September 1, 2004
President looks at past year and year ahead
A look at the past
and a preview of the future highlighted President Gonzalez’ “State
of the University’ address on Aug. 26.
“We had some big wins last year,” Gonzalez said, citing student support of the proposed recreation, wellness and events center, progress on the Placer Campus and the approval of the Destination 2010 Master Plan by the Board of Trustees.
“Destination 2010 is about making Sacramento State into a destination campus for the West and a flagship of the CSU system,” he said. “In more concrete terms, Destination 2010 means becoming a premier metropolitan university, a campus of choice for students, faculty, staff and the community.”
To accomplish this, he said, the campus community must try to get past its modesty. “We need community and donor support to reach our potential. That means we need to brag often and loudly about our many successes, much more often and much more loudly than we have in the past,” he said. “That’s what I do as president and I hope that’s what all of you will do as proud members of the campus community.”
Earlier in the speech Gonzalez alluded to a recent report showing that one in 26 of the region’s residents is a Sacramento State graduate. “It’s really something to brag about. It’s not just a number,” he said. “All of these alumni had the desire to come here. They trusted this institution with their dreams because they knew their degrees would have value. And we delivered.”
He also brought up the results of a community survey, conducted by sociology professor Amy Liu, that showed overwhelmingly positive perceptions about the University, including that 84 percent of residents surveyed agree that Sacramento State provides an excellent education and 90 percent agree that we’re vital to the region’s prosperity.
Gonzalez also shared good news and bad news on the budget. The good news is the campus will be able to accept more students in the spring than had been anticipated. The bad news is that those students will face a fee increase, ranging from 14 percent for undergraduates to 25 percent for graduate students. “While we’re still a great higher education value, I think we all understand that this will still have an impact on our students,” he said.
He noted that although the campus will still have to absorb another $10 million cut this year, the end is in sight with a 3 percent increase for the CSU expected next year.
Gonzalez also touched on upcoming changes related to campus facilities. In the coming year, the Academic Information Resource Center will be completed. Prop. 55 bond funding will allow the campus to begin major renovations to the University Theatre and planning for the Science II facility. Groundbreaking for Parking Structure II will begin in December. And next year, work will begin on the new Hornet Bookstore near the University Union and Parking Structure II.
He also outlined the potential acquisition of land on the south side of Folsom Blvd. previously occupied by the California Youth Authority. After serving as a temporary overflow parking lot, a plan under consideration would create a University village that would provide housing for faculty and staff.
In addition to outlining campus activities, Gonzalez took time to express his thanks to the faculty for their commitment to great teaching, to the staff for “keeping the doors open,” and to those who volunteered the highly successful U.S. Track and Field Trials. He also identified the new leadership on campus.
The President concluded by identifying what he sees as his role in shaping the campus. “I’m not looking to impose some vision of my own,” he said. “I want to help you build your academic programs, to do your jobs better. I want to help you provide our students with a better education experience. That’s at the heart of Destination 2010.
He added, “As president, it’s my job to set up guideposts so we can see where we’re all headed together, and then to help steer the campus in that direction. “You’ll know how I’m doing by how close we get.”
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