President’s Message

More Optimistic, and Still Focused

Mike OrtizWhat a difference a few months can make.

Last fall, I shared with you my deep concern about the future of the CSU system if voters rejected Proposition 30. It would have been hard to imagine the consequences if an additional $12 million in state funding were cut from our campus’ budget — but that did not happen. Proposition 30 passed, and while it does not provide additional funding, the virtual nonstop cycle of reductions to the CSU ended. In addition, our students started receiving
refunds on the latest tuition increase.

Although we can breathe a sigh of relief, we shouldn’t think that “the good old days” are back. State support to the campus is still $56 million less than what it was six years ago. If we continue following the governor’s proposal for the next four years, we will end up where we were in 2010. We must remain good stewards of our resources and continue to encourage
our friends and alumni to invest in the future of education, as Marty Evanson, Kathy Tully and Michael Entzminger have done.

Students today face challenges that are more complex than previous generations, which is why we launched the Graduation Initiative three years ago. We know that students who are active in the campus community do better in the classroom. We also know that improved advising, better analysis of student data and a focus on reducing “bottleneck” courses
can make a difference as well. Our initial efforts show significant promise and are starting to pay off.

We have other good news stories to share as well. Our colleges continue to forge strong bonds
with stakeholders in industry and the arts. Our men’s basketball team had a memorable season, winning the CCAA tournament and the league championship outright for the first time. And as the jacarandas bloom in June, we will celebrate another commencement.

Spring is a time for new beginnings and fresh optimism. Come pay us a visit, and I believe you will share in that sense of renewal.

- Michael Ortiz