Like my predecessors, I have had the privilege of addressing the University community each year before the start of the fall semester in order to review the accomplishments of the previous year and to map out the work of the year ahead of us. No matter what the particular theme of my remarks has been on the five occasions that I have opened our academic year, those remarks have always emphasized the special sense of place and purpose that defines Chico State. This awareness, enriched by the harmony of our physical and natural environments; guided by orientations to civic engagement, sustainability, and regional stewardship; and focused on the success and learning of our students, truly sets us apart and impresses first-time visitors to our campus as surely as it energizes those of us who are here every day.
This report aims to provide deeper context for what we are achieving. Each of the seven sections tells the story of how Chico State faculty, staff, and students along with community partners have made uncommon efforts to strengthen and advance the University. Their successes come in the context of integrated campus planning and priorities that shape our direction and reinforce our values.
Most of all, this report reflects confidence that, even in the most challenging circumstances, we can—and must—choose our own future and resolve to build it.
High-quality and high-morale institutions are not entirely synonymous, but they share several key characteristics: They demonstrate a commitment to a clearly articulated vision and an intentionally pursued academic mission. They possess a genuine sense of community, consciously diverse, respectful, and civil. They are future-focused, with a keenly felt sense of momentum. They have a distinctive institutional culture, manifest through such expressions as superior academic programs and instruction, values-based orientations, campus ambience, and student and alumni satisfaction.
I believe that you will find strong evidence in this report of these characteristics. You will find evidence of an institution that is doing good work, worthy of the trust of the people of California. And you will learn more about the performance of a university that thrives on meeting the high expectations that our stakeholders and constituencies have for us. This is a picture of the real world of Chico State, and it is one increasingly vital to meet the needs and raise the hopes of all whom we serve.