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President's 2011 Spring Convocation
Thursday January 20, 2011 at 10am

President Alexander Gonzalez told the campus community that he would continue his work to enhance Sacramento State despite the difficult economic times.

“It is up to all of us to help Sacramento State become the best, most valued and most innovative regional campus in California,” Gonzalez said Thursday during his annual Spring Address in the University Union.

The state budget proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown includes $500 million in cuts to the California State University system. If approved, the budget would reduce state support for the CSU to 1999 levels.

“In essence, we are now being asked to deliver a 21st century education with 20th century dollars,” Gonzalez said.

Sacramento State has taken a number of actions in response to recent budget cuts, including reduced spending, holding positions vacant, implementing employee furloughs and managing enrollment so the campus is not “too big” or “too small” to respond to uneven state budgets.

Gonzalez emphasized that any plans for the future of the campus must be fiscally responsible. The University has held focus groups with faculty, staff, students and community members, and the feedback has indicated strong areas of consensus, including:

  • World class academic programs that prepare graduates for the workforce.
  • Centers of excellence that will make the University a regional hub for innovation.
  • Facilities and attractions that will make the campus a destination for events, entertainment and academics.

“We want Sacramento State to be the epicenter of Sacramento’s intellectual, cultural and economic prosperity,” Gonzalez said.

To that end, he announced a campus proposal to the CSU Chancellor’s Office that would include a new facility for Sacramento State’s science programs. Such a building would follow more than $2 million in grants and donations that the University has secured for science equipment that enhances teaching and research in University labs.

At the address, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Sheley and Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Varlotta discussed how their units were continuing to deliver education and services during the recent cuts.

Gonzalez also pledged to keep the campus community informed of any new developments. In addition to his “President’s Update” emails to the campus, he is posting information on his website athttp://www.csus.edu/President/fromthedeskofthepresident.html.

“Make no mistake,” he said. “We are in the midst of some very dramatic and profound changes not only to the state but to public higher education in California. It won’t be an easy task, but in the end we’ll survive and thrive. I know all of us are committed to striving for the best, and we’ll achieve it.”