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CSUEB in 2008: Prepared for the journey

  • January 23, 2008

With the start of a new year, it's natural to wonder what challenges and opportunities lie ahead and how we can successfully meet and capitalize upon them. It's also a time to strengthen our resolve to build upon what we learned, accomplished - and also committed to - in the prior year.

Last year, we were imaginative and remarkably bold as we envisioned new possibilities and new heights for Cal State East Bay. We embarked confidently on a journey of transformation with a wide-ranging, inclusive colloquy that included a series of lively and well-attended town hall meetings. With the input and engagement of the University's many constituents and communities, we developed a conceptual foundation for the reinvention of CSUEB, outlined in our Framework for the Future report.

We agreed upon a vision of Cal State East Bay as a

• Center of academically strong teaching and learning;
• Welcoming, inclusive multicultural learning and working environment;
• Regional high-access institution of choice with strong enrollment growth;
• Destination known for beautiful and vibrant campuses;
• Well-run and efficient institution with a culture of accountability;
• Distinctive university serving different students in multiple locations; and
• Regional steward known for meeting workforce and community needs with innovative programs and methods of teaching and learning, as well as uniquely well-qualified graduates.

Our thinking was nothing less than audacious - reminding me of the words of John Dewey, the great American philosopher and educator, who said, "Every great advance ... has issued from a new audacity of the imagination."

But without action, a vision such as ours - howsoever bold and audacious -is only a dream. To realize our dream, we must add form and structure to our imaginings with solid strategic planning, including measures and metrics to hold ourselves accountable.

Recognizing this imperative, 2008 will be the year in which we complete our foundation of planning and accelerate the transformation of our vision into concrete actions at Cal State East Bay. We've begun 2008 with two pivotal strategic planning processes well under way, aimed at updating the university's academic plan and physical master plan.

The academic plan will guide future enrollment and curriculum, and also look critically at our programs, competencies, and modes of delivery to determine if they meet the changing needs of our students, communities, and regional employers. A draft of the Academic Plan is posted online. I urge you to review the findings and recommendations during the comment period, which ends January 31.

The University's physical master planning process for the Hayward campus will give form to our academic planning and vision for the future. Not since University founders planned for the Hayward Campus in the early 1960's has such an expansive - and forward-looking - effort been undertaken. The master plan will not only tie the physical development of the university to its academic goals, but it will also set forth a cogent and sustainable course for growth and expansion. A new Web site will be available within the coming weeks providing you with a means to follow and comment on the work of the Master Plan Steering Committee, which comprises faculty, staff, administrators, students, and community leaders. And later in the winter quarter, the University will hold a series of campus and community outreach meetings to discuss issues that the master plan needs to address, together with preliminary land use ideas.

The outcome of these two critical planning processes will lead to the creation of an overall strategic plan that will define the future character, mission, and form of CSUEB. This, in turn, will also help determine priorities for University's first comprehensive fund-raising campaign, now in the early stages of planning.

I predict that 2008 will be a watershed year in the University's history. Working closely with the communities and constituents we serve, as well as our growing base of alumni and friends, Cal State East Bay will begin in earnest its journey of transformation. Our destination is the realization of our vision of CSUEB as one of the region's most important and valued public institutions - the keystone of its economic and social vibrancy. Knowing that I can continue to count on your earnest engagement, support, and commitment, I feel certain we are prepared for the journey ahead.

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