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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

January 21, 2004

Sac State seeking a new arena,
conference affiliation in question

A multi-use arena, health and fitness center was endorsed today by a campus task force and the President of California State University, Sacramento.

The new facility would house basketball, volleyball and other activities, including commencement. The center will be included as part of a new master plan proposal for the campus that will be forwarded to the CSU Board of Trustees for preliminary approval next week.

CSUS President Alexander Gonzalez said the proposed multi-use facility would draw minimally on state funds, and would be dependent on community and student support.

Gonzalez said, “We’re at square one now. We’re doing our homework in terms of carefully planning this.”

The improvement of facilities was a key area addressed by the athletics task force in its seven-page report, which includes 10 specific recommendations. The group was appointed by Gonzalez last semester.

Two other key recommendations endorsed by the President are to re-evaluate conference affiliation and to have the director of athletics report directly to the President.

The task force also recommended a committee, including community members, be established to study the University’s public relations. The nature of campus and community relations emerged during the study as an issue needing attention. Graduation rates of athletes also came to the attention of the task force along with the need for programs to support student athletes.

With the state and University facing a difficult budget, the task force emphasized the role that the public would need to play in helping improve athletics. The report states, “In the current budget environment, any changes that reallocate funding from other programs at the University will be opposed by the campus (community).”

David Raske, a professor of education who chaired the task force said, “As we noted in the report, a successful athletics program enhances the campus community. Therefore, any budgetary changes that distract from the rest of the University’s ability to serve its mission would be counterproductive.”

The report to the President concludes that each of its 10 recommendations, while specific to athletics, is intertwined with numerous other campus issues including a growing residential student body, public and campus relationships, campus environment, and “continuing the development of an outstanding academic environment which engages and excites not only the mind, but the body and spirit.”

The athletics task force was established in October 2003 and directed to conduct a program review, research issues and needs, analyze program benefits and submit its work by the end of December. The report has since been under review by the president. The task force undertook numerous community interviews and two public meetings.

The 10 members of the task force included faculty, students, staff and the community. They are: Bill Campbell, Cindy Collins, Eric Guerra, Phil Hitchcock, Equilla Luke, Stephen Perez, Steve Pleau, David Raske, Gloria Solomon and Peter Ucovich.

The full report is available at www.csus.edu/president/athletictaskforce.htm. Media assistance is available from CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu