By Jorge Campos |Staff Writer|
On February 13, 2015, CSU students were given the opportunity to have their questions answered by CSU’s Chancellor Timothy P. White. From 10am-11am a live video chat with the Chancellor was launched and students were able to freely ask questions directly to Mr. White.
One of the questions that came in, was:
Q: What will the CSU do to advocate additional funding?
A: “We have an office in Sacramento right across from the capital which organizes innumerable advocacy efforts. Some are done by working with the legislative staff on a daily basis with the governor’s office staff around legislation and around the budget…. So advocacy is a really large multi-factorial effort that is organized out of the office in Sacramento”
Aaron White from Sonoma State University asked
Q: How do you plan on producing the quality of education students are receiving?
A: “We talk about sort of a four legged bench at the CSU from the students perspective and the first is you can get into the campus of choice and once you are there you can access the courses in the right sequence. the second thing is affordability. It is affordable, it doesn’t mean free or cheap, it just means affordable to you as a student and a very robust financial aid in California.”
Ariana Sawyer from The Daily 49er asked
Q: “What are your plans to improve the current transfer program so that students are less confused about the process?”
A: “You know, we actually have in any given year about half of our new students come from high school directly and the other half come from a Community College. In very rough numbers in a given year, that’s about 60,055 to 60,000 students from community colleges entering the CSU and about the same number coming from high schools. Now there was a recent legislation a few years ago, 1440 is the bill which created formally at community colleges which is called an associate degree for transfer and in that degree students take specific courses at the right level both breadth and depth academically. If they pass the course with a sufficient grade then assures them that they can transfer into the CSU campus. The idea being that CSU campus takes care of the upper division coursework so the student can their degree in four years.”
From the University Times, Angeline Bernabe asked
Q: “As the Chancellor from the CSU system, from your perspective, what are some challenges the CSU graduates face?”
A: “While I think all graduates face a pretty important question and thats okay, “I’ve worked hard, My family has worked hard, I’ve gone to college, now what?” So that is part of the educational experience. I often think that a big part of education at the university level is how do you manage ambiguity? When you get close to graduating, I can’t endorse to highly the notion of trying some internship experiences in whatever field or interest to your career. The campuses can help you identify cases that take interns. Sometimes you can test drive the company or the business and the company can test drive you and there may be a chance match there that can ultimately lead up to a job. You may also discover that “I thought that i wanted to be a therapist and I can’t handle this environment in the clinical setting, I really don’t want to do that.” So I think that is the place where there is challenges for individuals. You want to try the next step, wether is graduate school or professional school or into the workforce. You want to choose where you have a passion or where you have a skill set and you will do great.”
Q: “Do you have any plans to raise tuition in the near future?”
A: “So, we are not going to raise tuition next year. I can say that unequivocally, we are resource constrained and we are going to have an honest conversation with our trustees, with elected officials and with our students, not next year but in the years after that about what kind of a tuition plan should be in place. Let me be clear about that, but i think if the price has to go up, I would much prefer to go up in small increments that everybody knows is coming in those out years. At 2%, at 2%, at 2% so everybody can plan, families can plan, universities can plan, and the state can plan. What is really unfortunate during the recession is that happily going along the CSU’s but I was at that time, I was in the University of California system as a Campus Chancellor and all of the sudden the bottom dropped out of the economy and tuition has to go up midyear 10% to 12%, nobody could plan for that. It was horrible, it caused a lot of students to change their plans because they couldn’t afford it. which is why I would much rather get in an adult conversation with all the right people, including students, about what kind of a plan we should put out in the out years and how would we go about executing that….”
CSUSB’s Coyote Chronicle asked
Q: Chancellor, what are your plans for raising graduation rates?
A: “What gets in the way of a degree? for some students is life. They may have a full-time job or maybe a single parent or may need too work hard and then go to school and then go back and work hard and then go back for a term or two. There’s some things in the lives of students that means it will take longer than four or five or six years to get a degree because they are only doing it stopping in, stopping out or doing it half time. But those are the things that are beyond our control and reflect on the family. However, the lower we can keep the cost, however, then perhaps the rhetoric- theoretically the less a person has to work the quicker they can get through, so that’s the goal.”