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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento
January 28, 2004
President offers vision for ‘destination campus’
text of the president's address to campus
Gonzalez laid out an aggressive plan to add new facilities and remake CSUS into
a residential campus during his spring address last week. He said the goal was
to turn CSUS into a “destination campus for the West and a flagship of
the CSU system by 2010.”
Speaking to a packed
house in the University Union Ballroom, he also stressed the importance of fundraising
efforts and asked everyone on campus to share the University’s success
stories with the community. And he talked about the findings of the campus athletics
task force, which were released at a press conference the day before (see accompanying
Alexander Gonzalez is interviewed by a State Hornet reporter after his
address to the campus
Gonzalez began by praising staff and faculty for their commitment to students.
“This winter break offered me a good opportunity to reflect on what I’ve
learned about this University—all that’s been shared with me,” he
said. “And I’ll share this with you: When you get right down to it,
the most important thing you find here is a dedication to students. All of you
clearly care strongly about their success.
“In the coming years, everything we accomplish with come directly from
that basic commitment.”
Gonzalez spent much of his time highlighting a new master plan proposal, which
he said would bring the biggest changes to the University since it moved here
from Sacramento Junior College in 1953. He then debuted a five-minute video on
the proposal that will goto the CSU Board of Trustees later this week.
The new master plan proposal includes an arena and wellness center to the north
of Hornet Stadium, which would be funded by donors and students. The concept
is supported by Associated Students President Peter Ucovich.
There’s also a new performing arts center in the master plan proposal,
which would be either on the south of campus or in the nearby 65th Street redevelopment
area. The new plan also includes housing for as many as 5,000 students (up from
about 1,100 now), new classroom buildings as high as eight stories, a space science
center, parking structures and a green mall down the center of campus.
Gonzalez said donors would be sought for many projects, and thanked those who
have already made contributions to the University. They include, he noted, many
faculty, staff and alumni, as well as community members.
Gonzalez also talked about the University’s impact—citing statistics
from the recent “Golden Asset” report which show the campus generates
$744 million and 16,000 jobs in the region, and that 1 in 26 residents of the
region is a CSUS alum.
He touched briefly on the state budget troubles, warning that the campus faces
tough cuts next year that could total $13 million. He said the CSU system as
a whole would suffer a two-year combined cut (including this year) of $771 million,
or 28 percent, if the governor’s proposed budget is enacted. With cuts
in enrollment, the Master Plan for Higher Education’s promise of access
for qualified students, he said, was at risk.
But tough economic times come and go, he said, adding “We need to plan
confidently for this University’s bright future—for a new Sac State.”
Sounding a theme that has clearly resonated with the campus community, Gonzalez
ended with a call to build CSUS into a flagship campus of the CSU system despite
the challenges of statewide budget cuts.
“One way or another, we’re going to create the standout, flagship
campus we know Sac State can be,” he said. “Our students want it,
we want it and the people here in the Capital Region deserve it.”
California State University, Sacramento Public Affairs
6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 (916) 278-6156