At Cal State Monterey Bay, we are part of the largest public university system in the nation.

However, the success of that large system depends on how well each of its 23 campuses meet the unique needs of our communities, and, in turn, how well those communities support their campuses.

Our annual Have a Heart for Students Dinner and Auction, to be held this year starting at 5 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the University Center, is a tangible sign of the long-standing ties that have been forged between our university and our community. I look forward to my first opportunity to take part in the event.

Since its founding in 1998, Have a Heart has raised more than $1 million for student scholarships. That money has made a critical difference for hundreds of our students, several of whom will speak at next Saturday’s event.

I greatly appreciate all the behind-the-scenes work by Cal State Monterey Bay staff to bring this event together. Another gratifying aspect is the strong and lasting support of the event by so many community members.

Raising the visibility of our university is an ongoing effort. When I talk with community members or address local service or business groups, people are surprised by how we have grown and by the range of programs we offer. The many community members who are long-time supporters of Have a Heart – people like Sue Antle, Leslie Taylor, Marti Myszak and Shahin Anable – are instrumental not just in putting on the event but also are yet another resource in helping to spread the good word about Cal State Monterey Bay.

The purpose of the event—raising funds for student scholarships—has never been more important as we seek to expand access to higher education in these uncertain economic times.

Marc Cota-Robles and Jasmine Viel, co-anchors of KION Central Coast News, will be emcees this year.

I hope as many of you as possible can attend. We also still need more volunteers to help stage the event.

Thrun event: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Sebastian Thrun has had to cancel his scheduled Feb. 27 President’s Speaker Series appearance on our campus. The event has been rescheduled for March 27, and we will be providing more information on it in the coming days.

Dr. Thrun has been much in the news of late in his role of co-founder of, which announced an agreement with San Jose State University to provide content through massive open online classes (MOOCs) for several remedial and introductory SJSU courses.

I am pleased we could reschedule and look forward to his visit to campus.

As always, I welcome your comments on this newsletter or on any issues facing the university. You may direct them to

Eduardo Ochoa signature

Eduardo M. Ochoa
Interim President, Cal State Monterey Bay