Public Affairs, The California State University

CSU Reflects on 2013

By Stephanie Thara

Commencement 2013In 2013, the CSU experienced a multitude of changes and achieved countless accomplishments that allowed the system to further develop its four cornerstones of higher education: quality, access, affordability and completion.

With 23 campuses, 437,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff, the CSU community and its partners have worked together to reach numerous milestones over the past year and launch initiatives that help produce skilled leaders that drive California’s workforce. In 2013, the CSU graduated more than 100,000 scholars in May/June, bringing the CSU alumni count to nearly three million.

In January, Dr. Timothy P. White took the reigns as CSU Chancellor and since has left an impact with the students, faculty and staff at each CSU campus. The CSU also welcomed five new campus presidents— Joseph I. Castro, Fresno State; William A. Covino, Cal State L.A.; Willie J. Hagan, CSU Dominguez Hills; Eduardo M. Ochoa, CSU Monterey Bay; Joseph F. Sheley, CSU Stanislaus . Additionally, Governor Jerry Brown appointed two new members to the CSU Board of Trustees: Steven Stepanek, computer science professor at CSUN, and Talar Alexanian, vice president of CSUN’s Associated Students. This is only the second time in CSU history that a faculty trustee and student trustee have come from the same campus.

This year marked the official launch of Cal State Online and the creation of CourseMatch, the CSU’s concurrent online enrollment program. Additionally, the CSU announced that all 23 CSU campuses will be implementing the “Aware Awake Alive” alcohol awareness program as part of the movement to prevent student alcohol poisoning.

2013 was a year of firsts for many CSU campuses:

  • San Francisco State became the first public university in the country to offer free year-round housing to students who are former foster youth.
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo received $1 million to create the first-of-its-kind Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center.
  • Fresno State launched the system’s first online writing tutorial program.
  • Cal State Fullerton became the first CSU to be entirely smoke free.

Cal Poly Pomona FundraiserAdditionally, Cal Poly Pomona’s 36-hour online fundraising campaign, a first for the university, generated more than $80,000 in donations to a wide variety of programs. Furthermore, a team of astronomers—including two from San Diego State—discovered two Earth-like planets with the potential to support life.

The CSU has also been lauded for its commitment to diversity and community. In October, Humboldt State University officially qualified as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education, making it the fifteenth CSU campus to earn the HSI designation. Helping meet the needs of California’s critical industry sectors, San José State launched “Battery University” to educate a specialty workforce for the rapidly growing battery industry. The CSU’s “Troops to Trades” program, which allows military veterans to apprentice in a trade-skill position at a CSU campus, has also been fully developed, with its first veteran participant at CSU San Bernardino.