|August 24, 2000
Volume 31 Number 1
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
From The President's Desk
It is with a great deal of pleasure and anticipation that I welcome you to the 2000-2001 academic year. I want to extend a warm welcome to the new faculty and staff who have joined us. We have forty-four new tenure track faculty. Between last year and this, we have almost 100 new faculty. Clearly, we are in a process of renewal. From last year's convocation to now, eighty-eight new staff members have joined us.
Let me also welcome Brenda Aden, our new vice provost for Human Resources; Debra Barger, our interim dean of Regional and Continuing Education for the next two years; Annette Edwards, our new director of Financial Aid. I want to extend a public thank you to Dr. Walt Schafer for the excellent job he did this past academic year as interim dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
The following is a small portion of my convocation address. Please visit my Web page at www.csuchico.edu/prs/ and read the full text of my address.
Enrollment Our budgeted Full Time Equivalent target for 1999-2000 was 13,645. We finished the year at 13,692, or about 50 FTE over budget. The budgeted target for the 2000-2001 academic year is 14,080, so we need about 400 FTE more than we annualized last year. This represents a significant growth from one year to the next. We may be slightly below our target this fall. If so, we believe that we will make up the difference in the spring.
Budget Last year, I indicated to you that Chancellor Reed was working with the governor and the legislature to forge a new compact that would provide sufficient compensation to close the faculty CPEC salary gap as well as a generous compensation package for all employees, an annual 4 percent general funding increase, plus funding enrollment growth at 4 percent or better. By the time the budget was approved, the CSU received an additional allocation of $329 million, including $113 million in compensation and $82 million to accommodate a systemwide enrollment of 4.5 percent (12,500 FTE). Check my Web page to see what this means for CSU, Chico.
Despite a substantial increase, the budget will still be tight because a large majority of the funds cover fixed costs. In addition, we must set aside $1.5 million of these additional funds to cover the costs of implementing the Common Management System.
Development The fifth goal of the university's Strategic Plan says that we will diversify our resources. The state provides the resources that permit us to be a good institution. To be excellent, we must depend on other sources of revenue.
Overall, in 1998-99, we raised $13,568,286. Of this amount, $8 million came from corporations, mostly as in-kind contributions, and $5 million was in cash or cash equivalents. In late October, we will have the 1999-2000 figure, which we anticipate to be about $12 million.
Nine of the top twenty fundraising colleges in the category of public master's institutions are California State University campuses, according to a new Council for Aid to Education report recently released. CSU, Chico is ranked eighth. This is a tremendous accomplishment.
Last fall, I introduced the goal for the Fulfilling the Promise scholarship campaign as $10 million by June 30, 2001. As of August 1, we have raised more than $12,505,311. By the end of June 2001 -- we hope to have reached and even surpassed the $15 million mark. We have two additional major campaigns: the Colusa Hall/Janet Turner Gallery and the Natural History Museum projects.
Grants and Contracts For the academic year 1999-2000, 148 faculty and 38 staff and administrators submitted a total of 500 proposals. As of the tenth of this month, 388 had been funded for a total of $28,450,000. Our rate of success is an astounding 77.6 percent.
Challenges and Initiatives In the area of Academic Affairs, Provost Scott McNall has identified several issues to address in the coming year. For details, look at the Action Plan on the provost's Web site.
Alcohol and Drugs I have asked Dr. Walt Schafer to work closely this fall with my Advisory Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center, the vice presidents, and the deans to assess how we are reducing student alcohol abuse and to recommend how we can improve these efforts.
Part of his assignment will be to help analyze results of the first-ever random sample survey on alcohol and drugs among nearly 1,200 Chico State students conducted last spring by CADEC. The survey shows mixed results. The percentage of underage students consuming alcohol and illegal drugs is higher than the national average and unacceptable. So is the proportion of students who report binge drinking.
Still, there are several encouraging results. For example, "A" students consume half as many drinks per week as "C" students do. "A" students are twice more likely than "C" students to be nondrinkers. Whatever the cause and effect, we can attempt to convince students that to do well in school, they must either not drink or, if they do, must do so in moderation.
Perhaps the most significant finding is that students dramatically overestimate the amount of drinking by their peers. Many studies around the country show that college students tend to drink to the level they think their peers are drinking. This fall CADEC will begin a three-year campaign (funded by a gift from Nancy Hodges) designed to correct students' false beliefs about the amount of drinking by their peers.
Building Bridges A group of faculty, staff, and students formed a group to discuss how to make the campus community more respectful of individual differences. Out of these talks came Building Bridges, a series of events this academic year that aim to create an atmosphere that increases tolerance and respect and decreases violence and hatred.
Recognition We are recognized throughout the system for the quality of our programs, for our successes in the realm of technology, and for providing students with high-quality learning environments. This past June, I attended the annual Executive Council retreat. At one point, each one of us, including the chancellor and the vice chancellors, were asked to participate in an experiment to determine how much each of us knew about the uniqueness of the other twenty-two CSU campuses. President Weber, from San Diego State, and Chancellor Reed ended up with our campus. President Weber identified the traditional residential nature of our campus, our long-standing reputation in distance education, and our expertise in technology. The first thing Chancellor Reed mentioned was Chico's reputation for high academic quality. It is quite comforting to know that the person who leads our system and who holds the purse strings thinks highly of the work we do.
Our reputation is not limited to our place within the CSU. U.S. News and World Report rates CSU, Chico among the six best Western public regional comprehensive universities in their 2000 annual guide, America's Best Colleges.
As I have stated on many occasions, I take a great deal of pride in the annual accomplishments of our students and colleagues. They work hard and deserve our attention, respect, and admiration. The reputation we enjoy as a beautiful, safe, caring, student-centered, technologically advanced, and academically strong university is like a mosaic that is created by each one of our individual and daily acts. It is the result of our collective and sustained effort. It is our ability and willingness to work collaboratively -- out of a sense of personal and institutional pride, out of a strong sense of institutional history and tradition, out of a deep-felt devotion to our mission, out of a sincere desire to make a lasting impression on the lives of our students.
Clearly, you are making a positive difference in the lives of our students and graduates. This is a good university. But as with all institutions of quality, we are a work in progress. Let us, then, embark this academic year once again on our constant quest for excellence.
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