Chancellor addresses campus issues in conference

The California State University system held a live web conference, where student journalists got to ask Chancellor Timothy P. White questions about issues that continue within the state university system. 

Student journalists from multiple California State University campuses logged into the webinar on Friday, where they got to interview White via the online platform and White answered students’ questions through a live video feed. Each student had multiple questions for the chancellor, but due to the conference being limited to one hour, very few questions were answered. 

The one-hour conference started off with White talking about the impact California State University campuses have had on the economy.  White also addressed how 5 percent of degree holders in the nation received their diploma from a California State University campus. 

White talked about the drought of college graduates California is going to face in the future and if that gap is not mitigated, many high paying knowledge based jobs will leave the state. This is where graduation initiative 2025 comes to the aid, which aims to increase the amount of bachelor degrees earned by 100,000 per year. 

“My goal is to get more degrees to students sooner,” said White. 

The average California State University student earns a bachelor’s degree in just under five years, White acknowledged this is a tremendous improvement from what it was just a few years ago. However, to keep up with the demand for college graduate, White’s goal is to move that number closer to four years. 

When asked about how he will improve the quality of education at the California State University, he talked about the importance of having skilled faculty and keeping tuition affordable so students can focus on their studies. Many advanced teaching techniques and tools are being applied to the classroom, significantly improving the learning environment, according to White. 

White also told the student press that tuition has remained constant for the past four years and he is confident there will be no increase this next semester. 

The only reason there would be an increase in tuition is if California experiences a severe economic disaster.  

White also said the money granted by the state only covers about half of the university system’s annual budget, in response, the CSU board of trustees approved a $100 million budget to cover the lack of funding. 

White also discussed how the California State University system had its best year ever in terms of fundraising in the past academic year, and how important donors are to the university system. 

Some of California’s most iconic companies invest in the state university system, and rely on these schools to produce knowledgeable and experienced workers. These donors also provide the funds to help many low-income California State University students and help create an affordable education for Californians. 

Although White didn’t cover the issue of having more part time than full-time faculty, addressed in last week’s issue of the STAR, he did talk about the importance of having experienced faculty. White mentioned the importance of paying faculty well and how he plans on increasing faculty salaries over the next few years. If the salaries of employees aren’t increased, these skilled faculty members will seek jobs in other competitive markets. 

Many of the questions asked in the webinar with White focused on the quality and affordability of an education in the California State University system and the time span of students’ education in California. 

White assured the student press that the CSU system is on the right track to distinguish itself from other institutions of higher education, and fill the college graduate drought the state is facing.