CSU plan near end

by publicationarchive

The two-year long process to draft the California State University’s blueprint for the next decade is nearing its end – on time and under budget.Yesterday the CSU Board of Trustees heard a presentation about the latest draft of the Access to Excellence plan, which is up for board approval in May.Chair Roberta Achtenberg made opening comments, stressing the importance of the CSU’s growth during the next 10 years. Achtenberg said that by 2020, California will have 43 million people and the CSU will need to expand by at least 10,000 students a year in order to maintain placement for the current rate of college-going students.However, she said this growth wouldn’t be sufficient enough because the university system should work to increase college-going rates among the most rapidly growing and underserved communities.Achtenberg said the Access to Excellence plan commits the CSU to promoting degree attainment and to closing the achievement gap in the most strategic and cost effective ways.Gary Reichard, CSU executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer, made the presentation and said that all the steps in the planning process have been completed on time and under budget.Access to Excellence includes eight commitments, some of which are preparing for faculty turnover and increasing the ranks of tenure track faculty, expanding opportunities for active learning through research and community service, expanding student outreach and enhancing opportunities for global awareness.The plan is two-dimensional because it acts as an internal plan for setting goals and as a way to state the case for the importance of the CSU. This second dimension is especially important as the 23-university system is facing budget cuts.Lt. Gov. John Garamendi commented at the meeting that the plan’s statement of its goals was on target, but in order to persuade the government to fully fund the system, the goals need to be more specific. Garamendi said the institution should show how it meets its share of California workforce needs, what it takes to get that done and what it costs.Reichard said the plan is strategic rather than comprehensive and that after it receives final approval, specific indicators and timetables will be set in the implementation phase.The plan can still be changed between now and its final approval in May.