June 26, 2012
All Jazzed up for a Good Cause
Every summer, Cal State San Marcos hosts its annual Foundation Gala, an evening of friends, food and festivities to benefit our scholarship fund. This year’s theme was “All That Jazz,” and the night was resplendent with the glitz and glamour of the 1920s. Women were bedecked in pearls and feathers. Men wore topcoats and tails. And everyone — from the events staff to the attendees — was smiling.
The gala is always a joyous occasion because we have an opportunity to bring our friends and supporters to campus and also because the evening is dedicated to raising money for a good cause: student scholarships. So many of CSUSM’s students relay on scholarships to help fund their educational dreams, and without the generosity of our donors, many students would be forced to abandon their goals. (read more)
June 6, 2012
A Summer Full of Promise
It is officially summer at Cal State San Marcos. We graduated 2,600 students a few weeks ago — our largest ever class — and campus has quieted down a bit from the spirited year-end activities. That doesn’t mean, however, that we are not busy.
Over the past few weeks, we have held special ceremonies to welcome students and their families from three of our partner school districts — Valley Center Pauma, Escondido Unified and San Marcos Unified. More than 100 graduating seniors from high schools in these areas are coming to CSUSM as part of our agreement with their districts that guarantees admission to the CSU to students who do the work and meet all of the admission requirements. (read more)
May 29, 2012
The Governor’s May Revise budget proposes a $250 million trigger cut to the CSU if voters reject his tax measure this November. His January budget had proposed a $200 million trigger cut. If voters approve the tax measure, the CSU would receive an essentially flat budget.
There will no doubt be continued uncertainty through the summer and until the November election. We at CSUSM are proceeding with our current budget planning, which includes contingency plans should the ballot measure fail and the trigger cuts be implemented. In March, I asked vice presidents to review all open positions to determine those that were essential and those that could be filled at a later date. We have also continued to reduce travel expenditures and defer all major purchases or service contracts where possible. At this time, I do not foresee any reductions in our permanent workforce. (read more)
April 27, 2012
A Time to Celebrate
It’s the end of April, and while that means that commencement is just weeks away, it also means that campus is in full celebration mode, as departments and student organizations recognize the accomplishments of their members. I recently attended two such events: the Student Athlete Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet and the All People’s Celebration.
Nearly 300 student athletes, coaches and supporters filled the Clarke Field House on April 19 to mark a monumental year in the CSUSM Athletics. Every team in the athletics department ranked in the Top 35 of their respective sport this year, including six in the Top 11. Every fall sport also earned a spot in post-season play. The spring teams are on their way to doing the same. What’s more, more than half of all CSUSM student athletes earned a 3.0 GPA or higher. (Read More)
March 19, 2012
At this week’s Board meeting, Trustees will hear an uncertain future for the 23 campuses; one that could include layoffs, reduced classes, and enrollment caps. The future, as the system will paint it, is grim.
Four-and-a-half years ago, when CSUSM realized that California was on the verge of a major fiscal crisis, we decided that we would:
- serve as many students as possible within our budget and without sacrificing quality;
- protect as many jobs as possible, and;
- balance the need to address the financial crisis with the commitment to build for the future.
Because of this plan, we have been tackling many of the system’s current mandates since 2008. The Chancellor is asking presidents to reduce travel. We have already done so. He is asking us to evaluate and cut expenditures. We have done that, too, and we are looking at any planned and possible big purchases.
The Chancellor is also suggesting that positions be put on hold and that layoffs could occur. I have asked the vice presidents to look at all open positions to determine the ones that are essential and those that may be filled at a later date. At this time, I do not foresee any reductions in our permanent workforce. (read more)
February 27, 2012
A Week of Celebration
Cal State San Marcos is never at a standstill, and that was certainly true last week. The campus was abuzz with good will and celebrations, from the nearly 70 Campus Connect alumni who gathered for lunch to the groundbreaking for the new Student Union to a reception for our student research competition finalists and even more events. (read more)
February 10, 2012
A DREAM Realized
This morning, I had the distinct pleasure of participating in a wonderful press conference regarding the DREAM grant. Since 2009, faculty at Cal State San Marcos have been working with more than 141 teachers and 3,000 third- and fourth-graders in schools across North County to improve reading scores. The study is funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Education, and the results are why educators, artists and news media gathered at the North County Regional Education Center.
Students who participated in the program went from below basic reading levels, to basic proficiency, to way beyond. In fact, their test scores rose 90 points! Through puppetry, drawing, music, and animation, students ¿live¿ the stories they read. For example, Hector DeLeon, a teacher at Vista Academy, used jazz to help his 32 students explore the 20s. He asked his students to draw what they thought jazz would look like and then to add words that described jazz. Those words then turned into sentences, which turned into paragraphs, which turned into stories and poems¿.and a room full of engaged students led by an enthusiastic teacher. You can watch a clip of the students and their projects. (read more)
February 3, 2012
Report to the Community Message
On Thursday, I delivered my eighth annual Report to the Community where I shared my vision for Cal State San Marcos and our importance to our region.
