From the President
It is truly an honor and a privilege to be selected to lead this great university. Since my appointment as Cal State East Bay’s interim president on July 1, my priority has been to get to know the University and learn as much as possible about our students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and friends — as well as our academic programs, sponsored activities, and rich history.
This has kept me quite busy. I have gotten to know the deans, toured their colleges, and met faculty, along with staff and managers from other divisions. I visited the Concord Campus and the Oakland Center. I’ve talked with student leaders, alumni, trustees, legislators, business leaders, and community partners. Throughout these interactions, I have experienced the enthusiasm, engagement, and motivation of the Cal State East Bay family. It is clear to me how deeply committed and dedicated people are to this University, our students, and the community.
Joining this community is particularly exciting because I share a deep commitment to the CSU and Cal State East Bay missions. I value and embrace the diversity of the communities we serve and the quality of education we provide our students. I have a deep abiding commitment to social justice, to equity, and to the need to recognize, nurture, and celebrate our differences.
Examining our Seven Strategic Mandates
I am most impressed with Cal State East Bay’s accomplishments over the past five years in meeting the seven mandates. The important question ahead for us is, how do we continue to build effectively upon our excellence and institutional distinction? In my experience, universities and organizations are most effective when they have a well-articulated vision for the future. I strongly believe we can, and must, be inclusive of the various interests and constituencies of the University and the communities we serve, aligning these diverse interests in a coherent and ambitious vision for our collective future.
As part of our continuous strategic planning process, the University began a series of structured conversations to assess and reaffirm our mandates, allowing me the opportunity to listen to faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, and friends. Discussion at more than a dozen sessions has centered around three questions:
• What do you like most about the University and view as our greatest strength?
• Which of the seven mandates continues to be most important?
• Within the seven mandates, which, if any, should be rephrased or adjusted to reflect changing circumstances and new opportunities?
We will collect and analyze the results of these sessions to inform the broader conversation going forward. I look forward to sharing these with you in our next issue. If I have piqued your interest, look for more information and share your thoughts at www.csueastbay.edu/listeningsession.
Key themes to consider for our future
Our first priority is our students, and any decisions we make together will be based on what is best for them. In my convocation speech, I presented the following six themes, which I believe are important to shaping our collective future. First, we need to think deeply about what constitutes the total student experience here at Cal State East Bay — and as a result, how we define a successful graduate. As part of our continuing work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and preparing the workforce, we need to consider a STEM-infused education that includes not only the STEM disciplines, but also the arts, humanities, and social sciences to prepare an informed citizenry for the 21st century.
I also have asked the provost to work with the chair of the Academic Senate to investigate innovative instructional pedagogy to enhance student engagement and learning. As a proponent of sustainability throughout my career, I have asked the campus community to look at CSUEB’s current policies and procedures as well as ways to build sustainability into our curriculum as we go forward.
Finally, with the continuing challenge of decreased state support, we must look at revenue generation to sustain the level of excellence we want for our programs. These six themes will be important to stimulate our conversations as we work to develop our shared vision.
I have been amazed at how quickly the last few months have gone by. My wife, Barbara, and I appreciate the warm and generous welcome we have received from the University community. We look forward to meeting more of you in the coming months.
Leroy M. Morishita