Chancellor Reed talks with students Greg Morris, Interfraternity Council,
and Amy Ballantyne, a resident advisor with Housing Services. (photo JW)
"I know two things for certain: One, if a person gets a baccalaureate degree, he or she will not only be better off economically, but he or she will live a much higher quality of life. His or her life will change forever. Two, if people are better educated, all Californians and Americans will have a better community and a better quality of life." These two things form the base of CSU Chancellor Charles Reed's policy focus, presented in his lecture "A Look to the Future."
Reed defined four areas of focus for the CSU system: access to education; competitive faculty and staff compensation; facility expansion and maintenance; and teacher education.
Providing access to education benefits both the individual and the community. Reed cited average family earnings of heads of households with a baccalaureate degree as $54,000 a year. In contrast, head of households with a high school degree average $37,000 and high school dropouts only $19,000. The educated citizen also has an improved quality of life, is healthier, has better child-raising practices, is a volunteer, commits fewer crimes, and votes, according to Reed.
The CSU system will grow by 85,000 to 100,000 students over the next six or seven years. Reed noted that the CSU financial plan for 1998-99 includes an enrollment increase of 14,000, or 10,320 FTE (full time equivalent). Reed requested the increase, "so we can continue to serve every student in California who wants to get an education and who is qualified to attend a CSU campus."
Increasing faculty compensation to be comparable to other colleges and universities is necessary if the CSU system is to attract and retain high quality faculty. Reed told the audience of primarily faculty and staff that the budget includes a 5 percent increase in faculty compensation. Students deserve the highest possible quality of teaching and scholarship," he said.
Building, improving, and maintaining facilities is Reed's third focus. He noted that there will be a need for increased space to accommodate increased enrollment. Because more than 50 percent of the CSU buildings are at least thirty years old, more maintenance and renovation funding is also needed. An effort is currently underway to place a bond measure for educational facilities on the November 1998 ballot. This bond would provide facilities funding for UC, CSU, Community College, and K-12 schools. Chico's share would be about $12 million for classrooms, office space, and renovation.
The final category, and one Reed considers vital, is teacher preparation and the improvement of the public schools. Reed pointed out that California will require between 250,000 and 300,000 new teachers over the next ten years, requiring the strengthening and expanding of teacher preparation programs. Reed complimented Chico's efforts, including the Educational Services Center, for facilitating university-public school connections. "We need to build more of these partnerships if we're going to improve the public schools in California," he said.
Reed concluded with congratulatory remarks for Chico and its "visionary strategic plan." He complimented Chico's Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching; state of the art technology; and Target 2000 investments.