Higher education is under attack. State support is on the verge of falling 35 percent during a time when the need for an educated workforce is growing.
College graduates are the ones who will help propel our region forward, so I want to make it clear that public education is a public good. CSUSM possesses an unwavering belief in the ability of education to transform lives and entire communities - and we do so every day by preparing tomorrow's leaders, building better communities, solving critical issues and engaging our community for the common good. (read more)
January 27, 2012
Welcome back, everyone. I hope you enjoyed your winter break and that you had a productive first week of classes. As you may have noticed, this is sure to be a very busy spring semester.
If you were able to keep up with the news over the past few weeks, you know that with the Governor¿s projected budget, we continue to face difficult times as a public institution of higher education. Yet, at Cal State San Marcos, our careful and strategic planning has enabled us to grow and expand in meaningful ways that enhance student learning and campus life. (read More)
December 19, 2011
CSU Online Forum
A brief introduction and video recording of the Q & A section of the CSU Online Forum held on November 30, 2011 is available at: http://www.csusm.edu/president/videos/onlineforumintro.html.
December 13, 2011
Earlier today, as we had anticipated, the Governor officially announced that due to a shortfall in state revenues the budget to the CSU would be cut by $100 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year. For our campus this represents a $2.5 million reduction.
As I shared with you in October when it seemed likely that this cut would occur, we have identified solutions for addressing the mid-year general fund reduction that do not negatively impact divisional operations or instruction in the current year. We will address the mid-year reduction with an all-funds budgeting approach, using carry-forward funds from the previous fiscal year and excess fee revenues from exceeding our enrollment target and leveraging self-support revenues or other campus-based fees. (read more)
December 8, 2011
Holiday Video Message
Happy holidays to you all! I invite the campus community to visit my web page for the a new video message at: http://www.csusm.edu/president/videos
December 5, 2011
Zomalt Outstanding Service Award
Upon the recommendation of the Executive Council, I am delighted to announce that Dr. David Barsky of Academic Programs is the 2011-2012 Ernest and Leslie Zomalt Outstanding Service Award honoree.
During his 17 years at Cal State San Marcos, Dr. Barsky has gone above and beyond in his efforts to provide an exceptional academic experience for CSUSM students. From his tenure-track position as a member of the mathematics faculty to his current role as Associate Vice President for Academic Programs, Dr. Barsky has distinguished himself through exemplary service to the university and by his commitment to providing a high quality public education to our students. Dr. Barsky launched the Mathematics Acceleration Program in the Summer (MAPS), he expanded CSUSM¿s GEL program by creating Summer Academy, he lobbied for the formation of the Office of First Year Programs, and he created and chaired the First Year Council. Students, faculty, staff, and administrators seek him out for his knowledge and insight and, as several of his colleagues noted, Dr. Barsky ¿is a man of unshakable integrity and honor. He is consistently the go-to guy for all matters, seeking creative solutions to puzzling issues and bringing levity to difficult situations.¿
For his significant and immeasurable contributions to the university, I hope you¿ll join me in congratulating Dr. Barsky on being named the 2011-2012 Ernest and Leslie Zomalt Outstanding Service Award honoree. I look forward to seeing you on January 19 at 11:00 a.m. as we recognize each of the recipients at the Annual Faculty and Staff Awards Reception.
December 2, 2011
2011-2012 President's Faculty & Staff Awards
I am pleased to announce this year's President's Awards for faculty and staff:
President's Outstanding Faculty Award for Outstanding Lecturer
Natalie Wilson, Women¿s Studies and Literature & Writing Studies
President's Outstanding Faculty Award for Scholarship and Creative Activity
Judit Hersko, Visual and Performing Arts
President's Outstanding Faculty Award for Service Leadership
Glen Brodowsky, College of Business Administration
President's Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching Innovation & Excellence
Edward Price, Physics
Employees of the Year
Gezai Berhane, Student Affairs
Jeffrey Marks, Institutional Planning & Analysis
Please join me on Thursday, January 19, at 11:00 a.m. in the Dome as we recognize each of the recipients at the Annual Faculty and Staff Awards Reception.
November 10, 2011
A Special Thanks to Our Veterans
Veterans Day is an opportunity for us to honor those who have proudly worn the uniform of service and who have given their lives in war. As important as the military is to our region, CSUSM couldn¿t let the occasion pass without taking a moment to recognize those who have defended and protected our freedoms.It is estimated that more than 40,000 troops will return home over the next year, and roughly half of those veterans will enroll at colleges and universities across the country. At Cal State San Marcos, veterans account for almost four percent of our student population ¿ among the highest percentages in the CSU, and a number that we are extremely proud of.
Veterans enrich our community in numerous ways. They bring to campus camaraderie, fellowship, and valuable life lessons that inspire us all. They remind us to have courage, to believe in our dreams, and to pursue our interests with passion.
