California State University, East Bay administrators, faculty and staff were welcomed and recognized for their accomplishments and contributions at this year’s Fall Convocation on Sept. 21.
In his annual address to a packed University Theatre, President Leroy M. Morishita noted recent university achievements and discussed opportunities for growth in the new school year.
Morishita spoke about the acknowledgement Cal State East Bay is receiving from political and business leaders, alumni and students as a “rising institution” in the CSU system.
“There are periods in the history of a university that you can point to and say that is when ‘the university came into its own,’ or that’s when ‘the university turned the corner,’” Morishita said. “We are at that juncture.”
Among the accomplishments, Morishita noted CSUEB’s recent 10-year reaffirmed accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC); strides in preventing sexual assaults and supporting victims; and ranking by The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac as the most diverse public institution in the continental United States.
Morishita said he is excited about the university’s achievements and enthusiastic about the future. He reaffirmed his priorities to improve student success, continue new faculty hires and excellence, convert to the semester system by fall of 2018, enhance success in STEM, and increase philanthropy and fundraising.
Morishita also acknowledged 31 new tenure and/or tenure track faculty members.
“We have hired 100 new faculty since I became your president,” he said. “You join a very distinguished faculty who brought great pride and recognition to the university. I wish each of you success as you begin your professional journey as part of the Cal State East Bay family. We look forward to your contributions in advancing the university and the success of our students.”
In closing, the president reassured staff, faculty and administrators of his commitment to Cal State East Bay, now and into the future.
“As I stand here today, having served as a member of this great university for four years, I am inspired by your cumulative intellectual capacity, by your unyielding dedication and motivation to our students and the university, and by the willingness of all of you to be creative and innovative in moving this university to new heights,” Morishita said.
Other campus leaders also welcomed the audience, reporting on recent milestones and goals for the upcoming academic year.
During his address, Academic Senate Chair Dr. Michael Hedrick told the crowd that Cal State East Bay received a record number of freshman applications. This academic year, CSUEB will see nearly 2,300 new transfer students and more than 1,700 first-time freshman will be arriving on campus.
Hedrick also discussed semester conversion, calling it the most significant issue the university faces.
“Indeed, we as a campus have made a public pledge to our students that they will not be adversely affected by the conversion process and that they will maintain the quality of our academic programs during the conversation,” Hedrick said. “The entire undertaking can only be accomplished with significant collaboration between administration, faculty, student leadership and staff. With the strong shared governance structures we have in place, I know that together we can successfully make this transition and deal with all of the challenges we face in the coming year and beyond."
David Munoz Lopez, president of Associated Students, Incorporated, spoke about changes to its organization, including the establishment of an ASI Senate.
“This change will add a senator of diversity, senator of residence life and a senator of international students to increase the reach of our support for students across the university,” Lopez said.
Interim Provost Dr. Carolyn Nelson remarked on her excitement about her new role and her dedication to making Cal State East Bay a destination campus for students and faculty.
“We have a campus where individuals work together in a spirit that animates a special vision about education — one that says every student who walks through our doors deserves an excellent, equitable, rigorous, relevant, and meaningful education,” Nelson said. “Not just the top percentile, but the thousands of students with whom we come in contact each year.”