Commencement season is always a celebratory time on a college campus. Seniors, their families and friends celebrate graduation; the rest of our students celebrate the arrival of summer, and faculty and staff celebrate the chance to take a few deep breaths at the end of another hectic academic year.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to address the Presidential Fellows gathering in the Alumni and Visitors Center. That was a different sort of celebration.
The rise of the Internet as the predominant way we gather, share and transmit information means that a strong website is absolutely vital for any university.
Fortunately, Cal State Monterey Bay has an outstanding information technology team, which is now in the midst of a website redesign for the university.
The current website is the product of a 2010 redesign. Given the fast pace of change in how people use the web – specifically the increased use of mobile devices to access the Internet – it is time to make changes.
This has been Earth Week around our campus as a number of activities have focused on the importance of our shared role as environmental stewards of this beautiful region.
Of course, the true test of our resolve to promote sustainable practices is measured by what we do for 52 weeks of every year. In that regard, I continue to be proud of the environmental leadership shown by so many faculty, staff and students around our campus.
Our plans for growing our university in the years to come depend on having the right infrastructure in place to accommodate that growth. Part of that is physical infrastructure –classrooms, offices, residence halls, etc. An equally important aspect is academic infrastructure, an organization that will provide a suitable foundation for our core academic mission going forward.
The university-wide conversation on our academic organization, led by Interim Provost Julio Blanco, has yielded a structure that I believe will serve us well in the years ahead.
A recent edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education includes an in-depth examination of the reasons for and consequences of declining public support of higher education.
A series of articles looks at a variety of factors, including the recession, the anti-tax movement, powerful lobbying efforts by competing budgetary interests and the seeming inability of public higher education leaders to unite behind a single message.
Last weekend was a busy one on campus, with our women’s basketball team making its network television debut and the MB Blitz raising more than $10,000 for athletic scholarships.
But I would like to talk first about weekend events that happened off campus. On Saturday and Sunday, I was graciously welcomed to two Seaside churches to talk about our university and the opportunities for higher education through the CSU. Sunday, Interim Provost Julio Blanco and Ronnie Higgs, our vice president of student affairs and enrollment services, spoke at Seaside churches as well.
Since I became president of Cal State Monterey Bay, I have stressed the important role our campus should play in regional, cultural and economic development.
This year, the President’s Speaker Series will advance that effort. Built around the theme of “Flourish Monterey County,” the series will bring speakers to campus to address issues of concern to the community we serve.
Those returning to campus for the spring semester will notice that the removal of the mural, which commemorated the transition of Fort Ord from swords to plowshares, on the corner of Inter-Garrison Road and Fifth Avenue has been completed.
The removal was prompted by the safety hazard posed by the presence of lead in the paint used for the mural. However, its removal gives us the opportunity to create new public art for that site.
The beginning of a new year is traditionally a time both for taking stock and looking forward.
For Cal State Monterey Bay, 2013 was a positive year of change and progress. We continued to grow in size, in reputation and in service to our community. More and more, we are a campus of choice for students from around California, and we are attracting a growing number of international students as well. The improving state budget picture makes it more likely we will be able to increase our enrollment to 8,000 students by the end of the decade.