I am pleased to write to you today as the (no-longer-interim) president of Cal State Monterey Bay.

I greatly appreciate the positive comments I have received since the California State University Board of Trustees announced the decision Wednesday to appoint me CSUMB’s permanent president.

When I assumed the presidency on an interim basis in July 2012, I did so knowing that this university had the potential to be one of the truly outstanding campuses in the Cal State system. My positive initial impressions have only been reinforced with time.

The spirit of innovation that was so much in evidence during Cal State Monterey Bay’s founding remains deeply ingrained in our campus DNA. That spirit will be vital to us as we move forward into a new era in higher education.

In the past year, we have begun in-depth campus conversations about how to provide access to more students with limited state resources. While our overall budget situation has improved somewhat, the demands on higher education continue to increase. Dealing with those demands will require our best thinking, and a real openness to fresh ideas and approaches.

Fortunately, here at Cal State Monterey Bay, we enter this new era with a strong foundation.

We have increasingly become a campus of choice; our enrollment is at record levels as were our application numbers for fall. Prudent budgets through tough times have put us in a good position to grow in a stronger economic climate.

We have continued – through our academic outreach, through service learning, through Summer Arts and other campus events, through active engagement in the Fort Ord redevelopment process – to raise our profile in the community. Our location, within easy reach of the Salinas Valley and the Monterey Peninsula, positions us as a unifying force for the community, and stewards of this remarkable place we call home.

I see great opportunities ahead. My optimism has been fueled by the people Holly and I have met since we arrived here. The faculty and staff are outstanding; the potential of our students is remarkable; the alumni, friends and supporters of CSUMB are truly committed to helping us achieve the excellence we seek.
I look forward to us all making this journey together.

And to all of those who offered comments to Chancellor White and the board as they reached the decision on my presidency, I say thank you.

Innovation projects

The intellectual energy of our faculty members is one of the great resources of this university. We recently announced that 23 summer faculty projects to promote innovation in teaching and learning have been funded through our CSUMB Annual Fund.

I greatly appreciate the generous donors who make this possible and the dedicated faculty members who are willing to spend time over the summer to explore new ideas in pedagogy and classroom technology.

Our interim provost

This week I was pleased to announce the appointment of Julio Blanco, dean of the School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering and professor of physics at CSU Bakersfield, as our interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Blanco has deep roots in the CSU, having distinguished himself as both a faculty member and administrator. I believe he will be an excellent leader for our campus and I hope you all will welcome him when he begins his new duties on July 1.

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

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Eduardo Ochoa