A Past Decade and Uncertain Future
Reflecting on the past 10 years as President of your University, I am reminded of the saying, “time flies when you’re having fun.” Certainly, the past decade has been fun and rewarding, but has also included hard work, challenges, sweat, tears and jubilation. I am extremely proud of CI’s accomplishments of the past decade as well as individual successes of our faculty, staff and students.
My most rewarding highlight is realized every year on commencement day when as a University community we witness hundreds of men and women who cross a stage to loud cheers from families and friends in celebration of graduates’ academic achievements. College graduates are key to California’s future and economic recovery as they become tomorrow’s workforce and leaders for our region, state and nation.
As you will read in the pages that follow, CI continues on a path of excellence and this is attributable directly to the hard work of our faculty and staff. Students themselves realize that they must continue to advance their academic experience if they are to succeed in accomplishing their goals and dreams.
However, fiscal realities continue to threaten our ability to ensure the quality experience students will need to compete in tomorrow’s world. The CSU was told in March to expect a minimum $500 million budget reduction with a potential for further cuts, severely impacting current students and those wishing to enroll at the CSU. The Senate and Assembly recently proposed a budget to close the remaining $9.6 billion gap without the extensions of temporary tax increases proposed by Governor Brown. As this issue goes to press the budget that included a significant reduction of state support was vetoed by the Governor. While tuition fee increases could offset part of the initial reduction, millions of dollars of additional cuts would be devastating to CI’s academic and student programs.
We are optimistic that our state’s leaders and Governor Brown will make education a priority in their budget decisions. For this budget cycle and those in the future it is important that our voices be heard in support of higher education. After all it is the investment in our students now which will lead to a stronger and thriving California tomorrow.
Richard R. Rush