Chancellor Timothy White speaks to student media Friday during a press conference in the California State University’s Long Beach headquarters.
Update 2:23 p.m.
Moving forward on an issue Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong has made part of his long-term plan for Cal Poly, White said he wants to take advantage of public-private partnerships for the entire university system.
The risk of these partnerships, he said, come when a company establishes a high degree of influence over what is being taught in the classrooms. But the chancellor said there are “checks and balances” to avoid this.
These partnerships, he said, would not be to make the CSU “exclusive and elite, but rather to make us accessible and affordable for the men and women of California who want to come to our campuses.
“The right way to talk about private partnerships is to look at the public-private partnerships as preserving the public nature of the California State University,” he added.
White said public-private partnerships could help the CSU’s 23 campuses with facilities, residence halls, research, creative opportunities and for-pay internships.
Update 2:09 p.m.
A group in White’s human resources department is working to move the university system toward being completely smoke-free, White said. He identified some of the challenges of imposing this policy across campuses with students from diverse backgrounds, but said he believes it’s the right thing to do for all campus’s public health.
“A lot of America is moving toward smoke-free environments,” White said. “We should be one of them.”
Update 2:03 p.m.
In response to a Mustang News question about graduation rates, White said he would add “completion” to the traditional three mission points of the CSU: access, affordability and quality.
Still, White made clear he believes granting students degrees is more important than boosting the four-year rate of graduation.
“For me, the rate question, it’s second to the number of degrees we’re putting out … what we don’t want to do is have an overemphasis on a four-year graduation rate,” White said. “I want to make sure we measure what we value, and for me it’s completion.”
Update 1:58 p.m.
In the upcoming year, White said he’s not optimistic California Gov. Jerry Brown will meet the CSU’s full request for funding to grow. This will likely mean taking in less new students than the university system aims to, White said.
“I know we need more student enrollment,” he said. “If I don’t stand up for you, then who’s going to stand up for you? So I’m going to stand up and say, ‘Here’s the true need, Gov. Brown.'”
Update 1:45 p.m.
White opened his press conference talking about access for California students, something he’s pushed for throughout his now nine-month tenure as chancellor.
“It’s frustrating for me personally to know that there are people who, through no fault of their own, can’t get in our campuses,” he said. White added that the California State University added approximately 6,000 students this academic year.
California State University Chancellor Timothy White will hold a press conference with student media at 1:30 p.m. today to discuss enrollment growth, student success programs, online classes and new health care options. We’ll update this page live with important remarks from the chancellor.
You can watch live video of the conference here.