University President Alexander Gonzalez praised the campus community’s dedication amid recent budget difficulties and said the work being done by faculty and staff is the key to Sacramento State emerging from the downturn stronger than ever.
Gonzalez delivered his remarks Thursday, Aug. 25, in his annual Fall Address to the campus community. He stressed the importance of working together to create a campus for the 21st century.
“The difficulties we continue to face as a campus have been well-documented,” Gonzalez said. “But those of us here today have risen to every challenge and persevered through some very tough times for public higher education – all while maintaining a high degree of professionalism throughout all of the turmoil.”
Much of the groundwork for achieving the goal of a stronger Sacramento State has already been implemented, he said.
Professors, colleges and departments are serving as links between students and the community. Service initiatives are celebrating historic milestones. And an updated web site, increased social media presence and redesigned publications are allowing the University to do “a much better job of telling the Sacramento State story to the community.”
“In the current budget climate, we literally cannot afford to hide our successes.
“We must tell everyone who wants to listen that we are making a difference in our region and state, in the academic community, and across the globe. And for those who don’t want to listen, or who want to cut our funding, or shut off access, we need them to hear us most of all,” Gonzalez said.
The President also said the public would continue to demand more efficiency and value from the University, but said that “people are still, and will always be, vitally important to higher education – and that means both faculty and staff.”
Accomplishments to this end include revamped curricula and a number of successes already achieved by Sacramento State’s Graduation Initiative, including exceeding an early benchmark for transfer graduation and closing the retention gap for a cohort of entering freshmen.
“What hangs in the balance right now is not just what happens with the state budget – even though it is hard to think about anything else,” Gonzalez said. “At stake is the kind of campus we will have in the years to come. … The future rests with us, and us alone. It rests in the hands and the ambitions of the Sacramento State family.”
Video and text of the 2011 Fall Address are available at http://www.csus.edu/pa/video/20110825_Convocation.html