California State University Chancellor delivers State of the CSU address

On January 30, 2018, Timothy P. White, Chancellor of California State University, delivered “Legacy and Vision: 2018 State of the CSU” in Long Beach, California.  Here’s an excerpt:

That’s why it’s important… in line with our legacy… to keep costs as low as possible for our students… while also understanding the reality that a quality education does take resources. And that in today’s new normal here in California… the days of fully-subsidized tuition are in the past. The simple truth is that someone always pays… it’s who pays that has changed over time.

Make no mistake… we are thankful for incremental increases in our state appropriation in recent years. Yet, these increases in support from the state are going in large part to the rising costs of healthcare… or other mandated and inflationary costs that eat away at progress that we’ve made. We are, essentially, trying to walk up a down escalator.

Even with the remarkable improvements in efficiency and cost-reduction we have done and will continue to do – as described later in this meeting in the budget and finance report by Steve Relyea – we can’t progress to meet California’s needs and our students’ expectations of us. Indeed, we’re on an unsustainable pathway. This concerns and saddens me… as a Californian, as an educator, and as your Chancellor.

And while the idealist in me says that someday the state will take us back to the days of free education as a public investment, the realist in me says that’s not going to happen in our lifetime. Still… with all due respect, I will continue to say to our elected leaders… the moment to properly invest in the CSU is overdue… and as our trustees have requested year in and year out.

We are, after all, all Californians.

It shouldn’t be the CSU versus the State of California when it comes to resources… it should be us working together to serve Californians. With a strong economy, robust state coffers and new industries generating millions – if not billions – in additional taxes and fees… all developments resulting in the growing need for a university-educated populace… it is imperative to invest adequately in the today that fuels the tomorrow.

Read the full transcript on the CSU website.