Office of the President

Vision Statement

Executive Memorandum 95-018 September 15, 1995

From: Manuel A. Esteban, President

Subject: Vision Statement

During the 1993-94 academic year, the Task Force on the Future of CSU, Chico met regularly to attempt to define who we are and where we are going, within the context of our place in the region and the state. Based on the final report of the Task Force, the attached Vision Statement was developed. On October 6, 1994, the Academic Senate unanimously endorsed it. This replaces EM 90-084, the University Goals Statement. This Vision Statement is a blueprint for our growth and progress and will guide us into the next century.


California State University, Chico sees its unique residential situation as an opportunity to create an intensive, high-quality learning environment. We have a vital and collaborative community of active and involved students, a well-respected and caring faculty, a superior support staff, and innovative leadership together with cutting-edge learning and information resources--all placed within a beautiful and engaging physical environment. Through such an enriched community, we hope to stimulate intellectual rigor, moral development, and creative accomplishment and to evoke callings to imaginative citizenship in the worlds beyond the University. We can aspire to be the university of choice, a magnet school, for all those seeking these strengths.


This Vision Statement arises from our interactions with the contemporary environments of higher education. It is our vision for our times.

  • We join a national emphasis on strategic planning as the means to collect the voices of the faculty and staff, attend to the needs of students, provide coherence and direction to decision making, and drive the management and leadership of the institution, including resource allocation.
  • With others across the academy we seek to define what a distinguished comprehensive university poised between research universities and liberal arts colleges should be. We seek to define its teaching and research missions by a new emphasis on learning. With Chico colleagues, old and new, we look for ways to be responsive to our best traditions and our most promising future.
  • We are responding to the urgent questionings of California citizens and to a California context which includes the percentage of the state fund devoted to higher education declining steadily and dramatically; legislators responding to our requests for more money for education with demands for "more education for the money"; public dissatisfaction with what it receives; university faculty and administration perceived as plagued by institutional inertia, insensitive to demographic shifts, and fiercely resistant to change. We are challenged by these interactions to turn threats into opportunities.

Goals and Objectives

This Vision Statement, in dialogue with its contemporary context, is best expressed through specific action plans integrated by a number of themes.

Residential Community

  • Create a campus culture of "connectedness," involvement, and belonging; stage and promote frequent interactions in a context of civility and core values; purposefully and programmatically integrate students' intellectual and social lives; build a community which reflects cultural and ethnic diversity and is sensitive to global interdependence. We can conspicuously reward all efforts in these directions.

Learning and Teaching

  • Develop processes relating to instruction that are as rigorous as those we have applied to research. Bring teaching from the domain of the individual faculty member into collegial interaction and discussion. Shift from a focus on teaching as a subjective, faculty-centered activity to learning as a shared outcome to be measured, and develop a Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching as the centerpiece of these efforts.
  • Advance an active faculty and staff development and renewal program by providing opportunities for interdisciplinary ventures, ongoing research, creative endeavors, and professional study.
  • Strive for a stimulating balance between the liberal arts and professional programs in order to achieve an integration of liberal and applied learning.
  • Confident in our global "connectedness," we will also try to become the anchor institution in our region and to foster an environment that encourages participation and innovation in regional projects.
  • Continue our historic commitment to public education by taking responsibility throughout the university for cooperating and collaborating with K-14 educators to provide a seamless education, which produces well-prepared students through outreach, curriculum, and teacher-training interactions with K-14.

Information and Technology

  • In order to enhance learning, nurture the community that is the electronic village, and increase our productivity in learning and teaching, we will aggressively expand our leadership in information technology.

Strategic Planning

  • We will strategically manage all university resources and assess outcomes so they are congruent with this Vision Statement. Above all, we will direct procedures, resources, and rewards to the benefit of innovative teaching and learning.
  • We will diversify our revenue sources and create and maintain partnerships with alumni and corporate and other publics in support of strategic initiatives.