Recently, Provost Edward Inch and I met with a group of faculty for one of our “coffee hours,” where we provide an update on the university. I shared that 2017 marks my sixth year as president of Cal State East Bay. The time has flown by and I remain convinced that we have the opportunity to do great things here.
Two weeks ago, the CSU Board of Trustees approved an annual tuition increase of $270 beginning in fall 2017 for resident undergraduate students. The decision to raise tuition, the first increase since 2011, was made after months of deliberation and input from across the CSU system. While the CSU proposed a budget in January to Governor Jerry Brown for $325 million for the 2017-18 year, only $157 million was allocated. State support has continued to decline over the years, and while some gains have been made, state support per student remains below levels from the 1990s. Additional revenue is needed for the CSU system and Cal State East Bay to continue to improve student success and work toward achieving our graduation initiatives.
I also want to highlight one of our newest student success programs, Project HOPE, which recently held its first special event to thank faculty and staff for their support. Since its inception last October, more than $55,000 in employee and alumni contributions, clothing donations and food items have been given to this program — a remarkable testament to the generosity of our campus community. In addition, our students have donated more than 1800 meal swipes, and with Aramark matching each one, the result is 3644 donated meals for students in need. Thank you also to the three student speakers who shared their stories and struggles at the event, and talked about how Project HOPE has impacted their lives. Speaking out about this issue and acknowledging that they need help in addressing their food and housing insecurity took great courage. I hope their bravery will encourage other students to seek assistance when needed. Time and again members of our Pioneer community step forward to lead the way as we make it possible for more students to reach for the stars.
Leroy M. Morishita