Competition for state funding among higher education, pensions and health care will grow more acute as baby boomers retire. These are just a few of the powerful forces in our foreseeable future.We need a new generation of higher education leaders.I am pleased to announce that President Para and I will partner this fall to launch a higher education leadership academy.Dr. Karen Nakai, Executive Assistant to the President, has led an enthusiastic group in planning this program.Dan O’Connor, our Senate Chair, will co-facilitate.A group of now-and-future-leaders will study the big issues of higher education as well as pragmatic skills of leadership, interning with senior campus leaders and then leading specific projects in support of our strategic goals.We are excited to cultivate a much-needed new generation of leaders.If you are an experienced faculty member, department chair, or associate dean with a strong interest in leadership, consider applying in response to the announcement that will be distributed very soon.
As we move into the coming year, we have welcome budget stability.We have resources to invest more in faculty, in students, and infrastructure.We can be proud that we continue to be a diverse, student-centered, globally-engaged public university offering high-value education.We can take pride in the fact that what we do matters. We really are changing lives for a changing world.I told the new faculty earlier this week that Long Beach is a very special campus and I truly believe that.It is special because of thousands of people who have worked to make it the best it can be.It is special because we prize our diversity.We cultivate an atmosphere of respect and civility.It is special because we support our students who trust us to offer them a high value education. I am honored to serve as Provost because CSULB is a great and special public university. Thank you for all that you do to contribute to the special nature of The Beach.