Head shot of Leroy M. Morishita

Leroy M. Morishita

President Morishita offers advice to university leaders throughout the nation

  • August 6, 2013 5:00am

Cal State East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita offered advice on university maintenance matters to academic leaders throughout the nation in the summer issue of American Council on Education magazine.

Deferred maintenance can turn into a vicious cycle: In a declining or stagnant economy, deep budget cuts and tough choices can push maintenance problems off the short list of necessities that get funded. Left unaddressed, such problems can snowball into major issues that scare off prospective students and potential donors, squeezing budgets even tighter.

“There are practical strategies that can pull a whole campus together to help address deferred maintenance,” said Morishita. “We really look closely at life-safety issues, health- and safety-code issues, and things that need to be structurally corrected. We put together a list, which obviously can’t be completely taken care of in one year, and prioritize according to the most critical needs and what we have to do. “

His best advice is not list making but, rather, open communication. “I’ve found that the more you communicate with people and the more you give the rationale and reasons behind the decisions you’ve made, the more people are able to garner some understanding and hopefully, acceptance. It is a difficult thing when they’re looking at a building and saying, “Hey, I’ve got the major problems here, and you’re not dealing with them.” Communicating, as best you can, all that you’re trying to do—how you set priorities, and on what basis—goes a long way toward lending credibility.”

Read One Step at a Time: How to Escape the Deferred-Maintenance Spiral


California State University, East Bay is the San Francisco East Bay Area's high-access public university of choice. CSUEB serves the region with campuses in Hayward and Concord, a professional development center in Oakland, and an innovative online campus. With an enrollment of more than 14,000, the University offers a nationally recognized freshman year experience, award-winning curriculum, personalized instruction, and expert faculty. Students choose from among more than 100 professionally focused fields of study for which the University confers bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as an Ed.D. in education. Named a "Best in the West" college, as well as a Best Business School, by the influential Princeton Review, Cal State East Bay is among the region's foremost producers of teachers, business professionals and entrepreneurs, public administrators, health professionals, literary and performing artists, and science and math graduates.

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