We have created what I believe is a welcoming home at CSUSM for veterans and active duty military personnel. We are a campus that cares, an ethos clearly reflected in the services and support offered to our students. For example, in our acclaimed veteran's center, veterans and others share stories, build friendships, and find needed resources.In all that we do at Cal State San Marcos, we strive to give our veteran and military students and their families what they have given to us: the promise of brighter tomorrows. It¿s only fitting then that we always remember to honor our veterans on this day and every day.
October 24, 2011
Diversity and Educational Equity
After an extensive nationwide search earlier this year, the University was fortunate to hire Derrick Crawford in April as our first Associate Vice President for Diversity, Educational Equity & Ombudsperson. As you know, I have always been committed to diversity at Cal State San Marcos and to ensuring that we are a welcoming campus to all. I felt, however, that there was an opportunity for us to do better, to serve as a model institution of tolerance and inclusion, so I created the AVP position.
Derrick and I are working closely on developing strategies for moving diversity and educational equity at CSUSM forward. We are having candid conversations and creating a comprehensive program to address best practices in these areas. I have asked that Derrick present me with his final plan in spring 2012. Included in this plan will also be Derrick¿s responsibilities as ombudsperson, a newly created role at CSUSM designed to provide a fair and impartial ear to students and staff with pressing issues or concerns. I encourage you to share any suggestions you may have with Derrick on the direction diversity, educational equity and ombudsperson efforts at CSUSM should take. Derrick will also be reaching out to students, staff, faculty, and the larger community to hear your thoughts. (read more)
October 20, 2011
Affirming a Campus Environment of Inclusion and Civility
Today, people across the country are celebrating Spirit Day an opportunity to speak out against bullying and the marginalization of students, from elementary school to colleges and universities. The occasion marks an opportune time for Cal State San Marcos to reaffirm our commitment to our core values of inclusiveness and respect. It is our differences ¿ in ideas, backgrounds, religions, cultures, and more ¿ that have created the rich and diverse environment in which we learn, teach, and work.
Like every public university in the United States, CSUSM must balance the values and beliefs that have shaped our university into an inclusive campus with those of the Constitution, which allows for freedom of speech and expression. We deeply value the tenets of the Constitution and believe in the civil rights of individuals. At the same time, we recognize that there may be instances that while protected by the First Amendment, are contrary to CSUSM's core values of diversity and inclusion. In such times, the university seeks to support students who may feel marginalized as a result, while acknowledging individual rights and responsibilities.
There are many campus resources available to support students personally, academically, and in feeling safe on campus. I encourage you to take advantage of any of the following services:
- University Police
- The Dean of Students Office
- Student Health & Counseling Services
- The ASI LGBTQ Pride Center
- The ASI Women's Center
- The Cross Cultural Center
- Office of the Associate Vice President for Diversity & Equity/Ombudsperson
Also, the newly created Civility Campaign provides an opportunity for the campus community to show its support for and commitment to our core values. You can learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved in promoting care, respect, and empathy at Cal State San Marcos by visiting www.csusm.edu/civility.
October 19, 2011
The 2011-12 enacted state budget included a trigger for an additional $100 million reduction to the CSU if state revenue forecasts were not met. The State Controller reported last week the total year-to-date general fund revenues are now behind the budget's estimates by $705.5 million. We were hopeful the Governor and legislature would find alternatives to pulling the trigger on higher education, but we must plan in the likely event it occurs.
If the $100 million reduction is triggered by the state, our share of the reduction is $2.5 million. The vice presidents and I have identified solutions for addressing the mid-year general fund reduction that do not negatively impact divisional operations or instruction in the current year. We will address the mid-year reduction with an all funds budgeting approach, using carry-forward funds from the previous fiscal year and excess fee revenues from exceeding our enrollment target and leveraging self-support revenues or other campus-based fees. (read more)
October 14, 2011
Qualities of a Cal State San Marcos Leader
Recently, I was asked to share my thoughts on leadership with participants of the 2011 Cal State San Marcos Leadership Academy. I enjoy any moment I have to speak with the exceptional faculty, administrators, and staff at CSUSM, and I was delighted to explain my thoughts on what being a leader entails.
My leadership style was born over many years as a social worker and educator. Through observing others, collaborating on teams, and managing projects, I have learned three important lessons: (read more)
July 1, 2011
Yesterday, Governor Brown signed the fiscal year 2011-12 state budget, reducing year over year funding to the California State University by at least $650 million, a 23 percent cut. The $650 million includes the $500 million reduction approved by the legislature in March, and an additional $150 million that was part of the budget signed by the Governor on Thursday. The enacted budget also includes a trigger for an additional $100 million reduction to the CSU if state revenue forecasts are not met. During the Board of Trustees meeting on July 12, the CSU plans to address the additional $150 million to $250 million reduction. Chancellor Reed will recommend an additional tuition fee increase of 12 percent or $294 per semester effective for fall 2011 term to cover the immediate $150 million reduction.
Cal State San Marcos is continuing with our previous planning assumptions, which included various contingencies based on our earlier decisions and conservative spending over the past three years. We are not anticipating any enrollment or personnel reductions at this time. Current searches are proceeding. I will continue to provide updates through the summer as we receive them.