Dear Community Members and CI Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni:
Happy 10th anniversary!
I hope you take pride in this milestone because, above all else, it’s a celebration of you.
Ten years ago, we came together as a community to open the county’s first and only four-year public university. Today, we proudly celebrate the dreams, drive and dedication of countless individuals who made CI a reality and a success.
We’ve created this publication as a way of thanking you for your contributions and showing you that your confidence was well-placed. We have delivered on the dream and we will be unwavering in our efforts to grow and expand on it.
Over the past decade, CI has provided new educational opportunities for our population, significant partnerships and growth for our community, and programs and services to ensure an even better future for our region. We have created a uniquely close-knit, student-centered culture where students serve the community, work one-on-one with faculty who are experts in their fields, participate in hands-on research that gives them a professional advantage, and find a willing ear and helping hand to overcome challenges.
Though reduced support from the state has not allowed CI to grow as planned, we have found resourceful ways to thrive in difficult economic times. We pursued grant funding, forged innovative community and private partnerships, and received generous support from our community. As a result, we built vitally needed state-of-the-art facilities, expanded opportunities for people to obtain a CI degree, and created new programs to support our students and community.
Through partnerships with Cottage Health System and Santa Barbara City College, we expanded our nursing program, several bachelor’s degrees and an MBA into Santa Barbara County. Through the heroic efforts of our faculty, in the past three years alone CI has obtained over $13 million in grants. These grants will support current and future generations of college students and fund activities ranging from outreach to K-12 schools to support underrepresented groups, to prestigious biotechnology research scholarships for our students.
We continue to move forward without being discouraged by external forces, and seek additional support and partnership of businesses and individuals in the community, helping us to build facilities and programs, and to provide better access to higher education for everyone.
Our 10-year anniversary is a reminder that we are not finished creating. We are still in the act of defining this University in service to this region, the state and the nation. The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial excitement continues to characterize what we do. As we continue to grow and innovate, we will stay true to our mission of placing students at the center of the learning that is multicultural, experiential, interdisciplinary, and service-oriented.
To our current students, I want to say that it’s our greatest privilege to serve you. This University exists for you and we are committed to your success.
To our alumni, I hope your experience was deep, significant, and prepared you not only for careers but also to be leaders in our democratic society. The “CI Way” is built upon fundamental integrity, clear vision and a sense of commitment to something larger than self. Our reputation lives on in our graduates.
To the faculty and staff, it is an honor to be associated with you. You are people of commitment and you’ve dedicated yourselves to student success. The achievements you have realized are remarkable. I’m deeply gratified to have the opportunity to serve with you.
To the community, thank you for welcoming us. You have been steadfast in your commitment to having a public, four-year university and supported us every step of the way. Not every university enjoys this kind of community support and we are delighted and privileged to have it.
I also extend this invitation to you: Take advantage of all that CI has to offer. Let us know how you feel about it. I hope you will join us at the campus on Sunday August 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for our 2012 Welcome Celebration, where you can learn more about the future of the University, our achievements and goals, and meet with students, their families, faculty, administrators and staff. Moreover, we will be holding a number of public events throughout the year to celebrate CI’s 10th anniversary, including concerts, a speakers’ series, and fun, educational family activities.
This is your University and I encourage you to enjoy and embrace it. It is through your participation and feedback that CI can become a better, stronger institution that continues to meet your needs. Together, we can help this University grow into a national model for regional education, partnership and prosperity. Thanks to you, we’ve had a decade of distinction and we are well on our way to an even brighter future.
Richard R. Rush, President
CSU Channel Islands