News and Information

Cal State University Los Angeles

News & Information

Office of the President

Join in welcoming WASC for April ‘capacity’ visit
Cal State L.A. will welcome some very important guests April 1-3 when a team representing the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) visits the campus for a “capacity and preparatory review,” a major step in the ongoing reaccreditation of the University. Our guiding theme during the process is “Becoming a teaching and learning community by supporting student success and student outcomes."

To those who have already contributed much preparation, analysis, information and guidance to this important process, I extend my sincere thanks and encourage your continued commitment. I also urge the entire campus community to review the assembled materials, become familiar with the WASC process, and be prepared to participate in it.

As the next step, the team’s April visit will assess fiscal resources, physical facilities, and our goals for student outcomes. These assessments can influence our standing with regard to access to federal funds, specialized accreditation processes, and potential students trying to decide whether Cal State L.A. has what they need.

A WASC team will visit Cal State L.A. again in the fall of 2010; then, the focus will be “educational effectiveness.” See more details at /wasc/.

Budget stalemate ends; challenges loom
With a tentative state budget in place, every public university in California faces the challenge of limited funding against the backdrop of an increased demand for higher education. This year, for the first time, the CSU restricted access to approximately 10,000 students qualified to enroll at a CSU campus.

The budget reduces state general fund support to the CSU for the current fiscal year, 2008-09, by $97.6 million, and calls for an additional $66.3 million cut for 2009-10. Overall, the reduction places the CSU almost $288 million below its operational needs, or approximately 10 percent. Also, the 2009-10 budget includes an additional $50 million cut to the CSU, depending on the timing, size and scope of the funding for California in the federal stimulus package.

While recent talk of possible furloughs and layoffs for state employees does not apply to CSU employees, we must remain mindful of our need to economize. To that end, the CSU took several steps to reduce expenditures, including a salary freeze for vice president and above positions, a hiring freeze on all but critical positions, and minimizing all except the most essential purchases and travel. It is still unclear what economic stimulus funding may be allocated to the CSU.

Amid the budget-related halting of state-support for construction projects, donor support allowed us to continue infrastructure construction on Wing B of the Wallis Annenberg Integrated Sciences Complex, albeit at a slower pace.

The other major construction underway on campus is the Public Safety/Corporation Yard project. While the Corporation Yard portion was put on hold, the Public Safety portion was able to proceed because it is partially funded by non-state funds (parking permit fees). For information on California ’s higher education budget, go to or visit the CSU’s Budget Central at

Seeking to stimulate recovery through infrastructure grants
Before a February 24 joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama cited “the urgent need to expand the promise of education in America .” Moments later, he said, “By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.” Clearly, he has coupled the nation’s prosperity to a strong and accessible educational system.

In that regard, the University is seeking federal funding to support campus construction and infrastructure projects through the Higher Education Infrastructure Block Grants. This program was included in the newly signed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “economic stimulus” bill) to provide jobs now and strengthen the academic capacity of colleges and universities.

The grants would be available for projects capable of starting within 180 days. Our proposal request includes repairs, replacements and upgrades to aged electrical, heating, air, plumbing and other operational needs; and also LED lighting, solar panel installations and the balance of funding necessary to complete a hydrogen fueling station on campus.

The new law also extends a hand to our students with increased funding for Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), an expansion of the Work Study program and larger limits for unsubsidized loans. For more information, go to or

Enrollment on target; need for focus, determination remains
Through insightful planning, the University has consistently zeroed in on its enrollment targets, for example, for fall 2008, we were within a half a percentage point of our goal.

Given today’s fiscal climate, the lack of supplemental funding for overenrolled campuses, and the potential need to return general funds if we fail to reach our enrollment goals, we must remain focused and determined as we recruit, enroll and retain students. For the latest enrollment data, see

Doctor of Nursing Practicenew degree addresses academic need
California faces a severe nursing shortage, due in great part to the scarcity of qualified faculty. Representing this University as one of the state’s leading nurse educators, Cal State L.A. alumni advocates are working to foster campus, community and legislative support as the CSU seeks authority to award the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. This doctorate would provide much-needed faculty for a high demand, impacted program that will also serve to address the nursing shortage. Currently, not enough doctorate-level nurses are available to meet the low student-to-faculty ratios required by accreditors and licensing boards. For more information, and to find out how you might be involved in this CSU-wide advocacy effort, please contact Alumni Relations, at ext. 3-2586.

Perspectives converging regarding semester conversion prospect
We have heard many voices—both pro and con—regarding the prospect of converting to a semester-based academic calendar. At this juncture, the University is assessing the cost, timeline and overall feasibility of such a conversion. Many questions remain to be addressed as we examine what such a conversion would entail for Cal State L.A. For ongoing information on the evaluation process, please see

Super Sunday outreach
On Sunday, February 22, 2009, I had the privilege to speak at the FullHarvestInternationalChurch in Gardena to encourage young people to plan for college and to engage the community there to help prepare its students to be ready and eligible for college. Meanwhile, at the SecondBaptistChurch in Santa Ana , Vice President for Student Affairs Tony Ross delivered a similar message. Our visits were part of the CSU’s fourth annual Super Sunday, an outreach that sends CSU officials to predominately African American churches throughout California . This year, the Chancellor, presidents and others visited 68 churches, about 25 in Southern California . The goal for next year is 100 churches.

Following the services, outreach staff and church education counselors introduced prospective students and their families to the information and application process available through CSU Mentor. The numbers are encouraging: between 2004 and 2007, CSU undergraduate enrollment by African American students increased from roughly 18,400 to just over 22,000—nearly 20 percent. Over the same three years at Cal State L.A., the number of African American first-time freshmen increased by more than 55 percent. Also, each year, on average, about 200 African American students are entering Cal State L.A. as undergraduate transfers. For more about Super Sunday, including a list of churches, visit this website:

Honors College scholarship funding
In preparation for the launch of the Cal State L.A. Honors College in fall 2010, the University is developing plans to recruit its first cohort of 25 high-achieving first-time freshmen. Boosting these efforts is private scholarship support that has been provided, or pledged, by John B. Willis ’59; the estate of Elliott Barton ’64; and the Merkin Foundation, thanks to the efforts of Trustee Professor Barry Munitz. For more information on privately-funded scholarships, contact the Office of University Development , at ext. 3-3075.

Looking forward
For all of higher education—as for the entire nation—these are extremely challenging times. Cal State L.A., fortunately, is in a better position than many, thanks to strong resource management, staying within our enrollment targets, and attracting non-state resources and private donations. Together, these are factors that have positioned this campus well in weathering a climate of decreasing general revenue support. More than ever, the entire campus community must play a part in being vigilant with regard to spending, hiring and increasing efficiency. Thank you for everything you do to help us maintain access, strength, and excellence.

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Winter 2009