text and streaming video of President's Fall address
opens semester with speech focused on academics
University’s academic program, and its primary place
in the implementation of the Destination 2010 initiative,
was the focus of President Alexander Gonzalez’ spring
address to the campus community last week.
pointed out that while early Destination 2010 efforts have
necessarily focused on the physical aspects of the campus—such
as the Recreation, Wellness, Events and Stadium project—providing
excellent academic and student programs is the core priority
of the initiative.
2010 ultimately is about the academic strength of our university.
All of its other elements support our academic goals,”
Gonzalez added, “Universities earn reputations as destination
campuses because they are strong academically … For
all of us—those in the classroom and those who aren’t—supporting
the University’s overall academic mission is the top
and retention were among the areas Gonzalez says will receive
years past, Sacramento State is facing enrollment challenges,
an issue that needs a long-term solution rather than a short-term
fix, he said. “Over the past three years, our enrollment
has actually not grown as projected and our student retention
rate has remained below average for the system,” Gonzalez
said. “The goal of Destination 2010 is to get us out
of the year-to-year ad hoc responses. We spend too much time
and energy merely reacting. We need room to breathe.”
then outlined some of the preparations that have gone on around
campus to establish University priorities. For example, Academic
Affairs has developed a new Academic Strategic Plan which
includes improving recruitment by working with high schools
on early assessment to improve college entry-level skills.
Teams of deans and outreach staff will visit middle schools,
high schools and community colleges.
will recruit not by waiting for students to find us, but by
letting them know that they have an exceptional university
right in their own backyard,” Gonzalez said.
are also plans underway to improve advising, technology, opportunities
for leadership and experiential learning, and career planning.
The Faculty Senate is beginning a review of the general education
program, he said.
noted how the academic program is being enhanced by developing
community support, announcing a $250,000 gift from the Rumsey
Community Fund to the Native American Studies program for
scholarships and program support. He also cited the $1.5 million
in funds for the Science and Space Center secured by Congresswoman
Doris Matsui and her late husband Congressman Robert Matsui,
as well as the $2 million gift from the Eli and Edythe Broad
Foundation for the field house. The Broad family had previously
committed 300 acres for the planned Placer Campus.
benefits from a strong academic program as well he said, highlighting
some of the many programs that have University faculty providing
expertise in the region on such issues as the environment,
economic analysis and leadership training. And students benefit
from the University’s continued emphasis on excellent
that to foster excellence within the academic program, the
campus must make recruiting and retaining top teacher-scholars
a priority. “To continue strengthening our academic
programs, we have to make it easier for these new faculty
members to move to Sacramento, and then we have to provide
them with the professional development and mentoring to ensure
they are successful.”
the issues he says must be addressed are workload—to
ensure faculty have time to work one-on-one with students—and
compensation for both new and continuing faculty. He also
said that faculty members need opportunities to conduct research
and projects in their fields.
need to broaden the diversity of the faculty was also emphasized.
“We have to make sure that we are recruiting a faculty
that reflects California,” he said. “This is not
only an issue of fairness, but one of educational quality.
We’re preparing our students to live and work in the
nation’s most diverse and dynamic state.”
text and streaming video of the President's Fall address